Connect with us

Education

10 Facts about being a Student Nurse

Published

on

10 Facts about being a Student Nurse

Nursing is definitely one of the most misunderstood careers and Nursing courses have one of the highest university drop-out rates.

This is because each year tens of thousands of students start their Nurse training without understanding what the job entails and how much time, dedication and love of the job it requires.

Below a is short and concise list of 10 Facts about becoming a Student Nurse alongside things you should consider before you start training as a nurseI don't mean to put you off - I'm just trying to be honest! 

Advertisement
  1. It's hard work. This is something I can't emphasise enough. During your three years of training you'll be working 37.5 hours a week plus doing coursework, research and evidence for practice. If you're thinking of becoming a Nurse because it's easy - think again. Besides, it doesn't just stop there, Nursing is a highly academic subject and you'll be expected to develop and learn throughout your career.
  2. You'll be expected to work shifts. Students Nurses will be expected to work long days (12-13 hours), short days (7 hours), nights and weekends. Your shifts will tend to match those of your mentors.
  3. You won't have much of a social life. Well you will but it will involve fellow student nurses, books, study and falling asleep by 9pm or drunkenly comparing stories of the interesting things you've seen today.
  4. It's an emotional rollercoaster. You will have the best and worst days of your life during your training. You'll make a lot of life-long friends but you'll also hold the hand of your dying patient as they take their final breath.
  5. You'll be cleaning up every bodily fluid possible. Urine, faeces, vomit, sputum, blood, pus and many, many more your can't yet imagine.
  6. Nobody else will understand. Your non-nursing friends will not understand your job. They won't understand why you've had a bad day and they won't want to hear about it. You'll also constantly dispel the myths that Nursing is "sexy".
  7. You'll start from the beginning. Don't expect to start giving out medications, placing IV lines and 'healing' patients on your first day. You'll start with the basics and progress as you master those. Good patient care is at the core of nursing values.
  8. You can't write your job description. Your job isn't just giving out medications and making people better, you're also a social worker, councillor, cleaner, carer, chef, riot police, negotiator, security, interpreter and a multitude of other things...
  9. You'll develop a weird sense of humour. You won't be shocked easily so Nurses tend to develop a weird and slightly odd sense of humour.
  10. Nursing isn't just a career - it's a lifestyle. You'll become a Nurse in every part of your life; friends and family will call you for advice and strangers will ask you to look at their bunions on the bus.

The above list is by no means complete - being a Student Nurse then ultimately a Registered Nurse will affect your life in ways you simply can't understand right now.  You'll be present during the worst and best times in people's lives - a privilege you should never underestimate, people will hang onto every word you say and your actions can and will result in life or death.

Are you a Qualified or Student Nurse? Tell us the best and worst things about your job in the comments.

DISCUSS THIS ARTICLE
Continue Reading
Advertisement

Education

NMC launches new educational standards to 'shape the future of nursing'

Part of the changes includes the removal of the cap on the number of hours students can spend on simulation activities.

Published on

by Ian Snug.
NMC launches new educational standards to 'shape the future of nursing'

Student nurses will start to train against the new standards from January 2019.

Last week the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) launched 'ambitious' new standards of proficiency that set out the skills and knowledge the next generation of nurses need.

Alongside the new proficiencies, the NMC has introduced a more modern and innovative approach to the way universities and their practise partners train nurses and midwives - the NMC claim these changes will allow greater independence of assessment, and greater innovation by placement providers.

Advertisement

The NMC has also removed its standards for medicines management and instead encourages employers to instigate rigorous medicines management procedures.

Unlimited simulation.

Finally, part of the changes includes the removal of the cap on the number of hours students can spend on simulation activities - despite concerns this could reduce the total amount of time student nurses could spend on placements.

The new standards represent two years’ work and have been developed alongside nurses - as well as students, educators, healthcare professionals, charities and patient groups from across the UK.

Jackie Smith, NMC Chief Executive and Registrar, said: “Our new standards represent a huge leap forward. They raise the bar for the next generation of nurses and not only match the demands of the role but the ambition of the profession. This is vital as in the coming years many thousands of new professionals will join our register, delivering care to millions of people.

“We’ve also overhauled the way universities train nurses and midwives. They’ll be given more flexibility to harness new ways of working and embrace technology so they can equip the nurses and midwives of tomorrow with the skills they need to deliver world class care for years to come.”

Continue Reading

Education

Do I really need to count a patients respiratory rate for a whole minute?

Just four breaths either side of the normal range could be indicative of impending clinical deterioration.

Published on

by Matt Bodell.
Do I really need to count a patients respiratory rate for a whole minute?

Some staff feel that sixty seconds can be better spent.

It is well documented that the respiratory rate is the least accurately recorded vital sign but yet it can be the most important.

Reseach suggests that many students and registered nurses believe they are enhancing patients' outcomes by performing tasks other than counting a patient's respiratory rate for the full sixty seconds.

Advertisement

The research, completed by Flenady et al, suggests that this debate isn't rooted in laziness but instead staff believe they are enhancing patients' outcomes by performing tasks other than counting a patient's respiratory rate.

Do I really need to count for a whole minute?

Yes! It is vitally important you count a patients respiratory rate for the full sixty seconds rather than counting for a shorter period and multiplying, or worse, estimating.

Respiration has differing patterns and without observing these for a whole sixty seconds you are unlikely to obtain an accurate measurement.

Do I really need to count a patients respiratory rate for a whole minute?

The critically unwell patient also sometimes tend to have apneic episodes and counting for a short period may not reveal these until a patient is in full respiratory arrest.

Just four breaths either side of the normal range could be indicative of impending clinical deterioration.

Finally, documenting an inaccurate respiratory rate could, potentially, have legal implications.

How should I count a respiratory rate?

You should count each full cycle of inspiration and expiration for a full sixty seconds.

Anecdotally, it is better to count a patients respiratory rate when a patient when they are not aware you are doing so - this ensures a patient is less conscious about their breathing and thus their respiratory rate is more natural.

Why is respiratory rate important?

Haemostasis and the bodies compensatory mechanisms mean that a change in respiratory rate could be one of the first indicators of deterioration in physiological condition.

Changes to a patients respiratory rate can indicate a number of things such as hypoxia, neurological or metabolic changes.

Picking up on these changes early should lead to earlier medical intervention and therefore better patient outcomes.

Continue Reading

Education

Student nurses to receive ‘political lobbying lessons’

The session is designed to equip students with practical skills and knowledge they can use to develop a good relationship with their local MP.

Published on

by James M.
Student nurses to receive ‘political lobbying lessons’

Nursing students will learn how they can work with MPs to promote the nursing profession in a new training session organised by the RCN.

Members of the RCN’s student committee and student information officers - the RCN’s representatives in universities - will learn their way around the UK parliament and the government from the UK Parliament Outreach and Engagement Service.

The session is designed to equip students with practical skills and knowledge they can use to develop a good relationship with their local MP.

Advertisement

The RCN’s public affairs team will talk through the college’s approach to engaging with parliamentarians, especially the crucial role members can play. The team will explain different tactics and approaches students can take as well as what they can ask MPs to do to show their support for nursing staff in their constituencies.

Janet Davies, chief executive and general secretary of the RCN, said: “To work effectively, any union must be able to engage MPs and ministers.

“We know our members make the most powerful advocates for the profession. When frontline nursing staff sit in front of parliamentarians, you can see they listen.

“It’s through the hard work of members that vital issues such as safe staffing, harassment and health policy reach the top of the agenda.

“When nursing faces challenges on every front, the RCN wants to make sure our advocates are fully-equipped.”

Charlotte Hall, chair of the students’ committee, said: “Student nurses represent the future of the profession. Learning to engage with MPs is vital if we are to effectively shape that future and ensure the best possible care for patients.

“With these skills, committee members and student reps will be able to help other nurses make their voices heard on behalf of the profession and patients.”

Continue Reading