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5 Tip for Dealing with Dyslexia as a Student Nurse

Katie B



It’s a common story – you do well in school and don’t have too many problems but you get to University and suddenly your grades slump. In some cases it could be a sign that you have a learning difficulty. This could be dyslexia, dyspraxia or dyscalculia (among others). Having a learning difficulty is nothing to do with intelligence; it simply means that you have more difficulties in one or more areas of your learning than other people might have. It also doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve the things you want to, for example, becoming a nurse.


I discovered my learning difficulties in the 2nd year of my nursing course. I developed strategies to aid my work and got the help I needed – I’ve been there, done that and have some recommendations for students with similar difficulties.

1.    Don’t leave things until the last minute.

Now, I have to admit – I’m not great at this first one, but some of my best work was produced when I did start early. This might have been in small doses, reading around the subject or conducting and saving literature searches for later review – but it helped and was reflected in my feedback.

2.    Don’t be embarrassed

There is no need to be embarrassed by having a learning difficulty; one university found that 14% of their student nurses had a formally diagnosed learning difficulty (RCN 2010). If you talk about it you are more likely to get help and to become the best nurse you can be. Your learning could benefit from telling your lecturers, mentors and personal tutor of your specific learning needs.

3.    Do find out what your University can offer

Most university websites will have a page dedicated to educational support. If it’s not easy to find the information simply ask a lecturer or your personal tutor who can point you in the right direction. There are other resources you could use too – like this one from the RCN.

4.    Do find what works for you

This might take some time – my most effective strategy (using matrixes when reading research papers) I didn’t discover until my final year of my undergraduate course. But it’s good to keep trying new things – what works for others might not work for you, and likewise what used to work for you might not a few years down the line.

5.    Don’t give up

It’s easy to think about giving up on a university education when it takes you twice as long as your classmates to complete a piece of work or you get a lower grade than you were expecting. But with that little bit of extra work you could have a long and rewarding career!

If anyone else has any more tips please comment – it’s good to discuss each other’s strategies so we can all get new ideas!

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Lucozade is no longer as effective at treating hypoglycemia

James M




Due to changes in its recipe and a significant reduction in glucose, Lucozade will not be as effective as a treatment for hypoglycemic patients.

Recipe changes to Lucozade Original Energy product line mean it will no longer be as effective at treating hypoglycemic patients – this is due to a 50% reduction in glucose based carbohydrates. Healthcare Professionals should seek guidance from their local specialist team on alternative treatment protocols.

This change applies to all Lucozade Energy Flavours. New products started appearing on shelves in April 2017. However, for a short time, both the new and old recipe will be available.

Previously, 100ml of Lucozade Original contained 17g of carbohydrate; this was reduced to 8.9g in April 2017.

According to, patients who experience a hypoglycemic episode are advised to consume 15-20g of sugar when treating low blood sugar, but this will no longer be equivalent to 100ml of Lucozade.

Lucozade Ribena Suntory, which also makes Ribena and Orangina, among other drinks, is lowering its sugar content by replacing these sugars with low-calorie sweeteners, such as aspartame.

You can also visit for more information on Lucozade’s changing nutritional values or speak to your local diabetes specialist team.

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Shift Planner for Nurses, Students & Support Staff

Matt B




Shift planning is essential for safe care, some people using a piece of paper others have their thoughts well arranged in their head, either way everybody does it.

This shift planner has been designed with newly qualified nurses and student nurses in mind but would be suitable for anybody to use.

You can download our Shift Planner for FREE. You are free to download, print and distribute our shift planner as you wish. You will need a PDF reader on your PC to download. 

The planner has been created with two primary columns, one for your main nursing priorities and one to remind you to hand over jobs to the next shift. It also features a small key and area for general notes. Due to limited space we have only included enough room to plan up to eight patients, if you need more we encourage you print doublesided.

We encourage you to make comments or suggestions in the comments section below. The most popular will be implemented in a version 2.

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