General Practice Nursing Opportunity

Words can not express how excited, honoured and proud I am right now; a million and one feelings all rolled into one. Firstly, I need to thank the Placement allocations team for giving me my dream placement for next year: GP surgery. I am so privilaged to have got my first choice of placement. The placement team do an incredible job at the university of trying to place hundreds (in fact maybe thousands?) of students into nursing settings for their practical placements. A huge job for anyone to sort out for us students. So, for me to get my first choice, I am so grateful to them for this.

Secondly, I had the honour of being asked to blog about my experience within the GP setting. I will be doing a series of blogs to show my journey throughout. This will hopefully encourage other students to want to work within this setting and for more practices to open their doors for us students to have the opportunity to experience and learn from a placement in this type of setting. My blogs will be published in the primary care newsletter!! How exciting!! So please keep an eye out for this at a future date (March 2018).

I am really passionate about primary care settings. To be able to help promote and encourage others into this area is such a honour. The new General Practice Nursing 10 point plan, launched in July 2017 is to promote nursing in general practice and to deliver a stronger focus on the populations’ health. I am so thrilled to hopefully be able to assist in the delivery in this through my experience / blogs and connect with various professionals to get this message across and build the future of nursing in general practice for the better.

Until then I shall be researching everything primary care and general practice nursing to build my knowledge ready for my placement in March 2018. Keep your eye out for my first blog on all of this, which will include an explanation of why I think GP is my preferred area and how important this area is for students along with how much students could learn from it…. But for now, I shall leave you with this:

“When you’re a nurse you know that every day you will touch a life or a life will touch yours”  (Top ten quotes for nurses 2017). 

Flex Nursing Wordcloud


And that’s a wrap folks

Well here we are, we have come to the end of my first year. I have a mixed bag of emotions going on, of happiness, excited and sadness. The first year has been so jam packed, non stop, full of fun, laughter and tears. Let’s have an overview of my whole year… brace yourselves….

At the start I had the confusion of when my start date was which initially made me feel on edge of what was to come from the university itself. I had missed my induction week and all the goodies that came with it, I had missed making friends, I panicked that everyone was well ahead of me and had already formed their groups. I went into slight panic mode at the start. My first day, first lecture and I sat on my own, like a little mouse with it’s cheese in a corner. There was so many people! I was so nervous, I didn’t know where to look, where to go for break etc. Everything was so daunting. But boy did everything change… I was quite fortunate that during a break, one of the girls came and asked if I wanted to sit with them! Yay I had friends! Which I then followed around for the rest of the year haha. But we have all became good friends  🙂

During my first half of the year, the lectures weren’t sinking in at all, I found myself getting home and wondering what I had just learnt. I think the whole getting used to university, finding your rooms, making friends, it is all quite scary at the start so your mind is elsewhere. Some lecturers were fantastic and funny, made the lessons so interesting which really helps! Then my first placement came along, I had a mini melt down the night before my shift due to overthinking it all. My first placement gave me a lot of experience with surgical wards. I saw the basic routine of wards, the layout, the multi-disiplinary team, the different bands in nursing, putting my wound management skills to use, professional values all played a huge role in the care I gave to my patients so I was putting my theory into practice. I also sadly learnt how communcation changes between staff and patients when there is a barrier at play (which I did a whole blog on and something I’d like to correct at some point, make a change somehow).

Then there came a turning point, a turning point for me personally but I think a few others in my group also. We had a half way point, a motivation day / comedian was booked out for us by Robert Mapp. This was a fantastic day, and for me, it really DID motivate me. Something the comedian said:

‘Do you want to get to the end of your 3 years and regret not doing enough, not making the most of every second at university?”

This REALLY stuck with me. It made me reflect back on the first half of the year and wonder what had I done to make the most of this? Nothing… I hadn’t done anything other than panic about who to talk to, how I will pass my assignment etc… So I decided to something about it, I wanted to be part of the university and students as much as possible. I wanted to conquer my fears head on! I want to come out of univeristy a changed woman and a better nurse. I want to be able to speak in public without going red with embarrassment. I started this off by signing up to the RCN as a student information officer. I put myself forward to do the stall at university and pushed myself to talk to students. The next step I took was doing the students talk with Robert Mapp and other students. I stood in front of a whole group of the new first year students and talked to them about university and what to expect and where to go if they needed help. I did this twice in a week, the first one was initially scary and I felt terrified but the second talk went really well and I had fun doing it. This was one of the biggest accomplishments for me. The next step I took was signing up to be a student academic leader for the student union, I have only just recently signed up and I will be looking to help students where I can. I have a few more things in the pipe line but that’s for another blog at a later date 🙂


Second half of university, I REALLY enjoyed to the fullest. I feel I have really improved academically and growing into the person I want to be for myself and for my patients. The module was my favourite so far (Nursing Practice and Health in Society), not to say I disliked the other modules, I did, I enjoyed it all. But these modules for me, I had fun with. I enjoyed revising, I enjoyed writing my assignment as it was something I loved. I went from getting 55% on my first assignment to getting 75% on my last assignment! I smashed my goals. Everything has started to sink in, make sense and link together beautifully. Luckily my last placement of the year was the stroke ward, and this was part of my module, so it all made sense and I learnt so much from it. As much as I am not keen on ward work (personal preference, and I feel so guilty for saying it, my heart is in the community) I enjoyed this ward, the nurses all came together as a team, it gave me faith that there are nurses out there that genuinely care about patients and working in the NHS still. It was such a busy ward, staff sickness, people on holiday etc, bank staff were called in, nurses were struggling, but they kept smiling, they gave the patients the best care possible with what they had. It was great to see that the ward manager and sister both came out to help wash and dress patients during the tough times. Lovely ward for any student to be on. Despite my dislike for ward work, not one person would ever guess this. I never have and will never show this. I have always given my 100% maximum in everything I do. When I have spoken to staff about not wanting to work on the ward when I qualify, I’d like to go into community based care, they have been so surprised by this. One HCA told me I looked like I really loved working the wards and how good I was, this is a bonus! I would never let my personal feelings ever affect the care of my patients. I am there for the patients and no one else. Now I have finished and passed my last placement, I am a little sad. Mainly because there were long stay patients that I adored, I adored caring for, I got used to them, I got to know them and they got to know me, we had laughs and I hope I made their stay that little bit better with the care I gave to them. I’m sad because I won’t see them again. I will never know what happened to those patients, where they went afterwards or if they are doing well still. Some patients will stay with me for life. I was blessed to have had the time to care for them.

So for the next couple of months I shall be working bank shifts to get my money in ready for second year and completing the CAP week work for the university. I shall be going over all of my notes, slides and medication guidelines, to keep my memory fresh for second year. But I shall also be taking some days off to recharge my batteries and relax. Which is much needed after the hard work of this first year. For now, it’s time to put away the white tunic… until next time.

The White Tunic
Goodbye for now.



Coroners Court Pathway Experience

As a student nurse, there will come a week were we need to do an extra long day to make up our hours. So instead of doing another day on the ward, I wanted to do something different. I wanted to use my extra day wisely and make the most of any opportunities to gain insight into different areas. Obviously, as long as my mentor was happy with this. I checked with my mentor, buddy mentor, the ward manager and the placement team that this was ok. Luckily it was. I decided to arrange a pathway day at the coroners court, which might seem an odd choice to some people. Why would anyone want to see or hear that? For me, as I have seen a few deaths on the ward, I have wondered ‘what happens next.’ I wanted to see what happens after the patient has gone, what their outcome is if it is not a natural death, the whole process. As a qualified nurse, I might get called up to coroners court to give evidence one day. So I would like to see what goes on and prepare myself. I emailed the courts and arranged a day to go. I was excited about going, to learn something new, important and relevant to my future. I was excited until I stepped into the front door to check in…. and then I had a sudden rush of nervousness came over me. I’m not sure why.. It’s like when you’re at the airport going through customs, you know you have nothing to declare but there’s that fear in your mind and you look and act weird because you start to become nervous haha! This is me.

I checked in with a lovely lady, who explained the process, where to sit, what to expect etc and to see her when the court is over for a chat. I was happy to see a couple of other students there too! So I wasn’t alone. We were all told to sit at the back of the room to observe. Warned that sometimes the media come in to take photos and live blogs etc but they aren’t expecting anyone today. Which was my first surprise of the day, I didn’t realise they let the media do this. I would have thought with patient confidentiality they would of been banned but they are freely allowed to do this. Now I am trying to remember why they are allowed to do this, and my mind has gone blank haha. The lady did explain it as it is something we asked her.

I have never been to court before, so this was all new to me. I have only witnessed these things on TV or movies. I didn’t think in a small coronory court like this, they had to swear the oath, and have the choice of the bible, quran etc to place their hand upon whilst doing this. In fact I hadn’t even thought about people using different religions and what they do. This was great to see. The next surprising thing was the coroner used a computer? I know it’s 2017 but I did not expect this either? He would be updating the files etc as the case went on. He was a very nice man, very polite and really respectful of the families feelings and thoughts. He took everything into account and ensured they were happy with the conclusion (verdict) before everything is finalised.

I witnessed a couple of cases today which I won’t go into detail about. For anyone that doesn’t know what coroners court is, it is when someone has passed away, but it was unexpected and not from natural causes. So the coroner has to go through all of the evidence about the individual and hear evidence from the autopsy, consultants, doctors, families, to piece together a picture of how that person has died. So there could be numerous health issues that all contribute to that person passing away. But until this has been concluded there can be no register of death.

It must be so hard for the families to go to coroners court, to have to sit and her all the details about their loved one that has passed away. To hear parts of the autopsy on them. They are grieving for their loved ones and this added on top must be so hard for them to do. The coroner, I feel, in my own opinion, did the court in a really respectful way. He was so mindful of the families and ensured they were ok through out, explaining things in laymans terms for them. He asked questions to the doctors for the families, to help the families understand it all. I thought this was incredible. Probably the most unexpected surprise of the day in fact. I don’t know why, probably again, watching tv etc has made me believe that court people are just strong, firm people. My whole thinking has changed today.

Lastly on today, the cases I had were very weirdly connected to my nursing practice 1 exam /  module!! It was so very strange. They spoke of COPD and renal colic! So, as they were talking medical terms I understood it all, I was so pleased that i’m linking everything and seeing that all the skills from university, and knowledge are really paying off.  All in all a fantastic experience that every student nurse should definitely book into.


The 6 C’s of Nursing

I wanted to write a bit (turned into an essay haha) about the 6 C’s of nursing and how important they are. It seems that some nurses may of lost their way, lost their motivaiton and love for the role of the nurse. With the tough times of staff shortages, cuts and paycap, I can see how easily this can be done. So I wanted to talk about this and hopefully bring back some passion in peoples hearts.

Care: This should be the key one people thing of when we ask about the 6 C’s. Care… But what does that mean to people? It can mean a variety of things to each and one of you. To me, care is exactly what it says on the tin. To physically, mentally, emotionally, holistically want to help someone else in need. There are many definitions of ‘care:’

Noun: “The provision of what is necessary for the health, welfare, maintenance, and protection of someone or something”

Verb: “Feel concern or interest; attach importance to something” (Oxford dictionary 2017). 

To me, this comes naturally, I am a genuinely caring person, probably too much! I have a lot of empathy for others and really feel their pain when they are in pain. I can’t do enough for the patients I look after, I do go above and beyond for patients, it’s the one thing I know I am good at. Because it must be so tough being in hospital, without your loved ones, alone and feeling like utter rubbish. All you want is your own bed and a decent cup of tea (or coffee or any beverage of choice). The last thing you want on top of this is a nurse that is stressed and has not got time to CARE for you. To speak to you in a professional manner, to show they care and want to help you. A nurse that is huffing and puffing because you’re not well and pressed your buzzer for another sick bowl. You are that patients nurse, you have just become their hope of getting back to good health and back to their family.

Compassion: Goes hand in hand with care. You have to show you have feelings towards that patient. To show you’re human and can connect with your patient. Show the feelings of sympathy for what they are going through right now. It doesn’t matter what happened at home when your toaster blew up and set off the smoke alarm. It matters what that patient is thinking and feeling and how YOU can make them feel better at least. If your mind is at home still, this will distract you from your patient. 

Competence: This is your ability to do your job. Are you up to date with your training? Have you been trained on that hoist you’re about to use on Patient X? Are you confident enough to give that injection and know it’s the correct dose? If your unsure or uneasy about something don’t do it. This is how mistakes are made and patient care put at risk. You wouldn’t rewire your electrics at home unless you were 100% confident and trained to do so, so why put your patient at risk? And lets be honest, if you haven’t got the first two C’s (care and compassion) you probably wouldn’t care if your patient is at risk or not, you will just chance it… If that’s the case, maybe find a nice office job where peoples lives are not at risk. I can understand with the pressure of staff shortages and how people feel they HAVE to do something because of this, but is it worth it? Get help, get trained, call the oncall doctor for advice, talk to your ward doctor for advice, the ward manager… anything that is going to help you in that situation you’re unsure of. As student nurses we must work with our mentors and not work outside of our competencies. Do not just do something because your mentor has told you to, who says they aren’t wrong? Ask questions all the time, know why you are doing something and know you can do it before making a mistake. This isn’t paint by numbers, this is a persons life that could be at risk if you get it wrong. Stay safe and in your limits. Protect your patient, always. 

Communication: You have to communicate with your patient. This is something I have, in the past few months seen fail the patient. To be honest, these were very good nurses and healthcare assistants, I just feel that there isn’t enough training on communcication with individuals with various needs. I was assisting with a patient with dementia, they had warned me he gets very agressive and ‘lashes’ out. So I said I would come in and help distract him and talk to him wilst they assisted him with his personal hygiend care. I was surprised to find the way they communicated with this patient was VERY different to little patient X they had just been to (Patient x had capacity). There was a lack of communication, they did not explain to the patient properly what they were doing as they were doing it. So in the patients eyes they were just being rolled about and soapy water thrown at them. They just started undressing the patient / washing without telling the patient as they were doing it. THIS is why the patient gets aggresive. They were terrified. It’s bad enough that they are in a room they don’t recognise, with people they don’t know, now their dignity has just gone out the window with their clothing. So, I was then explaining to the patient as it was going on, what they were doing. I was calm, I talked to the patient in short simple sentances calmy, and told them they were safe, that the nurse/HCA were just washing them ‘just for a moment, if thats ok’ which seemed to calm the patient down. The staff said the patient was much better and calmer this time round than before when they have been to him. They didn’t have any scratches on them and no swear words (in the end). These were well trained, good staff. Fantastic staff. I was so shocked to see that they didn’t know how to communicate properly with a patient with dementia. This is common I think. People are scared of the unknown. I feel there needs to be A LOT more extra training for staff to communicate properly with these patients. And this is possibly something I will look into once qualified. Getting this out there. Moral of the story, talk to your patient, ALWAYS. If they don’t understand, find ways to commuicate through picture cards, writing, drawing, getting an interperter. Anything to help your patient understand you and you them. 

Courage: I found a great quote for this: 

“strength in the face of pain or grief” (Oxford dictionary 2017).
We think of courage as being brave. But as a nurse, every day you have courage, to face the pain, to face the sadness of sick patients you look after. Everyone is affected differently in every way and its the courage that gets you over it. It’s the courage that helps you go into that patients room, knowing that patient may of passed away and you’re the person to find them. The courage to talk to family memebers about the patients condition (where acceptable). The courage to do something incredible even though you are scared. We all have our fears in life. But it’s the courage that lets us face our fears and allows us to conquer them. You need the courage to be open and honest as a nurse. Admit mistakes and reflect and learn. To have the courage to stand up and tell a doctor they have got it wrong. YOU know your patient more than them, YOU know what’s what. If in doubt question it. Have the courage to be an advocate for that patient.
And for nurses that are struggling to get up in the morning and face another 12 hour shift on the ward, when it’s short staffed and feeling like hell, you have the courage to get up and go. You put your nurse face on and you do it. You face that day and you conquer it like a boss. You do that because you know that without you, that day will be even worse and your patients suffer. Why do you do it though? Because you have the first two of the 6 C’s above. You CARE and you have Compassion even though times are tough. You are that patients saviour. You are the nurse we need to multiply, clone and put in every healthcare setting. We need more courage like this.

Commitment: This links with the courage part. You have to be commited to the role. Those nurses as discussed above, the ones who go to work every day despite knowing it’s going to be a hard day have commitment. I feel like hope should be an added word here too. They have commitment because they hope that it’s going to get better. That it’s just a bad day and tomorrow is a fresh day. It is being dedicated to your role, patients, colleagues. Attending the training on your days off because you know you need it to provide the best care for your patients. Student nurses, we are commited to this degree. We knuckle down, revise, learn, grow, follow advice from mentors, lectures, attend our madatory training and show up. 12 hour shifts are long, colleagues and patients slowly become your family. You see them more than your own family. It takes commitment to do that. We do this because we want to be that nurse as above… we want to be the nurse that is commited to her job, for the love, care and compassion of it.

So that’s it folks. The 6 C’s and what they mean to me. My own opions on this. I’m sure everyone has their own views and what it means to them 🙂 But these are so important in nursing and we need to remind ourselves of them sometimes. We need to remember why we wanted to become nurses sometimes. We all need a little motivation to get us through a hard shift or difficult situation. No one said nursing was easy but if we can reflect, improve and remember why we are here, the rest will always follow.


Results day – Friday the 13th….

I have discovered that, the most nerve wrecking time is the day of my results! I tossed and turned all night, I woke early keen for my results, even earlier than my 4.30am alarm ready for placement.

I have spent the past weeks, excited about these results, and felt very confident that I had passed. Nursing practice 1 exam went really well, and my assignment was definitely an improvement since the last one. Until the last week leading up to this day…. I had nightmares every night about failing, I have been tossing and turning and just wanting this day to come. My biggest worry was looking at my results during placement…. if I fail anything I will have to hold myself together until I get home and cry myself to sleep haha! Which is fine… I am very good at having my ‘nurse face’ on, which is smiling and comforting to all. But I didn’t really want to have to go through that.

I opened my results for my assignment first, mainly because this was the one that I was worried about the most and I had set my goal of at least 65%. I wanted to improve from my first assignment which was 55%. I remember how gutted I was with 55%, even though it was a pass, I wasn’t happy, I wanted more, I wanted to be a high achiever. So when I initially opened my assignment result on the main submission page it said 50%… again… a pass… but ‘NO!’ Not 50%…

“I wanted so much more, how could I be going backwards with my grades?”

This was accessed via my mobile phone, and the results are all laid out different on my mobile. I couldn’t see the full feedback page attached to my assignment so I waited until  I got home to check my feedback to see where I was going wrong. When I opened my actual assignment with the feedback on it, my mark actually said 75%!! And I had really amazing feedback on it!!!! I could of cried with joy!!!

“ME?? 75%? For an assignment?!”

I am sooo chuffed with this result, I had worked so hard every day on that assignment, I had been to the personal development department to have them go over a small section to see if my analytical writting was ok (it was not at that point) and she politely but brutally told me straight about it. Which sounds harsh, but this is EXACTLY what I needed. I needed someone to say ‘No Claire, you can’t put that, this is where you are going wrong.’ So I re-wrote the parts I needed to work on. I then youtubed videos on writting assignments, I googled and searched the university pages on writing and using really great linking words that I never would have thought about using (as my brain is very simple haha). I worked my little socks off for that assignment. So hard work does pay off! It really does.

My next result, nursing practice 1 was 70%! Great results! Not my goal of 83% again, but still, 70% is a good grade. Reading the feedback I can see what parts I have missed small marks for, which obviously add up.

So folks, learning points are: revise bit by bit for exams in every way you can to help you remember the information, use all the resources out there, don’t be scared to ask for help if you’re struggling or not as confident on some things than others. It’s better to get the help and advice as you go than leave it and not pass. If you know you have a weakness, get off your booty and do something about it. Tackle your fears head on and take control of them. Take the extra tutorials, go to the personal development department, speak to tutors, use online resources that university give you, search other resources to help you. Absolutely anything that is going to make you hit your goals. Oh and have goals! Set yourself targets of what you want to achieve next, what mark you would be happy seeing. If the target is there in your sights, then this will help you get motivated to hit those targets.


Don’t be afraid to speak up

Don’t be afraid to speak up if you think something isn’t right. There are patients  lives depend on us sometimes. Not only their lives but their dignity, their rights, their pride, their beliefs, everything that make us human and give us life. I had my very first incident yesterday where I didn’t agree with a diagnosis of a patient. We, as nurses, have to speak up for our patients when they can’t. We see that patient 24/7 for their care. If something is wrong it is us that will recognise the warning signs and report it / document it. The doctors are very good, but they can’t be with a single patient as much as we are so we need to voice our concerns to them when needed.

Yesterday morning, I started my shift with the observations. This particular patient did not look right, I can’t tell you exactly how or why they just didn’t. This is when we rely on our gut instinct. This patient had a particular look, one I’ve seen a few times before. This particular look is the look as if they are living their last moments. According to patient observations, this person was fine… blood pressure stable, breathing was in range, 02 Saturations spot on… but they had a look. This individual then started being sick, green vomit, large amounts and screaming in agony! During teaching and communication skills sessions at university they teach us 65-70% of communication is body language. For our recent module, we had a virtual patient that had renal colic. This has enabled me to recognise types of pain, renal colic pain is defined as: The most excruciating pain a person will experience along with being restless and unable to sit still. This skill can be used on any patient, to determine how severe their pain is through their body language. So I was putting my knowledge into practice for this patient, even though he didn’t have renal colic, his body language told me this pain was severe.

I told my mentor, and she said she would call the doctor and get a review. Doctor visited and carried on with his other patients. I sat to write in his patients notes about what had gone on (if it’s not documented it didn’t happen!). I noticed the doctor had written his part already, which I read as I wanted to know what the diagnosis was. He had wrote that the patient had no complaints and comfortable…..? I sat there for around 10 minutes reading it over and over, asking in my mind ‘How, why, what on earth?’ My mentor came over and I showed her what the doctor had written and said ‘this isn’t right, that patient is in agony.’ Maybe the patient was fine when they examined the patient? Maybe the patient put on a brave face for the doctor. Something needed to be done. My mentor asked for another review, the patient hadn’t improved, observations where done again, and he was now scoring a 6! Critical care time! The team reviewed the patient  again, did his blood works etc on him. In this time I had to escort another patient to their appointment so I didn’t know this had gone on until I came back.

I asked how the patient was, I had been worrying so much about it. ‘They’ve put him on end of life care now’…. (I can’t discuss why due to patient confidentiality, but it was serious). The patient is alert and knows this diagnosis now. All I could think on my journey home was ‘this poor patient has to now sit there wondering when he’s going to pass away’ how would I feel knowing this was my last moment… I sobbed all the way home in the car about this. Thinking it over and over. This is something I hadn’t dealt with (in this way). I’ve dealt with death since I was 7 years old when my grandad a died at home of cancer. I’ve grown to be a strong person surrounding these things. I’ve seen patients pass away too many times sadly. You grow an immunity to it in some way but without losing your humanity… but not this time around. This is the first time a patient outcome has really hit me. I have the weekend off now to reflect over the situation.

But my advice to anyone, if you see something and you don’t think it’s right, speak up! Say something. Protect your patients, always. Even if it is to your mentor, and let them handle it from there. Be an advocate for your patients. It’s why we are here. Care, compassion, commitment, communication, competence and courage.


Exam week

Very late post here! It’s been a very busy week for me, but that’s a separate blog.   Firstly, exam, it’s over with and I’m not sure if I’m glad it’s over and done now or if I’m a little sad in my heart about it. I’ve really enjoyed this module a lot! Favourite so far….

I was so excited leading up to the exam, I revised like crazy as everyone knows. I wasn’t stressed about the exam, I managed to sleep well… no idea how. Then exam day arrived and I made my way to university super early to be prepared. I must of got there around 8.30am, 2 hours ahead of the exam. I sat there feeling extremely nervous waiting. I met up with my group of uni friends and we all sat going through all the physiology of the exam that we might need to know.

10:20am came and we all headed up to the exam room, nervous as anything. And the clock started… ‘2 hours to complete this exam guys!’

I started off great! Knew all the answers until I came to one Q…. which I won’t put on here due to students that haven’t taken the exam yet… but I didn’t have a clue what the answer was for this short answer Q in particular. I kicked myself for about 10 minutes staring at it, hoping the words would suddenly appear in my head but I knew they wouldn’t, I knew they wouldn’t because it’s the ONLY thing I didn’t revise #GUILTY! I don’t know why I hadn’t revised this particular drug?! And that’s when I knew… I won’t be Sue and Scott’s (lecturers) first ever 100% student. I’m so mad at myself for this. What made it even worse is that when I got home, my drug book was open on the table at that drug page, is obviously planned to write it down and forgot with all the other medications I had to learn for the exam.

My next mistake during the exam was remembering the SOCRATES! I couldn’t for the life of me remember what the last S stood for?! I sat there for about 10 minutes trying… so I put what I put something, which is always better than nothing. And then Scott declared ‘time up, pens down!’ And I remembered!!!! That second…. my face must have been a picture if anyone was looking. A disappointed, going to bang my head off a wall sort of look haha! I’m confident I’ve done well and passed this exam. But I will kick myself for the rest of year and probably through second year for not getting 100%!




Moral of the story students, REVISE EVERY SINGLE DRUG mentioned in lessons and power points. Even if they don’t talk about them as much as others. It WILL pop up….

Assignment is also handed in and done. This one, I was far too scared to submit.  I wanted it to be perfect and so scared it wasn’t. But that’s it, it’s the best I can do and I hope I beat my last result 🙂

13th of October is results day!! Come on! Let’s beat my last results! 😬 Fingers crossed and goodluck all students!

Second week down, Third week ahead

Slightly late post, I have been trying to catch up on revision, housework and cooking.

Second week of placement finished… 8 weeks of placement left?! This is going so so fast. My mentor is fantastic, she’s very knowledagble and has shown me all the extra resources I can do to help me learn and to organise a day with the speech and language therapist, Dietitian and physiotherapy teams so I can see what their roles are and what they do in patients that have had a stroke.

What I have learnt so far on the stroke ward: Every single person has been effected so differently. One patient had lost the use of their left leg and arm, now needing a standing hoist to transfer from one place to another. Another patient is fully mobile but gets their words muddled up. Instead of saying ‘I need to go to the toilet’ they point and say ‘I need my children in there.’ Then another patient doesn’t appear to have any effects of the stroke at all, they are just being monitored and ready to be discharged. It is crazy how something can affect a persons life. One minute you can run a marathon and the next you are immobile and dependant on your spouse or health professionals. It must be an awful feeling. But this is where the roles of the team come in, to build their strength back up, correct any speech problems, get their eating back to normal, put aids in place to enable that person to swallow again without the risk of asperation.

I also thought that, when doing my observations I would see a lot of them scoring high and I would have to report it to my mentor, but I have only had one patient that scored high. But that was a good experience, I was able to recognise the change, report it to my mentor and the doctor on call that day, and document it all in the patients care notes along with repeating observations every 30 minutes until stable again. The patient is now well again 🙂

Which brings me on to my next observation from my two weeks so far… We had a couple of patients that have sadly passed away on the ward. They were put into an end of life condition following a stroke. It’s awful how fast a person can deteriorate in front of you. If you are a student nurse that has never came accross pallitiave care before, don’t shy away from it. I know it’s a hard thing to do and be asked of you. We tend to want to turn the other way ‘out of sight, out of mind right?’ But that person needs you right now. You know what sort of nurse you are, you know you will give that person the best care possible. This is the last thing that anyone will ever do for that person in this life. I think of it as a honour. An honour to go out of my way and care as fully as I can for that person. Ensuring no pain, no harm, no discomfort comes to them. Ensuring the last ounce of dignity is maintained. Ensuring that the last face they might see is a caring one, that showed them love and compassion. Be proud to give that to someone.

So I now have a few days off and then I will complete my third week. Three days in a row of 7am – 19.30pm come on! I shall be going into my third week prepared, organised and ready to learn so much more about this ward.





First week of placement finished

That’s my first week of placement over with! These weeks are going to go so fast, I can tell already. It’s been a great week, getting my feet on the ward again; routines, observations, fluid and food charts, pressure area care, catheters and basic care of patients.

The stroke ward is great, it’s mainly elderly patients that we care for on this ward. Which is possibly why I love it. I have a huge fondness of the elderly and can not do enough for them. I can sit all day hearing the same story from patient A who has dementia and can’t remember telling me her story 5 minutes before. Or patient B who refuses to sit down and walks around the ward telling all the staff they are going to jail. I just love this. Every single person has their background and a story to tell. These people have lived their lives and have so much wisdom behind them. It really fascinates me. It’s just not nice to see them unwell in hospital, but if I can give them my time and make them feel like themselves again, ensuring I’m giving best care possible then I’ve done my job here.

In between placement I have been revising and finalising my assignment. I went to student led tutorials on Wednesday which were really helpful! Staff and students have really taken their time to help us revise. I’m so grateful to them for this because they don’t have to. So thank you students for this!

I then had my one to one session for my assignment, I have been writing this assignment forever it seems. I was told that I had to change it a bit… so I’ve re looked at it all and can see where I was going wrong now. I’ve took out some huge chunks and replaced them with better material. Fingers crossed guys! Aiming for far better marks than the last one. I need to improve if I want to be graduating with a first! This is my goal.

Now im going to fully enjoy a couple of days off before heading back to placement on Tuesday.

Google image (2017)

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