The end is near…

Gillian Bandaranaike

Faculty: Health, Social Care & Education
Department: School of Nursing and Midwifery
Course: BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing
Category: Nursing and midwifery

10 October 2013

What a fantastic couple of years I have had. I have made so many friends at university and during placement that I really do not want it to end.

University Life

The first year was tough as I did not know what to expect and was feeling apprehensive as I did not know anyone. But it only took me a couple of hours and I had a friend who is now my life long friend and I am attending her wedding this year and reading a poem for her and her future husband. I love everyone in my group and we all support each other through the good times and the bad (and believe me there are some bad times when we just need to reflect and offer words of support and encouragement). Things in life are not always guaranteed but with the right support we will all succeed.

When we moved to the second year we really felt that we had come far and the first year students really looked up to us and wanted some support which we were happy to give. But oh my God moving to the third year and the final part of our course really woke us up to what we had achieved so far, we were really top of the class and the expectations were high – we were ready for it but not quite sure exactly what was expected, however, with the support of our tutors we will hopefully achieve our dream of becoming a nurse.

During my time as a student nurse I became a course representative for my cohort which helped me meet fellow lecturers and other students from other years, I also worked as an ambassador for the university, attending freshers’ fairs, school visits and open days, I also help out with new students when they attend their skills day – which helps me to make new friends but also support them during their first month at university. With all of this going on I am also on the committee to arrange and organise our graduation ball – wow, what a way to finish off a wonderful three years.

I only have four months left of my three year course, my dissertation to complete (which is in hand) and jobs to apply for.  I am looking forward to becoming a qualified nurse and really making a difference, however, I will REALLY miss all the friends I have made at university.

Placements

You always need to go in with an open mind when you start your placements. I am always nervous and tend not to sleep much prior to the start of all my placements, only because you do not know what to expect or who you will be working with.

I have learnt that if you are friendly, caring and welcoming to new ideas and places you will get on just fine, you have to remember that you will not get on with everyone but by just making an extra effort you will be just fine.

If you are unsure of anything, you have to be able to speak up and ask and there will always be someone around to point you in the right direction or tell you what you need to do, if not, there is always the education champion from the university who will be more than happy to come out and meet you to discuss things with you.

You always need to call in advance and arranged your shifts and meet your mentor, it is always a good idea to do this as it gives you the opportunity to have a look around the clinical area and familiarise yourself with the layout of your placement area and meet some of the staff you will be working alongside.

All members of staff from Deputy Sister, Registered Nurse to HCAs are all helpful and very informative and I have learnt a lot from all of them. They will arrange for you to spend time with different professionals from consultants, specialist nurses and OTs – make the most of their knowledge.

I have loved every placement I have been on and when I leave each placement I always think I know nothing, but as you move to other placements that knowledge becomes apparent and you will use those skills throughout your training and when you become a qualified nurse.

I am now looking forward to my final placement, which is my management placement, I am looking forward to learning more about the management of the clinical area and learning all aspects of what medications are required for our patients. I’ll keep you all posted on how I am getting on.
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