I am very aware that I have hardly blogged recently. And this afternoon I received a specific request to blog about nursing stuff. So, I thought I’d take up the request and also explain why I’ve been too busy to blog much recently.
I started my placement at the beginning of last week, where I am working full time until Christmas. For the initial settling in week, all the students had to work 5 short shifts, but this week and onwards we’re given the option to do 12 hour shifts, which I opted for because you only have to do 3 or 4 shifts a week then. I’ve settled in reasonably well and the staff are friendly, which always helps.
Putting my badge on the first day that stated I was now a ‘3rd year student’ was scary, because the staff treat third years as practically fully qualified staff. Which I suppose we are, but it doesn’t mean that it isn’t scary! Having said that, I have been embracing and some what enjoying the extra responsibility. Most shifts I’m given my own patients to nurse, and if the offical alocations give a group of patients to a staff nurse and myself to work together with, then I’ll offer to take one or two of the patients myself, and the qualified works with the rest. And then if I have any problems I can approach the staff nurse about them. Most of the staff are friendly and approachable about these things and are also happy to do teaching sessions with students too. Which is quite good, because it makes up for the fact that despite having 2 mentors, I’ve not spent a single shift with either of them yet!
Last week when it was quiet, one of the staff members spent 2.5 hours going through *everything* in the high dependency unit with myself and another 3rd year. Most of the things he covered, was stuff we’d done in uni only a few weeks before, which meant we were able to get most of the questions right! At the end of the session a doctor walked in, and this staff nurse told the doctor that “if we have an emergency today, then Jen’s your girl!” Eek!!!
Outside of proper work, I’ve also been working on my dissertation. I’m doing it on nurses communication with children with sereve communication impairments, for example children with special needs. These children are frequent visitors to the ward environment, and yet the staff don’t have the skills, resources nor time to effectively communicate with them. Its a subject that really interests me and so I tend to enjoy working on it. We have to do a 5000 word literature review by the 10th January (but I want it done before Christmas) and a 5000 word management for change assignment by April/May time. I’m getting there with it. I’ve done most of my researching and reading – there are still a few holes that need filling, but I’ve done a substantial amount. And at lunchtime today I saw my supervisor with the first 500 words I’ve written – a draft of my introduction. She said it was a good start and gave me constructive criticism to help me improve it. I am just trying to plod on with it, whenever I’m not working on the ward. But then also finding time for relaxing, socialising, eating, sleeping, etc, can be interesting. It doesn’t help that this morning I woke up with a horrible sore throat and headache. Hmm, I will try to find time to rest at some point….