Alex offers words of encouragement to final year students completing their nursing degree, giving them guidance on how to manage their time and workload with the key to success being organisation.
Hi guys, welcome to another video.
For those of you who don't know who I am, my name is Alex, and I am a newly qualified Children's Nurse.
This video is basically a little dedication and a message of encouragement to third year students, whether you are a third-year student now or you might be about to go into your third year or you're just watching this for future reference, just from somebody who has recently been through it, as I finished my third year not too long ago.
The Final Push
So I thought that I would give you guys some advice based on my own experiences and what I feel like, would've been helpful to see over a year ago when I started my third year.
So first of all, well done, massive well done. You've trained through a lot of hard things. You've trained through a pandemic, training to be a nurse comes with a lot of trials and tribulations, whether that be emotionally, physically, academically. There is a lot that comes with it.
It is a very difficult degree to complete but it is also incredibly rewarding, and it is enjoyable.
Uni is enjoyable, placement is enjoyable. Learning new things is always amazing and that is one of the beauties of nursing. Like you are constantly gonna be learning new things, even if you've been qualified for years and years and years.
So it's your final push, it goes by so quickly. Keep at it. You might come into periods, particularly in the lead up to exam season where you think that you just wanna give up. It might become quite overwhelming, but just keep on pushing because the feeling that you get at the end is just the best feeling, like the feeling of relief is just incredible knowing that you've finally done it. So it's your final push, just keep going.
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Time Management And Getting Organised
Always remember, and this is something that I will always repeat to people, that time management is key. It is key from day dot when you become a nursing student.
It's key for life in general but time management is so important and being able to demonstrate that you have good time management is really key when you are taking your own caseload of patients on placement. When you're managing balancing placement and exams, maybe dissertation and anything else that's going on in your personal life, social commitments, children, part-time jobs.
Being able to balance all of those things at once is a really important skill to have that will help you to stay on top of everything in your life so that you are not becoming burn’t out but you you're still able to kind of do everything you need to do and also enjoy yourself at the same time.
It takes a lot of perseverance and hard work but you will get there in the end and when you do, trust me, it is the best feeling ever.
So just keeping organised and particularly on placement as well.
Making sure you know exactly what you need to get completed in regard to skills, any documentation, things you need to get signed off and when they need to be signed off.
That type of organisation is so, so key, particularly in third year.
Thinking About The Next Step
Jobs are a really important topic and careers, and stuff is something that will be a conversation that will be introduced to you at the start of third year.
It is not the end of the world if you don't know what type of specialty or what type of ward you want to work on as a third year or even as a new grad.
You don't need to know like the path, the specific path that you want to go on. Do as much research as you can, look into different trusts. If you're looking to stay in the same trust, then that's great. That's what I personally did and that was the best decision for me.
If you want to go and look into a different trust, for example, if you've trained elsewhere and you want to go back to your hometown to work, do as much research as you can, apply for different jobs.
Try your best to get advice on interview prep if you need to do interviews, source help from as many people as you can, the Practice Development Nurses in your trust, from your tutors at university, from your peers, from anyone else that can give you some good advice.
Just seek as much advice as you can and just as much information as you can so you can make an informed decision about the type of path you would like to go on, whether you want to go straight into a ward, if you wanna go into A&E, Community, if you wanna work privately if you want to work part-time, full-time or if you wanna do a rotation.
For those of you who don't know what rotation is, its where you get maybe about three or four areas that you get to work on as soon as you qualify. So you spend like a few months in each one over the course of maybe like a year, year and a half, two years. That gives you a bit of an insight of working in different areas as a qualified nurse. And then you can kind of decide when you're done about what you wanna do after that. That's another good option for people who aren't completely sure.
But yeah, there's so many different avenues that you can go down, please prioritize your social life.
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Taking Care Of Your Wellbeing
Third year is a very stressful time. There's a lot going on. There's a lot of change that you need to be preparing for. So just make sure that you are having enough downtime, that you're making time for your social life to spend time with your loved ones, to get out and travel if you can.
You have Christmas holidays, your Easter holidays, you might have a nice spread of time off in your placement rota, so make use of the time off and do exciting things and plan. That's where organisation comes in 'cause then you can organise your free time well enough so that you can actually utilize it and really enjoy yourself as well as working hard so you have a good healthy balance, and you don't feel burnt out because you don't want a massive burden on your mental health.
It's key for life in general but time management is so important and being able to demonstrate that you have good time management is really key when you are taking your own caseload of patients on placement.
You want to feel as healthy and positive as you can to kind of get you through that final push.
Having that free time is really, really important to ensure that you are getting the best of both worlds and that you can balance everything in your life.
Putting Grades Into Perspective
So another big thing is to don't let your grades define you. Your grades a number, a letter, whatever, do not define and this goes for anybody. They don't define who you are as a person. They don't define how good of a nurse you are.
If you get a grade that you weren't expecting, it's worse than you're expected. That's happened to me, has happened to everybody.
It's not the end of the world. If you fail something, it's not the end of the world either. There's always the opportunity to retake. So it's never the end of the world. It's never the end of the road for you.
You getting a worse grade than you expected on an exam, or an assignment is not going to affect how you perform as a nurse. Doesn't make you any worse of a nurse or a person. So please don't let it get to you too much. I know it can be disheartening. It definitely has been disheartening for me at times, but you just get through it, and you just have to just remind yourself that you tried your best. It doesn't affect you and your skills and your knowledge and your intelligence as well.
Also, once you finish your placement if you have the time, if you have the opportunity, to enjoy your summer. If you can, travel, make some memories make the most of it because it is a really nice stretch of time off that you can get if you do finish placement on time, it's a great time to work as well 'cause you don't have placement and university in the way.
So it's a good time to work and get your money up at the same time. Really make the most of that time, it's like so important and making as many memories as you can before you commit yourself to working really hard as a qualified nurse.
Yeah, it just always reminds yourself when you are having doubts and things like that, that you deserve to be where you are. You deserve to be a qualified nurse and you're gonna get there.
It takes a lot of kind of perseverance and hard work, but you will get there in the end. And when you do get there, trust me, it is the best feeling ever.
So yeah, keep working hard and just never forget your reasons as to why you want to become a nurse. Make that your motivation for every single day and you will be amazing.
I hope that video is useful and if you are in the position to be watching this video, then I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavours and your nursing journey and I will see you next video.