• 08 April 2021
  • 9 min read

How To Eat Well As A Student Nurse

  • Alexandria Grace
    Student Nurse
    • Mat Martin
    • Richard Gill
    • Matt Farrah
    • Aubrey Hollebon
  • 0
  • 237
Play video: "If you're doing days, then you're doing nights, it's very hard to regulate yourself, it's very hard to keep to one particular eating schedule."

Student Nurse, Alexandria explains her advice for meal prepping, cutting down on coffee and making sure you eat well as a Student Nurse.

Topics covered in this article

I’m Not A Nutritionist

Eating Well On Placement

Eating Well When You Have Lectures

Remote Learning

I’m Not A Nutritionist

As you can tell by the title, this video is going to be about how to eat well, as a Student Nurse.

Eating well and Student Nurse is like a juxtaposition, an oxymoron, whatever you want to call it.

Because when you're working different shift patterns particularly, so when you're on placement, if you're doing different shift time.

So for example, if you're doing days, then you're doing nights, it's very hard to regulate yourself, it's very hard to keep to one particular eating schedule, sleeping schedule, social schedule.

You're constantly adapting to different timings with your body, which can be really difficult.

There are ways that you can manage it.

So I'm gonna kind of let you guys know how I manage it and how the best way is to do that.

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Obviously, everyone's different, but this is what works for me.

Disclaimer, I'm not a nutritionist, I'm not a dietitian, I'm not perfect at eating either, I have my bad days where I treat myself with takeaway, where I just can't bother to make something so I'll buy something.

No one's perfect, but I'm just gonna give you guys some advice.

I'm going to split this video into three bits.

So eating well on placement, eating well when you're going to lectures in Uni, obviously, we can't do that at the moment because of COVID.

But if we were to be in lectures as normal as I was last year, and then with remote learning, how to eat well as a student nurse doing remote learning at home.

Let me get started.

Eating Well On Placement

With placement, I feel like that's the biggest aspect of eating well that needs to be focused on.

Meal prepping is a really, really good way to make sure that you're eating well.

So if you have your week schedule of shifts, say for example, you're working Monday, Tuesday, Thursday for example, on Sunday, you might batch cook some food.

Put it in the freezer, or put it in the fridge depending on when you need it.

And that way, you've got it prepared.

And you don't have to go and buy something, you don't have to unnecessarily waste money or buy something like fast food.

Its literally just there for you to take with you.

I think that's the best way to get organized.

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Do you have any questions for Alexandria?

Ask Alexandria questions below

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I don't necessarily batch cook, but I will pack my food either the night before or the day before, depending on if I'm doing a day shift or night shift.

It just helps me feel more organized.

So I think if you do that, then it's just gonna be better for you.

And you kind of pick what you want.

And it helps you to eat healthier, because if you're going to work and you're hungry, and you don't have anything in your bag, you're just gonna want to eat anything that's there.

So whether that means you ordering food to the hospital, or you're just drinking a load of coffee, or you're just going to the cafe and eating a load of rubbish, then it's a better alternative.

And it's a healthier alternative, and it saves you money if you're making your food at home.

Whether that is meal prepping and batch cooking, or just making your food before your shift, it is a lifesaver.

It's just helps you to be so organized.

Another thing in terms of kind of keeping healthy as a student nurse is try not to drink too much coffee.

I know that can be easier said than done because when you're studying, you're trying to keep yourself going, you might be drinking coffee.

If you're tired on the shift, you might wanna be drinking coffee.

Especially if you are doing a night shift, coffee might be a lifesaver.

I'm not big fan of, tea or coffee, I think out of the two, coffee is definitely my preference.

Drinking too much of it is not good for you.

As you know, obviously caffeine is not great.

It's okay in moderation.

Try not to drink loads of coffee 'cause it's not gonna do good in the long run, it might help you temporarily to get through the shift, but it's not good for you inside.

So instead just organize your sleep better.

That's the best way to keep healthy because your eating and your drinking has to coincide with good sleeping as well.

Organization is key.

With all of this, eating well, drinking well, sleeping well, organization is key.

And it can be hard especially if you're overwhelmed, you've got a lot of things to do.

You might have other commitments that you have to put first for example, children or another job that you're doing on the side.

But it's still important to prioritize yourself and your health because even though you're looking after other people, you need to look after yourself first, like that is paramount.

I think some people think it's not possible to have regularity when your shifts are constantly changing between day and night.

But you can.

For me, I try and keep myself on the same schedule.

If I do a week of nights and then a week of days I eat at the same times.

Obviously, I'm eating through the night.

If I'm on a night shift, I'll have a snack in the middle of the night.

But when I get home from my night shift, I will eat breakfast before I go to bed.

It's so important to try and eat at similar times.

Even if you're sleeping at different times, it just kind of gives your body some sort of regulation and doesn't matter what you're eating, whether it's breakfast or dinner, but just trying to eat at the same times and trying to control yourself in that way, makes your body a bit less confused.

It's confused enough if you are sleeping, one minute you're sleeping in the day, the next minute you're sleeping at night.

So at least being able to control your food and your diet and the timings of your meals will make that a bit more normal for you.

Eating Well When You Have Lectures

So the second part, with theory learning

If you're going to lectures or you have a day in the skills lab, you have a day of lectures, it can be really tempting, especially if your university is located near a lot of fast food restaurant, to just have your lecture and then in your lunch break, go and get McDonald's or KFC.

I'm very guilty of this, me and my friends, we love doing that, like we'll have a lecture, and they'll have a lunch break and we'll just walk to Nando's.

Going to Uni in Central London is so bad for my pocket, because I will just spend money on Nando's or KFC or even if it's just a simple hot chocolate or a drink or something.

There will be something that makes me want to spend money.

So I can't say that I have completely practiced this piece of advice.

But bringing food to your lectures will help you to stay healthier because you're eating less fast food, you're more likely to pack something that's a bit more kind of substantial and nutritious.

And also make sure that you eat breakfast before you go.

If you've got a whole day of skills or lectures, just always eat breakfast before you go.

And that's the same with shifts as well, always eat before you go 'cause even when I get to the shift, a couple hours in I'm starving even though I eat once I wake up.

It's not good, you need to always start your day with a good breakfast.

Remote Learning

And then for remote learning, obviously, a lot of us have had to adapt to that.

For some people who are first year's, that's all you really know.

Make sure that if you have a day full of back to back online lectures, or you have an assignment that you're just working on throughout the whole day, just make sure that you do take breaks to eat regularly and to not skip meals for your lectures.

If that means, if you have a camera off, if that means just eating whilst you're listening to the lecture, then do it if you have to, because it's not worth losing energy because you're not eating properly.

Or if you're just binging on kind of sweets and unhealthy foods whilst you're working, you're not going to perform to your best.

So it's just really important to be conscious of what you're putting into your body because that's going to reflect your brain performance and your physical performance as well when you're on placement.

So all of the points that I've just mentioned are really, really important to consider perform to the best of your ability, whether that's theory-wise or placement wise.

I think that's all I've got to say about this topic.

I think this is a really kind of important thing to talk about within the student nurse community here.

I feel like it's something that is often quite overlooked.

A lot of the time we joke about how we don't eat because you're so busy on your shift, you miss a meal or your breaks shorten so you don't get time to eat.

It is important because you need to fuel yourself to be able to look after other people.

Just don't forget to eat as well as you can.

You can treat yourself obviously but just try and do what you can because it will always have the best outcome.

So yeah, that's it for this video.

Thank you for watching the video and I'll see you in my next one.

Bye

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Do you have any questions for Alexandria?

Ask Alexandria questions below

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About the author

  • Alexandria Grace
    Student Nurse

I am a Student Nurse specialising in Children’s Nursing, which I have a great passion for. I feel very strongly about equal treatment and care for everyone, as it sets all children and young people up for the best future possible! I create vlogs following my Nursing journey and advice videos to help others along their own journeys too.

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  • Alexandria Grace
    Student Nurse

About the author

  • Alexandria Grace
    Student Nurse

I am a Student Nurse specialising in Children’s Nursing, which I have a great passion for. I feel very strongly about equal treatment and care for everyone, as it sets all children and young people up for the best future possible! I create vlogs following my Nursing journey and advice videos to help others along their own journeys too.

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