• 10 September 2021
  • 8 min read

Thoughts Of A Student Nurse Returning For The Second Year At University Sept. 2021

  • Dorcas Salako
    Student Nurse and Healthcare Assistant
    • Richard Gill
    • Dorcas Salako
    • Mat Martin
  • 0
  • 361
“During my first-year placement, I was privileged to be posted in a private hospital in Northampton and I was given the endoscopy unit to practice, which I enjoyed and found super interesting.”

Dorcas Salako gives us the important things to remember for students returning to University.

Topics covered in this article

Student Life

Starting Second Year

Date Of Return

I'll Be Moving Into Private Accommodation For My Second Year

Specific Changes This Year

Changed Curriculum

Dealing With An Increased Workload

Anxieties About Placements Or Exams

Placement Periods Rescheduled

Hopes About Placement

Remember To Stay Safe When Back In University

Student Life

Indeed, student life is golden.

Every human at one point or that other, passes through the student phase.

It’s a period when we begin to attain certain levels of self-discovery and to build joy and happiness for oneself.

Every student tries to make the best use of their time as a student before it becomes a thing of the past.

Personally, as a student, I have experienced the ups and down of student life, that has made me grow and helped me become more capable of handling other areas of my life.

Over the years, I have acquired so many skills and knowledge that can prove beneficial in the future.

The most interesting part is not just being a student but a student nurse.

This course of study has helped me understand the importance of being successful.

Although, not everyone enjoys student life; some students study in school because of parental or societal expectations.

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Starting Second Year

In the next session, I will be starting my second year of study as an Adult Nursing student.

My first year was not as easy as I thought it would be, but I was able to pull through.

Being a Course Advocate for my cohort did not make it any easier on me because I had double responsibilities.

Having to balance my general schoolwork together with assisting the cohort was not an easy task.

There were days when I thought I was going to resign because I had little time for my social life.

The thought is always that “What is a student life without having a social life?”, right?

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Due to the pandemic during my first year, classes were moved online.

I spent the major part of my first year taking my classes online with only few face-to-face classes at intervals, which were basically because we had to have practical sessions.

I hope my second year would be more fun and I believe that I will get to learn more things easily as most of our classes will hold in face-to-face sessions and not online.

Date Of Return

Most Universities resume their sessions by late September but in my school, University of Northampton, nursing students resume new modules by 4th of October.

However, we still go to school for mandatory skills and placement recovery by second week in September.

At my university, resumption dates vary based on courses enrolled for.

This session, the Course Leads of the university have decided to organize an end of the year party for all nursing students and as a Course Advocate, I am part of the planning and preparations committee.

I find it a brilliant idea because we can use the medium to meet with our colleagues since we’ve had virtual classes for the entire year.

I am eagerly looking forward to the resumption date, majorly, because we will be having physical classes and we would get to interact with colleagues and acquire more knowledge in my course field.

I'll Be Moving Into Private Accommodation For My Second Year

During my whole foundation and first year I was at the University accommodation, it afforded me the opportunity to experience the student life. As I resume my second year of study, I will be leaving the University accommodation and moving into a private accommodation.

Now that I am better familiar with my university environment, I feel it is okay for me to have a private accommodation which is more economical, and I have also ensured that my moving would not affect my studies.

However, the University accommodation is a very good place to start if you are a new student, so that you can experience the student life.

It allows for better focus on your course of study; staying there really helped my grades in school.

Specific Changes This Year

Academic-wise, I think the major thing is having more physical classes and experiencing the actual school life.

Also, we would get to do all our placement practice physically and not have a mixture of virtual placement like we did in the last school year.

Overall, nothing specific is coming up this new academic year for now. Maybe as we progress we would get updated by the university.

Changed Curriculum

For the new academic year, the curriculum remains the same, nothing is changed except that there is no longer virtual placement, and all placements will be done physically.

During the placement at the hospital, we may start having one patient to ourselves and also, we will be allowed to canulate, collect blood samples and give injections.

The nursing curriculum remains the same; having to do safe medicate for medication calculation and simulations for the anatomy and physiology as well as essay writing for understanding of the skills required in nursing.

The only area I know we might experience some changes is in our essay writing. The word count of our essays might increase.

Since we have made the progress into the second year which is a higher level, we may need to write more words showing that we have enough understanding of the modules we are being taught.

Dealing With An Increased Workload

Moving into the second year in nursing means the school workload is heavier than how it was during the first year.

Personally, I have to re-strategize my whole schedule, basically change it.

I have to think of how I would balance every one of my commitments because more work has been added.

I need to start prioritizing better and seeing the bigger picture.

I would also try new tools that would help me plan my day better.

I could practice using the tools by adding something different to my typical day, like having a special study time, and I will see if it works perfectly well for me.

I would also ask people for help if needed.

This may not be easy but if you are the organised type and you are willing to let change set in, then it is possible to achieve.

Anxieties About Placements Or Exams

Second year of nursing is an entirely new academic year where things being taught would be slightly or probably entirely different from what was taught in the first year.

So, I think I am a bit anxious about what is coming in second year, especially, with the placement practice.

Now, the nurses at the hospital know that one has progressed into a higher level and they will presume that one can take on bigger responsibilities, which is understandable.

This is beneficial so that more knowledge can be gained before one qualifies as a registered nurse.

But as for the exams I do not think I am anxious; I am just curious to see what the exam is going to look like this new academic year.

Placement Periods Rescheduled

With the look of things this new academic year, placement periods will definitely be rescheduled because for first year, we had virtual placement but since the situation of the pandemic is a lot better, placement periods will fully take place physically for second year.

Nursing students but will remain the same for the upcoming first year students.

Hopes About Placement

During my first-year placement, I was privileged to be posted in a private hospital in Northampton and I was given the Endoscopy unit to practice, which I enjoyed and found super interesting.

Also, I had the opportunity to visit other different units in the whole hospital.

I had experience in the Theatre, X-Ray unit, Outpatients, Ward, Oncology, and Minor Operations within the six weeks of my placement.

I eventually concluded that I would like to go into surgical nursing when I am qualified because I enjoyed the experience that I had during my first placement. Although, it was just my first-year placement, I may be posted in a different unit for my second year and decide to change the branch of nursing I would like to go into.

Working within the hospital has made me realize how different employers treat their employees.

And based on what I have encountered, I am really hoping to work with an employer who is of good character, and that I can learn from.

Remember To Stay Safe When Back In University

Now that the physical learning is back, staying safe is still the best option.

Making sure the necessities are done even with the current situation, and ensuring social distance. It is also better to get vaccinated so that other people can be protected.

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  • Dorcas Salako
    Student Nurse and Healthcare Assistant

About the author

  • Dorcas Salako
    Student Nurse and Healthcare Assistant

I've worked as a healthcare specialist for 6 months. I'm currently a student advocate for my Adult Nursing Cohort at the University of Northampton.

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