- 30 March 2022
- 9 min read
Unconventional Tips From A 3rd Year Student NurseSubscribe To Advice
Alex gives some tips for Student Nurses that may not be obvious. From remembering to trust your gut, to appreciating your experiences; this piece has a tips for every Student Nurse.
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Hi, everyone, welcome to another video.
If you have not seen my face before, then hello, my name is Alex.
I'm a third and final year student Nurse studying children's Nursing.
Today's video is going to be all about what I have learned as a student Nurse.
So, within that I'm going to be talking about the kind of less conventional things that I've learned, not like your standard textbook things that you would learn in Nursing school. I'm going to be talking about the other stuff.
Personal skills that you learn, things that I've picked up on.
And I guess things I've learned specific to the time that I've trained in, obviously I've trained through a pandemic.
So all of those things I think will tie into one.
So I'm going to be discussing that with you guys.
I'm sure a lot of you who are in my position will be able to relate.
And if you don't, then I guess this is just an insight into my experience.
I'm going to be going into kind of the five main things that I've learned.
So stay tuned to find out what they are.
Trust Your Instinct
The first thing that I think is a really important skill that I've learned as a student Nurse is to always trust your instinct.
Always, always, always, always trust your instinct because it's better to be wrong but still take precautions than to not do anything at all.
And then something goes really wrong.
So for example, if you think, if you look at your patient and you think, hmm, I don't think that's right, and then you escalate it to maybe the Nurse you're working with or to a Doctor or whoever's around.
And they have a look and they're like, “oh actually, like it's not that bad”, but they'll be like, oh, thank you for telling.
Or, you know, if you just think something's not right, trust your instinct.
I've had feelings so many times of, you know, that child's not safe.
That might be a safeguarding issue.
That's not right.
This child is really not well.
I've had that feeling so many times.
I think feeling becomes a lot stronger the more experience you gain, it's not a nice feeling, especially if your instinct is about something bad.
But your instinct is there for a reason.
And that instinct is mixed with just kind of a natural feeling and of your knowledge as well.
If you think something is wrong, then say something.
For example, if you think a child is crashing, call the crash bell, better call the crash bell, and to have people annoyed at you that you've called the crash bell for no reason than to not call it at all and that patient deteriorate.
I haven't been in that situation yet, but I probably will be in that situation eventually.
And it's better to do something than to not do anything at all, because then you don't know what the consequences of that will be.
I think the biggest thing is trusting my instinct, learning to trust it.
And if I have any sort of concern or feeling, just knowing how important it is to escalate that or to ask more questions or to just investigate things further, because you just never know what could happen.
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Another thing I've learned as a student Nurse is just how much patience I have.
Generally in life, I am not a patient person at all.
Like, I don't like to wait.
I mean being a Londoner, not many of us are patient at all.
I like to get from A to B.
I like things to happen quickly.
I like things to happen systematically.
But from doing Nursing and being on placement and things like that, I have really learned to slow down and really be patient with people, be patient with families, be patient with patients, be patient with colleagues.
Like, I have learned so much patience.
And I think it really has changed me as a person.
That patience I've taken from student Nursing has transferred into my personal life as me being a lot calmer.
And being a lot more understanding of other people's situations and being patient with myself as well, not just being patient with other people, but being patient with myself and being able to cut myself slack when I am tired and to say to myself, you know what, it's okay if that didn't go right.
It's okay if you need more time to do this.
It's okay if you need to rest.
You know, having all around patients I think is probably one of the really, really great, really valuable skills that is transferable to literally every aspect of my life.
So yeah, patience.
The Experience Gained From Challenges
The third thing that I've learned from student Nursing that is a bit unconventional but probably very obvious with the times that we're living in is just about the kind of the current state of NHS and just how much of a crisis it's in really.
I think a lot of people that I have spoken to that don't work in healthcare or medicine or anything, don't really understand how bad it really is.
And like, they don't understand what short staffing is like, and what that is like for the student Nurses experience.
And they don't understand lack of equipment, lack of PPE.
It is a nightmare.
It's a nightmare that we are having to work through this.
And I will always say I have so much respect for every person who works in the NHS that worked throughout the pandemic, because even just being on placement, it was tough enough.
And I will be honest, it did hinder the learning experience a lot because there's a lot less things we could see.
A lot of the time we have just been like a helping hand.
And sometimes that can take away from learning, just because people need help, things need to be done.
But at the end of the day, even though it hindered the kind of orthodox learning experience with student Nurse, it also taught me how to be way more resilient and work through challenges.
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So I could say that's maybe like the fourth thing that I've learned is resilience and just being able to work through anything.
Like, I remember right at the start of the pandemic we had to literally ration masks, like ration them, use the same masks for different patients because the mask were going missing, 'cause people were panicking, 'cause they didn't know what COVID was.
And just being really scared and thinking, I was just thinking, what does this mean for my degree?
What is going to happen?
And seeing where I am now and looking back, I'm like, it's amazing how I got through that.
So applaud yourself if you have been in the same situation as me, because it has not been easy.
And I think having the resilience to continue through such a tough time has taught me all of those skills that I've just mentioned as well which has been really valuable.
And I think it will make me a better Nurse for it.
I hope so, anyway.
The last thing I've learned is just gratitude.
I think I know I've mentioned a lot of skills that aren't very technical, but I feel like I've learned a lot of gratitude within my technical skills.
So for example, if I've had to put an NG tube down a child and then thinking I'm so grateful that, you know, like grateful for my own health and grateful for having the NHS and grateful to all the Nurses and doctors that have looked after my family members or looked after me.
And just when I have to help out with these painful procedures and perform skills for patients that are quite distressing or can be quite uncomfortable, makes me grateful that I can support patients through that as well.
And that I have the opportunity and the honor of being able to support these patients through probably the worst time of their life really.
For me, it's not just like ticking off a skill and being like, oh, I know how to clean a wound, or I know how to pass an NG tube.
I know how to do a feed.
I can take an NG tube out.
I can remove a cannula, things like that. It's not just ticking off a skill for me. I think it's way deep than that. It's being able to perform that and have your patients still be comfortable, see your patient recover, and see your patient improve after you've performed a skill.
Like, it's just so much deeper than just the surface level of what you learn. And there's so many really, really valuable skills that you learn as a student Nurse.
I feel like that's five things, yeah, I think I've learned that are a bit more unconventional.
I'm sure a lot of other student Nurses and even student midwife, student doctors would agree with me.
To be honest, I could go on for ages about all the things that I've learned because it's been a long three years, and I've still got a few months to go.
And then I've got my whole Nursing career ahead of me to learn even more. So yeah, but I will leave it at that.
I'm sure a lot of you watching this could resonate with what I've said and if you can, that's great.
Hope you enjoyed the video and I'll see you in the next one, bye.