• 23 July 2021
  • 10 min read

What Inspired Me To Become A Scrub Nurse?

  • Amira Begum
    Scrub Nurse
    • Mat Martin
    • Aubrey Hollebon
    • Richard Gill
  • 0
  • 608
"I always knew I wanted to work in healthcare but I never knew what role I wanted."

Amira shares her journey to becoming a Scrub Nurse, describing her first experience of theatre, her placements and advice on securing your place on a nursing course.

Topics covered in this article

Why I Became A Scrub Nurse

Gaining Experience

Writing A Personal Statement For Nursing

Prepping For A Nursing Interview

My First Nursing Placement

My Community Placement At A GP Practice

My Third Year Medical Ward Placements

My First Experience Of Theatre

Why I Became A Scrub Nurse

Towards the end of my first year in sixth form our form tutors encouraged us to think about what we would like to do in terms of further education and careers.

If I’m going to be 100% honest, I had no idea. I always knew I wanted to work in healthcare but I never knew what role I wanted.

This led me to looking at numerous prospectuses and doing a few days work experience in healthcare settings.

I did two days a local pharmacy but I found it quite mundane and boring.

However, what I took from the experience was that I did enjoy interacting with patients.

I also did a few days in a care home and I really enjoyed my time there as I got to interact with the residents on a personal level.

This is when I had a real insight into the nursing career.

The nurses were friendly and seemed to enjoy what they did.

There were also residents there with complex care needs so a lot of nurses were specialised in complex care which I found interesting.

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Gaining Experience

After completing a week in the nursing homes and researching the nursing role I decided that this is what I wanted to do.

I applied for adult nursing in universities surrounding the west midlands area.

I decided to opt for adult nursing as I felt there is more route for progression.

When applying for UCAS we had to write our personal statements, this was our opportunity to stand out and show the university why they should accept us.

In my personal statement I spoke about my relevant work placements and how my subjects were suited to the course.

I had done health and social care as an A level; this was good as a lot of our coursework on the healthcare environment.

Our units included stuff like: anti-discriminatory practice, psychological approaches to healthcare and theories in ageing.

Writing A Personal Statement For Nursing

When writing a personal statement for nursing I would include things such as: Why nursing?

Why you’ve chosen the specific field? (e.g., adult)

Include any relevant experience in care or even any qualities or attributes you have.

It’s important to highlight any personal achievements or social involvement.

It’s also important to include the 6Cs.

The 6Cs are care, compassion, competence, commitment, communication and courage.

I would also say it would be wise to know how the 6Cs came about so it may be worth while reading up on the Francis report, Hard truths and The NHS constitution for England (2013).

I would also encourage applicants to highlight two values from the 6Cs and how they possess them.

However, this can be difficult given the word limit.

Prepping For A Nursing Interview

To prep for my nursing interviews, I went over the 6Cs focusing on how I can show these values as well as reading up on the incidents that brought on these recommendations.

This is important as I think interviewers constantly have the 6Cs thrown at them.

So, I believe if you’re able talk about the recommendations and the reports that brought the 6Cs about you will stand out.

It’s also important to talk about why you have chosen your specific nursing field and the relevant experience you have.

In addition to this, I think it’s always a good idea to talk about what your aspirations are as it does show you have researched the field and the role.

I was ecstatic when I was accepted to complete my adult nursing degree at Birmingham City university.

I was a full-time student so I completed the three-year degree.

In each year we completed two placements.

The placements were at least eight weeks long.

My First Nursing Placement

My first nursing placement was at Good Hope Hospital where I did eight weeks on their stroke ward.

The was also included a “Hyper acute stroke unit” which had five beds.

Before starting this placement, I had very little knowledge on how to treat patients who had experienced a stroke.

All I knew was “FAST”, which meant facial weakness, arm weakness, speech problems and time to call 999.

My first shift on the ward was a massive shock.

We had 8 patients that we took handover for and most of the abbreviations sounded like gibberish to me and I was too afraid of looking stupid to ask what they meant.

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Therefore, I tried to muddle through the shift.

I distinctly remember having one elderly patient who was unable to do anything for themselves and even had difficulty drinking fluids.

I think this really did impact me because this is when I realised how much care was actually required for these patients.

I think this is when I truly realised how much nurses can impact the lives of their patients.

This placement was great for me as it taught me a lot about basic patient care.

My Community Placement At A GP Practice

I had a community placement during my second year and this was at a GP practice.

I absolutely loved my GP placement.

I really enjoyed it as the nurses were specialist nurses in diabetes, asthma and managing blood pressure.

The great thing with GP nursing was that patients received one to one care.

You could see how the interaction was a lot more personal and the nurses were solely focused on the one patient.

This was a lot more attractive to me as opposed to ward nursing because I felt like on the wards there was a pressure to try to complete tasks as soon as possible because we were caring for multiple patients.

I didn’t like this because I genuinely enjoyed my time when I was able to sit down and just have a conversation with my patients.

I often think that most patients do want someone to talk to whilst they’re hospitalised because it can be lonely time.

You have to remember that these patients are often surrounded by family or friends when they’re at home so being in the hospital is often times a culture shock for them.

The one thing I didn’t enjoy about community nursing was that you’re working on your own and not in a team.

I like working autonomously however I prefer being a part of a team.

My Third Year Medical Ward Placements

I had 3 general medical ward placements during my three-year degree.

I believe these are great placements for student nurses as they get exposure to a wide range of care needs.

My ward-based placements were really beneficial for me as they taught me how to manage my time as we used to care for 8-12 patients.

Wards also allow you to practice skills such as: catheterisation, writing up patient records, making up and administering drugs.

My ward placements allowed me to meet some great nurses who inspired me to be the best nurse that I can be.

In addition to this, I learnt that I loved having patient contact however as I mainly had ward-based placements, I decided that when I qualified, I wanted a change.

One of my final placements was a gynaecology ward, this also had a gynaecology assessment unit.

The treatments and services offered here were perineal repair, pelvic pain, general gynaecology, menstrual disorders, menopause, family planning, infertility, urogynaecology/prolapse.

I found this placement very interesting because I hadn’t had much exposure to this speciality.

A lot of our patients underwent laparoscopic surgery to diagnose things such as endometriosis.

This meant we had a lot of pre op and post op admissions.

I found it time keeping quite difficult when we had post op patients as we had to observations regularly to monitor patients.

It was difficult to carry these out as sometimes we would have to carry out the observations at the same time as a drug round.

This is would often mean that we would carry out one of the tasks a little later, this would have a knock-on effect on the rest of shift as we would have to make sure the drug rounds or observations were adequately spaced out.

During this placement, I had the opportunity to go down to theatre with my patient.

My First Experience Of Theatre

Going down to theatre was a real eye opener to me.

I watched the surgical management of a missed miscarriage.

The procedure itself involves stretching the natural opening into the womb, a suction tube is inserted through the cervix into the womb.

This gently removes any tissue inside.

I loved the theatre environment and the exposure opened up a new career path for me.

I never really knew what a Scrub Nurse was before going down to theatre, let alone saw myself as being one or even applying for the role.

However, once I had the exposure and researched the role, I found it more and more appealing to me.

I loved the fact that I could directly impact a patient’s life and know that we have improved the quality of their life.

Overall, I do believe this was the right choice for me as once I had qualified, I wanted a change from wards.

I think I had gotten bored and wanted to do something different.

In theatres you don’t really know what you’re going to get because sometimes we’re told the case will be a simple procedure but it could always end up becoming more complex.

I think each placement allowed me to grow and I always gained a new experience from them.

It’s important to note that not every experience will be a positive one but there’s always something you reflect upon.

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Do you have any questions about becoming a Scrub Nurse?

Ask Amira questions below

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About the author

  • Amira Begum
    Scrub Nurse

I’m Amira, I qualified as an Adult Nurse over a year ago and I have been working in theatres since qualifying. I am an adult trained nurse working in a paediatric hospital. I specialise in spines, trauma and orthopaedics. Outside of work I am a keen baker and fitness enthusiast.

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  • Amira Begum
    Scrub Nurse

About the author

  • Amira Begum
    Scrub Nurse

I’m Amira, I qualified as an Adult Nurse over a year ago and I have been working in theatres since qualifying. I am an adult trained nurse working in a paediatric hospital. I specialise in spines, trauma and orthopaedics. Outside of work I am a keen baker and fitness enthusiast.

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