• 19 August 2019
  • 8 min read

Student nursing Q&A with Claire

  • Claire Quinn
    Student Nurse and Vlogger

Are you a student nurse or thinking of a career in nursing? In this vlog, Claire answers all your questions regarding student nursing.

Play video: Claire answers your questions about student nursing!

Topics covered in this video

0.00 Introduction - Nursing Q&A

0.55 Working as a healthcare assistant during studies?

3.10 How to step up your skills

4.38 Preparation for first year

6.09 Can I get a nursing apprenticeship?

8.19 Having a professional image

Watch more by Claire

0.00 Introduction - Nursing Q&A

Hello, my name is Claire. For anyone who doesn't know me, I'm going into third year at the University of Southampton, so I’m starting my final year in September which is absolutely crazy!

And today's video is going to be about just answering questions that I've got from my YouTube channel, and I'm gonna make it into a video because I think the questions people ask are actually so beneficial, not just for them, for me to answer to them which I do reply to all my comments, but to talk about it in a video because then everyone gets to understand and the questions other people ask and then learn from their questions, if that makes sense.

So today is a little Q&A and yeah, let's get into it!

0.55 Working as a healthcare assistant during studies?

This first question is from M.L. and they say ‘hey Claire, thank you so much for a great video’ thank you!

‘A couple of questions - did you do some bank HCA work during you degree and did it help you in terms of learning not just money?’

So this is a really good question and it's something I definitely thought about before starting nursing.

I didn't think I had enough experience in like the healthcare assistant kind of world so I'll answer this question just in terms of what I've done.

So I’ve actually never worked as a healthcare assistant which I know some of you might be surprised at maybe, because I feel like a lot of people do it and that's incredible but it's not just it's not something I ever really got into, but I've had experience.

So, before I came to the University of Southampton - I'm actually from Dublin as you can probably tell by my accent - but when I was in Dublin I did pre-nursing, so I finished my equivalent of A Levels which is called the Leaving Cert, I finished that and didn't get into nursing in Ireland.

So then I said, what other route can I take?

So I knew there was a course called pre nursing and that is like, I think it's similar to an access course here, so I did that and as part of that course I had work experience which technically was healthcare assistant work, and I think that work experience was for about six weeks so not that long but still kind of got my foot in the door and got to see what they do.

And I think, obviously that wasn't paid or anything so in terms of money it didn't help, but I think in terms of experience and knowing what they do, that really helped because I honestly really had no idea at that point what health care assistants do.

I didn't do any healthcare assistant work during my degree and I don't plan to you until I finish just because I'm super busy with other things.

But I think it is a really good idea because it's a way of making money but also getting to know the course you're going into and you're getting experience in that field.

3.10 How to step up your skills

The other part of that question was ‘how do you step up your skills in second year? I still feel I am not 100% in basic care like bed bathing and I've never used a hoist and I'm just finished first year.

'Will this cause me problems for my second year of placements? I'm panicking!'

So I would say definitely don't worry if you feel that your skills aren't up to scratch because I think it all comes with experience and just time on the wards and time with patients.

So I think, you're only at the end of first year so you still have second and third year and maybe even fourth year to step up on your skills, so I really wouldn't worry!

But something you can do to maybe improve your skills would be, when you're on placement you just offer to do more of the bed bathing and if somebody needs hoisting then maybe put your hand up and say ‘I haven't done it before but I would really like to, can somebody show me how to do it?’ because then that way you're getting experience but you're not saying ‘oh I've done it before, I'm really good at it let me do it’ because obviously if you haven’t done it before you need to be really safe because they are quite dangerous! So I hope that answers your question.

I just think, yeah, as much experience as possible basically, put yourself out there and try and just do as many baths as possible and then obviously if hoisting comes up then you will be able to do it with someone hopefully.

4.38 Preparing for your first year of nursing

Okay, this question is from M.C and they say ‘I'm starting nursing in September, do you have any tips in terms of preparation for first year?’

This is actually a really good question and I've gotten it a few times, but I am actually gonna make a whole video on how to prepare for first year starting in September this year or if you're going to be starting in January or February as well and that will help you in terms of preparation and hopefully everything you need to know for first year.

But, I can give you a few points here.

So I would say get to know your university, get to know the campus and all things like that, hopefully you've gone to see it before.

And I would also recommend looking up the six C's of Nursing - the six C's are six core values that nurses should follow and they should learn and know, and I feel like this is a really good place to start before you go into first year because in first show you more than likely you will maybe have an essay on it - I know I did but I guess everyone won't.

But even just knowing what they are I think will help you just understand what nursing should be like and what you can work towards in terms of your core values.

6.09 Can I get a nursing apprenticeship?

Okay so the next question is from George Sansum and they said ‘I am currently 15 and will be in year 11 this September’ so young!

‘And will be doing my GCSEs May 2020, I can't afford to go to uni and don't want to get in debt. So I want to do an apprenticeship. I'm really confused how to get an apprenticeship. When can I get an apprenticeship? Do I have to go to university for one? And if I work in the NHS job e.g. a care home will they give me an apprenticeship? Great video by the way’ thank you!

In order to get an apprenticeship, the main thing I know about apprenticeships and I don't know that much so maybe I'm not the best person to talk about apprenticeship so I’d definitely do your own research as well.

But everyone I know who has an apprenticeship or did an apprenticeship or is doing one has had a full-time job or a part-time job with NHS section and from then they have kind of been counted as having a lot of potential and then their workforce puts them on an apprenticeship and then they get to study part-time and work part-time, so that's my understanding on how you get an apprenticeship.

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But there could very well be other apprenticeships coming up in the near future and you don't have to go to university in order to get one, you are a given one on the job and then you still get paid while you're studying so that's the whole kind of point of an apprenticeship.

It's not you going out of pocket or having to get a student loan or anything like that it's you getting paid part-time while you're working part-time and this is just a way of supporting student nurses to get the best degree they possibly can, and then instead of coming back and working as a healthcare assistant they can come back and work as a registered nurse once they are finished.

8.19 Having a professional image

Okay so another question I'm going to answer and this is gonna be the last one because there's just so much to cover and I don't want to overwhelm you with billions of different topics and everything so I feel like this is a good one to end with.

‘Hi, thank you for all your videos. I'm starting nursing next month (eeeek!) and your advice has been great so far’ thank you! ‘I know it's not of great importance but could you do something on how you wear your hair on a shift and if you wear make up, what you wear? The impression I get from friends who are healthcare assistants and nurses is that their appearance is fairly important as to how professional they look. Thank you again’ no problem!

And this is a really good question and I've done a video on a makeup look as a student nurse, so if you want to you can just google ‘Claire Quinn makeup’ and it should come up!

That video was basically a five minute makeup look, really really natural and nothing too fussy, makeup that I wore to placement every single day.

And then as besides to hair, my main thing I just do the same thing every day which is so boring but I just get my hair up into a low bun because it has to be off you're off your shoulders in nursing, well it should be, so I just do a low bun like that and then I would just put a pop a grip in my hair in a low bun and that's all what I do and then the 5 minute makeup look, so I hope that answers your question.

And I definitely do think it's important on how professional you look, I don't think really extreme makeup is professional but I think a little bit of making yourself look alive and glowy and just put together and I feel better about myself and I know that I feel more confident to talk to families and patients and stuff when I know I look presentable and professional.

So I think it is definitely a good idea but just make sure it's not too extreme if that makes sense.

So I hope you enjoyed this nursing Q&A and thank you for watching if you are still here! And yeah I'll talk to you soon.

Watch more by Claire 

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What do I need for nursing school?

My 5 best experiences as a student nurse

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About the author

  • Claire Quinn
    Student Nurse and Vlogger

Claire is a student adult nurse from Ireland, but studies in the UK. She makes vlogs for her channel, Claire Quinn - Nursing Secrets, where she shares tips and advice from her own experience as a student nurse.

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About the author

  • Claire Quinn
    Student Nurse and Vlogger

Claire is a student adult nurse from Ireland, but studies in the UK. She makes vlogs for her channel, Claire Quinn - Nursing Secrets, where she shares tips and advice from her own experience as a student nurse.