Tuesday, 22 September 2015

BSc (Hons) Nursing (Adult)

Hi! My name is Teresa and I am just about to start the second year of my Adult Nursing course.

When it came to choosing universities, I was torn between Kings and Greenwich. However, after reading up on student satisfaction and attending open days, I personally felt Greenwich could offer me more in the way of time and support as a student and this was particularly important to me. Greenwich had also come out top in the NHS London performance ratings for training adult nurses which I thought might be beneficial when it came to applying for jobs.

My first year flew by as the course is very full on. Unlike most of the other degree programmes where they are in lectures for 3 days a week and in the pub for the rest, nursing is the opposite. It is a full time job, and when you’re not on placement or in lectures, you are reading or writing essays. There will be shorter days here and there and the odd day off where you could squeeze in some paid work, but there is no regularity to it and I am led to believe these windows of opportunity are even rarer in the second and third year.

We spend 50% of our time in university and 50% on placement. Our time at university is spent in lectures, seminars and practical sessions. I thought sitting in a lecture hall for 2 hours would bore me to tears but the lecturers always involve the students and they really make the courses interesting.
The type of courses we studied in the first year involved subjects such as ‘Academic Skills’ which helped prepare us to find information and write our first essays. I received feedback throughout the course advising me where I could improve so that when it came to writing the final essay, I was well prepared.

Our ‘Psychosocial Aspects of Health’ course was shared with other students such as the midwives and mental health nurses and involved examining how a person’s psychology and external environment could impact on their own personal health. This course really opened my eyes to the implications the wider determinants of health have on individuals and made me appreciate that not everyone has the required level of knowledge and access to services that I have, in order to keep themselves healthy. A lot of us also found it to be one of the toughest essays to write so make sure you READ, READ, READ! You’ve been warned. The ‘Professional Values’ course was all about being the best nurse you can for your patients. Although we all go into nursing wanting to care for our patients, this course teaches you how to do that in a professional way that respects the individual needs of your patients.

Obviously the best courses were when we got to do the ‘nursey’ things like learn injection technique, drug calculations, medicines management and what the actual role of the nurse is within a team of professionals. These elements were delivered in our ‘Preparation for Nursing’ and ‘Nursing Principles and Practice’ courses.

When we are not in university, our time is spent in a clinical environment. My first placement was a 6 week post on an elderly ward at the Princess Royal University Hospital. It was quite a daunting time for me as, although I had some work experience in care, I had never provided personal care. Now here I was being asked to give Mr ***** in bed 5 a bed bath! However, by the end of the 6 weeks I had learnt a great deal about the fundamentals of nursing.

The wards are a busy and sometimes frantic environment. I’ve definitely had to learn to speak up for myself in order to make sure I get the learning opportunities I need and my paperwork signed off to reflect this. When working on the wards I am on my feet for almost 12 hours a day which can be tough, physically and mentally, so on my days off I try to rest as much as I can. Other placements, such as outpatients and community nursing, are shorter days of around 8 hours, as are some nursing homes.

That aside, I really enjoy the variety that nursing provides. Once I’ve completed my training there are so many opportunities available to me as registered nurse so I know that I’ll have a career that can change and adapt to fit in with the different stages of my life. I love the fact that no two days are ever the same. I like to be busy and I enjoy helping people, so nursing ticks a lot of boxes. It is also the most rewarding job I’ve ever done. It is a privilege to be such a close part of a person’s life at a time when they are at their most vulnerable and when a patient or relative tells you that you’ve made a positive difference to their care, it makes the hard work worthwhile.

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