Category Archives: May 2014

Ten things first semester has taught me.

As the end of the semester draws closer I have reflected on many of the things I have learnt and the situations I have been in. There have been many lessons, thoughts and experiences but below are the top ten things I have learnt this semester.

1. About 1/3 of the cohort likes to make jokes about how the will knock off restricted drugs when they are registered nurses working on the wards. If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone say this, I would be a millionaire. Although I know its mostly only a joke, it will most likely become a reality for some and thats just part and parcel.

2. Some people are only in the profession because they “got into university”. Thats all well and good, they could come out after three years and be the most amazing nurses that we have ever seen, but for the rest that sit in the back of the lecture hall and talk and laugh and disrupt the rest of us- find a mirror and take a good hard look at yourself, someone missed out for you to be there.

3. Academics are academics, when you get frustrated because you feel they aren’t doing a good job of teaching just remember these people are the cream of the crop and you need to do the leg work to seek them out and tap into their wisdom. If you make the effort to participate in their classes, they’ll make the effort with you.

4. Simulation mannequins have some of the most hilarious attachments (like balloons attached to the anus) and they make lab sessions that little bit more fun when parts fall off during a transfer manoeuvre.

5. Six semesters of nursing school is not long enough but it feels like forever. You need to cherish the time that you do have in school, do your best in your studies and keep focused on the end goal. Losing sight of the end goal is when we begin to fall short of our potential.

6. When you do graduate you won’t know everything and you won’t be expected to know everything. Nursing school prepares us to become a new graduate nurse, it is from here that we learn and develop into the nurses we want to be.

7. Some things you learn in school make no sense, and they probably never will.

8. Third years will tell you stories about practicing cannulation on each other and proceed to show their bruised arms and you will either be very interested or feel slightly anxious. For myself, I felt EXTREMELY anxious haha

9. Nursing school is hard and its not something that people do because they didn’t get into a “better” course.

10. Student nurses choose to go to nursing school for a reason, but ultimately we want to be a part of a cause that is greater than our own. Thats what makes nurses amazing people.



Placement, emotion and doubt.

I haven’t posted for a loooong time, I’ve just been so busy with uni and work!

Recently I went on my first placement as a nursing student- the anticipation had been building amongst my peers however, I was always feeling a bit uninterested.

Majority of my cohort was sent to observe staff at an aged care residential facility to see therapeutic communication and core nursing skills in practice. I have a thing with nursing homes, I don’t find them pleasing and they leave me feeling distressed and negative.

During my placement I met some lovely residents and staff and watched the interactions and care that was necessary. When it came time to leave, we had a short discussion with the director of nursing who told us a nursing home is “not their home and not the hospital”.

This comment left me feeling sad, distressed and confused. For me, an aged care facility is a place that once a resident enters they aren’t coming home. To hear the director say that this was not a residents “home” made me ask myself “what is it then and why are they here?”. I couldn’t answer this and this caused me a feeling of sadness and doubt.

I doubted whether I could be a nurse, I couldn’t emotionally disengage from an uncomfortable situation once so how could I do it every day when I graduate?

For days I felt tormented and finally sought the advice and wisdom of my co-ordinator on campus. We have a long session of “real talk” and I came away with a simple message. That was that the fact I was crying in their office meant that I cared. I cared that the attitudes of some people are wrong and I cared that the people I met were such beautiful people living with a quality of life that I can’t imagine.

This experience taught me two things. They are that to be emotive and to be affected is not a sign of weakness but a sign that we care and that in life we need to find what makes us feel good and we won’t find it without seeking it out.