'I wish I'd known how important essays and exams were'
Second year student nurse, Adam Hadfield, thought life as a student nurse was going to be easy …
Starting my degree in adult nursing was one of the most challenging undertakings of my life.
I thought at the beginning that my academic background and three year’s full time employment would make it easy to write assignments and work long hours on placement, but it was a lot harder than I thought.
I wish I’d known beforehand what to expect.
Don’t get me wrong it’s a good challenge and a reallyrewarding course, no other lets you learn as you work and gives you the freedom of knowledge that nursing does. The old saying ‘you learn something new every day’ couldn’t be closer to the truth for student nurses.
I was quite naïve walking into the course. I think I thought it would be easy but things like writing my first assignment and walking onto a ward for the first time were terrifying. I wish I’d known beforehand what to expect. I don’t think it would have deterred me because I love it but I wish I’d of known to mentally prepare myself, I was three years out of practice academically and I think that was the biggest challenge to me personally in first year.
I wish I’d known how big a part of the course the assignments and the exams were, it’s not all about learning to do blood pressures and take pulses
Being expected to write at a degree level was tough to begin with but I guess it’s like riding a bike. You never really forget. I guess what I’m trying to say is I wish I’d known how big a part of the course the assignments and the exams were and that it’s not all about learning to do blood pressures and take pulses.
What would I have done differently? If I could go back I would read every basic anatomy and physiology, basic medication and NMC, NICE guidelines I could get my hands on.
If I had read up on the basics before my course began it would have made my transition into the course a lot easier
You only realise just how little you know when you start your course and it does seem daunting. If I had read up on the basics before my course began it would have made my transition into the course a lot easier.
I also wish I’d saved a bit of money before starting the course. That nice student loan and bursary you get in September lulls you into a false sense of security about your finances, but trust me it doesn’t last.
If I could go back to my first year, I’d be more proactive with my assignments too. I got them all in on time and passed everything but writing them at 11pm the night before is not good for the old stress levels. We were given obscene amounts of time to do our assignments and I wish I’d started work on them earlier.
Adam Hadfield is a second year student nurse studying at UCLAN.
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