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Do you remember your first week in nursing?

  • Comments (31)

It’s freshers’ week and all over the country student nurses will be starting out on a training  that will contain experiences and challenges that will be with them for the rest of their life. Nurse training changes your life – not just in career terms but also personally.

Are you a student nurse? Fancy some FREE tips and advice for new student nurse freshers?

Come visit us at student nursing times and follow us on twitter @studentNT

I feel excited that they are at the beginning of a journey where they will learn the skills of how to look after patients with fundamental care at its heart.  I think many of us will remember the difficulties and the challenges of learning procedures, the anxiety about if you are doing it right. The first time you gave an injection, flushed an IV line, changed a dressing or helped someone walk to the toilet.  And remember the enjoyment of being able to care and support patients at a time when they need care.

But I think the way that nurse training changes you in a personal way is the experience of meeting patients. However many years ago that is was that you trained, I imagine you will still remember some of the patients you met during your training, especially in the early days.

The conversations that you had with them about their condition and about their life. The opportunity that nursing gave you to meet people from all ages and from all backgrounds. And the trust they placed in you to help them get better or at least to be made comfortable.

So I feel quite excited on the new student’s behalf – wishing I could turn the clock back and go through again some, if not all, of the variety, challenges and real life experience that nurse training offers.

And don’t forget that student nurses can be supported by the resources for freshers’ week at studentnursingtimes.net  which will help with tips on essay writing and the first placement and much more.

And a student subscription is only 70p a week.

  • Comments (31)

Readers' comments (31)

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous | 25-Jan-2013 8:04 am

    good comments with which I agree

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  • Anonymous

    My very first day on a ward, back in the early eighties.....Male Surgical.....a patient addressed me as "Nurse", and I looked about for one, before I realised he was talking to me! That was my 'this is real' moment.

    Throughout my career, no government has been able to keeps its mitts off the NHS. However, the Tories individually and in coalition have been in power for the majority of my career. They have wrecked the NHS and I hold them more responsible than anyone for its demise.

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  • Anonymous

    I remember my first days well 36 years ago. As I am tall my uniform which was supposed to be measured to fit me was half way down my calfs and I didn't realize what a tuckle I looked like until a tutor came on the ward and said I must get it turned up to knee length, which I did myself that night. Also I remember a pregnant staff nurse who really bullied me! She would do the drug round with me and ask me what all the drugs were. If I didn't know she would make a fool of me in front of all the patients. I ended up crying on the way home many a time. When she left to have her baby, what a relief, I started to enjoy going to work finally. How I stuck it out though, I'll never know, as she made me feel useless. It was sheer determination. So needless to say I hate to see bullies now.

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  • My first task on my first day on my first ward, 40 years ago, was to do a drug round with a fellow nubie, no supervision. I am pleased to say that we didn't kill anyone.On your first day you didn't question what was asked of you, was too frightened to. I hasten to add, I did after shortly after that. Although it was instilled into you from the start that if you didn't do what was asked (or should I say 'told to do'), you were deemed incapable. Having said all that, training was very intensive, you learned fast, and became very proficient. You were often left in charge of a ward, just during break times, at first. On ward rounds you were expected to quote a patients blood results. Consultants left their pipes just inside the ward doors, ward staff had a fag in the bathrooms, a side ward was always cleared for food and drink for staff at Christmas. Patients were admitted directly to the appropriate ward and treated by the appropriate staff (someting I would like to see again). You didn't go off duty until you were told to and all your jobs were done. The last job was usually teeth cleaning and mouth care, making sure everyone had been offered the toilet, and had their position/bed (linen) changed. Uniforms were laundered on site. My hat was always a problem, with a smaller head, fine shiney hair, I had to put extra folds in to make it a bit smaller, and it still slid off my hair. Had a rash up my arm from the starched aprons, which were always removed if you went off the ward. The canteen/restaurant was open for hot meals 24/7. There was the good, the bad and the ugly, but I loved it all.

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  • Anonymous

    I am so glad I started my nursing career in the late 70's. It was hard work in some ways and yet we also had lots of fun too. I too remember side wards always being cleared for food and drink at Christmas and the atmosphere was so relaxed during that period that if you had to work you didn't mind so much. I honestly think patients 20 years ago or so got better care than they do now. I seem to spend all my time with paperwork nowadays. Admission packs are the bane of mine and my colleagues lives. But there is light at the end of the tunnel as I am retiring next year so I will leave it for someone eles to do. lol.

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  • Anonymous

    38 years in September, remember Dad seeing me off on the train from Worcester to London,excitment, fear of the unknown, but my dream was about to come true, I had never wanted anything else. Still working, even today with all the changes, to me my patient is the most important part of my work, and I still get that buzz when I care for someone.

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  • Anonymous

    Anonymous | 27-Jan-2013 11:13 pm

    I agree. I think we had excellent training at that time and the necessary resources to provide good care to our patients.

    1975-78

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  • Anonymous


    Anonymous | 27-Jan-2013 11:13 pm

    I agree too. The care was far better all those years ago. We need a concerted effort to get rid of all the totally unnecessary paperwork and allocate that time to looking after our patients.

    I cringe each time there is another nurse related criticism in the press. I'm sure it wont be long before we have a form to fill in to ensure nobody has a dummy taped to their face and I don't just mean in paediatrics. Sorry if that is a bit flippant but you know where I am coming from !!

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  • Anonymous

    It a day I have tried hard to forget, without success.

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  • Anonymous

    I am still trying to forget it.

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