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Comments (5)

  • Comment on: ‘Why have I put on weight since starting nursing?’

    RJR's comment 11 May, 2015 5:03 pm


    I've noticed that I'm having greater difficulty controlling my weight also. From speaking to a few of the girls in my cohort it seems to be a pretty common issue!

    I'd really advise ensuring you have the bulk of your food whilst at placement - I found that when doing long days I'd finish at 8pm and be starving. By the time I got home (10pm) I'd be having a meal straight before bed - not giving my body the chance to burn it. I have found it's much easier to stabilise my weight by not having starchy carbohydrates after shift - I'll have an omelette, a salad, or some homemade soup whilst home.

    The whole routine of uni in general can interrupt everything with regards to set meal times. As students I think we spend a lot of time at home, mostly away from family/friends, and sometimes it's easy to comfort eat especially during exam/essay periods. Maybe start writing down everything you're having, what times, log your calories (My Fitness Pal is good for this). This might help you recognise what interferes with your routine, and you can plan so you can begin to take control over it.

    Step up your exercise also - I have never been keen on exercise but have started running just for 30 minutes every morning. Wakes you up for the day and kick starts your metabolism. I see so many of my course friends joining the gym to get fit & trust me very few get the most out of their membership! There are things you can do by yourself or with friends that you'll enjoy. I mostly run, cycle and do a high intensity interval training DVD twice a week. I feel much healthier for doing so. I don't exercise when I'm doing 12 hr placement days (3 days a week) but do the other 4. If doing 5 days a week, try and fit some in once home.

    "Cleaning up" your diet is great too, cutting out any excess refined sugars will improve your mood and skin as well as helping to stabilise/lose weight.

    I do sympathise with you, it's so easily done but much harder to lose! I know it sounds very much like "eat less and move more" and in some cases it is. Pre-preparing meals helps me too for busy weeks, batch cooking a couple of healthy homecooked meals and freezing in tupperware boxes. Snacking on placement is so easily done, so do make sure to take a proper meal as it'll be so much better for you.

    Best of luck and don't beat yourself up about it - we're all in the same boat! Just takes a bit of planning. xx

  • Comment on: 'My placement has seen me unsupported and utterly uninspired'

    RJR's comment 8 February, 2015 8:28 pm

    Trust me all student nurses have been there!

    It's difficult, just grin & bear it - as the above poster says, get some experience & keep your head held high. Always appear enthusiastic. If you are willing and you receive no negative feedback then chances are you'll meet your competencies!

    It can be hard in some areas - I've been on busy wards where if I'm in the office getting to grips with something new & a call bell goes off, I'll look up at the screen to see which bed it is & every staff member's eyes are already on me! How do you be firm when answering bells gets in the way of your development? Sometimes it's difficult to be forward about your learning needs when your mentor seems to palm you off at every opportunity.

    Obviously there's only so much outreach we can do, but it's a good opportunity to get other comments in your PAD on your skills and strengths, and meet some competencies. I tend to find if they only have you for a limited period you get their full attention!

    I went to another ward & got a glowing report from every staff member. Just the lift I needed after 12 weeks on my main ward; people form opinions, just or unjust... that's nursing!

    It's not all negative and you will meet some really inspiring people along the way. Take control of your learning needs and they will admire you for that. Good luck!

  • Comment on: 'My unfriendly placement is making me reconsider becoming a nurse'

    RJR's comment 11 January, 2015 1:19 am

    Hi Victoria,

    I'm a 2nd year Adult Nurse, and having spoken to quite a few people on my course the chances are we each get one placement that is particularly difficult or unfriendly. I too had this, so I can completely understand where you're coming from.

    It was my last placement of first year, and I was put into a highly specialised area. It was quite an intimidating environment to be in, they were very much in the "you have to earn respect to gain it" camp. I worked hard to build relationships, and arranged outreach opportunities to develop my skills. All I will say is ensure that you don't let this affect your enthusiasm (easier said than done, I know!) and do whatever you personally can to positively affect those in your care.

    I have heard some stories of students not receiving much feedback, and cruising through the placement right to the end and their mentor says they haven't been very accountable for their own learning; try and arrange as many opportunities to meet your skills requirements as you can.

    It's unfortunate that you have been placed here; every workplace has its own politics and it can be difficult to fit-in. I have experienced this, and when trying to break the ice it has fed back to me that "sometimes it's better to stay silent than to speak" - this applies to a casual lunch break whereby all staff were chatting.

    Seemingly in some areas, students are excluded from this "speak when spoken to". It's sad that some mentors are still quite behind the times! Just keep your head down and try and make it through, be conscious of your employees and be thorough with your tasks. In the end, they will see you as an enthusiastic, meticulous and self-motivated individual.

    Regarding the patient care, I would advise you speak to your link lecturer - also if you find that the relationship with your mentor isn't great and need a plan of action to go forward. As students it can be very difficult to "corner" a mentor to fill in your book & identify opportunities, and the university will understand this. Good luck!

  • Comment on: 'I just don't see what I can learn from a pre-op placement'

    RJR's comment 20 December, 2014 1:01 am


    I'm not sure what kind of pre-op placement you're going to, but I recently had a placement on a surgical orthopaedic ward - by far my best placement to date! Really interesting preparing people for their procedure, both physically and mentally, as well as providing support and interventions when they return.

    If you mean a pre-operative assessment centre, I had a friend who went there last year and she loved it. I did an outreach there for 1 day, and it's great for developing your assessment skills and building up your communication skills too.

    The pre-op clinic is vital to the wards obtaining all the information they need before the receive the patient, and you could play a big part in that. There's plenty of opportunity to learn about existing conditions and how these may affect the person's care, as well as an understanding of what steps need to be taken by both the patient and staff beforehand - vital knowledge if you get a surgical placement in future, you'll be one step ahead!

    I hope you manage to get the best out of your placement - if you find that you're struggling to learn new things, there is always the opportunity to arrange relevant outreach to other surgical areas. Good luck!

  • Comment on: ‘My friends are holding me back’

    RJR's comment 12 October, 2014 3:53 pm


    I too had this same problem in first year.

    It's important to maintain friendships in university, but I'm sure they would understand if you said you take a bit of time to grasp some of the lectures, so you're going to sit nearer to the front so you can fully concentrate, then maybe explain that you will meet them after the lecture to grab lunch etc. That way, you aren't compromising your learning or your friendship.

    Chances are as well you will get speaking to others in your cohort by switching seats - I'm not saying you will fall out of contact with your current friends, but it helps to have more than one circle of friends as the dynamics can change over time & people fall away. Especially as in 2nd and 3rd years, it gets much more intense - it helps having people who are really engaged with the course to do group study together.

    I hope you manage to resolve this and all the best for your course!