After a long and (at times) arduous journey, I have finally made it to university and officially enrolled as a student nurse in the adult branch.
My first week of university has been nothing short of amazing. I have met some wonderful people and am very lucky to be sharing my flat with four other student nurses. I was pleasantly surprised to see so many other men enrolling on my course; as nursing is still a very female dominated profession, I was a little nervous that I would be one of very few male student nurses. I think diversity within any profession is a huge advantage and would encourage any man who is interested in healthcare to consider nursing.
There have been lots of different, exciting things going on this week and I now have a room full to the brim with all sorts of very nice freebies that I have collected: I am now kitted out with fob watches, a stethoscope, a couple of handy reference books and plenty of free pens.
My first week has been filled with lots of introductory lectures and welcome events, which was a little frustrating as I am so eager to get properly started with the course. However, we have learnt a few interesting things and been clued up on what to expect from our first placements, and where we might be going for them. Being measured for our uniforms was also a high point of the week and we are all very excited to receive them and try them on for the first time!
Next week our first module will begin and the hardcore studying will commence. We have already been told that our first major assignment deadline will be mid-January, which sent a jolt of panic through the room, which was only exacerbated when we were advised not to start writing it until six weeks time - after we have the relevant sessions which will seek to bring us all up to speed on writing academically.
The first module we will be studying takes us right up to when we will all be going out on our first placements, and is designed to equip us with the basic clinical skills and knowledge to perform competently when out in practice. I am very excited to begin my training properly and already cannot wait until after the Christmas break so that I can find out where I my first practice placement will be.
Ashley Needham is a student nurse at De Montfort University in Leicester.