Until recently I haven’t known and although people always told me not to worry and that I would find my area eventually, I wasn’t convinced
Since I started training to be a nurse I’ve always been asked which area it is I want to work in when I graduate.
I am over halfway through second-year and so far I’ve had four placements.
The first three were a nursing home, a small hospital ward and out in the community. Although all three placements were amazing and I learned a lot, none of them appealed to me as being the area I wanted to work in after I graduate.
“I hadn’t had a eureka moment - one which would make my path in nursing clear to me”
Community is definitely an area I would consider when I am older but I am clear once I graduate I want to work in a hospital and develop my skills that way. I hadn’t had a eureka moment - one which would make my path in nursing clear to me.
For my fourth placement I was given a surgical ward at the hospital and I was excited. As soon as I started on my first day I knew I had finally found my area.
“The ward is fast paced but everything is well organised, and everyone knows what they need to be doing and when”
Surgery is the one for me.
The ward is fast paced but everything is well organised, and everyone knows what they need to be doing and when. The ward is specialist which does make me feel daunted about the different surgical procedures that patients are in for but I am learning. I know that after graduation I will have plenty of time to learn all about different procedures.
“It now feels as if everything is coming together and making sense to me”
What I like most about surgical nursing is that it is balanced between ensuring patients have the medication they need and care for any post-operative wounds. At the same time, I feel like I am starting to learn the common medications that are often prescribed and my community placement helped me develop my skills with wound dressings. It now feels as if everything is coming together and making sense to me.
A surgical ward has a flow to it and this has helped me to finally feel confident, more independent and gain a greater insight into what ward work will be like post-graduation.
I know I still have several placements to go before I qualify but it is reassuring to finally feel I have an idea of what I want to do when I graduate - and moreover I no longer have a nagging feeling I might never find my feet in the nursing world.
Beth Cordon is a current student nurse at Bournemouth University.