Leanne’s poem is in response to the negatively she and her peers often experience when on placement
When I come to your ward and you whisper “not another student”, please remember you were once where I am now,
When I offer my ideas, explore them with me, please do not dismiss them,
When I express my enthusiasm, please do not tell me that “it will not last long”,
When I tell you I am a proud student nurse, please do not tell me that I am “naive”,
When I get things wrong, please remember that I have to learn, and that you can teach me,
When you call me “student”, please remember that I have a name,
I ask you these things as I am not here to hinder or judge, but to learn!
I see your battles and understand your frustrations,
But you once were a student, full of ideas and ambition,
You came for the same reason, so this we have in common,
My enthusiasm is not yours to dampen, so please work with me, guide me through,
I just want to care and be a nurse ….just like you
Why I wrote this poem
I wrote this poem in response to negative comments myself and fellow students received while out on placement, mainly regarding our choice of career. What was particularly hard to accept was that these comments were coming from qualified nurses and other healthcare staff. To be told that you are “crazy for coming in to nursing” or to “get out while you can” can be extremely disheartening and can have a detrimental effect on some students and lead some to consider if they should even continue with their training.
I say this is detrimental because I know in my cohort alone, there are some fabulous students who are going to become amazing nurses.
I’ve heard many such comments, staff telling me I am “naive” if I think I can change things or my “enthusiasm will not last”. So why have I not taken these comments on board? The reason is simply because I refuse to allow anyone to taint something that is so important to me.
By the time I qualify it will have taken me six years. I have worked hard, made sacrifices, put myself under financial stress and missed out on social activities, all with one aim: to become a nurse .
Yet, the nurses before me went through the same. Sadly some have just forgotten what being a student is like. For some the constant media attacks, low staffing numbers, and the extreme pressures that they face has taken its toll and led to low morale and negativity.
Do I blame the nurses for feeling this way? Absolutely not! Nursing isn’t easy at the best of times, let alone when times get hard. As students we dip in and out of placements, the nurses out there are working with these pressures day after day.
However, what I do ask is that these negative attitudes are not forced upon students. We are going to continue expressing our eagerness, and we are going to make those changes. Imagine the changes we could make if we work together. As the saying goes: “if you can’t beat them, join them” - so join us, ignite your passion, remember how you once felt as a student! Or, at the very least, just respect our enthusiasm. As students if we do not hold on to it now, then we will not be able to carry it forward and all our hard work and sleepless nights will have been for nothing.
I, for one, am not prepared to accept that. Are you?
Leanna Siekiera is in her 2nd year studying Adult nursing at University of Wolverhamptom