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'I'm struggling to talk to patients!'


Briony is a first year student who is struggling to get over shyness… 

“I’m a first-year student, and I recently went on my first ever placement.

“The overall experience was fascinating, and I really feel like I learnt a lot. But there’s one area that didn’t improve by the end that’s really bothering me - I couldn’t talk to patients.

“I’m quite a shy, introverted person as it is, and my mum even commented that she hoped this work would bring me out of my shell! But so far it hasn’t.

“I don’t know how to start or even approach conversation. I don’t know what questions I should be asking. I’m so scared about saying the wrong thing, particularly after lectures at college about staying professional, that I found myself not saying anything at all.

”If anyone else felt like this at the start of their career, I’d give anything for some tips on how to make my inter-personal skills better!”


Readers' comments (2)

  • Briony,

    The fact that you are asking for help shows you are very brave.
    A patient is someone just like you, only ill. See a patient as a human being, as a person who you can talk to. You are still in your first year and you are still a student so you are still learning. Ask you mentor the questions you should ask patients.

    I once had a student nurse who smiled and made me and my family tea and that showed she cared. When I was a patient I would have loved a nurse to ask me "How can I help you? Can I make you more comfortable?" and just start talking so you can start like this if you like.

    You will be a wonderful caring, loving and compassionate nurse.
    Hugs you!

    PDave Angel

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  • As you gain more experience this will become easier, but for now just start with hello, you might be surprised how easy it is after the ice is broken.
    Good luck

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