Times flies when you’re having fun, so they say – or when you’re training to be a nurse.
Two years ago I started my master’s degree in children’s nursing with absolutely no healthcare experience, but with a psychology degree in hand and a whole lot of passion and enthusiasm to succeed in my new career.
Reflecting on the past few years, I’ve grown in confidence, and now communicate with people in my professional and personal life with much more self-assurance. Yet, I know that other areas still need improvement, such as my clinical nursing skills and experience.
As I prepare for my third and final year of nurse training, the reality of actually working on the wards and being counted in the numbers is exciting, yet at the same time, truly terrifying.
I feel as if the knowledge I have is like a drop in the ocean. I still suffer anxiety before every shift, wondering “What will I be dealing with today?”; “Which patients will I be looking after?”; and “Will I be able to cope with it all?”
Sharing my concerns with my mentors and those I’ve worked with on placement has made me realise that I’m not alone in how I think.
Nursing is a career in which you have to accept you will never know everything – that’s impossible. Healthcare is always changing and all you can do is keep learning.
Learn as much as you can from those around you – nurses and other health professionals, and from patients and their families – and most importantly, remain passionate about your profession and your personal development.
”Stay positive and keep your long-term goals in mind”
If I’ve discovered anything on this journey, it’s that you need to look after yourself. I know people always say “You must look after yourself so that you can look after others” – but it’s true.
As a student, one of the main things I’ve learnt is to be kind to yourself. Accept that there will be things that you don’t know and circumstances that are out of your control.
Stay positive and keep your long-term goals in mind. Someday you’ll be that nurse that students look up to and learn from.