’On my most recent placement on a children’s medical ward, Louisa Davies had the opportunity to mentor a first year student…
On my most recent placement on a children’s medical ward, I had the opportunity to mentor a first year student, as it was a busy day on the ward and we shared the same mentor. While it was my last week, it was her first week and her first ward placement.
I recognised that terrified and overwhelmed look on her face a mile off, and I couldn’t help but feel for her. It reminded me of my first ward placement, which was only back in January of this year, yet how different things feel now.
The experience of my first ward is sadly not something I look back on happily. I can laugh about it now, but at the time I really struggled and contemplated whether I could even continue with nursing at all.
This made me want to help her so that she didn’t feel the way I did and so that she had a positive experience. We spent the day together doing observations, running bloods to the laboratory, making beds and generally showing her the ropes of how the ward runs.
I also gave her a few handy tips to write down from my own notes I had made during my time on the ward.
During my nine-week placement on this medical ward, my nursing skills and confidence had increased dramatically. Maybe it was because I’m in second year now, or that my mentors were extremely supportive, or that I just found an area of nursing that I enjoy. I don’t know.
But I do know that suddenly I gained the belief in myself that I could be a nurse, and a good one at that.
At the end of our shift, as we walked downstairs together, the student thanked me for my help. Then she said she hoped that one day she would become as good a student as me.
This really touched me and is something that will stick with me for a while. It was so nice to be acknowledged, but more importantly it meant the world to me to be perceived as a student that came across as confident and competent, two things which I was not at the beginning of the year.
The placement really made me feel proud of all the progress I had made this year and also demonstrated the value of students sticking together and helping each other develop into the brilliant nurses I know we will be.
Louisa Davies is currently in her first year studying children’s nursing at Edge Hill University