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'Students drive me to be a better nurse'


I remember even as a student nurse I wanted to be a mentor …

My name is Hazel and I am a band 7 senior sister in the Emergency Department at Charing Cross Hospital in West London.

I have a passion for nursing: nursing needs professionals who are confident, competent and caring.

Students drive me to be a better nurse – I want to be a role model, I want them to look back at their time as a student and remember me as someone who enjoyed and cherished their job and did it well.

I take the lead for students within my clinical area which means I am the senior mentor. I’ve heard from other senior mentors that they fell into the role almost by accident, not me – I searched it out.

Just as I started this job, the then senior mentor left and I was keen to volunteer to take on the role. The “key reason” was that I wanted to develop this into one of the best placements to be on – a clinical area which encouraged students to participate in patient care, simultaneously protecting their supernumerary status but also preparing them for the pressures of time management in daily clinical practice; a placement in which students were encouraged to ask questions and learn from knowledgeable nurses who wanted to teach.

I remember even as a student nurse I wanted to be a mentor.

When I started working with student nurses I tried to keep in the back of my mind the experiences I had gone through as a student, I tried to remember what emotions I felt and what support I needed and to translate that into my practice as a mentor.

I hope that as time passes and my memories of being a student fade (more than they have already), I hope I will remember what is like to arrive at a new placement and not be expected or welcomed, I hope I will remember the feeling of elation the first time I knew I had made a real difference to a patient in my care.

If my memory slips, please remind me – because it’s these things that keep my passion as a mentor alive.


Readers' comments (2)

  • I qualified in 2000 as a mature student following a 19 year career in another area. I have forgotten how many placements I had but I remember especially the two where the Directors of Nursing (really) sought me and my colleague out and introduced themselves.
    One was a Hospice placement which was somehow consistent with the homely atmosphere and ethos of the place but another was a large private acute hospital. In both cases I was mightily impressed. Sadly in most cases no one even bothered to say "hello"

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  • treating everybody with respect no matter who they are is so important. it makes a lasting impression, is highly contagious, makes people feel good about others and themselves and enhances performance. why do some not understand this, and why should it be otherwise?

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