It honestly does not feel possible that I am now in my final year of being a student nurse. I certainly did not believe people when they said how quickly it would pass – but time really does fly when you are having fun and it’s a privilege to advocate for my patients and their loved ones.
I would like to share some pearls of wisdom, taught by my multidisciplinary team members, that have helped me with my training and practice.
- Do not be afraid to stand out, remember the 6Cs of nursing and encompass them in everyday life as a student nurse
- Do not forget that the smallest of gestures can brighten someone’s day, you don’t need to have gadgets and technical skills to make your patients and their loved ones feel at ease
- Get to know your patients, they are the key to their history and they all have a story to tell you, so listen – they may have the information you need to help them
- Make friends with all members of staff, the most inspiring conversations can come from unthinkable sources at times
- No book can teach you how to communicate or be compassionate – these are the vitals of nursing and will be the bread and butter of greater things to come
- Relish every opportunity to learn, you will not be a student forever and people will want to teach you so engage and broaden your learning
- Smile at everyone you see, even if they do not smile back, be positive and be the nurse you would like your family to be nursed by
- Be ambitious, make plans, change plans – you are the writer of your career story, reach for the stars but enjoy every minute of it
- Involve your patients in decisions and listen to their feedback
- Whether you have good days or not-so-good days, remember why you do what you do. You may be the only thing that gives your patient hope that day – be the rainbow in their cloudy day
- It is never too late to start the day again, therefore breathe, take a step back, regroup and wear your uniform with pride
- Celebrate the success of seeing a patient you have cared for be declared fit and fine and leave your area to go home – this for me has to be the best part of the job and gives me such pride that for a short time in that person’s life I was privileged enough to care for them.
Good luck and remember to smile!
Steph Austin is in her final year of adult nursing at Canterbury Christ Church University