1st year student, 4 yrs previous experience as HCA. Currently on Urology ward. Interested in Oncology, Gynae, Burns + Plastics, Neurology.
Comment on: Lansley set to brave this year's RCN congress
How many millions are we expecting will be spent on security for Lansley? Airport-style scanners?
Comment on: The first time: recognising your limits
I agree with all of the above. As a stuident nurse with 4 yrs HCA experience, the best feedback I got from my first placement was that I needed to be more careful in making sure I didn't overstep my boundaries.
Another "do": actively seek out learning opportunities and ask your mentor if you can attend/observe anything which will facilitate your learning.
Dont: complain that you are being "used as a HCA". Althought we are, in theory, supernumary and shouldn't be counted in the staffing, the reality is that on a busy ward we can - at times - be a helpful pair of hands. And the important thing to remember (and it will make you a better nurse when you qualify) is that there is no such thing as "HCA work". Nurses can and should do everything that HCAs do, plus their additional responsibilities as a registered practitioner. It's true that often an RN's duties take him or her away from the bedside, and so the HCAs perform the bulk of basic care, but it is all part of a nurse's job, and students should see it as an important part of their learning experience.
Comment on: Nurses develop disposable drug rounds tabards
I agree with Martin and jjjez; our nurses just use disposable red aprons (as opposed to the white ones used for hygiene care), and the drugs trolleys have a do not disturb sign. And if someone does approach a nurse during a drugs round, they will just ask them to wait or ask another nurse who is not doing drugs.
"Darren Hodge | 4-Nov-2009 1:37 am
As a third year student, I'd say the issue is not that students refuse to get involved with personal care but that ward staff don't know what to do with students when they are on placement so use them as a spare HCA."
One of my ward manager's biggest bugbears is students saying "I'm being treated like a HCA". As a HCA myself I find this pretty damned insulting. We do all the basic care that nurses do. It's the advanced things which require three years' training which we don't do. But all staff nurses are expected to "muck in" with the basic care (eg. washing, toileting, feeding etc.) because at the end of the day, these elements of nursing are what form the foundation of care. Knowing the BNF off by heart and having your cannulation technique perfected is no good if you can't deal with a patient who's had an accident.
I often ask students for help with toileting/moving patients and furniture/making tea and feeding etc. (but only when they're not already doing something or with their mentor). Which is why I feel that working as an HCA is the best preparation for training as a nurse. Better than three A Levels.
My former trust did have an in-house laundry. Many nurses didn't use it (and a lot travelled in their uniforms) but I was all to happy for someone else to wash my dirty clothes :-P
Shortly after I left the trust, the laundry closed, presumably due to cost-cutting (or maybe I was their only client?).