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What one piece of advice would you give a new student nurse?

  • Comments (24)

If you could just say one thing to a new student starting out what would it be? If you look back and remember your student days, what advice or information would have been helpful to have known as you started? Or if you are fully immersed in your course now as a second or third year nurse, I imagine you would have some ideas about what you would say to someone starting out if you had the opportunity.

I was thinking that perhaps I would advise a new starter to be prepared to encounter things that will be distressing – make sure you get support when you need it. This is because even now 25 years later I can clearly remember some of my early encounters with patients and their struggles with their long-term and debilitating conditions. And how difficult that could be as a 19 year-old.

Or perhaps it would be something more with a more educational slant – Keep on top of the work as there is lots of it coming and once you are on placement you will be too exhausted to do much else.

But on reflection I wonder if I was only allowed to give one piece of advice it would not be earth shattering or even very profound. It would be “invest in a good and comfortable pair of shoes”.

What would your one nugget of advice be to new student nurses?

Fresher’s Season starts over on Student Nursing Times this week. Head over to https://www.nursingtimes.net/freshers to find out more.

  • Comments (24)

Readers' comments (24)

  • Anonymous

    'Get out while you still can'

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  • Ellen Watters

    Nursing is a rewarding, satisfying and totally fulfilling occupation. BUT it's hard work, stressful and can be upsetting.

    I'd say be prepared for the lows (the shifts, the frustration, the physically and emotionally hard work) because the highs (a thank you from a patient or family member, the satisfaction in knowing you have helped someone get better, feel better, become better informed or even die better) by far outweigh them.

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  • Anonymous

    Run for the hills.

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  • Anonymous

    Keep an open mind! Few people who finish nurse training are the same people who started, and this is good!

    Embrace the change - if you enjoy the placements these can be wonderfully joyful and fulfilling. If you hate the placement this will tell you what you don't want to emulate as a nurse and informs how you will want to treat students yourself, when you qualify. This is such a valuable lesson!

    Not everything you see will be good, but this is essential learning too.

    Most importantly, it will teach you how you will want to treat patient, relatives and colleagues in the future.

    Experience, contribute, learn, enjoy!

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  • Befriend the ward clerk on placements - they tend to be fount of all knowledge re: how to get hold of things/find out information (& a walking phone directory!).

    Whatever you do, & whatever you see practised, don't let compassion be beaten out of you. It's what makes the difference to your patient between having tasks done & feeling cared for/about.

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  • Anonymous

    I would say read, read, read. Your course will fail utterly to prepare you for the profession. Nursing is a pure science. Not an art and not a vocation. It is a career. One that you can mould to your own desires so long as you aren't going to waste your patients time and your own on anything other than the Science of Nursing. You MUST read!!!!! Anatomy, physiology, pharmacology. Only these will help. In the absence of your own psychological issues, basic human interaction will be astoundingly obvious so don't get drawn into the idea that this can be taught. It can't. It is hurriedly made up trite guff to pad out the fact that they are often not qualified to teach the vast amount of science that you will find everybody else talking about once you make it to a clinical area.
    So to sum up:
    Read. Read. Read. Learn about the body and how it works, because it is machine, nothing more and nothing less.

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  • Anonymous | 16-Sep-2013 10:24 pm

    "Learn about the body and how it works, because it is machine, nothing more and nothing less."

    hmmm...right. Thats what they said about the Terminator and look what happened!!!

    Trite guff exactly.

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  • To say Thank You at the end of your shift to everyone who you worked with.

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  • Anonymous

    I don't get your point stude. Although I would assume the first rule of trying to be funny is actually be funny'.

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  • Make sure you ask questions!

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