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Student nurses warned over 'wild' freshers week behaviour


The NMC has warned new student nurses and midwives not to go ‘too wild’ during freshers’ week.

The regulator published guidance encouraging students to balance a good social life with a responsible attitude, reminding them that serious errors of judgment could leave them unable to join their chosen profession.

It covers key areas such as confidentiality, dignity of patients, alcohol consumption, teamwork and maintaining appropriate sexual boundaries.

Midwifery adviser Carmel Lloyd said: “We want student nurses and midwives to enjoy themselves but they need to remember that they do have a lot more responsibility than many other people heading off to university.

“Not only will they find themselves treating patients in the near future, they also need to take care to uphold the reputation of the profession in their personal lives as well,” she said.


Is the NMC right to warn student nurses against inappropriate behaviour?

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Readers' comments (9)

  • Freshers Week is BEFORE their course starts. So if they wish to go 'wild' and actually go to a disco and drink a few glasses of wine so what? If they are arrested then it is their own fault - but most students are well aware of their limits. Why does the NMC act as a killjoy at every opportunity? Nursing where middle class fuddy duddies try to pretend to be in loco parentis 24/7....

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  • Our freshers week was on the same week as introductory lectures. However the first lecture was about alcohol, and how we need to make sure we don't let the profession down. We are professionals, and need to behave in public when not working too etc etc. It did dampen the day a bit.

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  • I agree with the fist person's comments.
    The NMC promote to treat everyone as an individual. Therefore let them make their own decisions in their personal life! We are allowed one you know...

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  • Letting their hair down is one thing. However misdemeanors at any age can come back and bite you years later - especially now with the internet etc etc. A dug up misdemeanor for someone in a senior position many years down the line can cause all sorts of fall-out.
    But have fun.

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  • Agree with the 1st poster. What has NMC got to do with it. As far as I'm concerned, only my mother have the right to tell me that!!!

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  • I'm quite staggered and dismayed at the response to this article, in particular the use of the term 'what has the NMC got to do with it?'.

    The NMC are not asking you to go tea-total, or not enjoy yourselves, they are simply asking you to act responsibly and professionally. There is a difference between having a night out with your mates, and acting like you are on Ibiza Uncovered, which is what this article is talking about.

    When you are out in the community during freshers week, drunk and on the rampage, doing goodness knows what, thinking you are just having a laugh with your new friends there will be a member of the public observing you who could possibly be someone you will nurse on placement in the near future.

    You might not recognise them when you bed bath them, or put them on a commode or a bedpan, but they sure as anything will remember you. How do you think that will make them feel? Confidant in your care?

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  • To quote from the code of practice;-

    "You have a duty to report to the university if you have been cautioned,
    charged or found guilty of a criminal off ence at any time before commencing
    or during your programme. Criminal off ences, particularly those involving
    dishonesty, or the use of drugs or alcohol, are likely to raise questions
    about your fitness to practise."

    Bottom line, you can't say "oh it was before I started my course", anything that happens may STOP you getting on the course in the first place. As an earlier poster said, things you thought forgotten may come back and bite you, especially if you're up the pecking order.
    Have fun, but not out of control!

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  • This is yet another example of the NMC getting on it's high horse and acting as if it is lord and master.

    Let me make one thing very clear, my professional life and my personal life are two very different things, and the NMC has no ight to dictate anything about my personal life, much less issue warnings.

    I am the ultimate professional at work, I act fully in accordance with the rightly strict roles of my profession and I am good at what I do.

    When I clock off and go home, what I do is my own buisness and no one has the right to say otherwise.

    If I was out in uniform having drunken brawls, selling drugs I have nicked from stores or otherwise comitting serious crimes I can understand them maybe having a say.

    BUT, if I decide on a weekend off to go on a night out, get a bit drunk, dance on a few tables or kiss a few more women than is probably sensible, then that is my buisness. In what way am I bringing the profession into disrepute?

    And to the person who mentioned about potential future patients seeing us, well so what if they do? Are we not allowed a social life too? Are we not allowed a private life away from work?

    The NMC can barely call itself competent in our professional lives, it should keep its collective nose out of our private lives and get its own house in order.

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  • Ah yes let us hark back to the old days when nursing was a vocation, when matrons ruled the ward and when nurses were merely servants to the medical profession. Another example of why our career choice will never acquire the respect and salary it deserves. My personal life is my business, if i want to go wild, take drugs, get ridiculously drunk and go home with inappropriate men then that is MY business based on MY decisions. The code of conduct should not dictate my life outside the ward. My life outside the ward does not impact on the quality of care I provide. Are astrophycisists told how to behave at freshers week. Too many middle aged women in senior roles in the NHS.

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