Thursday, 3 May 2012

My first blog!

I’m starting my first blog towards the end of my third and final year in Nursing. It may seem late to start now but the plus side of it is that I have survived three years of arduous training and now I have lots to blog about. I now look forward to finishing my management placement and starting my first Band 5 job in September – and I also look back to the three years (plus) it has taken me to get to where I am now. It hasn’t been easy but it’s also been incredibly fulfilling and I am really glad I finally did.

If you’re reading this blog because you’re thinking of doing Nursing, can I recommend a book? I recently reviewed a book, “Get into Nursing & Midwifery: A Guide to Application and Career Success” by Sarah Snow and I was really impressed with it. Sarah is optimistic throughout the book but also details the application process and how to get through it. This is very handy because as you may know, nursing education has been revised by the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) and now a) nursing education will be to a degree level (no more diplomas) and b) universities have set number of students per branch. This translates to: entry requirements being raised (it is a degree course) and a lot more competition (due to limited places).

All Nursing and Midwifery students have to undergo an interview before they are offered a place. It is a good idea to have a think about why you want to do Nursing and being able to show some insight into what Nursing or Midwifery really is about. In the book, Sarah points out that a classic mistake would-be midwives make is to state that the reason they want to become midwives is because they would like to work with neonates and babies. Midwifery, Sarah clarifies, is about supporting the woman throughout the stages of her pregnancy. Children’s Nursing is where you get to work hands on with neonates and babies (I didn’t know that by the way) as I am an adult nurse. Enthusiasm will only take you so far. I was very enthusiastic about nursing but I remember clearly in the interviews I went to that they wanted to know how much I really understood about nursing and to justify my choice of Adult Nursing.

Lastly, consider this. It is very hard to imagine how exhausting the long shifts of 11.5 hours are – even more if they are at night. Difficult to imagine how stressful it is to work in what are now short staffed wards with patients who have high standards of care (ratio of medical wards can be 10 patients to 1 nurse – it’s very hard).   But it’s almost impossible to imagine what it feels like to make a lasting difference in someone’s life. What it means to hold a dying person’s hand and be present for the relatives. Or to establish an alliance with a patient and support them make better health decisions. Because nursing is more than an accumulation of clinical skills – it is essentially a caring profession that requires individuals who have commitment and interpersonal skills.

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