Produced by Katie
BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing
Sometimes I get asked what it’s like being a student nurse and that’s not a quick answer! It has ups and downs. Some days are long and hard and others are filled with laughter and love. Being a mature student nurse has its extra difficulties added in especially having a house and child to pay for and manage. So what are my days really like?
Every day is an early on no matter if it’s a placement day or a uni day. I have to think about my daughter and myself in the mornings which are always a rush no matter what time we get up somehow. A typical uni day is me driving to the Bournemouth Gateway Building and attending lectures and or seminars whilst using my laptop to take notes and go through the slides presented. Then, in between, before and after lectures/seminars, I go to the library and I start my pre and/or after work which is great because I can access any of the books I need for nursing and they have Apple laptops to loan out if I need too which is great if I get get to a space with a plug as all my work is on my personal one drive.
I also love the Anatomage table where you can look at details the human body and even through layers manipulating them to learn.
A typical day at placement again starts early and admittedly on a new place first day it’s so nerve racking but once you start and get to learn the ropes you soon slip into the routines of the ward. The days are long though and can be so tiring as they don’t finish once you clock off because I get home to my daughter that needs me. The wards can be tough to handle and some scenarios happen that will take you by surprise either because something you think will be ok but then it happens and takes you back. Then is when the team around is so important because you need their support and it’s so impossible to be open and honest. The realities of actually working for the University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust, and I suppose any hospital, is that you won’t always be rainbows and butterflies and you will likely get days where you want to quit but then when you have a good day it makes all those bad ones worth it and you remember why you want to be a nurse.
There is support from the staff on the units, the practice education teams and university should you need them but you do have to fight your own corner to get the most out of your degree.
Being a mature student, I do also work part-time which can make things harder as you don’t get much down time but with all the support available I have managed to get the most out of the degree so far and getting some great grades.
I still have no idea where I want to specialise yet or even if I want to specialise at all but each new placement and unit I do has just pulled me more and more into nursing.