Self-motivation is a real skill for life that you’re supposed to possess if not hone at university… However, it’s no secret that a student’s skills of procrastination often experience the real improvement.
Both in placement and in university it is often (unfortunately) down to you to be pro-active and motivate yourself to succeed. Success for a student nurse, however can be measured in many ways.
Success could mean getting good results in your exams or if you struggle with essays it could just be passing them.
Success could mean going and engaging with all of your lectures and seminars or success could mean getting that condescending consultant to say “Thank You or Well done” to you for your hard work.
For me success is having a patient on discharge saying that you made a difference. The first time it happens it’s like a drug, sounds lame, but its true. You have no idea how helpless and scared that patient might of felt and for them to acknowledge that you made that go away, if even for a second, makes you feel a bit a like a superhero.
So when you’re on placement, halfway through a super tiring long-day and you slept in and didn’t have time for breakfast or didn’t sleep well the night before or someone was rude to you and a patient asks for help, you need to be proactive in deciding to consciously be outstanding. Each patient you see, each call you answer, each task you carry out, you need to try and say to yourself “I’m going to do this to the best of my ability for the patient”.
This can apply to revision as well! When you’re getting distracted and your friends are sending you links to videos of sloth’s having a bath on facebook, look at your notes and think about what this revision will do for a patient.
In a few weeks time someone with Hypoparathyroidism could come into your ward and because you put your phone on silent and sat and went on revising you know that they could have very weak bones and could be susceptible to fractures so act accordingly. Or you can win a patient’s confidence by being able to identify by name each of their medications and what they treat, immediately putting them at ease.
Often when you go home you won’t think “I made that patient’s bed really well after I repositioned her today” but if she’s lying in bed all day the thought she might hold on to is “That lovely student nurse took such care to make sure I wasn’t lying on a rucked up, untidy bed because she knows that can make me sore”. It’s the little things that if you are constantly striving for excellence in your care that patient’s will notice. And when they come to discharge they can look you honestly in the eye and say you were there when I needed you and you cared.
I can’t think of a much more successful day than that.