If there is something I used to find more boring than eating healthily, it’s people talking about it. But my attitudes have changed now that I’m a responsible adult (haha). Being on placement is pretty tough, especially if you haven’t worked in that environment before. I’ve done 13-hour waitressing shifts before but after an 8-hour student nurse shift, I’m shattered! During my first placement, I didn’t pay attention to how much sleep I needed or what I ate. Totally the wrong thing to do! I’m not saying being a student nurse needs you to turn into a health guru with your own cute Instagram account called LoveKaleForLife, but being that little bit healthier can help. So that means avoiding cheap takeaways when you get home from placement, no matter how tempting it is. Unless its treat yourself day!
Getting enough sleep seems like a pretty obvious tip on how to survive placement, but you’d be surprised on how difficult it can be- especially if you live in halls! I’ve had few incidences, and heard a lot from other nurses. And when that karaoke at 3am on the floor below you starts up, your precious sleep can suffer a bit. Earplugs might be a good investment if you can’t handle that. Luckily I lived above a nightclub for 3 months, so the sound of drunk screams is like a weird lullaby.
Food is another MEGA important aspect. Making sure you eat a decent and healthy meal three times a day makes it easier to get through your shifts. I found out the hard way that just a fruit bar for breakfast is just going to give you the rumbliest stomach ever. And stomach rumbles aren’t easy to conceal, trust me. It’s a bit unerving for patients when you’re packing an infected abdominal wound and your nurse looks hungry enough to dig in!! Whether it’s a packed lunch (couscous for dayyyyys) or something you buy when you’re on placement, get yourself ‘mealed up’!
Finally, remember that your life isn’t just about placement. You need time for other things! I like to walk my dog as both exercise and downtime. I know it’s hard not to jump straight into bed with Netflix and crisps (which I have done on many occasions), but try it out! I’m not suggesting you run a marathon (unless that’s your thing), but exercise can help you release stress and aid your sleep. And who doesn’t like sleep???