Especially in these cold and dark winter months, the likelihood that your journey to and from placement will be in the dark is very high. It’s not uncommon to see a Student Nurse at a bus stop at 5am, unfortunately, unlike our non-nursing counter-parts, we are just waking up not on our way to bed.
Because of this antisocial hour, not only early mornings, but sometimes late-night, Student Nurses, myself included have reported feeling unsafe on their way to and from placement. Especially if their journey requires them to walk alone through poorly lit streets or wait at bus stops in town when there might be a few lost souls ambling around slightly worse-for-wear.
I must say that I am very happy to report neither I nor any of my friends have ever had to report an incident or fallen victim to any crime during their commutes to practice but it is vital that we stay vigilant and well-informed of how to keep yourself safe if the occasion calls for it.
It is essential to do everything you can to keep yourself safe for these journeys. That may be through carrying a personal alarm (These can be bought very cheaply on Amazon or from the highstreet), calling or texting friends or family (often other student nurses because they’re the only ones awake at this time of day) and when possible travelling in groups and on well-lit routes. Always ask on your facebook group or in seminars if other students might be travelling in at the same time as you and form a little posse.
The University is aware of the concern of Students like ourselves and have rolled out a fantastic scheme involving lots of businesses all down Oxford road, many of which are open 24hours, where students can go at any time if they are feeling unsafe or anxious. A full list of participating locations can be found HERE.
Likewise if you’re travelling on a bus and feel unsafe, Stagecoach has a 24 hour complaint hotline and of course the glorious Greater Manchester Police Service are always available if you feel threatened in any way whilst en route to placement or home.