You’re a Qualified Nurse!

Congratulations!! 

You have graduated! You are now a qualified nurse! 

Yes those three years that felt very long at times have flown by and you’ve passed your last multiple choice exam and written your last essay and possibly lost the will to live writing your dissertation out.

And if you’re fortunate enough you’ve got a new job starting very soon or maybe you’ve already started.

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Again, those differences with your peers stand out as some take to being an employed qualified nurse like a duck to water… others are petrified still. The thought of being responsible and held accountable for all your actions and everything that happens to your patients!?! We are all different remember and every trust and team are different and work in different ways

You should be on a preceptorship in your new role which allows you to settle in. You should build up at your own pace your confidence in the role you now have. Your workload should be lighter than your work peers and you should have a preceptor to support you through.

There should be contacts and time available in your shift/daily routine to allow you to reflect and give you time to learn all about your specific responsibilities and how the other teams around you work to support your patient on their journey.

As with being a student nurse – don’t be afraid to ask, no question is daft. Make sure your team know your strengths and your weaknesses so they can support you effectively. Use your preceptorship time as an opportunity to explore other departments, you should be allowed time to learn from them to – a bit like spokes still but with a more focused view and outcomes set.

Change can be good but sometimes things don’t always go to plan. You may find yourself not enjoying your new role as much as you’d thought or you may find something new you didn’t know existed out there. Be honest with yourself and seek support from your preceptor. People do move jobs in their first 12 months. It’s better for you and your patients if you a comfortable in your role.

Supervision should be part and parcel of your nursing role giving you a chance to discuss events or patients that you need support with or after. Some places will offer peer support sessions too where you can discuss thoughts and experiences with people in a similar position as yourself. Try and keep preceptorship time separate from this, preceptorship is about you and your learning not your caseload specifics. Every work place will have various tasks, limits and time frames on preceptorships, so don’t worry if others are getting signed off and you’re not. Take your time and make the most it… trust me!

Remember your portfolio? Certificates and reflections etc, keep it up. Use your skills to carry on and show your lifelong learning. It will make revalidation so much easier when your time come, one thing us new nurses have the advantage of now.

Being a newly qualified is far from easy but remember this is just the start of a new journey, keep your eyes and ears open, don’t forget to ask, question and don’t be afraid to suggest new ideas too – remember you are fresh from university with perhaps a more update focus, a new pair of eyes etc.

Continue to strive for the best for your patients and yourself!

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You’re a Qualified Nurse!

Congratulations!! 

You have graduated! You are now a qualified nurse! 

Yes those three years that felt very long at times have flown by and you’ve passed your last multiple choice exam and written your last essay and possibly lost the will to live writing your dissertation out.

And if you’re fortunate enough you’ve got a new job starting very soon or maybe you’ve already started.

Image result for omg

Again, those differences with your peers stand out as some take to being an employed qualified nurse like a duck to water… others are petrified still. The thought of being responsible and held accountable for all your actions and everything that happens to your patients!?! We are all different remember and every trust and team are different and work in different ways

You should be on a preceptorship in your new role which allows you to settle in. You should build up at your own pace your confidence in the role you now have. Your workload should be lighter than your work peers and you should have a preceptor to support you through.

There should be contacts and time available in your shift/daily routine to allow you to reflect and give you time to learn all about your specific responsibilities and how the other teams around you work to support your patient on their journey.

As with being a student nurse – don’t be afraid to ask, no question is daft. Make sure your team know your strengths and your weaknesses so they can support you effectively. Use your preceptorship time as an opportunity to explore other departments, you should be allowed time to learn from them to – a bit like spokes still but with a more focused view and outcomes set.

Change can be good but sometimes things don’t always go to plan. You may find yourself not enjoying your new role as much as you’d thought or you may find something new you didn’t know existed out there. Be honest with yourself and seek support from your preceptor. People do move jobs in their first 12 months. It’s better for you and your patients if you a comfortable in your role.

Supervision should be part and parcel of your nursing role giving you a chance to discuss events or patients that you need support with or after. Some places will offer peer support sessions too where you can discuss thoughts and experiences with people in a similar position as yourself. Try and keep preceptorship time separate from this, preceptorship is about you and your learning not your caseload specifics. Every work place will have various tasks, limits and time frames on preceptorships, so don’t worry if others are getting signed off and you’re not. Take your time and make the most it… trust me!

Remember your portfolio? Certificates and reflections etc, keep it up. Use your skills to carry on and show your lifelong learning. It will make revalidation so much easier when your time come, one thing us new nurses have the advantage of now.

Being a newly qualified is far from easy but remember this is just the start of a new journey, keep your eyes and ears open, don’t forget to ask, question and don’t be afraid to suggest new ideas too – remember you are fresh from university with perhaps a more update focus, a new pair of eyes etc.

Continue to strive for the best for your patients and yourself!

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Healthy Eating-YES you can!

Since starting Nursing I feel I have been unintentionally gaining unwanted weight and with each academic year I promise myself this year will be different. And we all know how New Year resolutions turns out (sad, but true). I use to be great at meal prepping and avoiding junk food. After my night shifts and the ridiculous long hours I started to feel tired, stressed and would skip meals or ate whatever was easiest at the time (most of the time it was junk food *sigh*). I stopped cooking (which I love to do), I did not stick to my usual routine of eating (big breakfast, medium lunch and smaller dinner), instead I would skip all meals and eat one large meal when I got home at 9PM (yes, very unhealthy eating at that time) and that meal could sometimes be just toast (once i ate 8 pieces of toast within a 24 hour period *ashamed*). Then in the morning I would be so HANGRY (hungry & angry) because I want to eat but don’t have time to eat. At times I would come home from a long day, knowing I have a 04:30am start the next day I would make a decision: to eat, to shower, to sleep? and most of the time it was to sleep.

But this September I decided enough was enough and did something about it. These are my five tips to eating healthy/better and working a 12 hour shift (night shifts are the worst for eating properly- its so easy to eat nonsense, especially when staff bring in quick food to munch on).

#1 MAKE LUNCH: During first year I use to cook lovely delicious healthy meals and bring in nutritious snacks and occasionally a cheeky chocolate bar. I bought a new lunch box, wrote out a meal plan for the week and stuck to it. (most of my time is spent thinking about what to eat). Plus I get to use my half hour (if that) to actually sit and eat properly rather then going to a shop to get a sandwich (that I do not want) and eat quickly in ten minutes.

#2 ALWAYS MAKE LUNCH THE NIGHT BEFORE: you will never wake up early (earlier rather) to make your lunch. I have lied to my self more than I can count, I’d rather sleep then eat (as we have already established :-p). You are always to tired before work to cook anyway. I suppose for night shifts it is a little easier.

#3 DRINK WATER: I keep a 1 litre of water with me all the time. I am continuously drinking. This not only keeps you hydrated but also stops you from snacking on biscuits/chocolates.  To be honest, water is my answer to everything! It reduces my headaches, my cravings and keeps me focused. Not to mention how great water is for your skin. It keeps you less stressed through the day as you are hydrated and makes you feel full (so you don’t get HANGRY).

#4  NEVER SKIP MEALS: As I have mentioned I have a huge tendency to do that. It is easy to skip meals when you are in a busy working environment. Make time to eat, you owe that to yourself. If you can not got for a lunch break, keep fruits, granola bars with you and munch on them as you write your nursing notes. If you skip meals, you go home hungry and feel you can eat your whole fridge.

#5 AVOID JUNK: Easier said than done, I know. But if you remove junk from your household and do not buy them when you are out then you will avoid the excess sugar and fat. I’ve started to buy lots of fresh fruit and veg, from continuously eating such food you can change your cravings and habits. I really believe that the more your eat healthy the more your body wants healthy food. Once I was addicted to carrots and hummus, I would keep a bag of carrot sticks and a pot of hummus with me all the time because I craved it.

Bottom line. You can eat healthy whilst being a nurse. Bring healthy snacks with you to munch throughout the day. Try to have your lunch halfway through your shift (I know that can be difficult). When patients give the staff chocolates to say thank you, be careful with your hand because it will have a mind of its own and you will end up eating one to many! I truly believe that a healthy nurse is an efficient nurse, it will allow you to be always on your ‘A game’ and you will feel great!

Please share any tips you have to eating better on a 12 hour shift.

 

I’m a Newly Qualified Nurse! OMG!

So Now What?!?

For me? Well I  did it!!– I’ve qualified – Passed all my exams PADs all signed off.

I’m even lucky enough to have myself a job!! EEK!!

Wow! Looking back what an amazing three years at uni I’ve had. Its such a blur in regards of what I’ve learnt but such a feeling to say I’ve done it. Its had its ups and downs but looking back I know they have all helped me get where I am today – In my first job as a qualified nurse! WOW again! staff-nurse

So was it worth it – am I fully prepared for my job?? Yes and No would be my answer to that.

No – because is anyone ever ready and fully prepared for a job you barely know? Of course not!

Yes – because – well actually I’ve surprised myself how much I do actually know and how much I do actually remember! Even those first year lectures are still stored in my upstairs somewhere and come back to me when I need them. Yes of course I am talking at a very basic knowledge level here but recognising and accepting I am at the bottom rung again knowledge wise in my role is the best way to be. I’m very luck in that I have a great team around me who are supporting and encouraging my continuing learning in my chosen field because that’s what Its like – starting all over again but this time you are doing all the work, you are making those decisions (with support), you are a nurse!

Its an amazing feeling – and responsibility rolled into one.responsibility

So then there is this thing called Preceptorship – Some department areas it seems are more organised than others in how it all works and fits around new starters. The key to remember is we are all different, jobs and departments are different; just like it is in placements. Don’t compare what you are getting too much with others. Your preceptorship should suit your needs as well as the job you have.

Little information was provided to us about what happens once it’s all over and you enter the ‘real world of nursing’ but as we all know – everything is changing all the time, things are rarely the same twice.

In university, as previous students, we input our voice on things we felt were good, bad or ugly. We did our best to change things for future students. The same is to be said in healthcare as a profession. Everything is continuously assessed, evaluated and changed where necessary, to achieve the best standards for all those involved, workers and patients alike. So get used to it – it will happen.

Qualified life so far is scary but awesome. I feel like a student still in someways but when I make those important care plan decisions myself, I know my training has paid off and I am confident in my judgement. Expect the unexpected and believe in yourself and you got this!! smile

p.s. Pay the NMC as soon as you get your pin number through from uni ! It can be done online straightaway so start saving now!

So What Kind of Nurse Are you?

As I started my first year at university to undertake my nursing degree in mental health nursing I looked around and thought – I don’t fit in!

What am I doing here – a 37 year old with a background in the travel industry?

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Surrounded by a majority of people in their twenties who all seemed so knowledgeable on nursing I felt so behind and out of my depth! As the year passed and I overheard people talk about things they had done on placement or listened to them talk so informed in lectures etc. In honesty? –  I still felt I knew nothing compared to them.

penguin-153660_1280By second year however I had passed all my exams and placements and started to feel hang on I can do this I do know stuff – different stuff! Just because I can never remember which way round the sections are or if a medication is an anti-depressant or anti-psychotic straight off doesn’t not mean I wont make a good nurse. One staff nurse on placement gave me sound advice, she said you will learn what you need to learn for your job in your job as you will be seeing it every day. As a student we are bombarded with a constant changing supply of medications and illnesses and practices to learn, we cant remember it all!

Eventually I got the hang of the sections and most of the medications (although sometimes I still have to use the BNF.)The main thing I learned however from colleagues and other nurses on placement, but mainly through my own observations of these groups, was that it takes all sorts of nurses to make up good nursing care.

There are so many different branches of nursing, for example in mental health you have acute wards, recovery or assessment units, community teams such home treatment and crisis. There’s elderly care, CAMHS, eating disorders, early intervention… the list goes on. Each of these departments needs special skills and a special kind of person to do it. Then within that team each patient they see is an individual and will require or connect with a certain type of nurse.

We all have a role to play.star trek team

So no matter who you are or what your skills are you will find your niche in time. The beauty of the degree course these days is the mix of placements you get. I was luck as one placement just hit me and I knew where I wanted to work for sure, I’d had an idea I wanted to work with the elderly but my placements confirmed which area for me as some I loved and some I hated. I am pleased to say I am due to start my career with a Dementia Team this year and I’ve never been more excited as I know this is where I belong and I feel confident in my knowledge and skills to really make a go of this and look after the patients in my care with confidence.

You will learn what you need to learn in your time and in your own way throughout the three years of your training. What you will learn and experience in  this time will be unique to you  – but that’s what will make you the kind of nurse you want to be!

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Advice from a Newly Qualified Nurse

Today I am delighted to bring you some advice from a newly qualified nurse, who also graduated from The University of Manchester

To all my fellow nursing students… the toughest students around! I have recently qualified as a staff nurse in October (scary right ) and currently work on a diabetic specialist ward- the first job I applied for as I went through general trust recruitment and would recommend this to any of you who aren’t sure what area you would like to work I in yet. I thought I would pass on my experience as a Manchester student and as a newly qualified staff nurse 🙂

First of all I am going to bullet point any learning experiences or notes I have for all of you rather than put it in a long winded paragraph as frankly we all have to read enough rambling on of other people whilst at uni, especially if you are currently writing your dissertation, you may never want to read again!

Student Life: -Don’t give up!

1-It is a very hard but very rewarding career. At times I felt like quitting with the stress of placement, uni work and trying to hold down a part time job. You are all doing so well to have made it this far, and we are all here to help and support you. On a side note please ignore all the nurses on placement who say:”why on earth have you picked to do nursing ” or my favourite ” oo you should have been a doctor, that’s much better money”.

2-In reference to part time work – I worked at a roster aunt long hours at weekend for my first and second years and it was just too much ! I would advise to join nhsp as a HCA as soon as you have done 6 weeks in a hospital setting . If like me nhsp keeps crashing for you and is taking 6 months to get an interview consider agency HCA who I joined with for my last year – if anyone wants any information on that I will leave my email 🙂

3-Do your work in plenty of time ! Especially your dissertation, I left mine till the last minute and boy was it stressful . Also a tip for assignments, the reference app thing on Microsoft word is very good.

4-If you are a complete newbie, invest in comfy shoes,your feet will ache after long shifts on your feet all day and please don’t wash your tunic and pants together, they go a very odd colour haha.

5- whilst on placement attend all of the training sessions you can by booking onto them at the education centre, they make up your hours which is good, especially if you aren’t to keen on your placement. I also found it handy to carry a small notepad in my pocket to jot useful things down whilst on placement.

Moving on… Newly qualified:

1- I am not going to lie, it is scary as anything when you first qualify, when someone shouts nurse, you look down and it’s you ! It is normal to doubt your capabilities, question if your cut out for this or why on earth have I decided to do this? ITS OK & VERY VERY NORMAL. Every nurse you see on the ward has all been there , you are going from little to full blown responsibly and that’s scary however the nurses in my experience are all so supportive and understanding. They know you are new to the job and don’t expect as soon as your graduation cap comes off , super nurse to bound through the doors, and any nurse who tries to put you down for not knowing something because your newly qualified, shame on them , no one knows everything there ever is to know about nursing and on a side note, revaluation is coming around, we have had 3 years worth of cross referencing and reflection for our portfolios, so the tables will soon turn 🙂 I would recommend getting a job where there is a preceptorship programme as that’s what I wish I had done differently.

2- Stand your ground: if there is something you are not sure of or not happy with, just ask or even question a doctor as to why he’s doing such a thing, no one is going to think your stupid and you would rather be safe than sorry (we all make mistakes, even doctors!) At the end of the day no one can make you do anything you don’t want to, it’s your pin on the line. Have confidence in your own judgement , most of the time you will be right 🙂

Good luck in your training , which ever stage you may be in, you will all make fantastic nurses and hope to work with you in the future.

If anyone has any questions they would like to ask about anything this is my emailracheljanemoore@hotmail.com

All the best , keep up the good work:)

Rach

A Day in a life of a Hospice Nurse

Today I am delighted to bring you a guest blog post from a Hospice Nurse.

After qualifying as a children’s nurse about 2 years ago I worked on a neonatal intensive care ward. Although palliative care was an integral part of the role, I felt that I wasn’t using my specialist paediatric skills so decided to apply for a nursing role at Haven House.

I was lucky enough to be successful and a few months later, I can honestly say I love my job. The encouragement from staff and the hands-on-experience has already helped me progress and develop as a nurse.

The work here varies on a day-to-day basis which makes my job really interesting. At the start of a shift all staff receive a handover from the nurses on the previous care shift. We discuss all aspects of individual care and then a lead nurse allocates each child to a nurse and one of our fantastic health care support workers. This ensures continuity of care and gives everyone a sense of security throughout the day.

Depending on the care plan we bath or shower each child in our luxurious sensory bath that has lights and music. Most of our children attend school, so if it is a weekday we ensure they are dressed, fed and ready for school by 8am. This can sometimes be a challenge but good team work and staff management helps ensure we are usually on time. Haven House has fantastic complementary therapies for children and families to benefit from such as therapeutic yoga and music therapy. When children attend these sessions we usually have the pleasure of providing day care to them as well as attending the therapy session. We also have paperwork, care plans, documentation, audits, research and meetings to attend so it soon comes round to 3:45pm again. The beeping sound of a vehicle in reverse informs us that the school bus has arrived! Each child’s detailed care plan informs staff on shift how, when and exactly what to feed them. After a snack or feed its playtime. Many of our children can’t eat solid foods so are fed through a tube in their stomach.

Next, the children have some down time. Haven House has a sensory room with an interactive floor and walls. Music and lights, sensory toys and games and books for all ages are available in the activity room. Our lovely play co-ordinator ensures there are always activities and crafts set for children to immerse themselves into, whatever the weather. We often spend time in our wonderful grounds or our cinema room – the children love this as it often gives them a feel of family time and time to develop interpersonal relationships with staff and other children. Breaks in play time have to be had when children need changing, medicines or a feed.

Dinner time can’t come soon enough and we either have food ordered in or we whip up a healthy meal ourselves for the children who can eat. After dinner we have a good tidy up and then take the children to their bedrooms to get them prepared for the evening. It’s bath time or showers for those who require them according to their care plan or based on how actively engrossed they were with their messy play and crafts during playtime! Medications are given throughout the day at specific times to each child based on their individual prescriptions.

Once the children are washed, they are dressed in their pyjamas, teeth brushed and settled into their rooms. It’s either story time or a bedtime programme to help children wind down. At 9:45pm the handover process begins again with a fresh team of staff ready for the night shift. I can honestly say it’s a complete privilege to do my job every day. Our children have complex and rare life-limiting conditions and require a great deal of care and attention. I draw my strength from the knowledge that parents and carers look after them on a daily basis without any complaints. Their strength becomes our strength and this translates into brilliant care for each child at Haven House.

Despite the long hours, intensive work and heavy case-loads; I wouldn’t exchange the job satisfaction that nursing gives me for anything else in the world.

Muryum Khan, Pediatric Nurse.