Maintaining Friendships Old And New

I moved into halls for the first year of university despite already living in Manchester (well, Greater Manchester). I felt ready to gain some independence by ‘flying the nest’ and wanted to be within walking distance of university. When I lived with my mum before university I was only less than twenty miles away from the main campus so my friends from home who I used to live super close to aren’t incredibly far from my accommodation. The nursing course can get pretty hectic at times; more often than not all you want to do when you get back from placement is have a good kip!

Seeing my friends from home can be tricky to plan, to be honest, especially seeing as they have commitments like work and studying just like I do and it’s not just a ten minute journey involved in meeting up. I probably don’t tell them enough that I miss them, but I really do, and I really look forward to going home to meet up with my friends or having them stay over at my flat. Seeing my friends from home is so good for helping me stay grounded and true to my incredibly Mancunian roots and it reminds me of a big reason why I’m doing this course. I really hope I can make the people I care about and who care about me proud. If you don’t have the opportunity to meet up with your friends from home very often you’ll understand that the time you spend together is golden and you’ll appreciate it all the more. I’m so, so fortunate to have maintained friendships with such a brilliant bunch of people even after all these years.13151090_226356241076122_2131036156_nI enjoy spending time with the friends I’ve made on my course too, as I think we have a good balance between chatting about nursing as well as unrelated things. We’ll talk about what skills we’ve been learning on placement and helping each other stay motivated when writing assignments by offering suggestions of resources to look at and just offering a pep talk sprinkled with the essence of ‘as a fellow student nurse, I really know how you feel’ then five minutes later we’ll be having a conversation about something like make-up or food. I’m so, so fortunate to have made such a brilliant bunch of friends at uni.

My advice to anybody studying on a course that keeps you super busy (ring any bells?) would be to appreciate and make time for your friends from home whilst still being open to making new friendships at uni. Your friends from home will be glad that you’re enjoying yourself and have support for when they can’t physically come to see you. Believe me, you’ll have no idea how you would have made it through uni without your friends – old and new.

 

Receiving cars…. receiving babies..

Receiving cars to receiving babies…. its a funny old life

 

cars

During the last few days on my delivery suite placement I’ve started to experience a strange surreal feeling. Last week I was stood in theatre observing a beautiful c section birth and I zoned out momentarily.

I zoned out to my previous life, I zoned out to my customer service 9 to 5, I zoned out to reports, targets, receiving keys, checking cars, answering phones.  ! BANG ! Back in the room! I’m here!!! I did it!!! I’m stood in theatre as a student midwife experiencing the start of someone’s life, experiencing the wonder of what we can create, experiencing something that is so so precious!!! Being able to share this wonder with families, from all corners of life.

 

recieving cars

The night before every shift I have a funny mix of excitement and anxiety, I pull up to the car park and sit there momentarily wondering what the day will bring, I used to have the same feelings in my old life but the difference is I get to see the most amazing things ever! I get to support women when they need support the most, I get to develop friendships with families nervous and scared waiting for what is to come, I get to work with midwives, the most underrated profession.  A profession that deals with everything you can think of. How lucky am I!

So I ask myself, was it worth it?, the studying, nights of worrying about my applications, getting that dreaded ‘something has changed’ from UCAS on my email, the endless preparation for interviews, maths tests, essays, english tests, group interviews, one to one interviews, the cycle goes on and on!!  Yes it is worth it, never give up, I thought I was too old and past my prime to start this amazing journey, with 3 children, a house to run and the general everyday rubbish that comes with responsibility I thought I didn’t have a chance, the lovely ladies I met at interviews out shone this ageing lady with a little tribe, by luck or miracle I was offered a chance and I took it.  This time last year I was on cloud nine, I remember finding out in work I had got in, I started crying, blubbering in the office, everyone looking bemused at me!!  I drove home that night in disbelief,really me???????????!!!!

shocked face

 

So do i miss my old life?

Receiving cars or receiving babies…..

No contest!!!!!

12322410_10208253084953589_8904465124923769699_o

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