Life as a Student Nurse

#Hellomynameis Laura and I am a third year student nurse.

Being a student nurse can mean so many things. It is a journey where you experience emotions you do not even realise exist but one day you will reflect and think of how much you have achieved and the reason you became a nurse.

No one ever said nursing would be easy, but looking back to the days where I had interviews to study nursing at university, I only knew one place I wanted to be and that was Surrey. The energy and commitment provided by staff was incomparable, despite the feeling of being grilled like bacon for half an hour but when I was given an offer to join, I was over the moon and immediately my journey began.

Starting university was a massive step in my life like it is for many. Moving away from home, going to Freshers, the expensive joy of your student loan buying textbooks, settling in and making new friends, I was here. Most of my friends in halls were not nurses but nonetheless, they supported me through my placements and the long hours, however it felt like I was never able to enjoy myself and I would be finishing later in August for Summer compared to all the other students in June. Regardless, I remembered to have a work/social life balance and even to this day know the importance of looking after myself physically and mentally.

As nursing is classified as 50% theory and 50% practice, I knew I was always going to find theory more of a challenge. I had to alter the way I wrote my essays, as the style I wrote in college was completely different and not university level. This made me nervous initially because I thought I was not good enough and how would I change this, although with time, effort and support from staff and Splash I conquered writing a 2000 word essay! Practice on the other hand, I loved, every placement I have had, I’ve enjoyed. The adrenaline I gain on placement is amazing and make me remember why I chose nursing from giving CPR to a patient who in cardiac arrest, watching a child struggling to breathe with intercostal recession and a respiratory rate of 108 need to be intubated to a 6ft 8 rugby player asking to hold my hand whilst his leg is braced for a plaster cast, you do it and are there for your patients.

As final year crept upon me, I realised I was the near the end of university but still had so much to juggle, writing my dissertation, long hours on placement away and around Guildford and applying for jobs for when I qualify, it seemed crazy! There has been days when I think I am never going to complete this, what am I doing and I have no idea where I want to go but I know in my own time, I will succeed. It can be daunting when others on your course are at a different stage to you, such as knowing exactly where they want to go but remember everyone works differently and you’ll reach there when you are ready. Also, do not let anyone tell you where you should go and where to work, the world is your oyster and you have your own mind to choose, it does not matter if the first one is right or wrong, you can change.

Sitting down for an interview a few weeks ago brought many memories for me but was also asked why I went into nursing. My reason is very personal and close to me but every nurse you meet will have their story to share and you will form connections throughout your career and begin to know so many people who were in your shoes.

Lastly, nearing the end of a rollercoaster three years in training, I will be able to say I am a nurse and always remember it never gets easier, you get stronger as an individual who will continue to care, commit and provide compassion. Every nurse is special and unique.

Author: Laura Harry, 3rd Year Student 

Disclaimer: This blog contains personal opinions of students only and does not necessarily represent the views of the Children’s Nursing team, School of Health Sciences or the University of Surrey.

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