The massive burning question I had in the back of mind before starting uni was: “What will happen if I get everything wrong and don’t remember my basic skills?”. All I can say is that I had nothing to worry about at all. Practice module one incorporates both hands on skills as well as classroom learning, meaning that information can be solidified… absolute life saver that is. The first few simulation suite lessons were all about learning how to take blood pressure, measuring pupil dilations and learning what the hell an oxygen saturation is (easiest one out of all of them, even though it sounds complicated). In all these sessions, we had third year students helping us out. Perfect opportunity to ask lots and lots of questions… no question is a stupid question, believe me, I never stopped asking them. I wanted to know everything.
PANIC SETS IN… WE HAVE THE ACTORS!! When I was told that we had actors coming in, that was me running for the door… I wasnt prepared to show my new found blood pressure skills to a fake patient. Hell, to the no. No actor looked approachable; they were all just branded as scary as soon as we walked in. But in reality, super supportive and lovely is the only way that I can describe them (once they step out of character, that is). They are there to help us out, not trip us up. Mistakes are a norm, there is no way you are going to get it perfect first time so please don’t panic… it comes with time. During your time with the actors, its okay to pause and phone a friend for advice for what to say next or how to do something, it’s all about practice. Just remember it isn’t real so you can ask questions, you can even ask the actors, they are more than happy to help you out. Once time is up, the actors will always provide feedback to help you to improve or to congratulate you on doing a great job. What a great feeling it is when you get positive feedback, it puts you in the right mind frame for the next actor. You’ve got this!! All the nursing students will agree with me when I say that it gets easier over time as you become more knowledgeable and know what to expect.
So thankful that all my fresher’s week fears were ill-founded. Next stop, placement.
Author: Beth Sunderland, Year 1 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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