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Hello Again!

Hello everybody, Emma here – apologises for the huge lack of blogs I’ve been swamped with studies for the past few months! So….where do I begin? Okay well, my last post was about starting second year so here’s a little breakdown of what’s been happening:
Semester One: Ahhh semester one seems a while ago, but it was a very enjoyable one! I had to pick two optional modules – both were very different but very beneficial. I completed two reflective pieces and one presentation which was a little nerve wrecking but I did it 🙂 Without a doubt it was a tough going semester and I could really notice the step up from first year – but time management was key! My placement was also really enjoyable and I developed many new clinical skills which has helped me in other placements 🙂
Semester Two: Last semester we sat the biggest exam so far, but somehow I also cracked that! The module covered so many aspects and I was unsure if I was able to remember everything but on the day fortunately everything came flooding back to me! My placement in this semester helped massively with my exam as I was able to develop further knowledge in anatomy and physiology!
Semester Three: Okay, so this is where I am now! I have just completed the theory aspects of things and submitted an assignment. I’m due to start my new placement on Monday which I’m really looking forward too but first day nerves are already kicking in ahhhhhh!
But I’ll be fine – not to worry! I’m hoping to get back into the blogging ball game so hopefully I’ll write soon,
Thanks for Reading,
Emma

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Life as a second year nursing student

Hello everybody, Emma here again.  Apologies for my recent lack of updates, however I have been busy ploughing my way through the first semester of second year. Yep, I’m now a second-year nursing student, and between me and you it feels great. To start off my second year we received a quick lecture from students from previous intakes, where we learnt the ‘second year blues’ soon arose. At this point I was still so overwhelmed with finishing first year that I hadn’t really thought much about what second year had to offer. So here’s a quick breakdown of what’s been happening so far academically and professionally.

Academically: Second year is without a doubt a step up from first year with increasing levels of expectation as well as slightly harder grade bandings. For our first semester we got to pick two modules, which is where I was faced with two assignments and a presentation. However, with effective time-management skills I conquered all of them, and submitted all parts of the assessments with time to spare. I managed my time well by writing a list of weekly objectives with regards to researching and then writing the assignments section by section. The content of both of my modules was really interesting, which made the ‘academic’ part of semester one a little bit easier I suppose as I was intrigued to find out more about the subject material. Utilising my university’s library books was something I abided by throughout this semester, as I constantly had them on loan (a little greedy, I know).

Professionally: So far, I have had one professional placement of second year which I have really enjoyed. Without a doubt there is slightly more expected of you as a second-year student, but I quite enjoyed having more responsibility and being involved in more decision-making tasks. From my previous practice placements I had a general idea of what to expect so I was already prepared in some ways. I am increasing my competence of medicines calculations and observation interpretation, which were a few of my personal goals. I think entering a placement area with a ‘willing-to-try’ attitude will take you very far from the placement area’s perspective, as well as from a personal perspective.

I think the trick is to remain calm and organised and everything will fall into place – this is what I have found up to now. Now that summer has arrived I feel as though I am getting on top of things and organising my time quite effectively, which is an added weight lifted from my shoulders. I am just about to start my second semester of year two, which at this moment in time I am feeling rather calm about, but I will keep you all posted on how I get on. 

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Curating @nursingSUni for a week!

Soon after hearing the news that Salford university nursing students had a dedicated Twitter page, I was itching to get involved. I created a Twitter account within the first month of starting on my nursing programme and from then I have developed a wealth of knowledge from fellow student nurses as well as nurse lecturers at the university. I was originally scheduled to curate the account in June, however @wlasinclair was searching for volunteer’s so I thought to myself why not?

As can be expected, I was a little worried when I first logged into the account as I was tweeting to over 1300 followers. I was worried about little things such as punctuation, would anybody respond to my tweets and even my spelling, but I soon conquered all of my fears. After the first few tweets I was getting the hang of it as luckily I had already made a list of ‘Possible Tweet’s such as ‘How To Beat First Day Placement Nerves’ which made me feel a little more at ease. I enabled the account on all of my devices including my desktop, laptop, I-pad and mobile phone to ensure that I could receive notifications and updates at all times. Before curating the account I had already learnt so much from my personal twitter account but the fast pace and regular updates on the nursing account was unbelievable, it was brilliant.

Monday 28th April – At 07:00 ‘Emma’ was in charge, with the help of @wlasinclair of course! I was just starting to familiarise myself with what was happening within the world of Twitter such as weekly Twitter chat’s and different awareness campaigns such as ‘AllergyAwarenessWeek’. As I am currently undertaking two optional modules I tried to prioritise my time however most of the time I would find myself having a quick peek on Twitter.

Tuesday 29th April – This was the day I participated in @NurChat Twitter chat regarding preceptorships and the role transition from being a student nurse to registered nurse. The chat was really interesting as I was able to tweet on behalf of the nursing account as well as adding some personal perspective. Furthermore I was also able to download a CPD certificate to add into my portfolio which is something that I would never have considered before.

Wednesday 30th April – After watching the BBC Panorama ‘Behind Closed Doors: Elderly Care Exposed’ the Twitter account became enthralled with emotion. Many healthcare professional’s discussed how and why abuse such as this is still happening within today’s society with a large discussion about implementing the 6c’s. As I have recently became a caremaker, the 6c’s is something that is very important to me, which is why this programme touched on personal feelings as well as professional concerns.

Thursday 1st May – Thursday nights are @WeNurses chat nights and this week’s chat was regarding ovarian cancer. The subject of ovarian cancer is something that I haven’t developed much knowledge of however after participating in this chat my knowledge has definitely improved as video links and assessment tools were shared. In addition Thursday was the day of the ‘Student Nursing Times Award’ with several of our nurse lectures and students attending the event, with two nominations from our university. Even though the two nominees’ didn’t receive an award on this day, they are definitely superstars at our university!

Friday 2nd May – Friday was a pretty quiet day on Twitter but I tried to share as many useful resources as I could one of which being the Dementia Facebook App. For those of you who are yet to use this app I would strongly recommend using it whenever you can grab a minute. Becoming a dementia friend towards the end of last year has increased my knowledge about dementia however this app is really useful to provide a short insight into living with dementia.

Saturday 3rd May / Sunday 4th May – Both of these days were mainly taken up by assignment writing and preparing for professional practice. I tried to re-tweet tweets where possible and engaged with fellow student nurses whilst also wrapping up my week and thanking my fellow supportive tutors!

All in all, I have really enjoyed my week curating this account and felt a little sad when logging out of the account. I would definitely recommend curating the account no matter how confident you are when using Twitter as it’s such an invaluable learning experience.

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And So It Begins

Well, I have some truly brilliant news – I have made it through to second year and I am delighted! Last week we had ‘Learning to Learn’ week where our full cohort came together to learn about what the next year has to bring and mostly importantly writing at level five. Yes, I was sat there feeling a little bewildered but it slowly seems to be coming together. We learnt about the importance of critical analysis at level 5 as well as gaining perspectives from current students in year 2, which was really beneficial. 

But, now the real work has started! We are now currently undertaking ‘optional modules’ where we could select which modules we wanted to study based on our interests and current knowledge – I must say I think I have chose the best ones 🙂 I have multiple assessments for these, which I have started to break down into small chunks. A huge part of these modules is independent learning, which I haven’t really done much of so far! I have tried to create a plan, but if I stick to it or not is another matter! So, I suppose it’s time to step it up a notch and knuckle down as it will be definitely worth it all in the end.

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1 Week Away!

Hello everyone, apologises for my lack of updates on social media / WordPress but I have been working my little legs off to try and get everything finished for first year! Yep, I’m one week away from completing first year and I cannot believe it. The year has seen many ups and downs but I have made it to the end and I am fighting fit for second year. The past few weeks have been tying up loose ends with regards to my PDP’s and other bits and pieces but now that I am back at university I feel like I’m getting into the swing of things again.

We had pretty much three weeks annual leave which was lovely, but I did feel like I was loosing my way a little bit as I was just gliding along with no real pressure on me. I was so excited when the second year modules were released as I started to create new files and started to read up on my chosen optional modules which got me motivated again! Second year hasn’t even started yet and I have already booked onto three study skills work shops including planning assignments, giving presentations and reflective writing which has also given me a boost. Luckily enough my group of fellow student nurses at university are also a huge motivational factor for me as we always share ideas and help each other along the way 🙂

 

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375 Hours

Ahhhh, and breathe! Today is the day where I start three weeks annual leave after working 10 weeks on placement and I can honestly say that I am ready for hibernation. As this was my first ward experience I didn’t really know what to expect or what it would be like but all of my fears have been conquered. It was the simple things that were worrying me like where to put my bag and my lunch, its silly now I know. It was really nerve wrecking sitting in on handover on the first day as I didn’t really know what to write and what half of the abbreviations meant but I powered on through and I have now completed my ten weeks. 

Working with the patients and their families was without doubt the best part of the placement. Whether it was taking their observations or attending to their cares, it was all worth it. Especially after Christmas time, I felt like I was being left on my own a little bit more and asked to do things more independently which I think has boosted my confidence. I wasn’t sure at first as I didn’t feel that comfortable but now I feel much more different about myself and my skills. I have also handed over three patients on the handover tape which is rather nerve wrecking but I managed to control my nerves and do it. 

But, in a way I am pretty glad that I have now finished placement. I need a little rest and to catch up on the theory side of things including creating evidence for my PDP’s. I’m also looking forward to spending time enjoying the things that I like to do like baking and bike rides as well as spending time with family and friends.

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Bear Necessities

I’m quickly approaching the end of my first year and it has been one whirlwind experience. Some of my favorite and most useful books will be listed below which can be used for any branch as well as Children and Young People’s nursing, so here goes:

BNF For Children 2010 – 2011

I purchased the 2010-2011 edition as I couldn’t get my hands on the most recent copy, however I must say this has helped me a lot with my studies and medicines management. Once you get the hang of flicking through one it becomes second nature to search for different medications and their contraindications, its a definite must!

Nursing Calculations – Eighth Edition 

This book would be brilliant for any student regardless of the stage of their training. It’s smaller in size which means its really handy to carry around and makes drug calculations much more simpler to understand. There is also a little pull out card at the back which contains calculations which can be kept in your pocket whilst on placement.

Student Survival Skills – Medicine Management Skills For Nurses

Being a first year student nurse it can be rather difficult to get your head around calculations and sites of entry. This book is always my first port of call if I need to quickly look up something. The book is easy and clear to read and doesn’t make you scared to read up on things. There are small summaries at the end of each section which re-caps that chapter which is also really handy! I would definitely recommend this book whether you are about to start your training or nearing the end, as this is a book that can help you throughout all of the course. The book can also be used in conjunction with the BNF as they both complement each other rather nicely.

Medicines Management in Children’s Nursing

This book is especially designed for those children’s nurses out there who want to gain a further understanding of medicines management for children. The book helped me out so much with my exposures to medicines management as it is field specific, many a time I have referred back to this book.

Developing Practical Skills for Nursing Children and Young People

One word: Bible! This book has been used so many times throughout my studies this year and will be used for the rest of my training and career as a staff nurse. It is easy to read and covers all aspects of clinical skills from manual handling to caring for a child who is in long term ventilation. 

Student Survival Skills – Care Skills for Nurses

The book is brilliant for any student nurse no matter how far they are into their training. The book comes with easy to read and quick reference text as well as suitable illustrations. It provides you with a clear understanding of the different skills required to provide excellent care. There is a glossary at the back of the book which is great for quick referencing, I would definitely recommend buying this book!

The Anatomy Coloring Book 

Yes, it is a coloring book but I love it. Sometimes reading text can become rather boring and less interesting which is why this coloring book is an essential buy. Alongside the images there is also a small amount of text so you can understand what you are coloring in!

Palgrave Study Skills – Skills for Success

This book is ideal if you are returning to study or have recently been in education. It outlines several different aspects and explains them in such a simple way, its a definite must buy.