A lot happens in 3 months

The first three months of this course passed very quickly. Looking back it’s amazing how much was covered in so little time. Stretched is the only word I can conjure to explain how my brain feels.

When you do broadly the same thing day in – day out for (too) many years you ‘know the ropes.’ It’s a bit like driving a car. With time, changing gear becomes automatic and we no longer need to think about it. Adopting the familiar, we get comfortable and forget how it feels to do something new. It’s a shame, because there’s joy in learning even if it’s hard work. With any luck procuring new knowledge helps keep the brain elastic and forges new neural connections – very beneficial for a mature student like me!

So exactly what happened and what was achieved in 3 months?

  • The first exam, a group presentation for communication skills and person-centred care. My group passed… insert long sigh of relief ✅
  • The formative exam for Anatomy and Physiology, also passed. ✅ The real thing is this week though, 🤞
  • Clinical skills training and pre-placement mandatory training:
  • Manual handling ✅
  • Conflict resolution ✅
  • Basic life support (CPR, choking) ✅
  • Manual blood pressure ✅
  • Wound dressing using aseptic technique ✅
  • Intramuscular injection technique ✅
  • A guided session with a ‘service user’. This was thought-provoking, distressing and educational in equal measure. 💜
  • Making new friendships with a lovely group of like-minded students ❤️
  • First clinical placements were allocated, mine was Trauma and Orthopaedics – a very busy, complex environment with lots for me to learn. 📈

With the exception of exams this has all been informative and generally quite exciting. I’m unable to describe exams as exciting, for me they fall into the necessary evil category. By far the most amazing event of this period is that the first half of our first placement took place.

My placement experience to date requires a post in its own right. It’s created so many different thoughts and emotions. I feel I’ve learnt an incredible amount already, as a human being, as well as a student nurse. I can only imagine the vastness of how much else there is to learn, practice and do.

Highlight of the first 3 months: receiving positive feedback from people I’ve cared for during placement. I’m an inexperienced student so it’s reassuring to know combining limited theoretical nursing knowledge with a fair amount of real-life experience and reasonable interpersonal skills can still make a difference.

Learning point of the first 3 months: there is ever such a lot to learn and that can be daunting. In real terms I’m just starting out. I needed to reflect on and internalise this to help myself feel more comfortable at the start of first placement.

Hopes for next 3 months? I’m excited about returning to placement and hope I can continue contributing positively to my patients and my team. Passing the Anatomy and Physiology exam with a good grade would also be a weight off my shoulders good thing.

Final thought:

There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an exam and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.

Jiddu Krishnamurti