Tuesday, 10 January 2017

night before first placement

Well it's finally here, the night before my very first placement.
My bag is packed, my uniform is hung up with fob watch and id badge attached.
Tomorrow I will don my uniform and step out on the ward as a student nurse for the very first time, and I am so very nervous.

I expected to be nervous because it is a brand new never been done by me before adventure. I don't have the care experience of a lot of my colleagues in uni.  I did work for the doctors out of hours but in a receptionist role, so have experience with patients and their families in a non clinical way but this will be my first on the ward experience that isn't as a patient.

I've got a 7am start and I'm worried about oversleeping so can't seem to settle, I keep thinking that I will forget something or miss something or do something wrong.

I know its normal but I feel as if as soon as I walk out onto that ward that my mind will go blank.
It really doesn't help that I woke up this morning with a cold, runny nose and sore throat combo.

Fingers crossed that the doses of cold and flu medicine work their magic tonight.

Wish me luck, and if your reading this as a student nurse before your first placement, good luck to you too.

I'll update with how it goes.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Nearly the end of semester one :D

Well it is now the end of November and my 1st semester in uni is nearly over, Just 3 weeks left :D

This semester has been a mixture of lectures and seminars as well as clinical skill sessions, I can't believe that the last 10 weeks have gone so quickly.

This week is assessment week so it has been a mad dash to complete my two assignments that are due tomorrow. one was 3500 words on a scenario based assignment and the other was a 1500 word annotated bibliography. 

I know that they have given us the assignments to test us but I've been out of the academic world for a few years and needed to relearn how to write essays, thankfully we have academic tutors to contact and my dad helps by proofreading to check my spelling.  

Through Uni I have also been assessed and diagnosed with dyslexia and dyspraxia, it really explains a lot of my spelling, punctuation and grammar problems as well as my difficulties with handwriting that I have had growing up. The assessor said that it is obvious after testing that I am dyslexic but because I am able to manage and come across as an average student it was never picked up.

I am now able to access extra help from the uni's learning support team and it will also mean that I get more support in exams such as using a computer to type my answers and extra time.
I think this will really help me as I have always struggled in exams to get my words down on the page  and as I knew that I could spell certain words I would simplify my vocabulary, but with the aid of a computer to make my answers legible and spell check to help me spell the words I want then hopefully my marks will be better this time around.  

My written exam in in a couple of weeks time and I am quietly confident that I will know what I need to by then, I just hope i can remember it once i have my bum on the seat.
I also have a practical skills exam that it checking my knowledge of National Early Warning Score's and recording them.

We have just got our uniforms and been told our first placements that start after Christmas. I am really looking forward to the experience.  

I definitely underestimated the amount of free time that I would have being a student and a full time mum. So my post might be few and further between that I first would have hoped, but I will still document my journey as a student nurse. 

Monday, 26 September 2016

The car park!

Anyone who is a student at Edge hill that drives knows exactly what I'm going to be talking about.
If you are considering applying to Edge Hill and commuting then you need a permit but even that doesn't guarantee you a parking space. 

I have figured out that if I want to be able to park in the car park at uni then I need to arrive before 8am, and no later that 8.10am.
So even if I don't have a lecture till 10am then I still have to leave the house by 7.25am.  

It might be better once everything settles down and courses start to send students out on placement. 

The only way to guarantee a parking space is to get a car share buddy, they are worth their weight in gold!
You need to permits to book a parking space, you have to do it before 4pm the day before and you both need to be in the car to claim the space. 

I think I might have finally found a buddy to share with I'm just waiting on her permit to come through so we can book places.

I will let you know if it gets any better as the weeks go one but for now its early mornings for me.

I suppose that it gives me time to go to the library and get work done or I might join the gym and work on losing some weight. 

wish me luck!

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Getting organised - children

As a student nurse you need to be organised, you need to make sure that you have everything you need for your lectures and classes. Know where notes are for revision and have a good and complete schedule so you have time to get assignments and things complete. 
But as a student nurse who is also a single mum you have to be extra organized, not only do you have to sort all your own things out you also need to have your kids stuff sorted too. 

I only have one child and I am lucky that I have help from my family to look after her otherwise I know I would struggle to be doing what I'm doing. She is in nursery 2 and a half days a week, and stays with her dad 2 nights a week, which really does help.

I decided to help everyone out, including myself, I got a set of draws that fit under our stairs in the hall. I am using these to organise clothes and things for C during the week.

 I put the weekdays on the draws and added uniform, underwear and socks to each day.

 There is even a spare draw at the bottom for shoes and a rain jacket for nursery, as well as pull ups and nightclothes for night time incase i'm not home to get her ready.
 Friday's draw was a double size so she has spare socks and underwear in there.

It seems to have worked this week and helps me to get organised as well as teaching Charlotte where her things are in the morning for when she is a little older and able to dress herself. 

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Freshers week... part 1

It's strange as this is the 1st time entering formal education that I am truly alone since I started nursery.
In primary school I had nursery friends, plus at that age it is easy to make friends.
In secondary school I had friends from primary.
In college I had a few friends from secondary ( and even a few from primary)
When I started at LJMU ( my 1st uni) although I didn't know people on my course I had friends local that I could hang out with and share the freshers experience, go on nights out and spend time with. I did make a couple of friends on my course who I also lived with in halls first year but they weren't lasting friendships.

But this time I know no one, none of my friends are students and its a completely different experience. 

So here is how my 1st week is going. It's half way through freshers week now and up to not it's not too bad
Monday I left our house at 6.45am as I was awake and too excited to just sit around. I arrived at Edge Hill for 7.15am after traveling on 3 motorways. It's all good practice to see what time I need to leave by of a morning.
 First lecture was 9am and we stayed in there till break at 11am, it was welcome to uni introductions as well as information from the Student union and occupational health. 
after our break we learnt about the library and learning edge before lunch.
After Lunch we met our peer mentors, second years who we can ask questions and get advice from during our first year. 

Tuesday was a day off :D So I went shopping with my mum for holiday clothes for her and my dad as they go on a cruise in 3 weeks.

Wednesday I left a little later at 7.05am and arrived by 7.30am.
It was more information about online access and how to use Blackboard and learning edge. 
We then had freshers fair. I got free pizza, sweets and loads of information ( mostly don't do drugs/ don't drink drive)
I joined a couple of societies, even though i don't know if i will be able to go to the events a lot I thought I would join some anyway.
I chose to join
Pokemon - I love playing Pokemon Go.
Disney- I am a huge Disney fan.
Harry Potter - who doesn't love Harry Potter  

At 12.30pm I went to get fitted for my uniform, the sizing is a little small so I ended up having to size up 2 sizes. I'm excited to get it in November and I will put up some pictures then.

Monday, 12 September 2016

One week to go...

Well it's just one week to go until I am officially a student nurse. 
Over the last couple of weeks I've been waiting for my NHS bursary to be approved and it finally was a few days ago. Althought it felt like it took forever, it didn't take the full 25 days like it could have done and luckily for me I didn't need to send any extra information in to them, like I have heard from a few of my fellow students.

I completed stage 1 of the registration process for Edge Hill on the 6th September and I have to go into Uni on the 15th to do stage 2. It is really starting to feel very real now, and I am about 50% excited and 50% nervous. 

It's like starting at a new school where you know nobody, but unlike when you were a kid and would make friends so easily, as an adult its very daunting. It's not so easy to make friends as it was at 3 or 4.
My daughter amazes me that she can just make friends wherever she goes, she has so much confidence that she can just say " Hi I'm Charlotte, Lets play"  
Maybe I will have to channel her a bit on those first few days to get to know people. 

I think part of it is that I'll be older than a lot of the others. It's my birthday on Saturday and I will be 28. I know that isn't really old but it feels it when people on out chat group are talking about going out and drinking. I would rather be home reading bedtime stories to C and watching Netflix with a cup of hot chocolate. 

Freshers week should be good fun, It's a mixture of information about the course, getting measured for uniform ( sorta dreading that as I weigh more than I would like too) and freshers fair where they will give us free stuff, information and the chance to join clubs.
We are in all day Monday then off on the Tuesday, I will blog about it as and when I can. 

I do hope that if anyone ever reads this that it helps them, and always feel free to ask me questions as I will help if i can :D

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Timetable and a group chat.

The Timetable 

This is something that I have been waiting what feels like forever for, Unlike some of my fellow students who will have only got a definite place last week once results came out, I've had an unconditional place for months.  

So it feels like an eternity of waiting is finally over.... I have my first semester timetable and at first glance it looks a little complicated. 
Each day is split into morning and afternoon, and there are a variety of lectures, Directed study and personal study sessions.
Our cohort is a large intake, so it has been split into 8 smaller groups for most lectures.  Groups 1-4 will have sessions at the same time and 5-8 will also share sessions. These will be split again into smaller groups for study but we wont know about that until after we start.

I've been reading the timetable and trying to make heads or tails of it for a couple of days, and discussing it on a Facebook chat group that I was added too for other Student nurses.

I think I've finally got a rough idea of when I'll be in but I will need to wait until I start to find out what directed study is.

Our Facebook chat group 
Now I know some people don't like Facebook, and detest group chats as they can be fast moving and hard to follow, but I really enjoy them.

It's nice to get to know some of my fellow students and to share our excitement and worries.
I am a mature student, and at 28 years old (Well not yet but I will be when I start in uni) with a 3 year old child, the discussions about freshers and nights out drinking don't fill me with as much excitement as everyone else.

I realize this makes me sound old, So I will put my hands up and admit it, I do feel a lot older than some of the girls and guys in my chat group.  

This will be my second time at Uni, I've done the freshers thing.
I've lived in halls and drank stupid amounts, partied with friends and had hangovers.
I have lived in Liverpool my whole life and been out drinking in town more times than I can count so it just doesn't appeal to me.
Now I'm older I would rather go home after a long day in uni to give my little girl a cuddle, do some bedtime stories and relax. 

Of course I will go out with my course mate, get to know people etc but for me I can't wait to get stuck in and learn all I can.

This time in 3 weeks I'll be so nervous about starting but it will also be my birthday so that will help to distract me :D