Monday, 26 September 2011

Week One

So I have come to the end of my first week as a student nurse, and in all honesty, it’s been somewhat of an emotional rollercoaster. The week kicked off with a registration session, during which yet more forms were signed, guidelines were handed out, PCTs were allocated, and of course new friendships were forged.

I’ll be honest, there was a lot of waiting around at times, but freshers’ week is always a bit slow; the calm before the storm if you like. Over the course of the week we were welcomed by our head of school, introduced to what felt like every member of staff, briefed on issues such as placements, uniforms, confidentiality, expectations, and learning resources, and introduced to a whole new world of acronyms.

We didn’t spend the entire week based at university however, and were all sent out on our relevant trust orientation days. Throughout the day we were introduced to our PEFs (practice education facilitator), PELs (programme education lead); believe me these are just the tip of the acronym-iceberg, advised on what was expected of us and what we should expect whilst we are on placement, met a group of current nursing students, and were forced to participate in awful team-building exercises.

I have to admit, about half an in hour into my trust orientation I had my first real ‘uh oh, what have I let myself in for?’ moment. Up until that point the university had kept things purposely light and it wasn’t until the orientation that things started to seem truly real. I don’t want to scare off any soon-to-be student nurses, so I want to stress that experiencing feelings of trepidation is extremely common - especially at the start - and after talking to other people on my course I know I wasn’t the only one to feel this way at some point during the week.

By the end of the week my brain was pretty much full to capacity, but to the university’s credit, the information we were given was distributed at a well thought out and manageable rate.

If there’s one piece of advice I’d like to impart, it’s to make sure you start off well. Yes it’s only freshers’ week, but try and get into good habits early on. Get to your lectures/seminars/tutorials etc on time, always have a pen and paper with you, spend some time familiarising yourself with your campus/university, pay attention during all your sessions so you don’t have to keep asking people for help – in other words, be organised. Remember, it’s not just the staff who will be judging you based on your actions, but also your fellow cohorts. Lecture over! 

Let week two commence. Watch this space!


  1. Nice to find your blog- as a fellow fresher nurse I echo your experiences- definitely an information overload week! Look forward to reading more about your studies. Laura X

  2. Thanks for the lovely sentiment. In regards to information overload, today has been worse than the whole of last week put together! I've linked to your blog BTW. Looking forward to reading about your thoughts and experiences :) x