Friday, 18 May 2012

Know It All

As I write this, I am surrounded by books, journal articles, magazines, illegible lecture notes, and three... no four empty coffee mugs. I have an exam looming, and I have a lot to learn!

Since starting my course in September, I’ve been incessantly worrying over the issue of learning and retaining all of the information needed to not only successfully complete my degree and qualify, but also to be a good, safe, and competent nurse. Just when you think you have at least the basics covered, along comes another semester full of lectures, seminars, and tutorials all based around subjects you hadn’t even considered, not to mention a new placement that requires an endless list of competencies all of which need to be understood and met.

It’s a daunting prospect, and not one that can be easily overcome. I’ve discovered a secret weapon of late however. It’s called... reading! I realise that last statement makes me sound like a complete idiot, but I honestly didn’t expect it to be so... effective, especially as I’ve always been more of a visual learner. Another tool I’ve discovered during my recent educational enterprise is YouTube. It’s especially handy for when I come across concepts (usually anatomy and physiology) that I’m having difficulty getting my head around. Another advantage to YouTube is that it doesn’t really feel like work, which is quite often half the battle in my case. Ultimately the trick is identifying and employing methods that work for you; I know a certain A&P colouring book has proven to be a big hit with some of my course mates for example. For those of you who favour a more auditory-orientated style, audio books may be just the thing. Whatever your style, there’s something for everyone.

Between clinical skills, law and ethics, pharmacology, A&P, communication skills, interpersonal skills, public health... I could go on, there’s a lot to take in. Being a student or qualified nurse isn’t easy, and there’s so much more to nursing than people realise. However this in itself is precisely why nursing is so rewarding; after all, not just anybody can be a nurse.

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