New Year ~ New Tips for Student Nurses

As of the 28th September I am officially a third year student nurse.....scary I know! It has gone WAY too fast!! Now I haven't really done any back to school posts this year, but I thought I would write a post with some tips and tricks you could use whilst you are a student nurse.



Write everything down 
Get yourself a planner. notebook or even a wall calendar. There is nothing worse than forgetting to write something down or thinking you will remember it; then come the lecture or the day of whatever you had to do and you have completely forgetton. What is even worse is that when you are doing your nursing degree especially in small cohorts, there's not really much leeway as your lectures know everyone!


Assessment Calendars 

On that note each year before you start you will get your timetables and everything early, one of those things is your assessment calendars. Make sure that as soon as you get it you jot down the *estimated hand in date that way you can stay organised and you don't miss a deadline. (*You won't get the exact date, unless it's been released by your lecturers, but you will generally get the week it's due).


Reading
At the start of each semester you get a syllabus for each module which basically tells you what each lecture will be focusing on. Now I'm not perfect with this one but when I do, it helps so much! Before each lecture try your hardest to read something relating to what the lecture is about. I got told read, read, read and when you feel like you can't read anymore read something else.


Procrastination
I am the worse person for procrastination!! One more video, maybe one more episode, anything to put off doing anything! To stop that before I fall asleep I put my phone on airplane mode and keep it on until I've got everything I need done. Also whenever I have to do some work on my laptop/computer I use WasteNoTime which allows me to place a block on certain websites while you're doing work as well as giving you the ability to block certain websites after you spend a certain amount of time on them.


Get enough sleep
This is an important one, try and make sure you go to bed early and get enough sleep. There is nothing worse than going to bed 4 hours before you have to wake up early and nearly falling asleep in lectures/feeling like you are going to drop whilst on shift!


Start early
When you get home from lectures/placement, try and get into the habit of grabbing a snack and a drink and getting straight to work. Even if you start making a bubble map of things you want to put in your essay (this is really helpful for figuring out what to start reading up on) or even if it's writing up your notes from the day's lecture. If you get it started as soon as you get home then you have the rest of the evening to yourself!


Proofreading
Get into the habit of proof reading every thing, more often than not you will find that you can re-word something to sound much better! Also try and get into the habit of asking someone to read through your essays or assignments and ask them if it makes sense (even more helpful if they are healthcare professional themselves); as you can be too close to your assignments and miss something that they pick up, they can also pick up any grammatical mistakes you might have missed.


Stress
Don't forget if any point you are getting stressed and you feel like it's getting on top of you, talk to someone!! There are tons of people in university that can help and be an open ear; you can even talk to your fellow student nurses, you never know they might be going to the exact same thing!

Results
Don't stress over results even the most perfect student can get a bad result or have an off assignment! If you feel like you are struggling with a particular module, talk to the module leader that is what they are there for.


Learning Style
Each person learns differently. You may find that your best friend is like an human USB, they can be given the information that they can then spit it back out perfectly when they need to. However you might find that you have to write or read things twenty million times for it to stick in your head. It is important to remember that no matter what your learning style is, just go with it. You can try and change to something different but you will find it won't stick and you will forget things!


Look after you
You will spend your 3 years training and the rest of your career looking after people, you need to make sure you look after you! Get enough sleep, try your hardest not to eat utter rubbish, your body has to last you the rest of your career get into the habit of taking care of it now!!


Time management
If like me you need to work whilst being a student nurse, try your hardest to perfect your time management. With a job you need to be able to prioritise and balance your life otherwise you will just snap and that you don't have time for anything you enjoy any more!


Motivation
This one goes hand in hand with the one above, find something to motivate yourself. Whether that is a picture of the RCN RN badge or pictures of the RN blue uniform, find out what motivates you and give yourself a daily reminder. Hell I even set one on my phone to give myself the motivate to get my butt out of bed and ace third year!


Get your basics down during first year
During your first year get your basics down, have a fob watch, iron (you will thank me later), hand sanitiser on a clip (wastes time taking it in and out of your pocket), a good anatomy & physiology book and the Royal Marsden book (these you will need throughout your three years and beyond). If you get these down in your first few weeks it will save you a lifetime instead of having to go back and forth to the library at university!


Find your study place
Find that place that you can study and write assignments best, I find that I can either work in the university library (super helpful as all the books are there), my local coffee shop or in my room. I tend to go for my room as I can wear my comfy clothes, take a break when I need it and there is countless tea and coffee on tap, that however may change next year and I might start spending more time at the university library (not 100% yet).


Study a little every day
I'm not going to lie I don't always perfect this one and sometimes I get lazy with it but when you can try and study a little bit of your module everyday. Whether you go over the notes from the lecture or read an article relating to it or a chapter in a book that relates to it. 


Last of all.....Enjoy it!
You are going to make some great friends, have some great mentors and care for truly amazing patients. Make sure you take the time to enjoy it and savour it before you become an RN and have your own student to teach!

Have you guys got any tips from being a student nurse?

No comments