Staying organised as a student nurse ~ Tips and Tricks

So I am currently writing this tucked up in bed cause I managed to get the flu, so I am currently writing this with flu brain (yes that's a real thing and if it's not I'm making it one!). When I was writing my post last week about my experiences in my first year, I mentioned how hectic your life can become when your training so I thought only fair to give you some tips and tricks to help combat it. 

Now I'm not saying I get it perfectly right all the time. Your human, you slip up, make mistakes, get ill, it's only natural. The biggest thing I can say is don't beat yourself up if you don't manage to get everything done or you last minute decide to have a day off instead of a productive day. Nothing and I mean nothing is worth running yourself into the ground for!! So let's get onto some tips shall we?!

1 ~ This is essential, get yourself a diary!
With all the assignments, work for uni, shifts at placement, research, part-time jobs and just everyday life it can get quite hectic. Use your phone, laptop, tablet or good old fashioned pen and paper (my favourite method) even to just jot down your assignment hand-in dates, term dates or shifts at placement. You're already trying to cramp loads of medical information into your head, so just jot all the less important stuff somewhere so you're not thinking about it and it's there if you ever have a complete mind blank!

2 ~ Figure out when you work best in the day. 
Whether that be first thing in the morning or late in the evening. Use it to your advantage, if you're an early worm like me get up that little bit earlier and get work done in the morning and afternoon then you get to have a relaxing evening. Or if you work better in the evening/Nightime, give yourself that little bit more of a lie in and then start your work in the afternoon. If you do that rather than try and do your work when everyone else does, you'll learn and complete more than if you force yourself to get up at 7am to write an essay when you normally don't get up till lunchtime!

3 ~ Find your perfect place.
On the note of finding your perfect time to study, it's so important to find your perfect place to study. Whether it's your desk, the dining table or your local coffee shop, find what works for you. If you find the place you like the most, it actually makes doing your work or revision so much easier! That being said I canever get any work done if I do it on my bed cause my body just gets really tired and sleepy, but hey if it works for you, it works so go for it.

4 ~ Be Comfy!
Now if your out studying in a coffee shop, take this tip with a pinch of salt. Get comfy, wear your pjs, other some comfy chill clothes, anything that's not restrictive and you'll be able to work for much longer than if you try and revise in restrictive jeans or dresses. I personally love to be able to curl up on my chair or in a chair at a coffee shop and get work done that way.

5 ~ Get everything together.
This may sound so simple, but make sure you have everything you need before you get started. There's nothing more distracting than a being about to start work or being five minutes into it and then you have to rummage around for highlighters or you suddenly need a drink or the bathroom.

6 ~ Re-write.
I found it so useful this year to re-write all of my lecture and revisionotes, I felt like it helped the information sink in better and I remembered more in end. Plus my lecturers talk super fast and zoom through the lecture slides so I find it's easier to jot downotes in lectures and then re-write them up ineat when I get home. 

7 ~ Make it colourful!
I don't know about you but I find looking at a page of writing that is all in black just exhausting, so I write all my titles for the different sections in a different bright colour. It's so helpful when it comes to revising as it breaks up the page into more digestible sections. You could do the same with highlighters and just highlight the section title.

8 ~ Stay on track.
I know this can be really hard with it being your first year or living in halls, where other students have more room and time for assignments. It's a lot harder when you have to balance your academic work with 37.5 hour weeks in placement. Make a start as soon as possible even if it's only a little one, get a little bit of research done or plan out your essay and complete a little bit at a time or a couple of hundred words or a page at a time. It makes it easier if you ever forget a deadline last minute or you get sick right before deadline, it's a lot easier to try and write a couple hundred words or a page or two last minute than it is to write an entire essay. Take it from experience I've had several of my friends try and complete an assignment last minute and it is very very stressful.

9~ Get some sleep and eat right.
I know this is hard to do and god knows in my first year I wasn't always the best at it, but try and make sure you get plenty of sleep. Your body and braiwill thank you for it when your on a long shift or a night shift! Also I'm well aware that us student nurses live on coffee and snack food alone, but try preparing healthier alternatives, preparing your food the night before or switching a couple of those cups of coffee for a fruit smoothie, juice or water and those times when your brain has had enough, go for a walk. It's a little bit of exercise that helps loosen those blocks and you come back to your work feeling refreshed. You'll learn to know how long you can work for before you hit your limit so I make myself a timer and make sure I go for a walk and get some fresh air. 

10 ~ Make time for you!
I know I said this before but over everything else I've said in this post make sure you make time for yourself, these three years are going to zoom by so fast and you'll be a registered nurse!  Make sure you take time for you and your life, go get coffee with your friends, go on a shopping trip, even give yourself a pamper evening once every couple of weeks (or whenever your diary will let you). After spending all your time in your academics and working hard on placement, you deserve to take some time out for you!

Have you guys got any great organisation tips that got you through your nurse training?


Danielle Levy

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