act 1 // end scene

25 February 2020

A very significant day. The day that highlighted that I have completed at least 2300 hours of clinical placement, the minimum requirement for student nurses in order to Register for their PINS.

25 February 2020 signified the penultimate end of my days as a Student Nurse. I have completed mandatory hours. I have completed and passed all of my assignments. This day is the last day I will ever don my Student Nurse uniform.

I woke up that day not feeling any particularly different. In fact, i completely forgot that it was my last day at the ward that I was doing my sign off placement in. I woke up, did my normal routine. Said ‘bye’ to my parents and drove to placement.

I was cutting it close to my start time, I just about made it before everyone left the staff room for handover. I was trying to remember the patients and their conditions and who was going home, needed reviews, etc., etc. When my friend asked me how I was feeling.

Me being me, I said I was fine and just trying to figure out my priorities for the day, before she stops me to say about finishing today. Dumbfounded and scared. But I also could not wait to finish and finally have a break.

It all felt very surreal.

Three years of hard work all finished in a flash. I have made so many memories and I have learned so much. Not only about being a nurse but about myself as a person.

This post is a bit late and it has been a whole month since I finished my placement and ultimately my nursing training. While I have closed this chapter of my life, a new and much more challenging chapter has opened as you may all know by now.

Everything is happening so quickly that I haven’t really had the time to process everything yet. I don’t know what is going to happen in the next few weeks nor do I have any idea of how I am going to be coping. All I know is, I am glad that I am in this profession and that I am proud of everyone who is working within the NHS.

Jhan xx

Currently Listening|IT by Stephen King

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IT

Hello lovely readers,

It has been quite some time [yet again] since the last time I have posted anything on here, which I am sure is no longer a surprise these days. But, I have recently gotten back into reading novels, I meant listening to books, and thought I would share with you what book I am currently listening to. Continue reading

Book Review | The Memory Book by Lara Avery

The Memory Book

The Memory Book | Amazon

**Disclaimer// I would like to thank NetGalley, Quercus Children’s Books and the author, Lara Avery for providing me an electronic review copy of the novel The Memory Book for review purposes.

Continue reading

act 2 // New Beginnings

Hello lovely readers,

Last month, I completed my nurse training. I have passed all of my assignments and I was signed-off for my final placement. All I am doing now is waiting to register for my PIN. This should be a time for celebration and yet here I am sat in-front of my brother’s computer reflecting on what is going on in the world.

2020 has not been kind to us, with multiple calamities hitting the world in the first few months. Now, we are currently experiencing challenging times and with the exponential growth of this pandemic it is understandable how many people are feeling anxiety and panic over the uncertainty this pandemic has brought.

I have seen the same images, videos and news articles that you have. I know that this is not a simple influenza and that it is far more sinister than I have originally thought it was. The best prophylaxis that we all can do to prevent further spread of this virus is to stay at home and to perform thorough and quality hand hygiene. We must prioritise the safety of those vulnerable to ensure that the NHS is able to cope with what is to come.

Please be sensible and only leave your house if you really, really must. Please follow and listen to our government at this dire time where lives are at stake.

Below is a link to the UK Government’s guidance on social distancing. Please have a read through it and make yourself aware of current guidance and please I beg of you, comply with these.

Staying at home and away from others (social distancing)

If I am being honest, I am petrified.

I am due to start my nursing career in a couple of weeks’ time and I honestly do not know how to feel about it. It is a scary time to be a newly qualified. But I know that the front line needs me and this is what I have trained for for the last three years.

I have moved away from my family much earlier than I had hoped. Where I would have liked to have had them with me during the move to say a proper goodbye and to spend more time with them… I didn’t get to do that at all. Instead, I drove to London on my own with all of my belongings at the back of my car.

The drive was uneventful, there weren’t many cars around but for sure vans and delivery trucks were still everywhere. I was driving under the national speed limit because I was scare of being stopped by the police, if there were any checkpoints set up before entering the capital. I didn’t know if checks were going on. So much uncertainty.

But I arrived in my new ‘home’ safe and sound. Met my new housemates, both working from home and self-isolating.

Even now, I still question myself if I have made the right choice. To move to a new house with people I didn’t know at a time when everything feels such a risk.

But here I am, more than two weeks on and I have made new acquaintances whom I get along with just fine. It’s still not quite home yet. I’ll get there, I just wish I was able to visit my parents and give them a hug. FaceTime just isn’t the same. But it will have to do. Three more weeks.

So please, please, please… Stay at HOME.

Whether or not you have symptoms, stay indoors. Only go out if it is absolutely essential. When you go for a walk, don’t then go and sit down in the grass to sunbathe, don’t then sit down and have a picnic and drink. Please, follow official guidelines on safe social distancing and self-isolation. Three more weeks of this. That’s all.

A First Year Student Nurse’s Reflective Essay | In Good Hands

Hello lovely readers,

Today’s essay is the very first reflective essay I have written as a student nurse. I wrote this as part of our Professional Development module and after a workshop that our PAT conducted that involved Arts & Crafts and a bit of role playing. I remember really enjoying this particular workshop because it taught me a lot about compassion and empathy and how our hands are one of the most important tools we have as nurses in providing excellent care towards our patients.

So, here’s the reflection I wrote! Hope you enjoy reading!!

In good hands

Aristotle once referred to our hands as a ‘tool of tools’ highlighting their importance in carrying out our daily tasks. However, this isn’t the only use we have for our hands. The hand serves as an expressive outlet; through art, music and our gestures. We use them to express different emotions in various contexts.

In our case as student nurses, we use them to express empathy and compassion towards our patients. We use them to heal and to care for those who need it. Our hands are the most important tools that we have. Without them we could not possibly carry out any tasks within the workplace. Without them we wouldn’t be able to care for our patients.

A simple activity of holding each other’s hands playing the role of a nurse or a patient is a very powerful tool. It puts you in a position where you have to think like a patient, and act like a nurse. That activity, to me, is invaluable. 

Role playing, at first was uncomfortable for me. Initially we didn’t know what to do, and how we were going to do it. We couldn’t decide as to who was playing what role, and we opted to discuss the different ways in which we could show our care for a patient in need of comfort. This helped in breaking the ice, and made the activity more comfortable for the both of us.

I imagined myself as a patient who is confused and unsure as to why I am in a hospital, why I am surrounded by strangers. When the nurse held my hand, instinct told me to pull away. But those hands that held mine were gentle and kind. They weren’t forced. It was clear that this person who laid their hand on mine was there to help and care for me. Where at first I felt uneasy, now I am grateful for having someone there when I needed it – even though I didn’t know that I needed comfort.

Once the role was reversed, I was given a scenario. My patient is a terminally ill lady who is about to go for another bout of treatments, she is scared and afraid of what the outcome will be. She held my hand firmly, and my heart felt heavy. It may have been role play, but it put a lot of emotions through me. I held her hand and told her everything was going to be okay. I held her hand in mine, and squeezed it. I had hoped that this gesture reassured her, and brought her a little bit of comfort.

This simple act of holding ones hand conveys feelings words cannot. Our hands are the most important assets that we, as future nurses will have. Our whole career relies on our ability to carry out tasks with our hands; from clinical procedures to giving patients comfort. It is our duty to show that our patients are in good hands. In doing so, a simple activity like this gives us perspective. It has been a valuable lesson to teach future nurses on interpersonal skills, especially early on in the course.

‘Have nurses lost the ability to care?’ | A first year student nurse’s first academic essay.

Hello lovely readers,

As you can tell from the title of this post (maybe not), the content of this post will be the first academic essay I wrote as a student nurse. One of our core modules was Professional Development and part of the homework we were set during the first term involved the question ‘Have nurses lost the ability to care?’

I don’t remember what my Personal Academic Tutor (PAT) gave me for this essay, but I thought I’d share this anyway. As part of the revamp of my blog, I have decided to share the essays and reflections I have written throughout the last three years of my nurse training. So here’s the first one!

Have nurses lost the ability to care?

The statement ‘Have nurses lost the ability to care?’ will be discussed in this essay, along with factors and evidence that implies that nurses have lost their compassion towards their patients. This essay will look at factors such as shortage of nursing staff within wards, along with the importance of communication skills in delivering care.

The Francis report which was a public inquiry and examination of what caused the failings in care between 2005 and 2009 at Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust that made 290 recommendations for improvements to care (NMC, 2015) would be the most prevalent example that demonstrates how nurses may have lost the ability to care. This report highlighted the fact that patients did not receive even the ‘most basic elements of care’, were neglected and where misdiagnosis were common (The Guardian:Campbell, 2013). This inquiry not only highlighted the shortcomings of Nursing staff care towards their patients, but also those of the regulatory bodies involved. One of the underlying causes of poor care is due to the lack of ‘systematic communication of indication of serious concern’ between regulators, staff and deanery which have compromised patient care (Francis Report, 2013; p.59). This therefore suggest that poor care was also attributed to the fact that there were communication failures between different bodies of the workforce, and that it is not always the case where the nurses have lost the ability to care but the lack of action that regulatory bodies should have addressed early on were factored in the negligence of care.

A more recent case where patient safety were compromised would be the CQC’s inspection of Leicester Royal Infirmary’s A&E ward (Lintern; 2016a). Communication between regular and agency staff were highlighted as lacking where an agency nurse who did not have previous experience working at an emergency ward before was not provided proper induction of the department or when an agency nurse administered an insulin infusion to a patient without consulting a second nurse or the patient’s files (Lintern; 2016a). This clearly demonstrates that nurses may have lost the ability to care in not having proper communication skills and in turn risking the safety of the patients. This highlights the importance of handovers and simple communication between staff, even though there may be time constraints it is important nurses and even HCA’s should take the time to communicate with their colleagues in order to prevent any shortcomings in the quality of care that they provide to patients.

There are also strong evidence that suggest shortage of staff within wards have a negative effect on the quality of care Nurses are able to provide patients(Ford, 2017). In a recent survey conducted by Unison almost 63% of nurses who took part in the survey have stated that shortages in staff numbers mean that they “could not ensure safe, dignified and compassionate care.” (Ford, 2017)  Furthermore, a study conducted by Ball JE, et al (2014) have shown that 86% of nurses have stated that one or more care activity has been left undone, such as developing and updating patient care plans. (Ball, et al, 2014; Ford, 2017).

This can clearly be interpreted as ‘nurses losing the ability to care’, although this can be due to the  low number of available staff compromising care and safety of patients. However nurses recognise that there are time constraints associated with low staffing which clearly negatively affect their ability to provide compassionate care towards their patients; for instance being rushed or having no time to comfort patients when they need it (Ford, 2017) due to nurses’ attention and help being required elsewhere.

Smith (2013) stated that the media and press often misguiding in implying that nurses have lost the ability to care (Nursing Times). It isn’t always that nurses have lost the ability to care, as these can always be attributed to different factors that affects the way nurses interact with their patients. Janet Davies, current chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing argued that staffing levels and lack of appropriate skills mix amongst staff are causing ‘compassion fatigue’ (Brindle: The Guardian, 2017). This doesn’t necessarily show that nurses have lost the ability to care, but they do also feel frustration and stress, especially with the current political climate regarding Brexit and the future of the NHS, along with shortages of qualified nurses on wards.

In conclusion,  nurses have not entirely lost their ability to care. Yes, they may experience “compassion fatigue” at times where they may seem less caring, however this is attributed to several factors that affects them massively.

Reference List

Nursing &a Midwifery Council. 2015. Francis Report [Online]. Available at: https://www.nmc.org.uk/about-us/policy/position-statements/francis-report/ [Accessed: 26 April 2017]

Campbell D. 2013. Mid Staffs hospital scandal: the essential guide [Online] The Guardian. Available at https://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/feb/06/mid-staffs-hospital-scandal-guide#101 [Accessed: 26 April 2017]

Francis R. 2013. Report of the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry; Executive Summary [Online]. Available at: http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20150407084003/http://www.midstaffspublicinquiry.com/sites/default/files/report/Executive%20summary.pdf  Stationery Office [Accessed: 26 April 2017]

Lintern S. 2016a. CQC inspection finds safety risks in A&E. Health Service Journal 20 April 2016, p.13.

Ford, S. 2017. Risk remains from chronic lack of nurses, warns union. [Online] Nursing Times. Available at: https://www.nursingtimes.net/news/workforce/risk-remains-from-chronic-lack-of-nurses-warns-union/7017463.article [Accessed: 27 April 2017]

Ball, JE et al. ‘Care left undone’ during nursing shifts: associations with workload and perceived quality of care. BMJ Qual Saf 2014;23:116-125. Available at: http://qualitysafety.bmj.com/content/qhc/23/2/116.full.pdf [Accessed: 26 April 2017]

Brindle, D. 2017. ‘Nursing makes all the difference in healthcare’: how the job has changed. he Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/healthcare-network/2017/feb/28/nursing-makes-difference-healthcare-job-changed [Accessed: 27 April 2017]

Smith, A. 2013.  The ability to recognise care is your most valuable asset. Available at: https://www.nursingtimes.net/the-ability-to-recognise-care-is-your-most-valuable-asset/5061172.article [Accessed: 26 April 2017]

Reflection

Reading this essay, knowing what I know now; there are so many mistakes especially when it comes to in-text citations and the format of references. There are plenty of grammatical issues and errors throughout the essay and my conclusion is weak AF!!

Perhaps, as part of this series I should re-write my essays and see how I can improve on it – and get you (the readers) to critique my essays. Now that would be very interesting, plus if you’re a student nurse you could be practising your critical thinking skills.

Blog Revamp?

Who would have thought that I am going to be writing in this blog again? It has been so long since the last time I was here and the last time that I even wrote remotely anything that would be of interest to anyone. So maybe, just maybe this is finally my comeback?

If that is the case, then perhaps a re-introduction needs to be in place.

Me by Me

Hello everyone!

My name is Jhan and I am a final year Adult Nursing (BSc) student (with only a couple of months left and 4 more essay results to go, before officially finished with training!)

I have previously been a book blogger as you could probably tell from my old blog posts. I have read and reviewed a number of books during my time as a blogger, and in 2017/2018 I had placed my blogging on a hiatus due to academic and work commitments. If I am being honest, I have missed reading for leisure so much and after the last essay has been sent… well, I cannot wait to get back into reading!

However, I have decided this blog of mine will undergo reconstruction in the next couple of months. So, it will no longer be a book blog as such. I will still be writing book reviews, buttttttttt I thought I would primarily use this platform now as a personal blog that will detail my journey as a soon-to-be-qualified/newly qualified nurse!

What to expect of my new content?

If you were a previous reader of my blog, you would know that I mainly wrote book reviews, sometimes I wrote about blog/book challenges as well as TBRs and Currently Reading posts.

This time around I will still try and keep some elements of my previous bookish life with book reviews, TBRs and currently reading blog posts, however, expect much more of the following:

  1. ‘Diary’ entries consisting of reflective accounts regarding my current practice and experiences as a student nurse/soon-to-be NQN.
  2. Study tips (because I have dabbled in the world of Studyblr before…)
  3. Nursing Student must haves (i.e. essential tools)
  4. Advice with handling common situations student nurses may experience
  5. Tips to make life as a student nurse easier
  6. Guest contents from my colleagues (if I am not chicken to inform them about this blog that is lol).

So, if you are interested in reading these, then please stay tuned!

I look forward to sharing with all of you the things I have learned and the things that I have experienced in the last three years I have been on hiatus focused on my future career. I hope you guys enjoy my new content!

Jhan xox

Writing Poetry

Hello lovely readers,

Two blog posts in a week, what a rare occurrence. I just thought I would start a new kind of posts on my blog. As the title suggest, I want to talk about writing poetry.

Recently, I’ve started writing my own poetry. I mean I have been doing so for years, but I have never had the courage to post them online – until last month. I have started an Instagram page where I upload poetry online at least once a day. Please check it out, it’s @j_s.poetry – thank you 😊.

Anyway, I’m going to add a few on here just to kind of give you guys a preview of what I have been writing, and would really much appreciate your feedbacks!

thank you for reading my blog!