Peterborough City Hospital - Staff Nurse in ENT/Urology
You're learning every day, on a ward that has a variety of specialties. The job offers many opportunities to progress and develop as a nurse. You can take on extended roles and specialist roles. For example, since qualifying, I have done further training so that I can look after patients with tracheostomies, this skill will be useful throughout my career (provided I keep up to date with my competencies). This new skill enables me to care for complex patients in a ward environment.
The transition from student to registered practitioner is challenging to say the least. Nothing can prepare you for the sometimes overwhelming sense of responsibility you feel for the patients in your care. You will always remember the first time a patient deteriorates on your watch, but you learn from these events through reflection either alone or with your colleagues, so that next time something occurs you are better prepared. I am lucky that I work on a very supportive ward with colleagues who are always there to reassure and aid my reflection if it's required, for example a team debrief following an arrest situation.
I would like to have progressed towards becoming a specialist nurse practitioner, though at present I'm not sure what specialty I'd like to go into. I may even make progress towards my Masters.
The theory and lecture based elements give you the underpinning knowledge and skills to start your career as a Nurse. The placements allow you to be part of many diverse areas of nursing over 3 years, which in turn allows you to make an informed choice about the area of nursing you would like to work in.
Challenging, rewarding and hard work
Addenbrookes Hospital Vascular surgery - Staff Nurse.
I enjoy my job as a newly qualified staff nurse as the workload and tasks vary day to day and I enjoy the variety of work within my chosen speciality. My day usually consists of receiving a handover from the previous shift, introducing myself to my patients and then do the drug round and other tasks I am required to undertake. I enjoy working within the multidisciplinary team on the ward learning how to look after our patients in the best way.
I would recommend the job to others if they want to go into a career with lifelong learning that is constantly rewarding. A career where caring and communication is key and a smile can make a patient’s day.
A challenging experience I came across was when I noticed someone doing something that we had been taught was no longer used during my studies. However the other person was more senior than me so I confronted them by saying “I thought we were not allowed to do that anymore”. That member of staff agreed and explained why allowing me to understand.
In five years I would like to have completed the mentorship programme with ARU and to also have furthered my studies by completing a Masters award. I will also look towards either going into education or applying for a junior sister or specialist nurse position within the hospital.
Studying at ARU prepared me for becoming a staff nurse as there was so much support while studying on the course as well as there being such a wide range of placement opportunities and experiences. We also were taught to time manage and arrange our own workload – which definitely helps now!
Inspirational, motivating and exciting
I am currently working at Watford General Hospital in the West Hertfordshire Hospital Trust as a band 5 staff nurse on a paediatric rotational programme.
I really enjoy interacting with children and their parents and helping to put them at ease in difficult and scary situations. One of my favourite things about my job is being able to explain what will be happening to patients and their parents and see how they are reassured and then just able to focus on getting better and going home.
Another of the favourite parts of my job is when a patient has been on the ward for several days and they are finally better and able to get home. It is always nice to see that a child has recovered well and you have been a part of that journey.
Time management is constantly a challenge, even in a 12.5 hour day there is rarely enough time to do everything that you want for your patients. But I have been told that this comes with experience and is something that I am very, very slowly getting better at.
I would like to be working towards a Masters. Or possibly be in a Sister’s post either working in the community or in a clinic/elective care role. However there are so many opportunities to go forward with a nursing degree, who knows!
Without my degree at Anglia Ruskin I wouldn’t be able to do the job that I am doing. It has allowed me to discover the areas that I find interesting and most rewarding in nursing and given me the knowledge that I needed. My course has also allowed me to gain a rounded picture of nursing with its rewards and challenges.
Rewarding, revealing and fascinating
Brockfield House, Forensic Mental Health Hospital, Staff Nurse
Working at Brockfield House enhances your risk assessing skills and vigilance to keep service users/staff and the environment safe. I have also been taught how to deal with complex situations effectively and proficiently, whilst maintaining my professionalism and ensuring that staff and service users’ feel supported and secure.
I have felt much supported by my manager when I have needed advice and assistance and have monthly clinical supervision where I can reflect on my strengths/weaknesses and how I would like to progress. This is an extremely beneficial working environment for a newly qualified staff nurse to work in to develop the essential skills required for a long-term career in mental health nursing.
The main difficulty I have been confronted with is the safer staffing levels required and seemingly being short staffed in a secure and evidently risk prone environment. Thankfully, Brockfield House has 7 wards and you can liaise with staff on other wards to borrow people to assist when required; as well as keeping in close contact with the unit coordinator and the Ward Sister. Staff have to work closely as a team in such a risk prone environment and staff come together in difficult situations. I have also requested shifts to be put out for bank; and if necessary, with a manager’s authorisation, you can escalate the requirement to a staff agency.
I would like to be completing my PhD, commencing my PhD or working towards my career in becoming a Mental Health Nurse Research Lecturer.
I feel that studying at Anglia Ruskin University has prepared me to be a caring, competent and knowledgeable nurse. I now understand the importance of continually developing my skills and reflecting on my practice and I would like to commence further study at Anglia Ruskin University in the near future.
Cathartic, Catalytic and Supportive. These words also describe the facilitative approach Anglia Ruskin took when teaching students (based on Heron's six category of intervention).