A note to the Student Nurse Newbies….

Posted on June 29, 2018. Filed under: In the beginning... |


It’s that time of year when a new wave of student nurses surge to University, many fresh from A levels and wet behind the ears, more so as mummy didn’t teach them how to dry properly, before packing their lives into the back of the family car and dumping them into a rat infested student digs somewhere. Oh sweet joy!

Oh no….. Students carry disease….. Lets move out!

I’m not writing today to moan about the overly enthusiastic drunks and there unrealistic idealization of nursing, but to give them a few starters from a ye olde Nurse Practitioner….

It’s a post inspired by a young lady, who I love to pieces in a paternal kinda way- hasten to add – or the poor love will go to University having nightmares!! She came to the surgery as a child slave an apprentice in Reception. Soon the nursing team recognised her brilliance and kidnapped her. Before we knew it we had a fantastic health care assistant on our team. She smiles all day long, she is always professional and she appears to love what she does. (I know you cynical old nurses are thinks the NHS will soon beat that out of her! – but I think she’s tough enough!) Our loss as a surgery is a massive gain to the NHS and nursing at large.

Now all student nurses have to learn from there mistakes, and they all WILL make mistakes, but I felt I could give a heads up from my experiences as and with student nurses.

So I’ve listed 20 “Do’s and Don’t’s”…

1. Don’t ever tell a patient it’s your first time doing something until after you’ve done it!!

The sentence “Ahh, Mr Jones, I’ve got to put this wobbly tube up you willy!” Is scary enough for the patient, without him knowing you hands are shaking and you’re really not sure if it’s gonna slide in nicely or have to go over his enlarged prostate like a motorbility scooter with no suspension over a speed bump.

2. Don’t under estimate the brilliance of having Vicks on your wrist if the job is a stinker.

3. Do learn the difference between being assertive and aggressive.

4. Do develop your own “look” to give inappropriate comments from patients and Doctors.

5a. Never, ever sleep with a Doctor.

5b. More to the point never- ever stay awake all night with a Doctor – unless of course you are both on a night shift.

6a. Don’t try to sound clever, leave the bullshit baffles brains stuff to the 1st year medical students. Your job is to be human and make the patient understand and not feel stupid. Big words and diagnosis don’t make you look clever, they just make the patient feel thick.

6b. On that note – never assume a patient has any level of common sense. It’s your job to explain to a patient that eating beetroot doesn’t cause you to piss blood, it just turns your wee red.

6c. On that note, never assume your patient isn’t in fact a consultant specialist for exactly the condition they are in hospital with… Even consultants get ill! 😷🤒

6d. On that note…… Never assume a doctor has common sense. It’s your job to explain that the patient with the broken ankle and broken clavicle can’t go home on crutches.

7. Don’t freak out when a dead body groans, wee’s, farts, opens it eyes. It’s all normal.

8. Do freak out if a dead body asks you for a second opinion.

9. Don’t turn up to work on an early shift after a night drinking Beer with an Irish girl/boy you’ve only just met, cos you quite liked her/him, and then spend the morning feeling green and probably smelling of alcohol (you can pretend it’s the smell of hand gel all you like, no one is convinced), and then running off to vomit when someone lifts the lid on the lunch trolley! (I’ve obviously never done this – I am just saying, it could happen!)

10. Don’t put all the patients dentures together in one bowl to clean them.

11. Do expect nurses to try to send you to the orthopaedic wards to get a long stand, or Pharmacy for Bowman’s Capsules or Gynae for Fallopian tubes, or even Endocrinology for diabetic soap.

I asked for a long stand 20 minutes ago…. How long does it take to get one?

12. Do stand at right angles to patient when squeezing anything or if any orifice is exposed.

13. Do prepare to feel like you’re living in a post apocalyptic campus from June to October, when all the business studies, drama students and media studies students are on there summer holidays – and don’t expect there will be anyone left to open the student bar!

14. Do not ever bitch about a member of staff: they are all related and that bitch of a ward manager, just happens to be married to the Consultant that’s sat at the desk next to you and her nephew is the orderly that just picked up your coffee cup……. (like you will have time for coffee! ☕).

15. Do not ever think you’ve seen it all. I still haven’t. The general public will forever stun and amaze you!

16. Don’t expect willies and vagina’s to look like any willy or vagina you’ve seen before!! It is not acceptable to say to a male patient complaining of penile pain: “Well I wouldn’t worry about a little thing like that!”

17. Do expect to find a whole new world of smells. If there was a sliding scale for odours it would start with sweaty belly button and escalate to Melena -(no, that isn’t the obese woman in Bed 4’s name!)

18. Do expect to hear some hugely inappropriate humour. It is how we survive.

19a. Don’t expect to find linen in the linen cupboard.

19b. Do expect to go in the linen cupboard and see even the most senior members of staff crying so severely they produce snot bubbles. It is also how we survive.

20. Don’t ever look like you’ve got nothing to do. If you have nothing to do, ask what you can do to help, you’ll get given a sensible job. If you stand around gormlessly without asking what you can do to help, you will be asked to clean all the bedpans or feed the amazing, porridge spitting, viper nicknamed Psycho-gran.

Lean closer dear…I didn’t quite hear you….

So there you go…. A few starters… Enjoy and remember from this day forth, you will experience a privileged look at life that very few of your “normal” friends will ever understand… Welcome to the club.

As ever comment away with other tips you veterans.

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2 Responses to “A note to the Student Nurse Newbies….”

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Do not tell the ER to hold that admission for the next shift
Keep open Gomco suction bottles at an arm’s length
Use caution when applying scultetus abdominal binder to flatulent patient

Ooooh. All good points…. Not such a fool after all!


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