Life Hacks... For Student Nurses.

Needless to stay, being a student is tough. Adding nearly 40 hours of clinical placement a week to studying is even worse! I started my university course in March and over the course of the year I have developed some life hacks to deal with university and placement, which I thought I would share for the new student nurses (or midwives) going on to their first clinical placement.

1. Do not buy your text books in advance.

Okay, well maybe by a few. I'd recommend a nursing dictionary and a decent Anatomy and Physiology book, just because they always get reserved in the library first. I'm serious, you will go through so many text books, you'd have to be a millionaire to afford them all! MOST text books you'll need can be found in the library and the majority of universities have a huge access to ebooks, which are brilliant for writing essays as you can just CTRL+F to search for key words.

One book I would recommend is the Student Edition of The Royal Marsden's Clinical Procedures in Nursing. Although it seems like a lot of money for £25, it is like a guide to student nursing, and has come in handy for every placement and every single essay I've written!

2. Buy *LOTS* of black socks

Black socks are your friends, and there is nothing worse than coming home for a 12.5 hour shift and rummaging around your bedroom drawers for a spare pair of black socks. Keep a pair in your car, your locker and your bag. I got mine from Sainsburys for £2 for a pack of five, and bought six packs at the start of the year... I now have about seven pairs left. NEVER under-estimate how many pairs of black socks you will go through.

3. Use Vaseline for any "unusual" smells

The best advice I was given before starting my first placement was to carry around a small pot of Vaseline to avoid the toughest of smells. Stick a tiny bit up your nose and you won't be smelling a thing! Just be careful that the menthol doesn't make your nose run!

4. Double (OR TRIPLE) glove when dealing with a code brown

You're in nursing because you love it, and you should be pretty aware that everyone poops... and yes we do have to clean it up! When dealing with a code brown, double or triple glove. This means if your top pair of gloves get messy, you can just rip them off. Also, ALWAYS carry a spare pair of gloves in your pocket, as you never know when or where a code brown will take place!

5. It's okay to hate your placement

Chances are, you are going to work in more clinical placements which you hate than love. It's okay to have a mental breakdown on your first day. It's overwhelming, tiring and you will just want to cry. My longest placements have lasted 12 weeks and you have to see the bigger picture, which is you qualifying at the end of the course. Placements are really what you make of it, and as long as you are enthusiastic and willing to learn, then you should pass with flying colours.

Thank you so much for reading! XO

**** Stock Image Courtsey of Google, all rights go to the original photographer ****

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