The Day In The Life Of A Student Nurse

If you've been reading my blog, you'll know that I'm currently coming towards the end of my first year on a nursing course. When I started, I had no idea what to actually expect, so tell help any future student nurses, I'm going to talk you through an average 12.5 hour shift on a hospital ward!

5:10am: My alarm sounds and I press snooze about five times before reluctantly getting up. I put on a little bit of make up and tie my hair up in a tight bun, before heading out the door.

6:40am: I finally get to placement after a good 35 minute drive and pop £5 into the parking meter, to cover the length of my shift. I walk up to the hospital, get changed into my uniform and I grab a quick coffee to take to the nurse handover.

7-7:30am: The nursing handover is given. This is where the (very sleepy) night shift staff go through all of the patients and inform us of any new admissions, changes or deterioration's.

7:30am: Unfortunately, many patients have trouble sleeping in hospitals, so by this time some patients are already awake and are requesting assisted washes. I start getting all the equipment together and begin to help them. We document that each patient has been washed, and monitor the patient's skin, to make sure there is no sores/redness.

8:00am: By this time, we're normally interrupted by the breakfast trolley. So I start making the patient beds or assisting patient's with their breakfast. Once I finish breakfast I write in the notes of the patient's who have a food diary, before returning to help them with a wash.

11:00am: Washes are all done, and all of the beds are made. Time for a 30 minute break. I down 2 bottles of water and a coffee, before grabbing a sandwich.

11:30am: Once I'm back from my break, I start the observations (blood pressure, heart rate, temperature etc). I also check the blood sugar levels of anyone with diabetes, and I inform the qualified nurse every time I do one.

12:00am: The lunch trolley appears, and I go to join the qualified nurse to do the lunch time medication round.

12:30pm: The medication round is over, so we gather up the patient's case notes to carry out the daily nursing evaluation. This is where we document any changes to a patient's condition. During this time, the call bell rings and I assist a patient to the toilet and back. I also help another patient with feeding assistance and document how much they ate in their notes, before returning to the paperwork.

1:00pm: A qualified nurse asks me to remove a patient's cannula, as she's being discharged. The medication for the patient arrives from the pharmacy, along with the Doctor's letter and I help the patient carry their bags to their car. Back on the ward, I do a quick skin round, which is where you help to stand or turn a patient and monitor their skin.

2:00pm: Time for the second handover of the day, which means it's time to grab another quick coffee!

2:30pm: A new admission comes in. An admission takes around 30 minutes to process, so I gather the paper work together and get cracking on with it. The call be rings several times, and I get no where with the admission.

3-5:00pm: Still on with the admission, the ward opens to patient's relatives for visiting time. I go and grab the qualified nurse to give me an update for a patient's family. I manage to finish the admission, just before the nursing call bell rings again.

5:00pm: Visiting time is over and the dinner trolley arrives. I check the blood sugars of anyone suffering with diabetes, andjoin my mentor on another medication round. This round normally involves giving just about everyone Clexane injections (which I love, because they're super easy). On this day we had an intramuscular injection, which I had never done before. My mentor explained how to carry it out and asked me if I was happy to do it. I said yes, but I was secretly terrified of hurting the patient!

6:00pm: I help clear away after dinner, updating patient food diaries and fluid balance charts as I go, and then I start the observations again. I remember that I needed to collect some urine samples, so go to help a patient on to the toilet, and retrieve another sample from a patient's catheter bag. The nursing call bell rings and I go to help turn and change a patient who is very poorly.

7:00pm: I start getting giddy at the sight of the night shift staff coming on shift, as we grab another coffee and head to the last hand over of our shift!

7:30pm: I thank the staff for their help and head to the changing room. I drive home, hearing the sound of the nursing call bell ringing in my ears, ready to start the day tomorrow!

I hope you enjoyed reading this, and I hope you get some extra insight into a student nurse's shift! Follow me on Pinterest or Twitter! XO

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