I now have two years experience of being a student learning disability nurse under my belt and I am about to go in to my final year. Now that my student journey is ending I thought it would be helpful to share some important lessons I have learnt while being a student.
Know that you have something to contribute
I know as a first year you don't really feel you have anything to contribute to the team but even completing progress notes are vital contribution Documenting is so important as if you haven't documented it then you didn't do it. The small things you do as a first year do make the difference.
2. You don't need to know EVERYTHING
As a student you feel determined to try absorb everything from lectures to placement. In reality you are not going to remember everything but what you will remember is where to find the information you need.As not everything will be relevant to your day to day practice and not knowing something you don't normally come across does not make you a bad student. What makes you a good student is knowing where to find the information to get a better understanding.
3.Don't compare yourself to other fields of practice
This is something I learnt in my second year of being a student learning disability nurse after hearing comments such as 'not proper nursing' from others, regarding my field of practice.I advise you to ignore such comments. As the 6C's which highlight the basics of good nursing practice are demonstrated every day by learning disability nurses.
4. Be supportive of your peers and help each other out
Being a student nurse isn't easy it's a stressful three years but you are not alone you've got your whole cohort beside you.If your struggle with something or worried there is probably five other people with the same worries or problems. Between the lot of you I am sure you can help each other out, demonstrating multidisciplinary working at its best.
5. Make the most of placement and every opportunity
As a student you have varied lengths of time at each placement so make the most of it. If there's an opportunity to do something out of your comfort zone, do it. Your only a student for so long, so make use of the support you have.
Hannah Simpson Student Nurse at DeMontfort University