Last day of the week

Today was our last day of lecturers for the week. Long weekend for us students. How lovely. I shall be working and writing the rest of the first draft of my assignment.

I just wanted to write a piece on some of the lectures this week. The lectures this week have been real thinkers. Have really got me thinking or have given me extra knowledge I can use on the wards for my next placement.

First lesson: Lifeline lecture. Despite the ‘surprise we are making you do a presentation right now,’ I really enjoyed this lecture. We got into groups of around 10 and had to discuss a particular timeframe of a persons life. We had Harry, who suffered from depression and his lifeline was between 40 – 60 years old. We had to piece together, on paper, his life. With this, we had to include what we thought his health needs were, the holistic needs, the nurses role in this area and other professionals that could be involved. We didn’t have much time to do this, so we prioritised doing the writing and getting the information down on paper and then improvised who was saying what at the front of the class for the presentation haha. Which seems to work well for us. For me, I hate standing in front of a class of people and talking. It’s not something I have done much of, maybe twice my whole life. But I think with more practice this will get a lot better for me. The best part was, bringing all the lifeline of one person together. Hearing the other groups discussion from 0 – 60 years old. Hearing Harrys life from start to finish. This is something I really wish we could do as a nurse. I’d love to know what happened to that patient after they left my care. How their life went on. There will be certain patients that will stay with me for life and I will always wonder ‘what happened to them.’

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Second lesson: Communication. This sounds ridiculous because surely everyone has communication skills? It’s taking those communication skills to the next level. Enhancing your own communication skills so that when you’re handing over to the nurse or doctor you are doing it correct, structured to get the result you want for your patient. It involves SBAR. Situation, Background, Assessment and Recommendation. A structured way to report your patient over to the other professional. This tool is amazing. I really love this tool! I have had my mentor say to me previously on the ward ‘ok go tell the doctor in charge of that patient what you’ve found’. It stopped me in my tracks a little, I didn’t feel prepared, I was rushed and inside I panicked. On the outside I was smiling, happy and saying ‘yes of course I will.’ If I had the SBAR tool, I could of handed over the information about the patient so much better! I feel I did the best I could in the situation at the time however. I informed the doctor of everything she needed but it could of been structured and not so rushed. I appreciate this tool so much now and I have a copy in my pocket which will be laminated and kept with me forever.

Third lesson: Birmingham City University are extremely good at organising extra things for us to help us with our learning opportunities. We had a health and well-being event planned for us which was great! Lots of stalls on mental health, drug misuse, sexual health, learning disabilities, malnutrition needs and more! We all walked around talking to the people on the stalls, tried the fortisip drinks that are given to patients to help get them nourished again (which were actually OK! The strawberry milkshake type one was lovely, the juice version ones not so lovely haha). I then signed up for volunteering with a group called Birmingham PHAB camps, which looks fantastic! They provide action packed holidays that embraces every ability! What an opportunity.

Fourth lesson: Mental Well being. I really loved this lecture. For the life of me I can’t remember the lecturers name, but she was great! She really knew what she was talking about and she did it with passion, you could see it’s something she truly loves. The lesson got my group talking about the communication needs of patients. My friend and I sat and talked about how there isn’t enough training in hospital or healthcare settings around people with mental health, learning disabilities or dementia. There seems to be a fear or lack of understanding in health care professions we have both witnessed. And no fault to their own, the healthcare assistants I witnessed, were so good! They were really caring and went out their way for patients. But when it came to dealing with a patient with advanced dementia, they didn’t seem to know how to deal with that situation appropriately. They wouldn’t explain what they were doing as they were doing it which resulted in the patient becoming aggressive. Whilst I was in the room, I spoke to the patient, I told him exactly what was happening step by step and this reassured him. I feel there is a huge gap here. There needs to be a better training programme around this I feel. Not at university, because at university we are taught appropriately. But elsewhere in healthcare, through the NHS or even private companies, there really needs to be more done. That extra piece of training could help so many patients. There was one video in particular I found, I think through youtube. It was based around a young girl, she’s in her room, doing her make up in her nightie. An elderly gentleman walks into her room and tries to kiss her, she screams at him and tries to get away. He continues to try and talk to her, she’s scared, she jumps out of the window and runs away from him. He chases her down the road, to a park with a lake. She’s standing at the lake, and he says he’s her husband. It then goes back to her and she’s actually elderly. The elderly lady has Alzheimer’s and doesn’t recognise her husband. She still see’s herself as a young girl. Her husband has been forgotten. It’s such an eye opener! It really makes you see what it is like through the eyes of someone with those needs.

Last but not least plenary session!! Last session of the week. I love plenary sessions because they identify exactly what I need to work on now. As I thought before, Diane and her stroke has been a tough one for me. Mainly because it’s all new. I’m trying to remember all new information that I don’t know. Long words I don’t understand and trying to remember the difference between words that sound and look similar. I really need to watch some youtube videos and find ways of remembering which is which. The more I do this the more it will sink in and hopefully during the exam I will remember it all and pass with flying colours. Thank you to the lecturers Scott and Sue for being amazing during NUR2024! You make it so easy to understand.

All in all a fantastic week of learning and progressing. Next stop… OSCE results tomorrow at 12:00! Good luck all 😀

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34 years old and finally achieving my dream of becoming a nurse.

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