I’ve learnt a lot since becoming a nursing student. Apart from the obvious new clinical skills, enhancing my anatomy and physiology knowledge and learning new things through university. I have learnt more about myself as a person.
Nursing students are a special type of student. Yes we live the student lifestyle and party, yes we are poor, yes we have deadlines, but we have this incredible bond with each other. We are all in the same boat. We are all trying to juggle a 37.5 hour a week placement, whilst trying to get an assignment (possibly two!) done, and many of us have part time jobs to help with finances. What I have found since becoming a nursing student is that we put so much pressure on ourselves to succeed. Don’t get me wrong, I want to be able to do the best that I can. But sometimes this means I don’t give myself to stop and think “okay, what do I need to do next?”. I often work for over a week straight without giving myself a day off, which is never healthy. I know of other students working over 60+ hours a week when they are on placement because they have to keep their house running and pay their mortgage.
I’m not say don’t strive to be the best you can be, but make sure you take time for yourself. The last thing you need is to be burnt out before you even start. I think as student nurses we can have a habit of putting the whole weight of the world on our shoulders, we don’t give ourselves chance to be actual students. Even on my first ever placement I put pressure on myself to know every single thing because I didn’t want to come across as incompetent. There is nothing wrong with asking questions if you don’t understand things. In fact, I believe most mentors would prefer students to ask questions because it shows that you are inquisitive and actually want to learn.
Since becoming a student nurse I have learnt to make the most of my support networks. Whether that is family, friends, lecturers, and extra help from the university for assignments.
We need to give ourselves more credit for what we do. It’s okay to ask for help, it’s okay to want to put things on hold for a couple of days to recuperate, it’s okay to want to be the best, but we need to stop putting this extra pressure on ourselves because it’s not healthy.
Be kind to each other, pull each other up, celebrate each other’s achievements because we are all in this together.