Monday, 18 October 2010


Yep, the title says it all. I am now a qualified nurse. I have completed my course and been given an entry on the Nursing and Midwifery Council(NMC) register. I have started a job as a Staff Nurse on a general ward at a local hospital. The last few weeks have been filled with a sense of blinding terror and headaches induced by all the new paperwork in this new hospital. As soon as I qualified I felt I had forgotten everything I had learned over the last three and a bit years. Fortunately this doesnt appear to be the case.

I have enrolled on a preceptorship program. This effectively gets my post-qualification education off to a good start. Including things like respiratory and cardiac study days. I also have a semi-experienced nurse on my ward who is there to assist my development. Its all very cool.

I have been working on my ward for three weeks now and I have to admit I am only just starting to find me feet. During this supernumerary period I am supervised in everything I do. This is accompanied by phrases like "You dont have to do it this way but its how I do it" from the senior nurses which of course oblige me to "do it their way" whilst they are supervising me. I finally started finding my feet when we were too understaffed to allow me any supervision so I could do it all my way.

I have to admit there is a large part of me that regrets not going straight to A&E but I still believe its essential to my core development to get experience in a specialty area first. I am however missing my highly acute patients, we have had one or two on my ward but most of the patients have fairly high care needs but few medical or acuity needs. As is true on a lot of wards in a lot of hospitals many of my patients are in with us for a "social sort out", they have complex or increasing social care needs and need a bed with us whilst social services work their magic. I fully appreciate the importance of this system for the patients however I believe there should be special wards designed just for this purpose so social patients arent taking up acute care beds on wards with staff with specialty training and experience.

There we go. My first post back, my first post as a qualified nurse ending in a micro-rant.


Sage said...

welcome back to the blogfold, my friend, I wondered how things were going with you .. congratulations on qualifying as a nurse xx

Wallingford School Performance Committee said...

Like your blog title (I'm a historian of midwifery and gynaecology who is working on images of Hippocrates) - wondering why you called it that?

And congratulations!!

Asclepius said...

Thanks sage, its good to be back, at very least for the cathartic effects of blogging. Its always a bit dicey in this game knowing where the line is condifentiality wise. Ive gotten into the habit now of writing a post and then waiting two days before I post it so I have time to think. This is especially useful given I write most of my posts in a state of emotional imbalance.

Wallingford - To be honest I'm having a hard time remembering why I chose this blog name, I know it made sense at the time. I think it had something to do with the comparison of the methods and models that hippocrates gave birth to that everyone reports are still an "essential foundation to modern medical practice" and the fact that most doctors/clinicians I know use completely separate and occsionally very erratic models especially in regards to patient assessment.

Wallingford School Performance Committee said...

Thanks - that makes sense!! It is indeed fascinating how many (historically dodgy) statements about 'Hippocrates himself said...' get made while precisely the opposite is being done!

Asclepius said...

From a very personal point of view I think it makes the individual practitioners feel attached to something bigger, and older. Medicine and Nursing are far less glamorous than the general public believe based on their brief experiences in hospitals and medical drama on tv. I've spent entire shifts administering suppositories and enemas in the past, when I'm not performing what in general are fairly mundane clinical tasks I'm spending hours with paperwork. All in the hope that at some point a patient might come through the doors whos life can be improved by my actions. I know the doctors have it just as hard, its incredibly demoralising, sometimes you just need something to hold onto. I know Flo Nightingale is the figurehead for my profession. These icons make us feel connected and give our morale the boost it needs to keep us going.