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.