BU lecturers share advice in Nursing Times

Clinical demonstrator Catharine Handford and lecturer Cate Wood shared their advice on what first year nursing students should expect from their degree in an article for the Nursing Times.

“Learning to be a nurse is not as simple as just being told what to do and then going out and doing it,” they wrote.

“The process involves time spent in lecture theatres and on self-directed study, alongside learning practical aspects of nursing taught in simulation departments and on practice placements in a variety of settings.

“To succeed you need to be determined, organised, positive, assertive and self -directed.”

Alongside attending lectures and seminars, students should be prepared to become “independent learners”, they added, completing background reading and self-directed study.

“To look after the health of others you need to start by taking care of your own,” they wrote in the article.

“Plan your study wisely and take up all the help offered to you, a study timetable will allow you to work hard and give you time to do other things you enjoy.”

They also explained some of the practical skills that nursing students will be expected to learn and complete assessments in – including practice placements and ‘simulation’ exercises.

“Simulation is used by universities as a way of reflecting on real-life situations,” they said.

“It allows for a variety of clinical skills to be taught and practised in a realistic and safe environment before you practice these skills on actual patients.”

They explained that simulation exercises for first year nursing students at BU included learning moving and handling skills, how to assess a patient’s nutritional and hygiene needs and practicing basic observation techniques – working with other students to learn how to take pulses, temperature and blood pressure.

Catharine and Cate, who are both from BU’s School of Health and Social Care, said: “This is where you really get to know your fellow students.

“By sharing experiences and learning together what it is like to be a patient, you build firm friendships and a strong support network of individuals who understand exactly what you’re going through.”

They added: “The journey to becoming a nurse can be challenging and hard work, but it is also a time when you will grow as a person, meet some amazing people and, hopefully, have a lot of fun.”

Read the Nursing Times article in full (subscription needed)