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New to Nursing

Giving Advice

Published September 17, 2015 7:15 AM by Leatitia Coetzee
 It seems now I am a student nurse, people presume I am the font of all knowledge for any medical condition, ailment or general problem, regardless of whether I'm on duty or not.

One time, I was lucky enough to have an afternoon to myself, without tests or tasks. I decided I would go out, have a long walk, get myself a book and settle down in a café to enjoy a good read and a bit of people watching.

I'm at the counter ordering my coffee when one of the ladies who works there spots me and tries desperately to get my attention. She beckons me over to a secluded corner and tells me she's so glad I came in; she wants my advice about "a lady problem."

Being a student nurse isn't just about learning and providing advice and education, it's also about undertaking different roles to different people.

I have found that one of the most difficult but rewarding roles is listening. When I'm on the wards patients seem willing to reveal concerns to me that have never previously been mentioned.

Sometimes I feel like a sponge as I absorb all these things. I have come home some days and sobbed with the weight of some of the secrets that have been shared with me.

Every now and then, I find it a real struggle balancing all these different roles. Sometimes I feel like I'm being suffocated with the pressure of placement, home life, college life, being a young adult and hanging out with friends.

Occasionally, and I know this is incredibly selfish, I wish I didn't have all these responsibilities.

It gets overwhelming with people relying on me to do the housework, go to gym, go to church, write a good essay, read more journals/books or fill in massive loads of paperwork for lecturers or mentors to mark.

I feel like I don't have time for my friends anymore as I'm always busy, on placement, tasks or tests. In fact I barely have time for ME anymore.

But then I remember why I love what I do, when I look at my patients and see the love and appreciation they have for having someone that just listens, I know that all of this and all the sacrifice is well worth it. And then I press on for another day or being everything I was born to be.



Phrases such as "I don't know," or "we have not covered that topic yet," are both perfectly acceptable responses to questions we don't care to answer, for WHATEVER reason.  It might be kind and loving to refer people to the "experts."  

Barbara Alexander September 21, 2015 2:15 PM

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