Hello! My name is Jacob and I am training to be a children’s nurse. In between my studies at London South Bank University, I am one of a number of student nurses getting hands-on experience on the wards at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH). Today is International Nurse’s Day and I would like to share with you a little about my day.
I live outside of halls with my family and commute about 1 hour into Great Ormond Street Hospital each day.
Being a student is great. Although there are a lot of things we can do and you’re learning all the time, you can still ask questions. How much responsibility you have depends on where you are in your training, so in the second year, mentors are a bit more ‘hands off’ as long as it’s safe for the patient. A lot of families are surprised to hear that you’re a student because they just see you in your uniform. When they find out they’re usually really interested in what you’re doing.
My last placement was on Starfish Rapid Assessment Unit. There were a lot of follow-up appointments and clinics with doctors, as well as some diagnostic or therapeutic procedures to see how the kids were getting on. Because it’s a rapid assessment unit, patients would arrive in the morning and leave in the afternoon – we’d try and deal with them rapidly.
One of the most interesting days on my last placement was working in the botox clinic. Botox is often something you think of superstars getting to have their wrinkles removed, but it can be therapeutic when used for children with really tight muscles. It’s quite busy and there are lots of injections – some children would need nearly 10 injections in one dose. It was really interesting to see how that process worked.
Before I started my course and started coming to GOSH, I’d only been in a hospital once or twice. I kind of knew what a nurse did, but I’d never seen it in practice. I’ve learned how a shift starts off and what types of things we’re expected to do as nurses, as well as technical knowledge such as how to do observations and how to pass certain catheters or tubes.
All of my mentors have been really amazing and knowledgeable. It’s been a great way of consolidating my theoretical knowledge in a practical setting. They’ve taught me things during procedures or given me some background as to what’s happening with a specific child and why they’re having certain procedures. I feel like I’ve learned a lot, but there’s still a lot to learn.
My most memorable moment so far at GOSH was on my last placement, when one little girl came in for surgery. She was very needle-phobic and the first day I saw her we needed to take a lot of blood tests. She was crying a lot and was very distressed. I was trying to calm her down while the phlebotomist was taking the blood, but it wasn’t really working. It felt quite discouraging, but then the next day when I was in, she ran up to me all happy and smiling because she remembered me. That was a nice feeling of achievement.
I love my job at GOSH and feel really lucky to have been given the opportunity to work here. It’s a great place and I really enjoy meeting lots of different families, but most of all, I feel really lucky to be able to help give children the chance to grow up and lead happy, healthy lives.
Happy International Nurse’s Day to my fellow Nurses!
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