What second-year blues really look like

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*These are my own personal experiences and I am not expecting everyone who experiences tough times throughout the course to feel the exact same, tough times can and do occur at any stage in the course. Please reach out if you start to feel like you’re struggling or that you need help with anything*

I started second year on a high as my previous post details. But around halfway through I came down to earth with a massive bump. There were times when second-year felt like it was never going to end. October came and I was struggling to see how I would even make it to Christmas with all the work I had to complete. I had a number of assignments all due within weeks of each other and I did not know when I was going to find the time to complete them all to the standard I wanted to. Every day felt as though I was walking through cement and I couldn’t see a way out. I shut myself away, I didn’t talk to anyone unless I absolutely had to and I just played it down as having a lot on. I became distant and stayed away from social media (a sure-fire sign that there is something wrong with me!). I became good at pretending I was coping when really I was struggling and too stubborn to admit it. I would sit at home on an evening staring into space, I had plenty of work to do but lacked the motivation to start any of it. I made to-do lists every day and binned them, I just became so overwhelmed with all the work I had to do once it was written down that I didn’t want to face it.

I was stressed. Eating nothing or everything, there was no in between. I was either sleeping for a couple of hours or sleeping all day. I started drinking, not to excess but I have never been a house drinker. Now I was drinking in the house every night.  I continuously put off starting my uni work because the amount of it felt like a huge weight above me, I know that starting it would have been the best way to start to alleviate the load but I couldn’t find the motivation to start. I considered leaving more than once because I didn’t know how I would complete the work. I left a 4000-word assignment until 2 weeks before the due date and was then surprised when I received my worst grade overall. I was messing up my own degree and at that point, I felt like I didn’t care. I was numb to everything, I felt like I didn’t possess any emotions anymore.

Now, this may sound slightly dramatic but this is an honest account of how I felt. I want to explain it so that other people who may be struggling can see they are not the only ones. I’m in third year now and I would still not say that I am 100%. At the beginning of third year I missed a placement because my mental state was not in the right place to be able to attend, and I had to concede that enough was enough and I needed help. I reached out to my gp and she was fantastic. She told me about her experience with anxiety and depression and that she understood everything I was feeling. Having her listen to me and tell me she understood felt like such a weight off my shoulders and I began to see that I wasn’t alone, other people were and had experienced the feelings I was. There was a way to turn things around and begin to get back to myself. I am slowly working each day to get back to ‘me’ and it is a slow process but I have a fantastic support network who I could not be without 🧡

 My tips for other students experiencing struggles:

  • Reach out. It doesn’t matter who to, a staff member, a cohort member, a friend outside of uni. Reach out on social media if you have to. TALK TO SOMEONE. I didn’t for so long and I could have changed things sooner had I not been too stubborn to reach out.
  • Take one day at a time. I was looking months in advance and it was scaring me. I started to concentrate on what I needed to do in the next 24 hours and it really helped to focus my mind and stop feeling overwhelmed.
  • Little and often. One hour a day on your work is better than nothing. I started by spending one hour a day and soon I was spending longer because I felt like I wanted to do the work once I started. All from forcing myself to do one hour a day.
  • Keep a journal and document one thing you have achieved that day. Even if it is just getting out of bed (some days that felt like a great achievement to me). Use it to look back and find some motivation.
  • Don’t feel ashamed or embarrassed to reach out. This was my problem, I felt ashamed to admit that I was struggling and didn’t want people to know.
  • Take time to yourself. If you need a day in bed, take it. If you need to turn your phone off, do it. Do not feel guilty for not replying or canceling plans, your own mental wellbeing is more important than things that can be arranged for another time.
  • If to-do lists are your thing, make them. They didn’t help me they just made me feel overwhelmed but I know they do help other people.
  • Check on your friends. If your friend is a quick replier but is now taking hours, or is usually a constant presence on social media and is ‘missing’, ask them how they are. Don’t take their first answer, keep asking. Keep checking they are ok and make sure they know you are there for them.
  • Organise social events. Having something to look forward to really helped to push me through the days when I didn’t want to get out of bed.
  • Open up to tutors and mentors. Even if you don’t want to discuss fully, just letting them know how you are feeling can really help and having someone else understand can make a difference.

I am only ever a message away for any student nurse who needs to talk/rant/ask for help.

Love,

T x

 

A year to go until you’re a staff nurse!

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Here are my tips for third year!

  1. If you have a dissertation/literature review to complete, try to choose a topic early on and find your papers. It gives you a head start and enables you to be organised with your work.
  2. Be aware that this year will fly! If you think your course has flown by up to now, third year really does zoom by.
  3. Start looking for jobs but don’t worry about having to gain one immediately. You have plenty of time to apply throughout the year and your university may provide you with practice interviews to gain experience.
  4. Don’t worry about what you don’t know. You do know what you need to know and anything else will be learnt in the specific area you go into. They say nursing begins once you qualify as that is when you learn the most of your knowledge.
  5. Start saving a little every month. When you finish your third year, you will have your first years NMC fee to pay – which is currently £120. Add this to the cost of graduation and any graduation ball that your cohort may have and it can be a costly few months before you start earning a full wage.
  6. Keep your portfolio up to date throughout the year. Potential employers may wish to see this and keeping it organised minimises the stress of having to finish it all before the end of third year.
  7. When on placement, take first and second years ‘under your wing’ if you can. This provides a support network for you all and gives you experience of being a mentor to a student ready for when you qualify. It also helps the first and second years to know they have someone who has been in their position to turn to for advice and support.
  8. If you have any worries or concerns, speak to your lecturers. They have seen plenty of students in your position and have even been there themselves so they know exactly how you’re feeling coming up to qualifying.
  9. Think about keepsakes from your course. There are companies who can turn one of your student uniforms into a teddy or a cushion. Frame your student nurse badge once you have completed the course as a reminder of your journey.
  10. Plan a holiday or social event with your friends to celebrate qualifying, this gives you something to look forward to and focus on throughout the year.
  11. Know what needs signing/completing in your OARs and when it needs completing by. If you can go into your placements with this information ready for your mentor, it takes away a little bit of worry.
  12. Do your research before starting each placement. Know a little bit about the speciality of your placement and the common medications used there.
  13. Reach out if you begin to feel overwhelmed at any point.

Let me know if you have any other good tips for third year!

Love,

T x

Nursem skincare review

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*DISCLAIMER* *AD*

I was kindly gifted these from Nursem to use and post about if I wanted to, here is my blog post review with a discount code and there is also an Instagram post.

About Nursem

Nursem was set up by Antonia, a paediatric nurse, and her husband Jonny after Antonia encountered problems with cracked and sore skin on her hands due to extensive hand washing. But this is a product with a difference: Nursem provide a promise – for every product sold they give a months worth of Nursem to a nurse or midwife who have been registered onto their waiting list (products are sent to UK health centres or ward addresses).

I have to admit that I am really lazy when it comes to moisturising my hands. And I know that I should do it regularly, especially considering how many times we wash our hands every day but I have never really considered the importance of this. I’m fortunate enough to have not experienced any problems with my skin due to handwashing but I know plenty of other student nurses/nurses who have. I am currently on placement and wanted to use the product for a few weeks to fully see any benefits from moisturising regularly.

I received the caring hand cream and the caring hand fix. I have taken the caring hand cream with me to placement and applied throughout the day, using the caring hand fix on a nighttime before bed. I didn’t think my hands were dry before but I have noticed a difference in the way they feel since I started using this product regularly. The skin around my nails is a lot softer and I find that I am not experiencing any dry cuticles which was an issue I had encountered before. The cream is non-greasy and does not have a strong smell. The packaging is simple but eye catching, you would easily spot it on a shelf in a store. The colours stand out and work well together.

I love the idea behind the Nursem promise and would encourage everyone to nominate a nurse/midwife or a placement that you feel should be on their waiting list!

If you would like to purchase any of the products yourself, Nursem have kindly set up a 25% discount code for you to use.

Enter FLAMINGCOPPER at the checkout!

Let me know what you think to the product if you do purchase some!

Love,

T x

*Book Review* Being a nurse by Lauren Philpott

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*DISCLAIMER* This book was gifted for me to review, I have previously worked with the publishers before which you can see here and here.

Lauren is a children’s nurse who qualified in 2014. Lauren runs a blog called Graduation to Revalidation which talks about how to survive your first 3 years as a qualified nurse and you can find her on twitter at @grad2revalnurse. Lauren wrote the book after looking for other books which described the way newly qualified nurses feel and finding there were none available.

Lauren writes in a way that is like talking to a friend or mentor, making you feel comfortable and supported. The book contains sections on how to cope with a bad day and first day nerves. As a third year student nurse, I worry about first day nerves especially as I am going to work in a trust that I haven’t had a placement in and this section of the book really resonated with me as I’m sure it will other third year student nurses.

The book is written in an informative way without using jargon and confusing language, containing hints and tips from Lauren herself on each section. My favourite section is how you know when you’re ready to progress, I have a career plan which I would like to stick to and this section was really interesting to read.

This is a book that would be good for all student nurses to read, especially third years who are close to qualifying or newly qualified nurses!

Love,

T x

*Book Review* Leadership for Nursing, Health and Social Care Students

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DISCLAIMER: This book was gifted to me to review. I have previously reviewed other books from the same publishers, which you can read here and here.

 

Beginning year 3 was daunting for me, especially after talking to my mentor on my last placement of year 2 about developing my leadership skills ready for my management placement in the second half of year 3. I really looked forward to reading and reviewing this textbook as I wanted to see if I could gain some tips that would aid my leadership and delegation skills going through year 3. The book itself is part of a new series of books called Essentials and aims to provide an insight into the world of leadership.

The book has a number of chapters, all focusing on different areas regarding leadership. One chapter focuses on theories of leadership, with the next chapter focusing on the skills and qualities needed to be an effective leader.

 

In chapter one, the authors discuss what leadership is and why it is so important in health and social care. I find this chapter a good insight into what the whole book will discuss and would be useful to use in any leadership or management module as well.

Throughout the book, there are scenarios which allow you to explore your own thoughts and ideas around leadership and how you would approach different situations within practice.

At the end of the book, there are full references used within the book which students may find useful for further reading and as sources of information for leadership modules at university.

In chapter 7, the history of healthcare and social care within the UK is discussed. I found this chapter really interesting to see how healthcare has changed and developed over time. The chapter also describes why having knowledge of government policy is important in today’s healthcare environment and I would suggest this is a must-read section for any student nurse, especially third years preparing to qualify and take their first newly qualified post.

The learning outcomes before each chapter are recapped at the end, which allows anyone reading the book to utilise each chapter and ensure they have understood the information contained within the chapter. I believe this book will help me to develop my leadership skills and give me a background knowledge on how leadership can be influenced by other factors and the skills needed to be an effective leader within my own career, which I feel every student reading this book would benefit from.

The book is written in an easy-to-read way, whilst containing a good amount of knowledge and information for students in any year of a degree course.

Love,

T x

Quantitative Research

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Quantitative research is used to answer questions that have numerical value answers. Quantitative research is also used to establish cause and effect relationships  between variables.

Quantitative research designs

  • Randomised controlled trial – considered to be the best design to establish cause and effect relationships. Key features of a RCT include a treatment arm/group and a control arm/group.
  • Quasi-experimental – similar to RCTs with no randomisation.
  • Cohort studies – follow a predetermined sample group to measure the incidence of outcomes. The purpose of cohort studies is to link an exposure to an outcome. Purely observational with no intervention from the researcher.
  • Case control studies – the retrospective form of a cohort study. Individuals with the desired outcome are chosen, with the researcher attempting to discover the exposure that the outcome can be attributed to. Highly prone to recall bias.
  • Cross sectional studies – used to determine the prevalence of an outcome within a specific group. Often conducted using surveys, cross sectional studies are common in healthcare due to being cheap and easy to conduct.

Types of data collection within quantitative research

  • Biophysical
  • Pre-existing data
  • Observation of behaviour
  • Self-reporting

Strengths and limitations of quantitative research 

Strengths:

  • Data can be interpreted using statistical analysis
  • Can establish cause and effect relationships
  • Computer software available to analyse data – saves time and helps to minimise risk of human error
  • Easy to replicate and generalise

Limitations:

  • Do not reflect real life due to the high control applied.
  • Reductionist – simplifying complex situations into simpler versions
  • All confounding variables cannot be controlled
  • Lacks breadth within data

Terminology associated with quantitative research

  • Internal validity – whether the results are based on the intervention or an unknown variable.
  • External validity/Generalisability – how well what is being measured can be generalised to the wider population.
  • Confidence interval – usually expressed as a percentage. Represents how certain the researchers can be that the mean for the entire population would fall within the identified range.
  • Hypothesis – a theory or idea that needs to be tested.
  • P value – a measure of the strength of evidence against the null hypothesis. a small p value < 0.05 indicates evidence against the null hypothesis, this is then rejected and an alternative hypothesis developed.
  • Independent variable – the variable manipulated by the researcher to measure its effect on the dependent variable.
  • Dependent variable – what the researcher is interested in measuring in the study.
  • Confounding variable – an outside influence that can affect the results of a study.

 

Love,

T x

 

Research methods – common terminology

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Here are some of the most common terminology used that it would be useful to understand for your research module.

critical appraisal – examines the practical application of research, assessing how valid and relevant it is to the practice area.

intervention fidelity – how well an intervention is delivered as intended

generalisability – attempting to apply study findings to settings/contexts other than the ones they were originally tested in. Applies to quantitative research.

transferability – how findings can be transferred to another setting/context. Applies to qualitative research.

standard deviation – the spread of results occurring around the mean. For example, the mean age of participants may be 40 with a standard deviation of 25 – 55. Often represented as S.D. A smaller S.D is preferred as this shows a small spread of data around the mean, a large S.D shows a wide spread of data, meaning it is less reliable.

confidence interval – usually expressed as a percentage. Represents how certain the researchers can be that the mean for the entire population would fall within the identified range.

hypothesis – a theory or idea that needs to be tested.

null hypothesis – no significant difference apparent between two groups.

alternative hypothesis – results are the result of a difference between two groups.

p value – a measure of the strength of evidence against the null hypothesis. a small p value < 0.05 indicates evidence against the null hypothesis, this is then rejected and an alternative hypothesis developed.

quantitative – research where the results are numerical such as statistics, percentages etc. Studies cause and effect relationships.

qualitative – research where the results are text based and may follow themes. Includes thoughts, feelings, descriptions etc.

mixed method – where researchers use both quantitative and qualitative data within the same study.

rct – randomised control trial.

randomisation – making something random ie the allocation of participants into a treatment or control arm. A good way of minimising the risk of bias.

treatment arm – where participants receive the treatment/intervention. Characteristic of a rct.

control arm – participants receive no treatment/intervention or they receive a placebo. Characteristic of a rct.

internal validity – whether the results are based on the intervention or an unknown variable.

external validity – how well what is being measured can be generalised to the wider population.

independent variable – the variable manipulated by the researcher to measure its effect on the dependent variable.

dependent variable – what the researcher is interested in measuring in the study.

Reflexivity – the questioning of one’s attitudes, values and prejudices and to appreciate how these could affect the outcome of the research.

homogenous sample – when participants have similar or identical traits ie same age, gender, employment etc.

heterogeneous sample – where every participant has a different value for their characteristics ie different ages, gender etc. Indicative of diversity.

blinding – where participants or researchers are prevented from knowing which intervention group participants are allocated to. Can be single blinded or double blinded.

T-test – used to determine if there is a significant difference between the means of two groups.

bias – a form of error that can affect the outcome of studies.

triangulation – using more than one method to collect data. A way of assuring validity within the research.

primary research – new research studies, carried out through experiments, trials etc.

secondary research – analysis or interpretation of existing research studies.

cause and effect – where one event (the effect) is the result of another event happening (the cause). Randomised control trials are the best method able to establish a cause-effect relationship.

 

 

 

Let’s talk about second year blues

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If you’d asked me in the summer months about second year blues, I would have told you that it was a little bit of a ‘myth’ and that if you kept yourself organised you would be fine. I even wrote a post containing tips to survive second year . My first module of year 2 was Research Methods and is often described as the worst module of the whole degree at my university by previous cohorts. I fell in love with the subject and wondered what everyone had been making all the fuss about. I achieved 95% in the assignment and genuinely thought I was set for the year…I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Autumn came and the second year blues hit me like a train. I lost all motivation to complete work and began leaving assignments until close to the deadline date, something I don’t do because I get stressed easily and not being organised is a trigger for me. My assignments were not up to my usual standard because of this and still I sat confused and upset when the results were released and I hadn’t achieved anything like the results I was used to. Instead of spurring me on to complete work early like I usually do, a rubbish result (or so I thought at the time) knocked me for six and I continued with no motivation wondering what the point was. I completed another assignment and submitted, knowing it wasn’t my best work but believing it was good enough to stay within my targets. Results were released and I was ready to quit university altogether that afternoon,  it was my worst result to date and the feedback felt brutal. I spent that weekend in what felt like a hole, at the end of my tether with this whole experience and genuinely thinking about leaving. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve had more negative days than positive days in year 2, I can probably count the number of truly positive days on one hand if I’m being brutally honest.

Second year blues are real and should be discussed more. It’s not enough to preach on and on about positivity, staying positive etc, because it really isn’t as simple as that. It’s hard to remain positive when every single day at university feels like a knock to your confidence, when you leave placement everyday wondering if you will ever really know enough to be a nurse and when every result makes you question whether you’re even intelligent enough to be doing this degree. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve cried in the car park after a placement shift before setting off to go home, just from doubting myself and a decision I’d made that day or because I didn’t know something that I really feel I should by now.

My first placement of second year was amazing, I spent 6 weeks with the best team and felt like I knew what I was doing even though it was out of my comfort zone. I thrived in an area that is extremely specialised and that I was terrified of before I started. When I began my second placement of year 2, it all unravelled. I like being out of my comfort zone, but this was a whole other level. I knew nothing. And that’s not me being dramatic, I genuinely knew nothing. I was an adult branch student nurse, walking into neonatal having never really held a baby before, let alone cared for one for a 12.5 hour shift. Everything was so different to adult branch, it was like starting the degree again with no previous experience at all. I enjoyed the placement and my mentors were fantastic, but I spent the four weeks thinking I wasn’t showing my full potential because it was so different to what I’m used to and it completely threw me. I started my third placement of year 2 having lost all the confidence I’d gained from my critical care placement and not even knowing if I wanted to be a nurse anymore.

Year 2 has just felt like one knock after another and I will be glad to see the back of it. I have 8 weeks left of placement before year 3 starts and I’m excited to get back onto the ward and gain some confidence back ready for year 3. In all honesty, I still don’t feel 100% myself and if it wasn’t for certain people this year I don’t think I would still be at university now because I couldn’t have coped without them.

If you feel like you’re struggling at any point, reach out to someone. It doesn’t need to be a lecturer, it can be a friend or someone in your cohort. Even find someone on social media who you can confide in, don’t bottle it up like I did. I felt embarrassed to admit that I was struggling and keeping quiet for so long probably hasn’t helped the way I’ve felt for the past 4/5 months. I don’t think the ‘positivity brigade’ help at all, as much as they may think they are doing good, it’s hard to go on social media and see positive things all the time and no one talking about how hard things can actually be. I’m not saying people need to be negative nellies all the time either, but it’s about time we all started to show the real aspects of our experiences within this degree. Not just the highlight reel of achievements.

Love,

T x

The mentor that changed everything

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This post does not by any means suggest that my other mentors haven’t been amazing, because they have. I have been extremely lucky that every mentor I have worked with up to now have taught me so much and have always been fantastic to work with. There is just one mentor who changed everything for me.

Rewind back to the end of year 1, to me receiving my first placement allocation for year 2 and seeing HDU/ITU. I hadn’t been on an acute ward in my training yet and I was starting my acute experiences in one of the scariest places, A&E being another one that fills me with dread.

I spent weeks panicking (a common occurrence with me as you will know if you’ve read my other blogs 😂) and worrying that I really did not know enough to be trusted with this kind of placement. I was going from year 1, in a placement that I was actually quite confident in due to previous experience to my first acute ward. I did not have chance to visit the unit before starting placement so I walked in ‘blind’. The first thing I saw was all the machines and I must have looked terrified because one of the NQNs said ‘It’s not that scary once you get started, don’t look so terrified you will be fine!’. I met my mentor and she took me into handover. From the first moment she was welcoming and kind, I instantly warmed to her and felt a little less nervous. I picked up the handover sheet and was convinced it was in another language, I didn’t understand half of the actual handover and worried that this would happen every morning.

I started my placement with 2 weeks on HDU, so the ratio of patients is 2:1. My mentor started by showing me the crash trolley and the airway trolley. We then moved onto the bedside checks and the observation charts. By lunchtime, I was feeling confident enough to record the observations myself and my mentor was happy for me to do so. The next week passed so quickly and my mentor knew so much, the knowledge she had blew me away and I remember thinking to myself that I would never know all the things that she knew. At the end of my second week, I had 2 weeks annual leave for Easter. When I returned, I was on ITU.

I asked over and over if I was doing ok, if I was where I should be and was doing everything I should be. I was doubting myself as I always do and thought I didn’t know anything. My mentor encouraged me all the time to complete skills that she knew I could do, she had faith in me and taught me things that have since come in very handy on my other placements. The day she told me I was having my own level 2 patient in ITU, I remember thinking no, no way I’m not good enough. This is not happening I will mess this up big time. And guess what? I didn’t! I felt confident in the bedside checks and the observations, she provided me with support and encouragement and actually made me believe that I can do this. The next few days passed and I became more confident with everything, using my own initiative to complete tasks that I could do. Then my mentor said I was taking care of a level 3 patient. WHAT?! No, no thank you I do not know what to do and the ventilator scares me to death 😂 Of course I wasn’t on my own I had her supervision but I was allowed to complete tasks by myself, keep track of medication times and assess changes to care based on ABGs. She pushed me to make decisions based on my own knowledge without ever making me feel ‘belittled’ if I didn’t know anything or needed to check something.

Before this placement, I had absolutely no faith in myself at all and thought I wouldn’t make it as a nurse. This mentor completely changed my way of thinking. She showed me so much support and encouragement that it was impossible to continue doubting myself. She taught me so much and I genuinely think that if I become even half the nurse she is, I will be very lucky. She constantly made sure that I was feeling comfortable and gave me every learning opportunity, involving me in ward rounds and procedures such as intubations and tracheostomy procedures. I felt welcomed from day 1 and completely fell in love with the place, which is partly due to my mentor and the faith she had in me. The feedback she gave me made me cry and I always look back on it if I’m doubting myself and feeling low. To reiterate, I can say that I’m very lucky and all my mentors have been fantastic and I’ve learnt so much from them all, but there was something different about this woman. In 6 weeks, she took me from a nervous second year student believing she would never be a nurse – to a semi-confident (only because I’ll never be fully confident!) second year knowing that she could do this and that there was a good chance that she would qualify! I now feel slightly jealous of anyone who receives that placement in the time we have left on the course 😂

Let me know any stories you have of mentors like this!

Love,

T x

Second year is the worst….or is it?

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I’ve seen so many posts about how bad second year is and how difficult it can be, I am 6 months into second year now and thought I would share my top tips on how to make it a little more bearable!

  • Start work as soon as you get it. Gather references for the assignments before you start them as this helps when starting to write.
  • Remember how far you have already come. Think about your first day and how much you have learnt/changed since then. Write a list of achievements from year 1 that you can look back on.
  • Plan things throughout the year. I found this helps the time to pass a little quicker if you have things to look forward to.
  • For research modules – make sure you fully understand the terminology as this will help you when completing the assignment.
  • Take everything you hear from previous cohorts about assignments with a pinch of salt, you may really enjoy something that someone else didn’t.
  • Placement pre-reading. Placements will expect you to have a little more knowledge this year so pre-reading is a must.
  • Take on your own patients. Even if it’s only one patient for that day, take responsibility for their care (within the limits of what you can do with mentor supervision). This really helps to build confidence and third year responsibilities won’t seem as daunting if you have been doing them through year 2.
  • If you’re struggling, reach out to someone. Your personal tutor, another lecturer, someone on social media. It doesn’t really matter who it is just make sure you open up to someone, don’t try to manage through on your own if you feel you are struggling.
  • Get hold of a book on critical writing and thinking. The step up to level 5 writing can seem huge but it’s really about being able to say why something is done the way it is, wider reading and being critical in your thought process. I can recommend these two:
  • Take time for yourself. This is important in any year but do the things that make you happy. Self care can really help when you’re feeling fed up!
  • Chip away at assignments bit by bit. I start mine as soon as they are available and chip away, doing an hour or 2 a day if that’s the only time I have. Before you know it, the assignment is completed and it’s just the final checks you need to do.
  • Reference as you go! I say this all the time but with critical thinking comes more references, the last thing you want is to get to the end and have to find all 50+ of your references again to get them on your list.
  • Take on board previous feedback from year 1 and speak to lecturers about how to successfully write at level 5, they may have little hints and tips that will help you.
  • If you have to work around university, try to keep at least 1 full day off a week for assignments and yourself. You may even be able to join the bank at your hospital trust now, allowing more flexibility with shifts.
  • Try not to be disheartened if your first result is a drop compared to your first year grades. This can happen with the step up to level 5 writing, ask for guidance and really pay attention to your assignment feedback.
  • Try to save a little money each month, student finance drops in year 3 so saving a little bit during year 2 will help fill the gap.
  • Make sure your referencing is up to scratch, I have found this book really helpful for referencing (there is a website as well). Referencing tools are great but I prefer to create them myself then I can be confident that any errors are down to myself and you actually learn how to reference when you do them yourself.

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  • Keep up with your car maintenance, this may seem obvious but if you use your car a lot for uni and placement, wear and tear can occur faster than through doing normal mileage. The last thing you want is to be sat on the motorway waiting for the AA! (Other breakdown recovery companies are available 😂)
  • Email your assignments to yourself or save them on onedrive/google drive/a USB stick. Again, this may seem obvious but if your computer breaks or your work doesn’t save, you risk losing all the work you have done towards an assignment.
  • Keep in touch with your friends during placement, this kept me going through long shifts and weeks on placement.

Let me know if you have any other good tips for year 2 😘

Love,

T x