Tiffany, who is studying Adult Nursing in Peterborough, writes about her experience as a student nurse during the pandemic and her feelings around returning to placements.
Seven months. Seven months is the length of time we have been in an active pandemic. It has been seven months since we have been in a lecture theatre physically and seven months since we have been in placements. And it's been quite an experience.
I remember the day very clearly when we received the email, letting us know that first-year student midwives and nurses would not be going on placement.
For some of us it was a sigh of relief, because we were really worried about our safety, but we also sighed because we thought 'Two months tops and we’ll be getting back to our usual schedule'. Boy, were we wrong!
Over the past seven months, we’ve completed our first year theory work and started our second year theory, and it kind of feels like we hit the ground running with our Year 2 work, even though we were all in our homes. Crazy.
Now, after seven months, we have been allocated our last placements of Year 1 and I am absolutely 'bricking it'!
Two months ago, I was screaming on my nursing Instagram page 'Get me back out to placement, PLEASE!', and I wasn’t the only one. Many of us were playing the same track on our stories, but now... now I’m nervous. It feels like we are starting everything from scratch. I am hoping everything resurfaces from my memory bank. I’ve been watching different clinical skills online to keep my brain up to date with everything. I don’t know what packed lunch is any more: what do I even pack in my bag? How will I survive 12.5 hours again? Oh my gosh. Sheer panic.
But also, I’m excited to get stuck in again, I’m excited to help patients, I’m excited to be back in a clinical area learning new things and saying 'Bear with me, I’m a student nurse so I’ll find out the information and get right back to you'. I have really missed the regular human interactions and being in an environment where there are constant learning opportunities. I’ve missed catching up with my cohort on how our placements are going; I do not miss the paperwork though (haha).
So whilst my stomach is really in some serious knots about going back, I am also really excited. It’s time to get back into the swing of things and hopefully Miss Corona will slowly leave us be.