Grey to blue, the terrifying transition to the blue brigade.
This year I hung up (burned) my heather- they’re grey mum- student scrubs and pulled on the uniform of the blue brigade. The gap from student nurse to qualified is huge, don’t assume that is an exaggeration. My face has freeze framed in a ‘rabbit in the headlights’ expression. You want to talk to the nurse? Let me go get them…wait…that would me.
Being 22 and answering frightfully personal questions- fired at you like bullets from an AK-47 by concerned friends, relatives, patients and partners, is no easy feat. And sometimes you really are at a loss for answers. Not to mention the ward rounds. Oh, the ward rounds. In a surgical ward, there at least two ward rounds a day with a minimum three different surgical teams. Often, they appear before I have clapped eyes on patients. Palpitations, clammy, tachycardic, dyspnoeic? I am sure my NEWs score is concerning for the majority of my 12 hour shift.
Still- this is what four years of university prepared me for, right?
My advice? Accept that it is terrifying and the transition is something no one can prepare you for. But chances are, you are doing better than you think. Deep breaths. Don’t pretend to know something you don’t (people will sniff you out), take your time, don’t administer anything you do not fully understand (the BNF should be your constant companion, shout out to the wonderful creators of the BNF app), constantly ask questions and take care of yourself. As I am reminded every day, the NHS is a 24/7 service and sometimes it is necessary to handover tasks. You are one person, with two hands, ten fingers and the same basic needs and time constraints as the next human.
However, you will discover that your bladder could possibly be made of steel when 8 hours into your shift it dawns on you that you really should pee.