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How do nursing students differ from assistants on the wards? watch

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    Ive just applied for nursing (psychiatric nursing) and Ive noticed that students are supernumery meaning that they are an addition to the workforce and observers in a way. I worked as a nurse assistant 3 years ago and wnat to know how is being a student nurse and nurse assistant different? Would I be able to leave the ward if I wanted now and again since Im not under an employment contract with only so much time for breaks. I just wanted to know where students stand are they tied to the ward the whole shift as an assistant would be or can they request to say go and sit in the office and read clinical notes, use the pc for researching illnesses?
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    Hmm, well as a nurse auxillary/HCA/csw at band 2 or whatever your trust calls them, you also have a degree of responsibility, and theres things i can do as a student nurse i can't do as a HCA.

    For example student nurses can counter sign controlled drugs, adminster with supervision of their mentor, do procedures such as wound dressings, remove staples, catheterise, add up and discuss fluid balance charts, plus lots of documentation!

    In a way, i've found it's like being a shadow nurse rather than HCA. I found in my first year, obviously to get the basic care sorted and my skills refined I spent more time working alongside the HCA's, and on a busy ward, there have been days when i'll happily step back my learning and just be a HCA for the day as not to get in my mentors way if there was an incident or something which she may need to focus on more. However this shouldn't be all the time, and it can be useful for mentors to have a student who can do jobs they may not have time too (eg i spent the whole afternoon once doing all the nurses wound dressings that day as i wanted to refine the skill, plus i enjoy doing it and they all thanked me later as it took a load off their minds!)

    Anyway i'm rambling. You're meant to be an observer, but you will get treated like a member of staff, and meant to act like one too- however if there is a chance for you to go observe a treatment, spend time with a patient, as a student nurse you can- you're not in the numbers.
    If it was quiet, staff weren't rushed off their feet I know I have the right to go ask to chat to a patient, or spend a few hours with a physio, or go to a clinic for the afternoon
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    hm ok thanks for that, the branch I want to go into (psychiatric) most of the time even as an HCA there was not much to do (except chat to patients) since the patients were encouraged to see to their own physical needs and much of the time there was an odd nurse on observation and the rest of the nurses were sat in the office on pc's. At these times Im curious what things Id be expected to do (since students can't be on observations). Im wondering if Id have more freedom to maybe go off the ward for a bit or go home early/go on a pc to finish an assignment or if students are as tied as HCA's.
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    (Original post by lostintime)
    hm ok thanks for that, the branch I want to go into (psychiatric) most of the time even as an HCA there was not much to do (except chat to patients) since the patients were encouraged to see to their own physical needs and much of the time there was an odd nurse on observation and the rest of the nurses were sat in the office on pc's. At these times Im curious what things Id be expected to do (since students can't be on observations). Im wondering if Id have more freedom to maybe go off the ward for a bit or go home early/go on a pc to finish an assignment or if students are as tied as HCA's.

    As you progress on the course, you'd be expected the manage patients care, take responsibility so occasionally this may be the most important aspect of your shift. SOME placements let you go home early but dont count on it!
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    (Original post by lostintime)
    hm ok thanks for that, the branch I want to go into (psychiatric) most of the time even as an HCA there was not much to do (except chat to patients) since the patients were encouraged to see to their own physical needs and much of the time there was an odd nurse on observation and the rest of the nurses were sat in the office on pc's. At these times Im curious what things Id be expected to do (since students can't be on observations). Im wondering if Id have more freedom to maybe go off the ward for a bit or go home early/go on a pc to finish an assignment or if students are as tied as HCA's.

    Hey there.
    I study mental health nursing and am in my second year. I'm not going to lie to you, you willl alot of the time be sitting with the patients talking to them as its really important. Students can do observations. they can do 15/60's in our trust in our first year and in my second year i've already done several 1:1s. there is alot of paper work which you will learn how to do, but dont just think you can go home early (in my mentors words) there's always something to learn. :yes: you get to go off the wards lots with OTs, CPNs, ECT care, phsyios-the list goes on. ive learnt so many different things its incrdeible.
    There are going to be patients you need to fully assist, some you dont..the day is mixed. alot of physical care can be involved. no day is ever the same. Like SC said above, we do alot of jobs a HCA/Band 3 cant but sometimes you may feel like one. after all you are treated like one of the team and this isnt bad..you need to start at the beginning and help the HCAs before you run a ward.
    any more questions, feel free to ask
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    (Original post by herbal bug)
    Hey there.
    I study mental health nursing and am in my second year. I'm not going to lie to you, you willl alot of the time be sitting with the patients talking to them as its really important. Students can do observations. they can do 15/60's in our trust in our first year and in my second year i've already done several 1:1s. there is alot of paper work which you will learn how to do, but dont just think you can go home early (in my mentors words) there's always something to learn. :yes: you get to go off the wards lots with OTs, CPNs, ECT care, phsyios-the list goes on. ive learnt so many different things its incrdeible.
    There are going to be patients you need to fully assist, some you dont..the day is mixed. alot of physical care can be involved. no day is ever the same. Like SC said above, we do alot of jobs a HCA/Band 3 cant but sometimes you may feel like one. after all you are treated like one of the team and this isnt bad..you need to start at the beginning and help the HCAs before you run a ward.
    any more questions, feel free to ask
    Really I was told that students cant do obvs. So is it cheeky to ask if you can just work early shifts or afternoon shifts or do students usually arrange their own shifts most of the time? Could you ask to work say 9 - 4 as opposed to following shift patterns how much flexibility is there?

    Knowing me Id ask something thinking its ok and get weird looks for it:p:

    Also a quick question once qualified how would you get to work as part of a crisis team? Are these certain nurses that work on the wards and are just called on when the crisis team is needed or is being on the crisis team their full time job?
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    Really I was told that students cant do obvs. depends on the trust but in our trust second years can do 1:1s and any student can do a 15/60 as long as they are seen as compitent by the ward manager or nurse with highest authority on ward

    So is it cheeky to ask if you can just work early shifts or afternoon shifts or do students usually arrange their own shifts most of the time? Could you ask to work say 9 - 4 as opposed to following shift patterns how much flexibility is there?
    it is a bit cheeky as the NMC state that students have to a varying amount of hours, including nights in second and third year..just mix it up a bit and it should be ok. however when i was in a resource centre beded unit with 6 patients, i was allowed to do 9-5s as i was the only student on that unit and i got a lift to and from their with my friend upstairs so it my mentor said it was ok.
    Knowing me Id ask something thinking its ok and get weird looks for it:p:

    Also a quick question once qualified how would you get to work as part of a crisis team?
    you apply for the specific job position. it can be a band 5-7 position so you can go into it straight away or work somewhere else for a bit then change jobs..the sky is the limit
    Are these certain nurses that work on the wards and are just called on when the crisis team is needed or is being on the crisis team their full time job?
    crisis is a full time job but if they are very very short staffed you can bank to work with them but its very rare

    hope that's helped. again more questions are fine xx
 
 
 
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