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    Im starting nursing this january. I have never worked a single day in a hospital setting or as HCA anywhere.
    Im confident on theory side but very nevours when i think about placements. Dont even know where to start on my first day.

    How hard is it to do this course with zero experiance in the field?
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    Personally, I think it would be hard. But manageable of course. Few times on placements I've found myself supporting other students who have had no experience and you'd think I was 2 years above them with how it looked on the outside....not so much knowledge wise but the way in which I know how a ward works and I'm not overwhelmed by it all. Last placement my fellow student nearly quit (was a bad placement to be fair) she had this idea that this was it and this is what we'd be doing....I said was like no! No it's not! Not all wards are like this! She soldiered on but admitted she probably wouldn't of if I hadn't of put her mind at ease. Without sounding harsh I don't know why anyone would want to go into nursing when they have no idea what it is or what it's about....what's made you want to do this? It's more an achievable for you of course it is but you will probably feel abit overwhelmed initially trying to get your head around it all. Being a previous hca has helped me massively xx
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    On an induction day before Christmas we were asked how many of us without experience and nearly half the class raised their hands. It gave me a little bit encouragement that I wasn't alone. My son is autistic and I been caring for him for past 8 years. That's obviously not same as working in a ward or care home
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    I started nursing when I was 18 and had no experience in care whatsoever. I can't even say that I had tremendous life experience either and I still lived at home. But I knew I wanted to care for people. I was great at the theory because biology and science has always been one of my favourite subjects. I was absolutely terrified when I went on my first placement which was a vascular surgery ward so it was very full on with many sick patients in a tremendous amount of pain. When I first started I asked myself, "how am I ever going to know what these nurses know and remember?" But almost 5 years after qualifying I have been a ward sister with many additional skills and training and now I am in another band 6 role. You will get there eventually. You may find that those with care and hospital experience progress a little faster onto other skills but by the end of year 3 you will all be equal. I found things started to come together for me and made more sense at the beginning of my 2nd year.

    Good luck!
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    Ditto what ButterflyRN has said. I started with no experience at all. My first placement was a general paeds ward. You quickly learn the ward routine of when ward round is, what time meals are served, what time obs are due etc.

    With respect to those who have care experience, just because they've done obs and patient personal care and all sorts before, doesn't actually mean they're any good at it. It just means they've done it before (Plenty of course, will be excellent). You have the opportunity to be a complete blank canvas for your university and your mentors.

    By Year 3 there will be no distinguishing between you and someone who has experience. There are some nurses who I work with, who have the same post-qualification experience as me, but did HCA work pre-nursing, but you honestly couldn't tell the difference between us, and patients are allocated no differently because of it.

    With regards to your first day, offer to help, don't be afraid just to follow someone round for a bit (I never mind if a student follows me, so long as they keep up - I walk fast!). Be prepared that you may do some standing around, and that you'll be taught the boring, but oh-so-important, basics first like safety checks and documentation. But from this other skills and learning opportunities come
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    Experience isn't always needed in nursing.
    Some people who have the hca experience go in confident and then quickly realise nursing is nothing like being a hca and feel out of their depth.
    However, in learning disability nursing I think experience helps massively.
    It's not just about the nursing tasks etc, but how much makaton you know, how your communication skills are, how much you know about the variety of syndromes and how they present. How you can pick up on the most subtle of changes within the individual, how to realise when they're being manipulative (can happen often!), getting to grips with being very aware of your body language, your verbal skills, what words and phrases you use, you use of dialect and so forth.
    How people with learning disabilities have different behaviours, how to assess patients without doing clinical observations (often they won't consent!), the list goes on!
    For some people experience may work in their favour, if for example they've been a band 3 on a busy ward they may have more of an idea than a hca in a care home for example when it comes to hospital shifts....
    I would say don't worry about it. It's all about how you are as a nursing student, the skills you learn, and the experience you'll gain along the way.

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