so once again its the time of year when grown people dress up as children in the hope of reliving their youth! And once again it didnt disappoint, although a little less trick or treating and free sweets and more fake blood and home made outfits! we are students after all :). and ormskirk didnt disappoint, it was full of outfits from dead dolls to reincarnated teletubby corpses, very imaginative if not slightly disturbing! having so little time in uni i have taken to reviving my love for driving, well learning to drive and apart from the occasional emergency stop (even if accidental) mounting the curb and generally being unaware of my fellow drivers they’ve been successful and I hope to take my test soon. however I will give people at least a months warning to either relocate so as not to be on the roads with me or to petition against it either way :). anyone whose been watching TOWIE recently has got to be loving on JIRK! two incredibly short shorts wearing homeboys. got to love gemma and arg’s fatcamp attempts as well, who else could order in a pizza and make you believe they deserved it? As well as this being a month of disney films failed attempts at becoming more fit and trying to be a real student, i have found a love of charles dickens much to the distress of my housemates who have to put up with me listing reasons why they should get involved in the loving :)! little dorrit may just rival pride and prejudice and the other great love stories but nothing can compare with persuasion :). right as i am using a friends laptop and getting distracted by new misfits… watch it its good!!! i should probly stop rambling. hope all is well and enjoy movember, that means moustaches people 🙂 JO

open day


well yesturday was our october open day at edgehill and we saw lots of shiny and new prospective students. I spent the day in the faculty of Health and got to the chance to speak to lots of students interested in health related courses. Paramedic science is definatley a BIG one this year, with what seemed like hundreds of students asking questions about the course. like with nursing, if you are interested in being a paramedic or midwifery student, there is a limited amount of places and these courses are really popular so with applications being ready to send off, make sure your personal statement stands out and you are 110% sure its the course for you. Because if you get as far as interview and they say what made you interested in this course and you say ‘because there are no fee’s’ then im prity sure you won’t get much further with your application?! Getting the chance to speak to people yesturday let me see how important it is to look around any unis you are interested in, not just to see how far away it is or to see if there are any phitties walking around who might be in your halls, but because getting a feel of the place and actually liking it can be beneficial to applying for halls of residence and getting to know the area a bit better than on the first day of starting your degree and finding out; you dont like the location, there isnt a close enough Mcdonalds, the ducks are just a bit verocious, its not the castle like, hogwarts building you were hoping for etc. Want to say hello to Stephanie who i met yesturday and is interested in nursing good luck with everything and I  hope the questions you asked helped you feel a bit more confident before applying.

Have had a few night shifts with my new job as a health care assistant which is all good because it means i am earning money yay! Have enjoyed being paid for doing what I would be doing as a student and getting to work on different wards. so happy days, at this rate will be sunnning it up somewhere lovely soon :)! hope those of you who did come yesturday to the open day, or have been venturing out to other campuses across england have enjoyed what you’ve found there and continue to keep exploring until you find somewhere you reall like :). Jo

back to uni

hey hey!
so its been a VERY busy 4 weeks off but have enjoyed it and am now in third year… eeeek!
In the last few weeks of placement i took on a more definate role within the team by taking care of my own patients, giving handover and organising the individual admission and discharge of the patients I had. I feel a little bit more prepared now for the heavy year we’ve got ahead. This summer despite being a poor student I made the most of my time off, because lets face it being a student gives you a lot more time off together then you would have in an actual responsible adult type job, that we all have to look forward to in the next few years. or so we hope, who knows with this recession! my summer started with a little trip down south with the big sister for some jane austen loving and general camping goodness. A few days after our return we headed off for a cheeky family type.. meaning FREE!!!! holiday with the parentals to Portugal, the algarve to be exact which was good times indeed, had a casual swim with some very willing dolphins and just had a little max and relax in the sun. Free holidays are always a good thing, especially when you have the greatest most dysfunctional family, never a dull moment! Unfortunatley due to my parents downsizing and determined effort to make sure they spend the old inheritence I have found myself somewhat homeless until my beautiful sister agreed to let me live with her otherwise I fear I may have had to get a real job and earn a living. Thankfully she let me squat in her very lovely home in between portugal and going to travel a small amount of europe with the older brother! Good times are to be had, we stayed in cheap hostels and ate tesco out of business, or at least attempted to in prague, vienna and budapest. Really enjoyed having the freedom to spend time doing nothing but walking round a new city and trying my best to get a tan!
Definatley want to travel around some more when I am qualified which is the beauty of nursing, there are people everywhere so your options are not limited :). Coming into my third year, its been tough I tell you… not because of lecutres as we are barely in this term but because of the youthfulness of the new freshers! let me tell you I am starting to feel every single one of my now, 21 one whole years :(. As this is our final freshers we have tried to get out and about and it’s been good, looking forward to a little bit of radio one’s Greg james action on sunday night, should be a good end to the week. Cant actually believe this is my last year, it goes sooo fast, so for those of you who have just started or are looking to coming in the next few years, just make sure you make the most of every opportunity because university is a fantastic place to find out more about yourself what you like, how you fit in and how to enjoy being young! SO good luck to everyone who has started this september hope you enjoy your new life and all the adventures to come, and for those of you looking to start in the next year look into different places and different courses and make the most of the open days and whatnot. Right thats all for now, Jo :)!

last few weeks of placement

well only 5 shifts left, and definatley counting until second year is over and done with eeeeeekkkk! thats excitement mixed with a little fear and just general relief! This placement has felt like it’s been going on forever, now there is some light at the end of the tunnel and it looks like its coming from portugal :), some sly holiday success with the parentals good times!
For the past few weeks on the ward I have been taking my own patients, which includes getting them up and ready with their medications, taking them to any appointments (which on this ward, is a LOT!) from physio to hydro to videofluroscopy, back to OT assessment, casual nap in the afternoon then onwards to more rehab in the early evenings have never known hospital to be as socialble as it is there :). Have enjoyed the responsibility and it is helping me to prepare for next and final years role as assistant to the nurse and to take on a more defined role as a professional. Am a little scared because it doesn’t feel like i’ve been here for long, but at the same time I feel like I’ve learnt a lot of practical skills which I wouldnt have dreamt of in first year. These three weeks off before third year are going to be savoured for sure, because after that it’ll be non stop until we qualify, then graduate then get a job and it all begins again… at least this time we’ll get paid whooop!
So back to portugal, throwing some emotional blackmail at the parents is a guareenteed success when it comes to free holidays, mostly because they don’t want to listen to any more of your whining but even so happy days! Am looking forward to getting my sun owwwwn, day 2 of beachwear starvation is going well! only a few more weeks to go and i’ll be summer ready :)! As well as a little portugal/ swimming with dolphins action, am going away with the older brother to travel around a very small percentage of Europe. Should be good times, if we don’t kill each other before we get on the plane! Have enjoyed working on the aimhigher summer schools as well this summer, getting to know different kids and teenagers and getting paid to act like a 15 year old has been fun. Worked the last ever one and there were tears from some of the older associates, its a shame they wont be happening in the other summers, but hopefully something like it will be in place for those who want to be involved. My plan is to make these last few shifts count, get amongst it and see year 2 out with a bang, (metaphorically of course!) next week is our OSCE’s so we are getting tested on passing an NG tube, Oxygen therapy, clinical assessment, suction and medicine management, should be an experience! Right am currently procrastinating from my IPL assignment so shall get on with it, enjoy the rest of your summers, spend time with those annoying siblings who you’ll be leaving in september if you’re moving away and appreciate the parents! Also get on the old open day bandwagon and start getting to know the campus 🙂 Jo x

moving house!

well its been a while, have been mega busy recently with being back in placement and moving out of our less than sanitary previous home, into our shiny happy beautifully clean new place :)! double bed good times, and have a casual fireplace although am a bit reluctant to use it, due to my general lack of luck when it comes to household appliances. We had been moved in a day, when the microwave savagely attackjed my innocent defrosting bread and the accidental total destruction of my wardrobe due to heavy clothes and nonwithstanding poles. It is soooo good to be somewhere new where the landlord is lovely and we know that no matter what we need she’ll be there to help us out and we have a bath!!!! I could not be more content with the living situation right about now.
Placement however is another story, if ever anyone tells you nursing is easy they LIED! these early mornings and late finishes are really getting to me, its not just me its the lot of us, fortunatley I am surrounded by people who are in the same position so we can all support each other, but it is hard and there are days when you just cant motivate yourself to get up and go in. I guess its just a part of the course I need to get used to, as it will be my career but it does make you wish sometimes you’d chosen something like basket weaving or david beckham studies as your degree (yes those are real courses and yes you are all kinds of wrong if you’ve chosen them!!!) Apart from the random phases of what am i doing this course for, this placement hasnt been too terrible. Just cannot wait to get back to my family and friends back in the good old midlands :)! happy days. have a lovely summer Jo


well am back to placement after a lovely break, filled with 21st birthday celebrations, beautiful friendly types and lots of sleeping :)! also loving on the sun right now, its got to be said, global warming aside, this sun is bringing the best in people… now people genuinley smile back at you, well, as long as theres no clouds in the sky :)! had such an epic birthday with my girls and family was great to have them in the west family residence all up in staffordshire, it may not be amazingly big, but we know how to have a good time! (well so i think, clearly unbias!).
Starting back to placement has been far easier than anticipated, mostly due to the beautiful bambinos who are currently on the ward who I make sure at every possible oppertunity I am having a sly cuddle with! it has crossed my mind to see if i could sneak one or two in my pocket, but am prity sure that is highly unethical and not very advisable for future career aspirations?! Have been on the nights the past week, so my body clock is well and truelly confused! For the past few days I have been working for one of aimhighers epic residentials, and am on the night shift again, its a good way of earning some sly dollar and also having a laugh with mad students and staff alike! Unfortunatley for all involved this is the last year that residentials will be running due to lame government cuts, so we are going out with a bang :)!
Have recently been considering my options as a qualified nurse let out into a potentially empty job pool, have a few options including: hospital work, community, school or leaving the country to persue charity work and volunteering overseas, so I guess i’ll see how it goes. I cant imagine not been a student, despite that being an incredibly inpractical approach to my career, each step as it come though aye! hope you are enjoying the sun and looking forward to everything your future can bring :)! have amazing summers and get along to as many open days and general uni events as you can! JO

student life

well have been thinking recently that being a student gives you so many oppertunities to try new things, and gain new experiences before you have too many other things to think about. Being young and having no real commitments, i.e children, husband/wife, mortgage and all that, really allows you the freedom to explore! This year I have taken full advantage of this going to eygpt (still dont know how to spell it!) in january, the random weekends out at home, download last minute the weekend just gone (fortunatley i didnt get crushed and die, although my sister did body pop and start a circle pit! no joke). And I have more plans to get some casual travelling on over the summer break… starting with momentum down south and then hopefully some Italy loving, as I have heard they like dark hair.. CHECK! and due to my love of food in general especially of the tasty kind and my love of all things wine related :). when else in your life can you have the freedom to book a weekend away thats not 4 months in advance due to family and work commitments? being a student is genious I tell you, I know I complain about my lack of holidays but when am I ever going to see four weeks off in one go again? 65+ and thats with early retirement. Have also almost definatley decided that I dont want to work on a general ward for any prolonged period of time when I qualify, some people love the routine, but I get much more out of busy, exciting and new. Maybe A and E is the way forward? definately thinking about getting my travel on when I qualify, the world is there to be discovered hey :)! The girls were talking about australia and as they share our NMC (nursing and midwifery council) way of nursing it would be an easy transition. Get yourselves down to the open day this weekend the 18th June, and there is another one in august in case like me you are getting yourselves down to africa Oye the free african music festival in sefton park this weekend, lets hope for some super sunny rays :). Hope all is well. Enjoy your weeks JO

getting ready for a break!

well, am looking forward to my well earned 3 week break, can’t wait to get back home and get my 21st partaty oooon. But enough about that for now, the last week in placement has been good times, have become more confident with my naso gastric feeds and gastrostamies. Am enjoying being with the other students and getting to know the patients and their parents better. This placement is flying by I have already completed four weeks, happy days! Also a little scary as I really can’t imagine being responsible for my own patients, and wearing my navy nurses uniform. I’m still holding out for the reinstating of the old school nurses cape, cap and dress/ stocking situation ;), just think it is a much better approach to nursing style. Got my casual edgehill celebrity on today which was quite embarrasing! had to pose and look excited about wearing my sick (as in actual vomit coloured, not down with the kids) tunic whilst people walked past questioning my motivation! I asked the photographer to be kind and photoshop it, so we’ll see how they turn out! onto slightly more exciting things, i have tickets to download!!!!! whoooop. get my festival oooon with the girls, am afraid i may die of moshpit related crushing scenarios, and potential trenchfoot due to mud collecting in my wellies, however it will be an experience nontheless :). right enough rambling, get yourselves along to the open day on the 18th june at edgehill, you can register online! have a lovely not so sunny june 🙂 JO

getting into the routine

Well third week in and this placement is still a success, happy days! Theres always the initial bout of tiredness and general feeling sorry for yourself, that you do a real course whilst other students have four months off for the summer ;). But bitterness aside, getting into the routine of waking up for shifts is actually not too much effort. Have been enjoying my new found afternoon freedom, after an early shift (7-2.30/3ish!) especially when I get a lift home because if you are on a late the next day you can still go out for a few cocktails with the flatmates, or sit in your room acieving nothing, but enjoying the time t yourself!
This week there have been a few different patients in, from road traffic accidents to viral infections all on one ward, so the nursing care required differs keeping the day from being repetitive. Have definatley found my niche with earlies, wake up feeling fresh (ish!) at 5am, then fly through the rest of the day as mornings tend to be busier and am home before I know it, unfortunatley the same cannot be said for lates, luckily my mentor favours the long days so I have more early starts than lates which is preferable. Being in my second year is a lot different than first year, as obvious and uninspiring as that sounds, you become more aware of what is expected of you and the signs you should have picked up regarding deterioration in a patient and the skills required to rectify the situation, or the ability to explain a procedure to a parent or patient themselves. Despite fearing lack of knowledge when I started in a medical ward area as opposed to surgical, I can still apply the same skills I learnt throughout my other placements to this ward and its the things you unconciously pick up which are to the most beneficial.
Even if its just a case of spending 5 minutes talking to a patient who might be nervous about the care they are going to receive but are too worried to tell anyone about it. As students we have the time to spend with the patients, getting the know them and their families and it is a privaledge when someone trusts and appreciates what you are doing even though it takes little effort on our part to talk to someone for a while. I used to quite envy adult nursing students in their flurish of skills including canulations and venous punctures (posh way of saying taking blood, thourght id show off my skills!) but after speaking to a few of my friends yes these skills are exciting, but many patients don’t require the same level of communication as children, and children generally are up for playing games and running riot, whereas adults are not so joyfully inclined! I have definately chosen the right speciality and despite not acquiring those skills in my training can go on to learn them when i qualify, gives me something to look forward to then I suppose :). I would just encourage anyone who is in two minds about what to do, to really look into the course they are taking on because there is money to be lost and time to be wasted if you dont do the background research into it. Having said that, you can always change your mind and it wouldnt be the end of the world, but just be careful and take time to thoroughly think it through. Happy rainy summer days 🙂 JO

back to placement

well my first week on a new ward is over and I am still here to tell the story, success :). Am back to a neuro ward so it’s interesting to see how much I remember about different conditions and care. Although this ward also takes on a mixture of other patients as well, so I am able to get signed off for my tracheostamy training and care. Tracheostamy is when a tube is inserted into the trachea at an opening in the neck, due to the patient being unable to sustain their own airway, due to a number or reasons which could include; infection, trauma to the face or airways, and ongoing ventilation from birth.
Having been on a theatre placement before this, and having so long at uni in theory, starting back into a ward environment is quite scary, it took me a while to feel comfortable with simple things like observations, but now at the end of the week I feel more at home and have a lovely mentor and fellow students, so I think this ward will be a good experience. Having said that ask me in 7 weeks and I’ll see if i’m still enthusiastic! As well as tracheostamy care, I have for the first time in my student nursing career, been able to take care of a patients gastrostamy peg. This is where a patient is unable to feed normally through their mouth, so has to be fed through a tube, which is inserted just inside the stomach wall and has like a button on the outside of the skin, which you can open and attach a feed or milk, water or other items depending on the needs of the patient. Its amazing to see how much medicine has come on and how these children who previously would have become undernurished and would have had potentially life threatening illnesses are now able to be at home, at school and able to live life without exclusion. At times over the past few years, since my training began I have quesitoned why I wanted to be a nurse, with the early mornings and busy workload. But being able to sit in a room with a child who is unable to communicate through words and seeing them smile makes it worth it, all of it is worth it if you can see a child smile and laugh, to enjoy their lives when no one expects them to. It is a humbling experience and it reminds me of India, (where I went on my gap year) and how much those children would benefit from the care that in this country we take for granted from the NHS. Which we then complain about, when we have to wait in line, or our appointment is cancelled. We are the first to complain and the last to be gratefull and it really makes me think how fortunate we are that we are able to access health care, at relatively no inconvenience to ourselves. I may be rambling on but sometimes looking at something you never really think about gives you a new view. Right rant over :), I hope that exams have been a success up till now and you are feeling confident about the ones to come. Good good luck, enjoy the rest of school and college life, and look forward to the future Jo 🙂