Making a difference as an adult nursing student

Amreen is studying BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing here at The University of Bradford. She tells us how her course helps her makes a difference.

Amreen Mehnaz, BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing

Do you ever wake up in the morning wanting to change the world and make a difference, and then the alarm goes off and you think…oh well, maybe tomorrow?

I never said oh well. Looking back at the palliative nurse who cared for my grandma in her final hours, I really wanted to be someone as wonderful as her and make a difference.

I have just completed my first year as an adult nursing student. What a year it’s been, and I got to meet so many wonderful people. “Be the kind of nurse you would want to care for you”, wise words that I was taught by my college lecturer. So, in my placements, I did just that. I took care of all my patients as if they were family. I met some fascinating people who helped me broaden my knowledge in many ways.

Happy to help

I remember on my first placement I cared for a stroke patient. I would often see her family talk to her and encourage her to move her affected hand, but she would avoid doing so. After knowing her for a week or two, I decided to motivate her in a way so that she did not feel like I was giving her treatment. She was a lovely lady and I loved how she would wear different nail polish every time her family visited her.

“Hi Mrs M how are you feeling today?”

She would always reply with a smile and say, “better now that I have seen you”.

“Well then, give me a royal wave, as you’re looking so royal today.”

She waved with her unaffected hand and I added, “no Mrs M, use both hands and wave at me”.

To my surprise she did. Her son and daughter had tears in their eyes and later approached me saying “thank you, nurse, we have been trying for days for her to move the other arm.”

I felt so proud that I made a difference and carried on the same treatment while she remained in my care.

Language barriers

Before I got into adult nursing, I often saw a language barrier between many patients and healthcare professionals. This was another issue I was able to eradicate for a patient in my second placement.

Mrs B was very frail when she came to the ward and due to the language barrier, she was very limited to express how she felt when her family were not around. So, at dinner time I went to her bed and spoke to her in her mother tongue and asked her if she wanted assistance to the table. At first, she was surprised that I spoke her language. She then replied saying she was vegetarian. So, again I reassured her that I will get her a meal to suit her dietary requirements.

From then on Mrs B would always ask for me whenever she needed assistance. I would encourage her many times to eat a little more if she wished to be discharged early. She would smile and say, “if you say so then I believe you”.

A promising future

As health professionals, we sometimes become robotic and do our daily duties as structured. I, for one, try my best to treat every patient holistically as every patient has different needs. Seeing myself in the eyes of my patients has led me to believe that the route I have taken is a promising one for my future practice. Feeling ill and being stuck in a ward is the last place any person would want to be, so if I can make their time at the ward a bit easier then I will do my best to help them. This is how I would like to be treated and how I will always want to treat my patients.

So, I am glad I did not think “oh well” or put my alarm on snooze. I am here making a difference to peoples’ lives and doing it in a profession that I so love and enjoy.

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