Student nurses shoulder a great burden
The College View: While walking around, checking on patients, first year nursing student at Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT), Rebecca , noticed that one of the louder patients on the ward was being oddly quiet.
Photograph: iStockphoto/Getty Images
As any nurse would, Rebecca went in to make sure there was nothing wrong when she came across somebody who looked ‘pale and lifeless’.
“I couldn’t feel a pulse so I started CPR and shouted for help but no one came to help me and I pressed the [nurse call] button but obviously it was not working. I was trying to do compressions and trying to shout for someone to come in and help me at the same time. The ward manager came in and was annoyed at me for shouting.
Rebecca remembered telling the ward manager: “this patient is unresponsive and I’m trying to do CPR, I’ve been calling for help for a good 2 minutes and no one has come in.”
More nurses came in after that and I felt like I was just pushed out of the way, ” Rebecca said.
Rebecca had been in college for a total of ten weeks before going on her first placement. There is a huge workload on nursing students and considering the understaffed conditions, there is more and more pressure on nursing students to be able to do the job of a fully qualified nurse.
The process of supportive learning while on placement is for the student to be paired with a link nurse who is supposed to be with them at all times, supervising and teaching. However, this is largely not the case for many student nurses on placement.
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