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Firsts and Questions

As a new graduate nurse there are many thoughts that ran through my mind and leading up to my first day on my own there were several sleepless nights. After a lovely 6 week holiday since completing my last clinical placement like anyone who has had time off work I started to get nervous and question my abilities. As I prepared for my first day on 4GS (my home away from home for the next 4 months) I had many thoughts running through my mind……. “Am I going to remember how to do an admission?”, “What if I get a patient who needs a nasogastric tube, I haven’t done that before” while at the same time stressing about how I am ever going to remember the names of all of my fellow staff and most importantly “just where is that pan room?” Fortunately for me there were no admissions and no nasogastric tubes to be inserted on my first day and I did find the pan room, but that’s not to say there was not another 100 things that I was trying to get my head around.

I have decided that the best way to describe a grad year to my friends and family is the year of firsts and questions. In my short 3 weeks on the ward I have done a lot of firsts. My first handover, first admission, first discharge, first MET call, first blood transfusion, first drain tube removal, first assisted* nasogastric tube insertion and my first trip down to recovery to pick up my patient….and trust me this year is going to bring a lot more! As far as questions go…well….I apologise to the senior nurses on my ward! I don’t think I have ever asked so many questions in my life! Some to confirm information I already knew others which I had no idea about and on a very few limited occasions I have asked a question that even fellow colleagues haven’t been sure of, which secretly didn’t make me feel so bad.

The hardest part of the transition to a graduate nurse has been gaining my sense of independence. As a student you are constantly observed and assisted, despite feeling as though you have every responsibility on your shoulders the moment you step out as a grad that responsibility on your shoulders feels like it becomes ten times greater. It is a huge reality shock when you are handed over four patients who you are now responsible for in many ways, for the next eight and a half hours.

Fortunately though, I am never operating in isolation. The PSA’s, Ward Clerk’s, Nurses and Doctors on my ward all operate as a team, at any moment I can guarantee that if I need help I can count on the support of fellow staff. As a grad I am so lucky to be so extremely well supported and have an abundance of staff available to answer my every question (I am however going to have to start rotating which staff I ask questions so they don’t get too sick of me).

After day 1 came day 2 followed by day 3 and whilst each day throws me another curve ball and something new to learn each day is getting that little bit easier. Slowly things are starting to come along and I am feeling pretty good about coming to work.

A very wise nurse just the other day told me “Never be sorry for asking too many questions” so I’m passing it on to all of you.

B xo


  1. Hayley Hannah Mar 18 2014

    Bianca you are an amazing young lady and I hope if I ever need a nurse one day that it will be you, I have full confidence that you know what you are doing 🙂 keep up the good work babe xx

  2. Leesa Anderson Apr 01 2014

    Hi Bianca, you have certainly hit the right spot with the grad year being a year of firsts!!! OMG questions questions questions, like you I am on a very supportive ward and many nurses have gone above and beyond to make me welcome and feel very much supported, for which I’m very grateful :).
    Guess we must be doing more right than not as we are still there after 8 weeks!
    Kind regards Leesa xx

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