Have you been wondering about becoming a student nurse in Zimbabwe? How can one become a nurse? What happens when you are a student nurse? Is nursing difficult? Do you get paid if you are a student nurse? What are your duties as a student nurse?
The answer is “YES ,YES, YES, YES, YES” you can make it, the process is simple, you can pass and become a nurse. I will give you hints on what happens at school of nursing, how to overcome the challenges, and tips to make it through.
This article will help you understand the basics of nursing, roles and responsibilities of a student nurse in a hospital ward or clinical area.
What is a Student Nurse?
A student nurse is a person who is training to be a nurse at a nursing school or hospital.
They learn theoretical part of nursing in class and practice what they learn in class by joining clinical rotations under the supervision of a nursing instructor.
Student nurses work to promote, maintain and restore the health of patients by following the clearly laid out hospital procedures.
The scope of student nursing practice is limited therefore you will often need approval before you can administer any care to patients.
What are the duties of a Student Nurse
“What is not documented is not done.” This is one of the common sayings used in medicine. The information you record on your patient’s medical records is very important and it serves several purposes.
Documentation involves, charting on drug chart, observation chart, circulation and sensation charts, fluid charts, turn charts, writing nursing care plans as well as writing of cardex, recording all medical records including the patient’s condition, treatment plan, medication list, and symptoms. The medical chart should also contain the patient’s medical history.
Providing Nursing Care
Student nurses are responsible for assisting patients when they require help in performing their activities of daily living such as bathing and eating. Bathing is often laborious, especially for bedridden patients. You will also have to cover your patients with sheets or blankets to keep them warm.
Additionally, when bathing your patients, you should always keep the bed dry. You can do this by placing a towel under your patient. It’s important that you get the consent of a patient to care for them because some patients may be uncomfortable with assistance from student nurses.
Administration of drugs
It is part of student nurse’s duties to administer medications within your scope. During your clinical attachment after you have completed the theory part of drug, you will be required to administer medication after you have determined the effects of the medication on your patient.
The process of administering medication begins with preparing the right doses and administering them at the right time. It’s also key that you administer medication to the right patient. You can do this by calling the patients by their names as you administer medication. Additionally, you should also confirm their identities by checking their patient notes.
What Are Areas of Attachment When you Are a Student Nurse
In the three years that you will be at a training school, you will undergo clinical attachments. Where you are training is a factor which determine your areas of attachment.
However I will give a brief description of how a student nurse at a Provincial Hospital will undertake his or her attachment schedule
You will start by having theory in class for 10 weeks, then you will go to the ward where you will be expected to perform simple tasks such as offering bedpans, bathing patients and do vital observations.
From the ward you will go back to school for another theory where you will learn dressing of wounds. You will be expected to go to the ward and perform a clinical assessment which is crucial.
Coming back to school, at this stage you will be learning on more on drugs as you will be expected to know all types of drugs and their side effects as well as treatment. From block you will go to the ward to perform another assessment under clinical instructor.
At the same hospital, you will be required to undergo attachment at various departments such as Casualty for emergency treatment, Outpatient Department, Operating Theater, Psychiatric, Antenatal Clinic, Maternity ward and Post- natal clinic.
Outside your training hospital, you are suppose be attached at a family planning clinic, urban clinic and rural clinic. You will also go to a central hospital for attachment where you will also go through wards, operating theaters and eye clinic.
So basically these are areas that a student nurse is expected to cover during training. Remember in these areas you will be carrying your bible (Anatomy and Physiology) together with a hym book (procedure book).
Is clinical Attachment Necessary?
Yes, clinical attachment is useful and required later in the field. Some of the reasons are as follows:
Clinical experiences are compulsory in all accredited nursing program and they provide important insight that can help improve patient care.
Clinical attachment helps with hands on. Hands-on job involvement helps prepare student nurses for a diverse work environment. This is mainly because nursing is a broad field and it has many positions, specialties, and care settings.
You will experience what the nursing job is really like and you will be able to determine whether it aligns with your interests before you can commit yourself to a specific clinical setting. The clinical experience will also help you transition from a student to a professional working nurse.
Ability to work effectively
While you will be excited to enter into a new job as a professional nurse, challenges are bound to emerge unexpectedly, but your clinical experience will help you overcome any hurdles you face.
While there are no two similar days in the nursing field, clinical rotations will help you to develop a routine.
This is because most responsibilities revolve around specific actions such as visiting your patients and administering the necessary care. Clinical rotations will also train and prepare you on how to handle the routine and stress elements of the job without negatively affecting your patient outcomes.
Do Student Nurses Pay School Fees in Zimbabwe?
Well, student nurses in Zimbabwe DO NOT PAY SCHOOL FEES. Education for student nurses is free but you will have to work for the government for three years after completing your studies in the process called (Bonding).
However, it is of great benefit to let government give you free education and give you a job. After bonding you have many choices, to continue working for government or to get a new employer. Choice is yours!!!!!!!!!!
Do student nurses get paid in Zimbabwe?
This is interesting indeed, imagine you are not paying school fees and on top of that you get monthly salary !!!!!.
Yes, student nurses are paid monthly for three years. You will automatically be added on the payroll the moment you sign up your contract and off course it may not come on the first month but it will come as a lump sum on the third month.
Challenges Faced By Student Nurses
It is well known that every profession has its challenges. Here are some of the challenges that student nurses face:
Nursing school is very demanding, and when you add in the coursework, reading for homework, and the clinical work, there usually isn’t time for anything else.
However Students need to set their priorities straight and decide how they are going to organize their time.
Nothing can really prepare students for the exams and lectures at nursing school.
Nursing schools include a lot of practical exams alongside the written tests. It’s not all about memorizing facts; students have to develop a knack for critical thinking.
Social Life and Work-Life Balance Can Suffer
If you have been assigned shift work, your social life almost always disappears. Most commonly going out with friends becomes almost impossible because of hectic schedules.
Apart from trying to keep up with an ever-changing schedule, nursing students also need to complete necessary homework and worksheets before the next day’s shifts.