Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Wading my way through Uni in Australia....Cont

Ok I just found out what the other two courses I will do next year are... Leadership and Management for Health Professions and Contemporary Nursing. Why do they name courses so that you have no idea what they will entail? Oh how I miss Pathophysiology & Pharmacology, and Anatomy & Physiology.....

From the rumblings around Uni that I have heard the prac next year will include our "choice" which may be Childrens/ED/Theatre/ICU/Maternity and a community setting such as a GP's office or with the mobile Blue Nurses (Nurses that do home visits within the community). I beleive there is even one spot for someone to go on prac with the Royal Flying Doctors Service (Small planes that fly around the outback taking care of emergencies).

We don't have any specialist courses such as womens or childrens. They sound really interesting though, I would love to learn more about the program structure of other countries. We heard a rumour that the American system has gone back to hospital based training is that true?

Wading my way through Uni in Australia....

I am fascinated with all the international nursing blogs especially those from US and UK. I thought I would write down some thoughts about the Uni program I am dreadging my way through at the moment.

Where to start??? At the beginning I guess. The university program is currently 3 years but can be extended to cater for part time students (especially helpful if you are concurrently working or like me have kids) up to 6 years. Entry is based on rank received on completion of high school or can be determined based on life experience, professional development and sitting a special entrance exam.

At a crisis point in my life I decided to persue becomming a nurse. It was never a life long ambition or a dream of mine as a child, I honestly never imagined I had what it took until I started out. The major turning point was being a birthing partner for my best friend who was so grateful for the support and I remember thinking to myself - I could really do this. I felt useful, I instinctively knew how to support her and I felt empowered to know I really made a difference in the birth of my goddaughter.

So I sat the test to give me a rank and then I waited. I was amazed that I did so well and I started preparing for my new life. I remeber being really worried that I wouldn't fit into uni life and that I would be the oldest undergraduate on campus (How naive I was, I needn't have worried at 27 I was far from the oldest).

The first year I started out doing a part time load of 2 subjects per semester. I had told myself that Uni was going to be incredibly hard and juggling it and 2 small children would be a mammoth effort that I would be lucky to handle. The first 2 subjects were Anatomy & Physiology 1 and Perspectives in Nursing. I loved A & P and hated Perspectives. The whole idea of sociology and how it fit into nursing was lost on me. The second semester I did A & P 2 and Clinical health assessment. I enjoyed both of these and did really well. Due to my part time status I did not go on Prac for the first year of my degree. (infact not until the end of the second year).

By the end of the first year I knew I could handle a higher workload so I adjusted my progression to a full time status. The second year I did Pathophysiology and Pharmacology 1 & 2 (absolutely loved it), Communication, Psychosocial development, Nursing Practices, Health promotion and my elective was End of life studies. I had 2 weeks of prac in a Aged Care facility/rehab fascility which I hated. I didn't mind the work, it is just that I was so bored and the nursing staff were so old fashioned.

This year I have completed Health Law & ethics, Acute nursing, Informatics (hated it - all about computers in nursing) Research, Complex clinical skills and Human Responses in Crisis. This year I have had 8 weeks full time clinical placements in a variety of settings(in 2 week blocks). For me I have worked in 2 x Cardiac wards, ICU, Critical Care Unit and Acute Mental Health.

For my final year I will be doing Wound and Pain management, Adapting to health changes, Community nursing, and Transitions to practice ( I know there are two more, just cant think of them), In addition I will be on prac in 2 & 3 week blocks for 12 weeks of the academic year.

Wow I am exhausted just thinking about all that work. I have to say that as hard as the work is (I am amazed at the amount of work involved and by the amount nurses need to know), I absolutely love studying. With all its pitfalls and the juggle with other commitments it is still one of my greatest passions.

Thanks for reading.

Student Nurse Link

Student Nurse Link

Student Nurse Website

After I finished my first year at Uni I wanted to create a website to share all the great nursing related links with my colleagues. I developed a website called "Student Nurse Link" which can be found at I would love for other students, graduates and nurses to contribute their ideas and links to the site. Please have a look and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

I have just discovered blogging and have decided to try to use it to link with other student nurses from around the world to gather useful links and resources and as a way to share experiences. Please forgive my future mistakes while I learn how to drive this program. I am a busy Mum of 2 children and I have just finished my 3rd year at University in Australia, I have 1 year left of my degree then I will be out on my own in the big bad world of nursing.