Today we had the absolute pleasure of chatting with final year nursing student Rajneet Kaur, who works tirelessly both in & out of BCU, working for her local community, challenging herself & having fun in the process.
Hi Rajneet, it’s great being able to chat with you today! Please tell us the course you study & what year you are in?
I am studying BSc Adult Nursing (Hons) and I am in my final year of study!
How many of our award levels have you completed & when did you achieve these?
I have completed all 3 awards, and these are the following dates for all 3:
Bronze: June 2018
Silver: May 2019
Gold: February 2020
I will be engaging with the Platinum award soon.
Out of all the opportunities BCU offers, which is your favourite & why?
My favourite opportunity at BCU was the chance to lead, and connect with inspiring student nurses on the UK Royal College of Nursing Students Committee. Our committee is made up of ambitious, inspirational and forward thinking students who I am proud to work alongside with.
I have been connecting with students from BCU and other universities to ensure students have amplified voices and concerns raised within my West Midlands constituency. However, during the COVID-19 period, the experience has been invaluable as I have been able to build my network with senior nurse leaders such as liaising with Chief Nursing Officers, Health Education England and the Nursing and Midwifery Council, for example. The opportunity has given me confidence in my abilities to lead and build networks within my field of practice.
I was able to participate in a public speaking and debate conference in Manchester. I discussed the impact of short staffing within the NHS and Government policies. I debated the necessity of nursing staff having regular breaks, providing the NMC Code of Conduct as an example of taking personal safety and precautions to remain safe in practice.
You tell us you recently completed your placement during the COVID-19 period, tell us more about the experiences you had?
I had a placement on the Intensive Care Unit during the COVID-19 period. I remember whilst being on the RCN Students Committee that the COVID-19 temporary registration was still in the development stages. My mentor was absolutely fantastic and supportive. I worked alongside her treating patients with coronavirus. I was tested for an appropriate FFP3 respirator and taught how to don and doff PPE appropriately. Infection control was vital to maintain throughout. I was able to learn a lot during my placement on the Intensive Care Unit. I was able to maintain tracheostomy tubes, clean/change the inner cannula, clean the stoma, undertake open and closed suctioning, use ventilator circuits, maintain endotracheal tubes, check cuff pressures, perform bedside safety checks and equipment checks, use pressure infusion bags, maintain and aspirate from an NG tube, perform A-E assessments, engage in proning patients, take ABGs from arterial line and interpret the findings. This is just a few of the nursing care I was able to engage in and discuss with my mentor.
I decided to opt-in to expand the workforce to help tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. BCU prepared us to opt-in by offering cannulation and venepuncture sessions to increase our skill sets. Our programme page also has BLS and ALS guidance in particular reference to COVID. I was moved to Cardiology for my 6 months extended clinical placement. My time on cardiology has taught me how to interpret ECG findings, 12 lead ECGs, use of cardiac monitors, set alarm limits, use of GRACE ACS tool and nursing care for pacemakers, angiogram and angioplasty. I have been able to interpret findings from telemetry.
You mentioned you also worked previously for your faculty as a Student Academic Lead. What did you gain from this experience?
My role as a Student Academic Lead has allowed me to raise concerns of corresponding students. These concerns are discussed and forwarded to our course leads and programme directors.
I have gained a lot of confidence and leadership skills from this role. I have been able to give myself and my fellow colleagues’ clarity and understanding. It is great to see our university active and involved with students. It demonstrates that our faculty and university is student led and student’s education and experiences are at the forefront. Our course leads and directors have been active throughout, sending weekly updates and clarifications to students across all years and intakes.
In your downtime you mentioned you love hiking, what else do you enjoy doing alongside your studies & other commitments?
I have been given opportunity to learn a new language. For example, Graduate+ paid for my Rosetta stone and I was fortunately able to learn Spanish! I don’t think I’ll be singing Despacito by Luis Fonsi coherently anytime soon but the investment our university provides shows that BCU is a university of opportunity.
If you had to give advice to a new 1st year student who was interested in getting involved with Graduate+, what would you say?
I would say that it is a fantastic extra-curricular to get involved with. University is more than just a degree; it is significant to develop extra skills and experiences. It allows you to become employable for your future career and offer networking, expansion and career direction.
Finally, what does the future have in store for you Rajneet?
I have a preceptorship for my newly qualified nursing post. I want to develop within my preceptorship period and utilise the period for me to expand my career aspirations and build on my nursing knowledge. I am spoilt for choice as nursing offers a lot of expansion. For example, research nursing, clinical specialist, advanced nurse practitioner and clinical education to name a few. Therefore, finding my feet is crucial.