Category Archives: Uncategorized

Student nurse with dyslexia? This might help you

Some of the best nurses I’ve worked with have happened to be dyslexic. Maybe it was having to overcome the challenges that come with dyslexia that helped them to develop such high quality skills? However I’ve met many student nurses who do struggle with this, some even getting diagnosed for the first time after they’ve already started their degree. Remember, while you may not like to be ‘labelled’ as dyslexic it helps to open up a range of support that you cannot access without the label. Don’t let it define you, let it refine you!

I happened across a blog written by a newly qualified nurse, Andrew, who, despite his dyslexia gained an upper second class degree in mental health nursing. Have a look at his blog, Positively dyslexic nursing. Maybe his tips for success will help you…?

Reflections on the Hands of a Nurse by Mark Darby


“Hand” by -5m is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Reflections on the Hands of a Nurse

Let us take a moment to remember our hands.
For these are no ordinary hands.
These are the hands of a nurse.
These are the hands that help us do our work.
These are the hands that carry out the skills that make nursing possible.

Let us remember our hands and be grateful for what they do
For the eyes may see, the mouth may speak but it is the hands that hold, the hands that heal, the hands that give the caring touch.

These are the hands that feel the first breath of a new born child,
These are the hands that feel the last breath of a dying one

These are the hands that hold a family, who has just lost a loved one, These are the hands that clap for joy at the healing of a disease. These are the hands that insert tubes that bring healing to the body

These are the hands that touch a forehead and tell, within a degree, normal or febrile.
These are the hands that feel a pulse and know fast or slow, weak or strong, effective or for naught.

These are the hands that restrain the angry from self-harm
These are the hands that compress the sternum to bring life

These are the hands that clean unspeakable places on another person’s body but do so with dignity and respect which allow that person to feel like a human being.

These are also the hands of different people not just black or white, brown or yellow but all.
These are not the hands of male or female but both.

Other hands may build buildings or write books Some hands may even pull the trigger or plunge the knife but these are the hands of life.

These are the hands that take up the task passed down from so long ago—to bring healing to the sick, comfort to the afflicted, hope to the hopeless

But these are not the hands of timid maidens who look for direction outside themselves

These are also the hands that can be clenched because sometimes some thing has got to change.

These are the hands of a nurse
These are the hands that have the privilege of being at the bedside

For these are the hands of a nurse, the hands of a person that does a job that not everyone can do.
These are the hands of a nurse, the hands of strength compassion and love
These are the hands of a nurse,

These are my hands.


For student nurses – especially V2 – peripheral shutdown

What’s in a word? Well, a lot.

Struggling with understanding peripheral ‘shutdown”? Would peripheral “vasoconstriction” make all the difference?! Here’s what’s happening with shutdown or vasoconstriction (and vasodilation). Check out the amazing Khan Academy if you want to know more.Check out the amazing Khan Academy if you want to know more.

It’s typical, you just start your first post as a graduate nurse and along comes Corona…Part 2

Geez – they say a week is a long time in politics but apparently a week is a very long time in a coronavirus pandemic. No sooner had I found some analysis which helped me understand the government’s strategy to manage the COVID-19 pandemic (posted only 3 days ago) the strategy has changed – you’ve probably noticed. Big events are being closed left, right and centre, schools and universities are closing, we have been advised not to visit pubs, clubs, restaurants, cinemas, theatres, and anyone who can work from home is being asked to do so (alongside home-schooling their kids). What has happened? Put simply, a recent study from Imperial College London calculated, based on emerging data, that if the UK remained with the previous strategy it would result in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people and a healthcare system utterly unable to cope – we had to change course. It is hoped that, as illustrated by the short video below which shows a fire traversing a line of matches, with the right measures and all of us playing our part (following public health advice, hand-washing and social distancing). we might be able to halt the epidemic in its tracks, and save lives.

The UK strategy has changed from that of mitigation – which focused on slowing but not stopping the epidemic (‘Flattening the curve’ See Random tweet illustrating principle of spreading the peak of a pandemic with intervention‘) to suppression – which aims to stop the epidemic. We have moved from targeted social distancing (home isolation of suspect cases, home quarantine of those living in the same household as suspect cases, and social distancing of older people and others at most risk of severe disease) to social distancing of the entire population. For more detail, do read the Imperial College London report – but you may wish to have a stiff drink in your hand as you do so. The suppression strategy is going to be a massive inconvenience to us all, life is going to be very different, and for a lot longer than you might think (hint, months rather than weeks). It is going  to have a potentially devastating effect on those with businesses that are no longer being frequented, on the self-employed whose services are no longer sought, and a huge worry for those still working on the NHS frontline and at higher risk of exposure while their children remain at school. And that is not to mention the devastating effect on those who, to paraphrase the Prime Minister, are going to lose family members before their time.

Our NHS health professionals and other staff are going to show us now, more than any time in the history of the NHS, just what amazing people they are. They are putting themselves at risk (as they always do, but particularly so now) for the country and all who live in it. Through their help and expertise, and all of us taking public health advice seriously, thousands, potentially hundreds of thousands of lives, could be saved. Like many of you  I’m working at home now and looking after my children while my amazing wife continues to go to work in the NHS – she’s been redeployed to help with the COVID-19 fight (alongside many other amazing people who have been or will be redeployed). I’m going to do everything to support my family through this while doing my best alongside my amazing  colleagues at BU to help support our students, and continue to give them a fantastic learning experience online.

For now, stay safe, be kind and support each other. Oh, and if you’ll let me lighten the mood a little, COVID-19 does not appear to cause the ‘runs’. So, to ensure there’s enough to go around, maybe just get your usual amount of toilet roll next time…?