Student voice

Transition of another sort

Nurses aren’t nosy, they’re just blessed with plenty of professional curiosity, says Emma Cowen

After working in the children’s accident and emergency department as a healthcare assistant for three years before starting university, I am about to start a placement there as a nursing student.

This is the first time on the course when I have felt nervous.

Usually I am excited, looking forward to meeting new people, and getting to be nosy in a new area, although someone recently pointed out to me that nurses aren’t nosy, they are ‘professionally curious’, which sounds better.

Logically I have no reason to be anxious; I know the area well, I know the staff, and I also know what will be expected of me.

However, I will be there in a completely different role, with different responsibilities, and the staff will have different expectations of me. This will be challenging for me, but also for my mentors, who I have known and worked with for a long time.

I am conscious it would be easy for me to accidentally slip into the role of a healthcare assistant. This would result in me possibly missing learning opportunities, and it would not be the best use of my time there. It would also make it easier for my mentors to treat me like a healthcare assistant rather than as a student.

Despite all these concerns, I am still really looking forward to the challenge of learning, and taking part in, the many nursing duties which have previously been out of my remit.

I also feel this placement will be a big step closer towards feeling like a nurse. After all, it will be a big learning curve to transition from an A&E healthcare assistant to an A&E nurse. Once people who have known me as a healthcare assistant for years start to see and think of me as a nurse, it will feel like a big milestone in my journey.

About the author

Emma Cowen is a children’s nursing student at the University of Brighton

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