A children’s nursing student, whose swift response when a young hospital visitor was taken ill were captured in a TV show, says the incident reminded her why she wants to be a nurse. Deborah Main, a student at the University of Northampton, featured in Channel 4 show Confessions of a Junior Doctor after rushing to the aid of a boy having a fit.
“Looking back at the footage, it reminded me of why I want to do this job”
About a million viewers tuned into the third episode of the fly-on-the-wall documentary series, which follows the working lives of junior doctors at Northampton General Hospital. Ms Main, who was on work placement at the hospital at the time, was shown helping the boy who unexpectedly suffered a febrile convulsion while visiting his brother.
“It was really strange to see myself on the television, but it was reassuring to see how I reacted to the situation,” she said. “You can never really gauge how you come across to patients, and the pace is so quick on the wards that you don’t get a minute to reflect on that aspect of the job, so it was nice to see how calm I was when the boy started fitting,” she said.
“When something unexpected like this happens, you go into survival mode, crack on and help in any way you can,” she noted.
Ms Main cared for the boy with a junior doctor and then stayed with the child and his sibling to comfort them.
“Looking back at the footage, it reminded me of why I want to do this job,” she said. “You feel as though you have people’s lives in your hands, which is both a scary and an amazing feeling. It’s a privilege to be able to make a difference.”
“You need to experience working in a hospital to make sure you are cut out for it”
The student has now completed two work placements at the hospital plus stints in the community, including school visits.
“I have loved being in a ‘go, go, go’ environment, learning alongside some amazing NHS staff, all of whom have been so supportive,” she said. “The placements can be tough, but you need to experience working in a hospital to make sure you are cut out for it,” she said. “You will encounter many heartbreaking and upsetting scenarios and it’s important you find a way to deal with it afterwards.”
Ms Main praised the support she had received from fellow nursing students and university staff.
“Meeting up with my fellow student nurses back at university really helps, as we all share stories about what we have experienced and we’ve built up a real bond between us,” she said. “We all support each other, and the teaching staff are also fantastic, as they know exactly how we might be feeling, and they offer us so much encouragement and support. Without the support from all the amazing people around me, I don’t think I would have come this far,” she added.
By Jo Stephenson, NursingTimes
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