Wednesday 21st of March 2018.
A while back I was invited to go to a GP conference. I debated it for a while as it was during my placement and I did not want to miss anything on my placement. Until I sat and thought about it logically and how related to my placement this actually was.
I registered to go, agreed the day with my mentor (she was very supportive of this and wants me to do all I can to aid my learning).
Last week, I had an email come through asking if I would be interested in doing a short 5 minute talk at the conference about my student journey into general practice and how wonderful it is.
I should probably state now, the conference was all about the new GPN 10 point plan
This plan includes student nurses and creating more placement opportunities within general practice for us all. Furthermore, they have recognised that general practice nurses (GPNs) are soon to retire and they need to do something to encourage more newly qualified student nurses into this role.
My part in the talk was about my journey and the small things I have done to inspire students to look into this career path. Something I am becoming more and more passionate about.
I arrived at the conference a little nervous. I knew of some nurses and students that were going to the conference but not anyone I had physically met. It is that initial trying to recognise people from a tiny social media photo on twitter haha! It is tricky, however, I managed to find everyone and say hello yay! It is so nice to put a face to tweets and messages. If I ever do not recognise anyone please do not be offended haha. I am shocking at trying to figure who is who. Just wave at me or something ☺️
I was up on stage with Karen Storey, Hannah Blackwell and Adam Street.
I had my bright, odd, socks on for world Down syndrome awareness day not thinking I would be sitting down and showing them off!! It was a great ice breaker though haha.
For anyone that does not know this yet, I have always been terrified of public speaking. Before starting this nursing course, I was so un confident. I do get very nervous still but
the difference between now and back then is; I push myself!
I would have avoided the situation and not agreed to anything like this before. I would have made some excuse about being busy instead of facing my fear. But I have pushed myself, stepped out of my comfort zones and completed the impossible! I have done a couple of student talks at university now, did the student nursing times awards presentation with Birmingham City University team and now this. Sitting in front of a whole room of however many people and telling my story. I came out of this day proud of myself and how far I have come. I encourage every single one of you reading this to push yourself and face them fears because you WILL overcome them and manage them so much better. Do not let anything stop you. I attended a few of workshops during the day which were fabulous! So informative and I have taken a lot away with me from the day! I have even made notes to take back to my mentor and show her. There are a couple of things that she could be interested in herself. She always says to me (and the GP himself)
‘if there’s anything we can do better, tell us.’
Another amazing comment from them. I am so used to hearing ‘it is just how we always do it.’ It is fantastic to hear people want change for the best for their patients.
Workshops on the day included:
- Experiences of new GPN’s: What’s needed to make good experience (preceptorship). This was a fantatsic talk run by Hannah Blackwell and Lucy Porter, who have been qualified for a year now. They got the room engaged in their talk and it was so lovely to hear all the nice comments in the room about the role and how much the nurses in the room love their career. Hannah and Lucy both did fantastic! It was lovely to see a workshop lead by newly qualified nurses and being run so well.
- Group Consultations. This was run by Louise Brady; I took a lot from this workshop. This was all about how to run a group consultation with 5 – 10 patients and how it benefits the health of the patient. This is one of the things I have taken back to my mentor as I feel she would love to do this with her patients. The only barriers I can think of is 1: Getting patients to attend and 2: The practice is quite small, so finding a way to manage that. But we shall see.
- Community Education Providers Networks. A marvellous talk by Dr Peter Lane, Lisa Gammon and Catherine Wills. Very motivating talks and very inspiring, especially as a student. It was lovely to hear other student nurse stories and how much they have fallen in love with general practice nursing too.
All of the speakers today were just incredible. You are all role models for me and how I aspire to be one day with my own public speaking. So confident, and knowledgable.
Wait… I have not even told you about the free snacks and beverages?! Ok… not only was this day incredible but we had the most amazing free lunch! A HUGE variety of sandwiches, not just sandwiches but a choice of a wrap too. With salad, quiche, pickle, crisps, salmon. AND desert?! Little chocolate pots and fruit salad. Then you had the hot drinks machine full of every choice and fridges stocked with cold drinks, water, orange juice, apple juice, coke, Fanta… there was fresh fruit, biscuits AND cake. If you did not get anything from that day, at least you were well fed haha. It is definitely worth attending for the food. I am easily please though.
I had an incredible day. Any students that get the opportunity to go to the GP conferences go! You will learn so much and take a lot back to your placement with you.
I thank all of you for being so lovely to me. It was so great to hear everyone’s positive thoughts on your profession and how long you had been in your roles!
Until next time.. have a wonderful evening all.