Thursday 11th April 2019 at 13:00pm was the moment I sat my final BIG exam of nursing – Nursing Practice 4 exam and our lovely case study patient Betty (not a real patient).
This exam was 2.5 hours long, paper written (and A LOT of writing at that!) We had 7 sections to complete for this exam:
- Condition based
- Physiology of Betty and her condition
- Medications based
- Monitoring decisions you’ll make
- Interventions you will do based on monitoring
- Integrating knowledge and evidence based practice
- Delivery of care when she’s discharged
I had revised solid for this exam, every single day in fact… I made flash cards galore, I had written out time and time again section 2, 4 and 5 to practice writing them all out and timing myself to ensure I didn’t go over in the exam. It took me 1.5 hours to complete these 3 sections, giving me one hour to complete the rest of the exam.
This is THE most stressed I have EVER been. I can’t lie and say this is a walk in the park, it wasn’t – I was terrified for this one. And looking back on why I felt like that, was of two reasons;
- Self belief and lack of confidence in my own abilities (or memory haha)
- This was our last ever exam based on physiology. It was all becoming very real that I’m almost qualified! And as much as this excites me – it also makes me very sad. Sad to be leaving the place that’s been my home and BCU family for almost 3 years now.
The day before the exam, I revised my section 2 again and I was starting to forget! I couldn’t remember small things and I became so frustrated in myself that I had a small mental breakdown and cried a lot. I felt like a failure before I’d even sat the exam. Luckily, I’ve got an amazing partner who pulled me through this! Gave me a good pep talk and knocked some common sense into me. However, this mental block and forgetting small things is a sign of my brain saying ‘you’re revising too much!’ Yep, that’s a real thing! I did the same thing first and second year exams and should know by now when to stop. Safe to say, I didn’t revise again after this little moment.
On the day of the exam, I arrived around 45 minutes early and met up with my uni friends. Everyone was so nervous! Not one person I spoke to felt confident and ready for this exam – including myself. A few of my friends all went to their rooms they were allocated for this exam (we were all separated) but myself and Nel were too nervous for this one… we spent the last 30 minutes before, walking around and around uni talking about anything but this exam – We needed a distraction. I then met up with my other friend Puja so we could have our traditional moment. Every exam we meet up and do a little before and after exam video to discuss our feelings. Click here for video
I then entered the exam room… it was time!
I sat down in front of my paper, 2 black ink pens ready for it! (Always take 2 pens in case one fails you). This was it, final exam of nursing and hopefully I will not have to resist this. The clock had started and I opened part A of my book.
As I went through answering all of the questions, I was remembering! I had remembered all of my flash cards that I had made! And the extra questions about medications etc, I felt like I was getting it right! I sat and I thought to myself, my partner will be so proud of me right now doing this. There was around 3-4 questions that I wasn’t sure of, because I made the mistake of not revising that part of the exam! I wanted to concentrate on the big marks to pass this. Despite this, there were other sections and questions that I DID know which will make up for the loss. I also made a couple or REALLY silly mistakes during the exam, I made the mistake of saying Aldosterone is released instead of adrenaline! Which is a massive no, no and I am kicking myself now for it. However, with all this in mind, I think I have done enough to pass it all but we shall see – in 4 weeks time I will have my results. Fingers and toes all crossed now, there’s nothing left I can do.
Massive thank you to Steve and Gary at Birmingham City University for teaching this module. You have been amazing! I have learnt so much from you and I have been able to recognise a deteriorating patient, prevented sepsis from occurring and get his treatment faster as a result.
So that’s it from me, I hope you all have had a fantastic day, week, weekend, whatever time it is where ever you are in the world. It’s goodbye for now from me 🙂