My first week as a newly qualified nurse in GP

So, it’s the end of the week. Not just any week, my first week as a newly qualified nurse working in general practice (GP). What a week it has been – A busy but absolutely amazing one! I’ve loved every second of it. This is exactly where I’m supposed to be and it’s such a great feeling.

I won’t go into my first day as I wrote a little bit about this here (if you missed it and want a read). So I’ll go from Tuesday; Tuesday I was on a short day, 13:00-18.30. I sat with the fabulous healthcare assistant and got my bloods competencies signed off – So I could start seeing patients who needed blood tests. I’d been taking bloods in my previous job for around 5.9 years, so I have some experience with this already. This takes us to Wednesday, by far the most important / exciting day of this week for me!

I arrived at work and found out a nurse had called in sick with all her patients about to start arriving! The other nurse had a clinic of her own but we checked the list to see what the other patients were coming in for. They were mostly wounds and bloods – Which I can do. I said to the nurse and manager, I feel confident and competent enough to see these patients for you. I know the Emis system (computer system to document patients on) which really helps. There’s a lot I still need to get my head around with Emis but anything I don’t know, I knew someone would be there to help me – and they did. I was surrounded by amazing admin staff, reception, onsite pharmacist, I.T, doctor, nurses and manager.

So, I did it. I took on all the patients, I saw every patient on time (give or take a minute or two here and there), finished them early and managed to squeeze in another two! During my shift, I had a lovely message from the nurse at the other practice saying ‘so sorry you’re thrown into it all, please don’t think you’re alone, we are all here if you need us! Just call us please if you need anything at all.’ Which really made my day! It was such a heart warming message and knew I’d be so supported here.

But I need to add a disclaimer here, it was completely on me, my choice and I felt confident to do my own patients that day.

After my patients left, I cleaned down the rooms, stocked up and done the fridge temperatures. Then I had a catch up with the practice manager who checked up on me to make sure I was ok and felt supported enough. She said she didn’t want me taking on too much and get overwhelmed, which was lovely of her! But I did say, if I ever feel like that or can’t do something I will always say. However, I’d had a great day, felt so supported and couldn’t of asked for any more. I left work on Wednesday so proud of myself, I felt like I’d really done well that shift. Despite a small blip that happened in the morning – I had a patient for a blood test and I didn’t realise I needed to take an extra blood for a different hospital as well as our own ones. The patient had gone home, so I couldn’t get this for them. I realise my error, told the other nurse on shift, and called the patient to apologise and explain. Top tip: always ask the patient if they know what bloods they are in for and don’t just go by what the computer says. I’ve been double checking every single patient since! I felt so mortified I’d made a mistake. But I was open and honest about it and everything went well in the end. Message to all – always be open and honest when you make mistakes.

The next couple of days I had my own patients of wounds and bloods. I also sat with the other practice nurses to see what they do and how to do things such as set up the ECG’s. I feel I managed my own time, patients and clinics well, there were a couple of times I had to ask for advice. But it turned out my own judgement was correct! Which was amazing, and it just shows you should be more confident in your own judgement sometimes (however, I will always double check if in doubt. I’d rather be safe than sorry!) All in all, I couldn’t of asked for a better week as a newly qualified practice nurse. I’ve had the best week with the best team! It’s been incredible. I don’t think they (the team) knew how amazing they had been, so I bought in some cakes and a thank you card. I also sent round an email to everyone to introduce myself and thank them for being amazing to me. It can be very daunting as a NQN, and sometimes make or break for some people. I was so happy with all the support I’ve had from them and they’ve made every difference to my first week.

(Google image, 2020)

I’m going to do some vlogs on my first week, inductions as a NQN along with tips and advice for NQN’s starting out. Go and subscribe to my YouTube channel to get notifications of these: www.youtube.com/clairecarmichael I’ve posted a video today about inductions / uniforms / pay for you all. Thanks everyone!

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34 years old and finally achieving my dream of becoming a nurse.

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