My last week @ UEA

My final week at uni has officially ended. Here’s a breakdown of what I did:

Monday – Progression meeting in the morning, followed by a late shift on Critical Care.

Tuesday – Pack my suitcases to move out, followed by a quick nap and a night shift on Critical Care (final).

Wednesday – come home from the night shift and sleep until noon, get on the bus to London at 5:30 pm, arrive around 20:00.

Thursday – Celebrate my 22nd Birthday and my 2-year marriage anniversary, go to take a ride on the world’s longest, fastest, tallest tunnel slide, created by Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond. The ArcelorMittal Orbit is located in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, London.



For dinner we went to Ethos, which is a vegetarian/vegan restaurant in the heart of London near Oxford Circus. Afterwards, I had to take the bus back to Norwich.20684497_1404186372990362_525292206_o

Friday – this was the FINAL day of uni. I had two lectures in the morning and then we all took lots of pics together in our uniforms.


In the evening we had our Nursing Graduation Prom in Dunston Hall. This was the best night ever, with lots of drinks, food, and great music.


The best part was celebrating the end of my degree with my besties!! They all made my time at UEA much more enjoyable. In the end, it was all worth it!!

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Recently, I got back my results from my Service Improvement Proposal. I got 82% which is a personal record. I also got 80% on my placement document, which is great. I am expecting to graduate with excellence, although I won’t know officially until September. I am doing my progression meeting on Monday morning next week and then I’m off to London for two days to celebrate my 22nd birthday. I’ll let you know how that one goes. Then on Friday I’m having my graduation ball with the 2014 nursing cohort in a lovely restaurant which I will tell you all about next week.


This week I had my sister come over from Scotland and we went shopping. I treated both of us to some afternoon tea at my favourite tea house – Biddy’s Tea Room. I recommend it to all tea lovers out there. Later on, we went to the cinema to watch Despicable Me 3. For dinner, we went to YO!sushi, which meant I had to be flexible with my diet preferences. I’m e veggie at home, however I’ve recently realised how difficult it is to go out with people and find food to enjoy and share together. Sadly, or not, I’ve become a flexitarian as a result. Not proud of myself as I still feel a sense of guilt, however I compromise for others as their emotions mean a lot to me.

Thorpe Park, LONDON

A while ago, I visited Thorpe Park in London with my husband to celebrate our 5 year anniversary since the day we met. I bought the tickets in secret (around £30 per person) and planned the whole journey myself without telling my husband where we were going. He was so surprised and happy when we got there.


We arrived around 10:00 when the park opened. The queues became longer and longer between 12:00 and 15:30, hence I recommend going to the park as soon as it opens so you can get onto your favourite rides before a rush of people surges in.


There’s plenty of rides suitable for all ages, however be mindful that you need to be of a certain height in order to get onto most rides. The park was clean and there were plenty of food stalls and a couple of restaurants where you can stop for a lunch break. Prices were decent and the food was nice. My husband and I went for a buffet of unlimited salad, pizza and pasta, along with free drinks that were on offer. It costed us £12 each.


My husband was pleased by the end of the day as we managed to get on over 10 rides, which was a great success. We both LOVED IT! I recommend it to anyone looking for a fun day away from Norwich. (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧ ✧゚・: *ヽ(◕ヮ◕ヽ)



Nursing in the Critical Care Complex

Currently, I’ve been busy with placement on a general Critical Care Unit comprising of an ICU and an HDU. I feel so grateful for having amazing mentors and working with super friendly staff.

courtesy of UEA, link:

Firstly, ICU (Intensive Care Unit) involves one-to-one nursing care, as opposed to one nurse and 12 patients on a ward. Critically ill patients come from all walks of life: car accidents, heart attacks, massive strokes, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), chest infections with respiratory failure, sepsis, self-harm (overdose cases, hangings, and other suicide attempts), complicated surgeries, catastrophic spinal injuries, kidney failure needing renal replacement therapy (RRT), multiple-organ dysfunction and others. Patients on ICU are often sedated, ventilated (on a breathing machine) and closely monitored. The most difficult part is breaking bad news to families and seeing how upset they can become if their loved one deteriorates. Mortality rates remain high with around 30 to 45% of patients who die within the ICU.  Hope lies within research which aims to discover better ways of treating patients by keeping infections at bay, continually improving staff’s skills and knowledge, advancing treatment options, and testing new drugs. Although, prolonging life through invasive treatment may sound like a good idea at first, we are often faced with moral and ethical dilemmas when quality of life deteriorates and is unlikely to ever recover. Making difficult choices, such as withdrawing treatment can be quite stressful and emotional.

Secondly, HDU (High Dependency Unit) involves the care of one nurse for two patients who are still very unwell but less dependant than ICU patients. These types of patients are either a step-down from ICU or admitted for respiratory support (non-invasive ventilation, or delivering high flow oxygen using Optiflow), patients following high-risk orthopaedic surgeries (scoliosis correction, hip/knee revisions), vascular cases (abdominal aortic aneurysm repairs, thrombosis,  balloon stents, and pulmonary embolisms), head and neck surgeries, abdominal surgeries and others. Deteriorating patients from wards can also be escalated to critical care and be admitted to either HDU or ICU for further support and monitoring.

Overall, my critical care placement has been going really well and my clinical skills have improved tremendously. I feel very excited about starting my job on ICU later this year and feel motivated about advancing my skills and knowledge.

A day in the life of a scrub nurse

I have one week left to spend in emergency theatres and my 12-week placement is close to its end. Scrub nursing initially sparked my interest in year one, when I spent two week in orthopaedic theatres watching hip and knee replacements all day, every day. In module 5 we were asked which area we would like to have our placement in and I immediately knew I wanted to go back into theatres.

Emergency theatres provide 24/7 care to emergency and obstetric patients. The shift pattern in emergency theatres varies. For example, shifts can be: 0730-1800, 1230-2115, 1800-0200, 2100-0800  and cover weekdays, weekends and bank holidays. The majority of the shifts I did were 0730 until 1800.

I arrived at 0725 and went to changing room to put scrubs on along with a green hat (green for student) to keep my hair away. I look a little bit like a boy 😀


Then I went to the theatre where I met my mentor. We checked the cases on the emergency list and familiarized ourselves with the plan for the day.  In the morning we do a lot of routine cleaning and stocking. We prepare the surgical sets along with the extra bits and bobs (sutures, extra instruments, etc.) each surgeon prefers for their case. Once the first patient was brought in to the anaesthetic room I began to scrub up for a plastics case (repair of lacerated tendon on hand). Scrubbing up involves washing my hands thoroughly in a specific way for about 5 min, then putting a mask, gown and gloves on. I normally end up looking something like this:




I then moved close to my sterile field and began organizing my trolley with all the surgical instruments. The role of the scrub nurse is quite different from the traditional nurse on a ward. The scrub nurse is responsible for ensuring patient safety checks have been done, maintaining the sterility of the field and count all sharps, swabs and instruments before and after the operation, ensuring no foreign bodies have been retained inside the patient. In addition, he/she has to ensure all equipment needed for a case, such as suctioning, diathermy, camera, flush, etc. is working properly. The scrub nurse will also assist the surgeon with prepping and draping, handling surgical instruments and removing excess instruments from the sterile field. It is vital to focus on what the surgeon is doing and wait for signals on what he/she might need next. At the end of a procedure all safety checks and relevant documentation must be completed.  Sharps should be disposed of as per local policy while instrument sets are placed in a disposal hold for collection after all instruments have been counted correctly. The patient is transferred from theatres to recovery where the scrub nurse would hand over the care.

Surgeries can last from a few minutes to a few hours. Theatres are cleaned by staff between each surgery and preparation for the next case begins. Normally after a surgery you will have a break when you can have your lunch.In the afternoon surgical cases will continue while staff will rotate as either being scrubbed up or circulating, while others will be relieved for breaks. At the end of the day the whole theatre will be cleaned and staff will stock up.There is great skill mix within surgical theatres, hence it’s a dynamic and exciting environment to work in.


10 things about me

I’m sorry I haven’t posted in a long time. My  dissertation has really taken over me and has consumed most of my social life. Additionally, recently I couldn’t find anything to vlog on or write about.

I have changed myself once again…this time I’m determined to stand my ground. I’ve decided to stop eating meat again. Becoming a vegetarian has always been something I wanted to do for the last 2.5 years but the only reason that failed me along the way was the social clash with my friends, family and husband. I didn’t want to upset them and cause them worries. However, this time I have firmly made my decision and can proudly say that I am vegetarian. I don’t want to share extensively the reasons why but mainly for the sake of the animals which suffer, the planet’s environment and even my own health.win_20160929_102732

So here are the 10 things you most likely don’t know about me:

  1. I’m left-handed but I use my right hand for everything apart from writing and drawing
  2. I’m a Christian but I respect others’ beliefs and disbeliefs
  3. I’m vegetarian but I still take some fish-oil capsules I bought months ago and didn’t want to throw away
  4. I’m happily married
  5. I’m Bulgarian and European but also a global citizen
  6. I’ve never broken a bone
  7. I’m extremely competitive even though I don’t admit it very often
  8. I love caring for others but I can be fussy and bossy at times
  9. I want to be a better person and keep developing myself
  10. I love salad, chocolate and pizza

Life update: Keep calm and nurse on

Hi there! If you’re new to my blog, my name is Georgia and I study Nursing at the University of East Anglia. I’ve recently started my 3rd and final year of Nursing school.


In my 1st semester (Module 5) we focus on critical care and complex needs, whereas in the 2nd semester (Module 6) we focus on preparation for future practice and begin job hunting.

Firstly, I’ve just decided the topic of my dissertation and had positive feedback from my personal adviser. The deadline to submit my dissertation is by mid January 2017, so I have planned to finish it by the end of December. I’m going to be looking at a specific cardiac disease but I can’t reveal too much details for confidentiality reasons.

Secondly, my Japanese husband has just moved in to London for a new job, hence I will be able to see him more often. In fact, I’m going to spend this weekend in London so keep checking for new vlogs coming up.


Thirdly, I have set aims and goals for me to achieve this academic year. Academically, my target is to get over 60-65% as an overall mark. Work-wise, I have set my heart on London so I will be looking for jobs there once I finish my dissertation. I must admit that it feels like only yesterday when I started this course and now…here I am…thinking about where to work and what specialist area I would enjoy. One thing I know for sure is that I really enjoy working on wards in large hospitals and I would love to go into cardiology, however, hospitals don’t always have jobs available straight away. But hey, any ward can be nice if you are supported by a friendly team.

I will be posting more soon.

Comment below if you have any questions.


What I love about UEA

I’m in my final year of Nursing at the University of East Anglia. I wanted to share with you reasons why I love being a student here in Norwich, UK. Where do you study and what do you love about your university?

Trip to Karuizawa, shopping, Hotel de Wald and Shiraito Falls

My husband, my family in law and myself went to Karuizawa for 3 days. We stayed in Hotel De Karuizawa Wald. We spent a lot of time shopping. We also visited Shiraito Falls, a weterfall nearby and easy to access by bus or by car.

Karuizawa is a small town in Nagano prefecture, Japan. It has a rich history and culture. In 1886 a Canadian missionary called Alexander Croft Shaw set the foundations of the town by building a wooden villa and starting a church. Other foreigners also populated the small village, hence many churches can be seen in the town. In 1889 Karuizawa was established as a village and later on grew into a small town which became a tourist attraction for many Japanese and foreign tourists. In the next few years railway developed and the area became more accessible.

Currently Karuizawa is visited by 7.8 million tourists per year. It is also a place visited by famous people like John Lenon and Yoko Ono, as well as Emperor Akihito and his wife Michiko. Many hotels, restaurants, craft shops,shopping malls and gift shops appeared throughout the years. In 1964 the Summer Olympics were held in Karuizawa, while in 1998 the Winter Olympics took place making Karuizawa the only town in the world to have held both the Summer and Winter Olympic events.

To access Karuizawa from Tokyo takes only 1 hour and 6 -30 min. The ticket costs around 6,000 Japanese yen or 45 pounds.

Day trip to Arashiyama in Kyoto, Japan

I went on a day trip to Arashiyama in Kyoto, Japan with my husband and my family-in-law. Arashiyama means stormy mountain. It’s a historic site with beautiful scenery cherished by many Japanese people. We enjoyed a boat ride down the streams of Oi-gawa (Oi-river) and ate grilled squid which we bought during the boat ride. Oi-river is part of the bigger river called Katsura-gawa.

The drawing/portrait in the beginning of the video is from Nagahama city in Shiga prefecture, Kansai area in Japan.

I am so thankful for the great experience I had. I really enjoyed it and recommend it to anyone visiting Kyoto in Kansai area in Japan.