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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Update

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.

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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.

My 1st week @ UEA

My name is Georgia, I’m 22, and I’m in my final year of Nursing at the University of East Anglia (UEA).

I went through the hassle of unpacking everything and tiding up all of my stuff on day one. I thought of buying a bundle for all the parties available during Fresher’s week, however my induction table was too busy to actually be able to join any of those events, hence I saved my money and focused on socialising with my new course-mates and flatmates while staying sober. 😀 I joined two Facebook groups: one of my cohort and one of the hall I was living in. This was very helpful to keep up to date with events and meeting new people.

On the one hand, my first week as a nursing student was busy and a little bit stressful. I had induction lectures every day from 9 to 5, contrary to what I had expected. The induction lectures, such as fire safety, security, travel/parking, uniform fitting  and some others were quite boring. I had to go to an occupational health appointment to get a Hep. B booster and send off an application for a criminal check (compulsory for nursing students) which was no fun at all.

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On the other hand, I did join fun events, such as the Campus Quiz and the Clubs and Societies’ Fair, which were really interesting. I went to the Fresher’s fair and got a bunch of free stuff, including free pizza and discount vouchers for various places (e. g. restaurants, gyms, cafes, shops and night clubs). I went to a charity bike auction where I got a 2nd hand bike for a fraction of the original price. I also took advantage of an annual ‘Reduce-Reuse-Recycle pots & pans’ sale where I bought a lot of kitchen essentials for about 50 p. per piece.  I didn’t get drunk in my first week, however I explored the beautiful campus with green areas and still had a lovely time. My top tips for new students are:

  1. Live by the 7 P’s (Proper, Prior, Planning, Prevents, P*ss, Poor, Performance). 😛 …thank me after you submit your dissertation in year 3
  2. Remember that 1st impression matters a lot.
  3. Don’t skip lectures.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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)

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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.

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courtesy of UEA, link: https://twitter.com/uniofeastanglia/status/877806558507225089

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.

Sunday – Day 7 (FINAL)

Today’s menu:

BREAKFAST:
Lettuce and cucumber salad with a fried egg and mushroom
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LUNCH:
Fried rice* with 2 eggs and a banana (*extra ingredient from my cupboard: rice)
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DINNER:
Leftover fried rice with potatoes (sad)
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Today was quite sad as I forgot to do a food shop and Aldi closed at 4 pm. All I have left is about 400 g of oats and a few small potatoes from the tin. I’m so glad this challenge is over. I think that I’ve lost about 3 pounds. I can’t wait to buy some fresh fruits and veggies tomorrow and eat whatever I want, as much as I want.

Overall, the challenge is manageable but you won’t be consuming normal healthy amounts of food, although it might be useful if you’re trying to lose weight. It’s something I wouldn’t recommend doing on long-term basis as you would become fed up and feel miserable quite quickly. Saving money from food should be done by buying everyday essentials, low-cost brands and discounted items, rather than restricting your food intake.

Saturday – Day 6

Today’s menu:

BREAKFAST:
Porridge with cinnamon
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LUNCH:
2 scrambled eggs with a tomato
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DINNER:
Potatoes curry and a banana
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I’m a bit fed up with the same ingredients but, hey, only 1 day left until I can finally do a normal shop without having to plan every single meal in so much detail. My 3-month placement in Critical Care begins next week, hence I’ll definitely need a lot more nutrients as I’ll be working full-time. Soon, I’ll be a student no more…sigh the final year blues are starting to kick in.

 

Friday – Day 5

Today’s menu:

BREAKFAST:
Scrambled egg with fried mushroom and a tomato
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LUNCH:
Crepes with strawberry jam and a banana*
(*Extra ingredients from my cupboard: self-raising flour, sugar, strawberry jam and margarine)
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DINNER:
Leftover curry from yesterday with a lettuce leaf

The products I have left from the shop are about half a kilo of oats, about 350 ml of milk, 1 tomato, a small piece of cucumber, 2 tins of potatoes, about 100 ml of pasta sauce, 5 eggs, 1 mushroom, half of the iceberg lettuce and 2 bananas. Although it’s enough to help me do the final stretch I’m out of new ideas now. Any tips?

 

Thursday – Day 4

Today’s menu:

BREAKFAST:
Japanese omelette with veggies
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LUNCH:
Banana and oats in milk with yogurt
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DINNER:
Savory oats curry with aubergine in a lettuce leaf
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It was strange having savory oats but it wasn’t bad either. I made around two portions, hence I’ll have to finish the rest tomorrow, I think. I’m running out of ideas what else to do for the last three days.

Wednesday – Day 3

Today’s menu:

BREAKFAST
Pancakes* with blueberry yogurt
(*extra products from my cupboard: self-raising flour and sugar)
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LUNCH
Banana and oats in milk with yogurt on the go
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DINNER
Fried mushroom with pasta sauce, salad and a boiled egg
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I feel like this challenge is really pushing me to be creative with the ingredients I already bought. Also, I normally have bigger portions of food, hence I find myself drinking more water which is good. Although, I feel full at the end of the day, I feel like I’m dieting. 🙂