Danielle Harrison, Children and Young People’s student nurse
During the second year of my ’Nursing Degree’, I became aware of a documentary following the lives of student nurses via Salford University’s virtual learning environment – Blackboard. Initially I thought ‘what a brilliant and exciting opportunity’. However as much as I wanted to put myself forward for it, I was also very nervous about the prospect of being chosen and even more so about being on primetime TV representing student nurses.
Towards the end of the closing day, I plucked up the courage and filled the application out and with much debate finally pressed the send button. Following this I almost forgot about sending in the application at all (or more likely thought I would not have been chosen). Much to my surprise, I received an email asking me to come along to an interview as I had made it through the first stage of the application process. I was extremely nervous however, but excited that I had been chosen so with encouraging words from family and friends I went along as planned to the interview.
When I arrived, I walked into a room with a camera set up and the nerves suddenly increased. I was reassured that the sole purpose was to see how I come across on camera and that I would forget it was there. Surprisingly I did soon after the interview began as the questions which were asked were so personal they provoked an emotive and passionate response. I walked out of the interview even more determined and passionate about nursing as I had talked so deeply about my love for nursing and also where it had started which was through my son who had had contact with the nursing profession due to his medical condition- Cerebral Palsy. We also covered the recent journey I had been on with fundraising for a life changing operation not readily available on the NHS for my son; this brought back so many memories and emotions, such as my greatest respect for the Great British Public.
Subsequently I received a phone call to tell me I had been chosen, out of all those interviewed, as one of the eight student nurses from Salford University. I felt so proud that had been chosen to represent student nurses, and more specifically Children and Young People’s (CYP) nursing at Salford University. I was still however apprehensive but was sure my nerves would not prevent my involvement in such a privileged opportunity.
My first day filming was not as bad as I thought. The production team were so nice and personable and made me feel at ease pretty much straight away. The first day was at my home with my son and captured a normal day in the life of me: studying, a trip to the park and physio with my son. I was then filmed in University, including the simulation lab and then for two days on placement. My placement area was with the Health Visiting Team which unfortunately was not really what the team wanted to capture. Therefore I was filmed on a spoke placement with District Nurses to gain some clinical exposure and provide some hands on footage for the documentary.
At the end of filming, I was so proud of my courage and was even happier a fellow student from my cohort was also taking part -I felt less alone. I was asked by many students “why did you choose to take part”. My reply was because I wanted to be involved in representing student nurses and to hopefully change the perception of nurses and if I could just change the perception of one person that would be enough. It had been difficult at times when the nursing profession received so much negative media attention when I knew how brilliant the majority of those were that I had met on this journey to becoming qualified. To encompass the 6Cs in my practice I must have courage and what better way than to test this out. I also felt it was important to be an example that even with other responsibilities such as my son and his condition; you can achieve your dream if you are passionate and determined enough to do so. I feel it is important to show my son that if you want something in life you can achieve it if you work hard enough and do not give up!!!
Months had passed and it was almost time for the documentary to be aired and the nerves once again returned. We didn’t get to view it beforehand which was even more nerve wracking. I enjoyed watching each week which I thought represented nursing in a true light. It was finally my turn and I was on my last shift of placement 8 of 9 and finishing at 9pm. The documentary was on at 8-8.30pm so I was even more nervous as I was dreading walking in a patient’s room and me being on the TV. I had just taken a patients cannula out and as I left their room, I was met with very excited staff members “you’re on the telly” everyone is watching you in there. Following this, a parent came rushing down the ward “My brother has just called me and says you’re on TV”. By this time I had still not seen it but I was a star on the ward. Haha
After saying my goodbyes to everyone, I finally left after a very long day and had numerous text messages, Facebook notifications and Tweets which were exciting and overwhelming. When I arrived home I sat down with my mum and watched my TV debut at last and was happy with how I come across. However after about a week of my son playing the clip of myself (and him) what seemed like continuously I wished to never hear my voice again!!
A week later I was once again excited as I become aware I had appeared on Gogglebox which is one of my favourite programmes to watch at the moment (obviously when I’m not studying) 😉
Overall I am so grateful for @twofourtweets” and @ITV for choosing me and have thoroughly enjoyed every step of the journey. Furthermore I am privileged to be a student nurse and more so to be studying at Salford. I have since been invited to the @VCSalford University of Salford Vice Chancellor’s house to celebrate the documentary which was the most surprising of all.