A day in the life of a third-year student nurse

August 2016 Vol. 16 (4)

Share a day in the life of a nursing student Yosh (Yosua) Hadipurnomo on clinical placement on the West Coast learning about resuscitation to immunisation and Pink Floyd to the perils of catering for one. “Two-minute noodles again, Yosh?”

QANAME | Yosua Hadipurnomo

JOB TITLE | Third-year student nurse, Ara Institute of Canterbury (formerly CPIT) 

LOCATION | Clinical placement on the West Coast

7:00 AM WAKE

My phone alarm sings Redbone’s Come and Get Your Love and I peek around my curtains to check the weather for the morning – the amount of condensation on the window tells me how cold it is outside – but it seems clear at 7am. I climb into the clothes I prepared the night before and meander into the kitchen to have some breakfast then glance at the clock – it’s already 7.15!

Suddenly I feel wide awake as I rush to clear my dishes, brush my teeth, gather my nearly completed learning activities and try to tame my hair. Darn, where’s my bread? Still in the freezer! I rummage around for a packet of two-minute noodles and a muesli bar for lunch – success! 


I grab my backpack, defrost my car … Is my clinical lecturer going to call today? I can’t remember … 

8:00 AM START WORK: Pink Floyd, veins and vaccinations

Arrive at work, my preceptor is already there reading through her emails and preparing today’s schedule. I wondered if today we will discuss the pathways of resuscitation or the intricacies of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon – either way I will be happy because she is an expert on both topics and I know I will learn something. I check the temperature of the immunisation fridge, boil the jug, and ask, “Cup of coffee?”

The community trickles in steadily for their regular blood tests, annual flu vaccinations and with their sore backs or their children with high temperatures. It’s a flurry of activity as I meet the locals and care for them under the watchful eye of my preceptor.

I become flustered trying to find and anchor a particularly wiggly vein of an elderly gentleman so she takes over and shows me a tip for tricky veins. Throughout the day we talk about each patient and reflect on each encounter. It is an exceptionally supportive and encouraging environment to work in. 

12:00 PM LUNCH

Lunch is a welcome opportunity to escape filling out ACC forms and documentation on the computer screen. We tuck our trousers into our socks to prevent the sandflies from biting our ankles as we eat lunch on the beach behind the clinic. “Two-minute noodles again, Yosh?” asks my preceptor. I smile sheepishly, “Yup.”


We pack the mobile clinic defibrillator and suction machine into the back of the car. Just as we are about to lock the clinic up to visit the township’s district nursing patients, the phone starts ringing.

It’s my clinical lecturer. She checks how I’m coping away from Christchurch, has a short chat about some of my cases and patients, and gives great feedback about my leuprorelin acetate pharmacology project.

She tells me when my next batch of work is due and reminds me that she’s available by email or cellphone if I need to ask any questions or reflect on anything. What a cool lecturer, I think to myself.

The waiting car is already pumping cool air and a track from Boney M’s Greatest Hits. This is my favourite part of the day, visiting district nursing patients in their own homes and communities. I love the ongoing therapeutic relationship between nurses and patients and caring for them in their own environments – whether they are palliative or post-operative patients – in contrast to the in/out nature of my previous hospital placements. An extra bonus of visiting district nursing patients is getting the chance to pet their dogs.


There are no callouts today. When we return to the clinic we sit down and write our documentation. We go through my notes for the day one more time and spend some time discussing, over a cup of tea and homemade caramel slice, the ethical issues around a palliative care patient’s tricky home situation.

5:00 PM BACK HOME… to the motel

I arrive back at the motel with the pager in my pocket. I do some paperwork, call my family and email my lecturer with some changes I made to my project. Feeling tired of sitting down, I put on my running shoes and jog along the river.

I feel quite hungry by 7.30pm as the caramel slice starts to fade away. “Oh no, did I take the chicken out of freezer? Argh, two-minute noodles again…”


Showered and clean, I jump into bed. The room is warm and I finish uploading a photo of the West Coast sunset onto Instagram. I set my phone on the bedside and close my eyes, but then I hear a distant beeping noise. The pager is ringing! I throw the duvet off and snatch it off the floor, awaiting the words CODE RED. Thankfully, it says TEST PAGE ONLY. Relieved, I set it down and lie back in bed. Night night. 


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  • Nice Story my boy, may the god always bless you

    Posted by Adhi Ruhono, 28/08/2016 1:54am (10 months ago)

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