So, it’s been over a month since I last did a bake or wrote on the blog. I actually feel pretty bad about this, but I’ve had time restraints, money restraints and I’ve been lacking some enthusiasm. I’ve also had a cold and no taste buds for the past few days!
Last week my brother got married and it was the most perfect day ever. Not only was I a bridesmaid, I was also a witness which is so so special. It’s such a lovely feeling having family all together in one room, even if it’s a bit complicated. Weddings make me so emotional and I think it’s because I’m a “typical girl” and have been dreaming of my own wedding since I was about 5. Luckily, I managed to hold myself together throughout the ceremony, so no photos of me blubbering in the background. They had a humanist ceremony which I feel is much more personal compared to the traditional, it focused more on them as a couple. Can’t quite believe it’s all over!
Myself and my mentor did my mid way interview recently and I am really pleased with how it went. Basically what I need to work on is doing things off my own back, without encouragement. Which I kind of knew already. Now that I fully know the routine of the ward I can dive into my tasks without second guessing. As a student nurse we are essentially working two roles, clinical support workers and nurses. This can feel really demanding at times. You’ll find some nurses stick to the medical side of things and leave tasks like washing and dressing to the support workers. However, basic human care is where nursing stemmed from. University drills the term holistic care into us, which means caring about the person as a whole and not just their illness, or reason for being in hospital. Nursing is a balancing act and requires being able to prioritise tasks throughout the day. Staff are there to support one and other. Assisting someone to a shower, making a bed or handing out the lunch trays are all part of nursing, and should not be left to the support workers alone. Unless there is something that takes priority over these tasks, such as taking a handover for someone who has just come back from theater, a patient needs antibiotics through their IV or the doctor requires a chaperone whilst giving an examination.
In one of my second year placements a clinical support worker got quite cross with me because I wanted to assist a nurse putting up some sub-cut fluids (for all of 10 minutes) and so I wouldn’t be around the ward to help answer the buzzers. Luckily the nurse stood up for me and explained that even though I am there to help the ward, I am also there to learn. It can be really tricky when staff members see us as just a helping hand or another body on the ward. And in all honesty, I don’t blame them. Staffing levels are shocking. But I feel this puts a lot of pressure on students.
I’ve done a few night shifts (19:30-08:00) during this placement. I quite like doing night shifts, however, my body does not. My stomach feels like it is filled to the brim with acid. Gaviscon, well Tesco’s own brand, is now my right hand on a night shift. At around 4 in the morning until the shift ends at 8 my brain stops working. The worst part of a night shift though? The bus home. It’s rush hour, everyone is commuting in to work, the bus stops at every stop, and all the traffic lights seem to turn red as you approach. It feels like a never ending journey. I sometimes wish I could attach a sign to myself saying “I have just finished a 12 hour night shift” so people realize why I look so haggard. Eating habits go out the window when on nights. I try to have something like scrambled eggs on toast before the shift starts. Some people completely swap their meals, so will have lunch at 2am for example. However, humans are designed to be active during the day and our bodies are meant to fast over night and so appetite is usually decreased. It’s very difficult to eat healthy, and night shifts are often associated with weight gain and even increased risk of diabetes. The day after a night is usually spent sleeping so proper meals at proper times usually get missed. I have learnt that having breakfast on the way home before going to sleep can help reduce waking up from hunger throughout the day. Next time I do a night shift I plan on taking a smoothie that I can sip throughout the night and something like crackers and hummus to snack on. Having lunch at 2am does not appeal to me.
Being on a gynaecology ward has confirmed that sexual health nursing is something I want to specialise in later on in my nursing career. I’ve been interested in women’s health and sexual health ever since The Sex Education Show was on TV. A show where a team of experts travel around secondary schools to educate teenagers about safe sex and other topics such as pornography and how it forms unrealistic expectations of sex. Sex education in a rural Highschool was pretty much non-existent. I felt these lessons lacked a lot of information about gynaecological topics such as ectopic pregnancies, personal choices and infertility. Topics I have now realised, are very commonplace. During this placement I am going to spend some time with the pregnancy support team, in theater and with EFREC, which is the fertility specialists in Edinburgh.
A lot of people in my year at university have staff nurse jobs lined up for when they qualify. But because I want a job in a specific area (gynaecology) and we don’t qualify until November I haven’t put this to the front of my to do list! I have applied for a few jobs, not thinking I would hear anything back as a lot of them require one year’s experience post registration, buuuuuuuut I’ve actually got an interview for a job! Time to get prepared.
I’m not a huge fan of over indulgent, chocolaty puddings. As you can probably tell from my previous bakes. However, A is a huge fan and asks me if I’m making something with chocolate nearly every time. Peanut butter and chocolate is a pretty classic combination and so I wanted to make my own variation of bake. I wanted to use my bundt tin as I haven’t in a while so started researching different ways of filling a bundt cake without just cutting it in half! This is when I found recipes for cheesecake filled bundt cakes! Peanut butter sponge with a chocolate cheesecake filling? Sounds good to me. Here’s how I made it…
I decided to set up shop on the dining room table as there’s better light and more space.
200g Cream Cheese
1 Tbsp Coco Powder
80g Dark Chocolate
Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Leave to one side.
Pop the cheese, sugar, yoghurt and coco powder into a bowl and give it a good mix. Add in the egg, mix well and then add in the chocolate.
Transfer the cheesecake mix into a different bowl and place into the fridge to cool until it’s needed. Preheat a fan assisted oven to 180 degrees Celsius and prepare a Bundt tin. I use margarine to grease my bundt tins and they’ve always come out in one piece!
200g Salted Butter
5 Tbsp Peanut Butter
200g Plain Flour
2 Tsp Baking Powder
Cut the butter into cubes and add to the mixing bowl with the sugar and peanut butter. Give a good mix until light and fluffy in texture.
Add in the eggs one at a time, mixing between each one. Then the yoghurt. Once this has been mixed in well slowly add in the flour and baking power. Take the cheese cake mix from the fridge.
Add just more than half of the peanut butter cake mix into the bottom of the cake tin. Create a little dip using the back of a spoon and carefully place the cheese cake mix into this. It will overflow but that’s okay. Add the rest of the peanut butter cake mix and smooth it down. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a knife comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for around 10 minutes and then tip out onto a cooling wrack to cool further. I decorated mine with melted dark chocolate and roasted peanuts!