My time at uni so far….

150ml 5.07oz - My time at uni so far....

I have been at uni for 4 months now so feel it’s about time for an update.

Our first week there for all induction, info on course + modules + tutors etc, we got down to business the second week. We are only there Monday – Thursday so I have been able to keep my job, though I will be leaving it soon (more to come later).

In the first year we have the following modules:

  • Foundations Of Nursing Knowledge
  • Foundations Of Nursing Practice
  • Human Anatomy And Physiology For Nursing
  • Nursing Assessment Skills
  • Person Centred Practice

By far the hardest module is Human Anatomy And Physiology For Nursing. I find it the most interesting but also the hardest 🙁 We have four 1 hr online exams for this module, thankfully mostly multiple choice. I’m not doing any current revision as yet as I am concentrating on my other modules.

Very early on everyone broke into social groups, most people are local, but there are a few of us that have to travel some distance. There are/were 24 people in our co-hort, so a nice small group, we have since been joined by 6 (I think) students from the co-hort before us. they either needed to make up placement hours + failed a module or failed part of a module. You fail the year if you fail 60 + credits. Some are retaking Foundations Of Nursing Practice (they failed either hours or assignments), some are retaking that plus Nursing Assessment Skills and some just Nursing Assessment Skills. We have also lost one student you gave up and one student who is pregnant so isn’t allowed to do placements, therefore she is doing her placements with the September co-hort and will be in the year below us.

We have so far only handed in two assignments. One was a 1000 word report for Foundations Of Nursing Knowledge the other was a presentation that was recorded! We should be getting our marks back any day now. We have a presentation due in in July (as well as anatomy) but our main focus right now is placements.

Placements have been another thing entirely. There were many an issue for some people. I pick Portsmouth uni due to the placement area i.e Worthing, but all my placements this year are in Bognor or Chichester. When I queried this, as it turns out you stay in that area/hospital the full 3 years, they were surprised as I live in Worthing and asked if I’d be interested in Brighton. No difference in travel but a much bigger hospital, so I said yes. As far I haven’t heard anything, so either nothing will happen or it will change for next year. I was expecting to get a nursing home placement 5 min walk from my house but that hasn’t happen, maybe next year.

Other people had much bigger issue than me, some couldn’t get in touch with anyone, some had their placement taken away and some didn’t even know where they were going to start with. We start placements next week and have two 3 week placements with our OSCEs the week between them!

More on placements + OSCEs to follow.

That time I took part in SimEx 2018

SIMEX Logo Original - That time I took part in SimEx 2018

SIMEX Series is the UK’s largest annual international disaster response exercise. It is an operational (live controlled) field exercise designed to establish a learning environment for players to exercise disaster event response plans, policies and procedures. Player participation comprises of; activate, mobilise, respond operationally on scene, report (internally and externally), implement short and medium-term plans, hand-over, demobilise and complete after-action reviews.

SIMEX Series of exercises have taken place annually since 2012. The exercise comprises a mix of live, simulation and command and control events in order to provide a neutral platform to test both national and international emergency response mechanisms. The overall aims of the exercise comprise of:

  1. The development of international and national response capacity;
  2. The promotion of coordination of humanitarian assistance, emergency response, research and education;
  3. The evaluation of the disaster management systems presented by the participating organisations

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Many many organisations took part. Go here to see a whole list.

The whole thing lasted 3 days but as 1st year nursing students we were only there on the one day, the Wednesday, at Fort Widley. Some of us (not me) did however take part in the Tuesday evening events and many of my co-hort didn’t even bother taking part!!

Getting to Fort Widley

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Those are just a few of the photos taken on the day. Can’t wait till next year as we will be fully involved in 2 days of action. The Tuesday as casualties and the Wednesdays as nurses.

Finance: Credit Scores – May 2018

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Moneysavingexpert club current score 12/999 down 86 points
Total Money current score 395/710 down 73 points
Noddle current score 427/710 down 25 points
Clearscore current score 175/700 down 100 points
GiffGaff tech issues
Experian Card Matcher current score 38/999 down 49 points

So it looks like all my scores have gone down rather than up. This is due to me defaulting on some of my credit facilities – loan/catalogue etc It will start going up soon.

Finance: Debt update


I’m working on a new way to show my debt pay off. While I am setting up the DMP, payment has been slow, in fact the debt has actually gone up. My aim is to have my credit cards paid off by July 2019 and to try for a full & final settlement for Very or one/two of the DCA debts early in 2019.

Very or notorious for not selling on debt & defaulting. I can’t do anything with them till they do.

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Finances: Tools to help me budget + pay off debt…


how works 1 - Finances: Tools to help me budget + pay off debt...

YNAB is a budgeting app/software where you budget to zero each month, ‘every dollar has a job’. There are 4 basic rules that you should follow:

Rule 1: Give Every Dollar A Job

Rule 2: Embrace Your True Expenses

Rule 3: Roll With The Punches

Rule 4: Age Your Money

For a fully detailed explaination check out YNAB

YNAB has really helped me figure out a budget for me, there is often some tweaking throughout the month and I have not perfected it yet but it has really helped me see into the future. I am continually learning new things about the programme and they are continually adding new features.

I started off with classic YNAB which was a piece of software you placed on your pc, eventually I moved to nYAB which is an online programme as well as app. I don’t use the app so much as I prefer to do transactions on the main portal, but the app is a great way to add transactions as & when they happen. The programme costs me £4.44 a month and is well worth it.

I will do a whole post/s on how I use YNAB soon.

PAYE Tax Calculator

My wage changes each month depending on how much unsocial I do. To produce the best budget I can on YNAB I use a PAYE tax calculator to workout my take home pay. You can add deductions for student loans, pensions, change your tax code as well as change your NI letter. My tax code, therefore allowance is slightly higher than most on the basic code as I have claimed for uniform. It doesn’t give me much extra but it all helps.

I use this for both my main job as well as my bank/second job.