Hi, I am a third year BCur (that's our university degree) student in South Africa. I study at the University of Pretoria. I have about another one-and-a-half years of studying ahead of me. That is another 3 semesters. Being in South Africa, we are realy strugling because of a lack of funds in the health department. This causes that we are always under staffed and you literally work your "behind" of when you are on-duty. I find that at the hospital we are working at, a student nurse are simply seen as cheap labor and we are seen as the only labourforce they have. I have to say that I can't wait to finish to get out of the hospital I am working at now, because alot of things are happening there that totally goes against our moral and ethical beliefs.
The theoretical education we are getting is of very high standard, but alot of us feel that we can't do these things the right way in practice, because there is either no time or the permanent staff tells you that it is a waist of time to do things the right way. I starting psychiatry practical in about a month and I have to say I am very scared, because I feel that I am not prepared enough to do therapeutic conversations and things like that. I have to say that our course have been hectic as from the first day we arrived 12 January 1998. You are forever working, whilst studying for tests, doing assignments, attending classes and ofcourse you have to try and maintain kind of a social life so you won't end up in some mental institution before you graduate. I just wish they would make it a bit more bearable for student nurses in South Africa. Even though we are studying under these conditions, we are trying to make the best of things, and I am still glad I decide to help people in this way, and do something for my fellow man. Sorry that this is like one long note of complaints, but I have to let it out somewhere. It is great to read about other nurses right over the world. I hope you all enjoy this great occupation we are heading into, and although some days are harder to get through than others, remember YOU ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE!! That's what's keeping me from letting go and hold on.