Ana Betere Cubillo - Nursing Student - San Rafael Nebrija University, Spain

Ana Betere Cubillo - Nursing Student - San Rafael Nebrija University, Spain

Hello! My name is Ana, I am a Spanish nursing student. I am in my fourth and in the last year of my degree. During the next three months I am going to be at the School of Nursing & Midwifery on an Erasmus programme.

I had no doubt the UK was going to be my destination. From the very beginning, when they offered me in Spain the option to be an Erasmus student I did not hesitate, I wanted to go to the country where nursing was born, where it all started with Florence Nightingale.

The purpose of this blog is to share with all of you how my placements at the hospital are and my experiences.

I have just finished three weeks at Central Treatment Suite and the final result could not be any better. Everything is new and a bit scary, especially when it takes place in a new country, new environment and in a different language.

I was nervous the first day; I was worrying about a lot of things because even if there are nurses everywhere, the job and the material, the techniques they perform …changes a lot.

But,  there is nothing like being optimistic and be willing to learn a lot. I stepped into the hospital wanting to learn a lot and I was really lucky to have the opportunity to work with such an amazing team of health professionals.

Thank you so much to all CTS staff and all the people who are looking after me here!

Ana Betere Cubillo (February 2014) 

Time really does fly. Here I am after another four amazing weeks in the UK, four weeks full of incredible people and experiences in which I have learned a lot.

I was very excited about my placement in Paediatrics because I had never before worked with children.

Kids are not used to being in a hospital. It is a difficult and strange situation. But all the nurses and the doctors make it possible for them to feel comfortable. The health professionals do their best to make the children feel as at home as possible. They work in a way that everything is a game and fun.

It really amazed me the work of the Play Specialist, the person whose role is to play with the kids, take them to the operating room… I do not know how they manage, but they bring smiles to the kids even when they are on their way to surgery. I really admire what they do. We should really have these Play Specialists in Spain.

Parents play a very important role in Paediatrics. By making the kids believe that everything is a game, they are happy. But the parents suffer and become stressed when they see their son or daughter enter the operating room, wake up from the anesthesia… It is essential that the parents feel supported and not alone. The parents are allowed to even get into bed with their children on their way back to the ward.

It has not only been my first time in Paediatrics, but my first time also working during the night shift. Nights have been better than what I expected (although obviously eating chocolate and sweets helped a lot…). In Spain, students do not do nights. I have really enjoyed and liked the other side of Nursing.

Another new experience during these four weeks has been doing an English presentation about “Nursing and Health Care in Spain” in a theatre full of first year students. I was nervous, but it went well. Now I look back and ask myself: “Did this really happen? Was I really able to speak out loud in front of that many people?”

I am happy to say that after these amazing four weeks my future as a nurse is in Paediatrics. This placement has allowed me to become a little girl again. I have had a blast and learned a lot. Children have taught me that what really matter the most is to be happy. We should be a bit more like the kids and everything would be much easier.

I would like to thank the Paediatrics team for the warm welcoming. Thank you also to those that have supported and helped with the presentation: Wynne, Jody, Chris, Karen… ¡Muchas gracias! 

Ana Betere Cubillo (March 2014)

My last placement too place at the Critical Care Unit, where I have spent three weeks. Here the nurse is always standing close to the patient. Almost every patient in this ward is sedated, intubated and with many machines around. It was my first time in a unit like this, so what I did the most was to observe. Observation is a good way to learn. You can analyze the situation because you are not playing a role in it. Sometimes when you are involved, you haven't got the time to do so.‌

A really good example of how the observations leads to learning was watching a patient that went under cardiac arrest and how all the staff got together to try and save his life. It was really amazing. I was standing on a side having the feeling that what was happening there was like a film. There were a lot of people working together: surgeons, anaesthetics, nurses...Within a few minutes they organized an operating room right where we were and they "opened the patient's chest". He was in a really critical situation, but afterwards he was stable. Once again, it was amazing to see and live in a situation like this!

Thank you very much to Dawn Moss and all the Critical Care staff for these weeks! It is time now to go back home and try to explain to everyone these amazing months in the UK that I will never forget. I have learnt a lot and most importantly, I have grown personally and professionally. 

Thank you so much to everyone who has been looking after me here, thank you to the School of Nursing & Midwifery for this opportunity. Specially big thanks to Wynne Thomas, who has been like a father for me these months.

I wish I could take you all with me to Spain. Thank you so much! Adios!

Ana Betere Cubillo (April 2014)‌

Top 10 in Nursing for The Complete University Guide 2020 Student Nursing Times Awards 2019 finalist Bronze Athena Swan Award