Celebrating milestones

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Year 1 contained so many milestones in my student nurse training and I can only hope that year 2 will be just as productive. I can still remember the first time I completed a drug round or the first time I injected a patient.

Enjoy the times that you get on placement doing a skill for the first time, knowing that you understand the rationale behind it and can carry out the procedure effectively. Make a note of when you do them for the first time as they are things you can look back on throughout your training and career. Milestones feel like big achievements at the time because they are individual to you and allow you to build your confidence in the skills that you are learning. Plus in a way they make you feel like a ‘real’ student nurse because you are practicing what you may have learnt in clinical skills lessons. Don’t worry if people in your cohort seem to be learning lots of new skills and you have only learnt a few on your placement, this is not a competition and we all have times where we are able to learn lots of new skills and times where it’s ‘quieter’ and you are just practicing skills that you have already learnt.

If you would like to remember your milestones throughout your training, there are many ways to do so! The Happy Planner Company sell milestone cards which are postcard sized and allow you to write the date on them, plus a few thoughts about the milestone. CA6FB4AB-C05E-4A9C-A0EC-87FA87267230

You can write the date in your diary or create a scrapbook of important days. You could even follow @PUNCadp lead and create a Year 1 highlights poster (pop onto her twitter to see for yourself!). You may want to begin a journal or follow my lead and create a blog. Find the way that works for you!

If you like to share your milestones on social media, go for it! If you’re a private person and prefer to keep them to yourself, that is also great. Don’t feel pressured into having to share your milestones just because others are doing so.

These milestones are what help us to see how far we have come as student nurses throughout our training and I feel we should be talking about them more, enabling us to show the positive sides of nursing and placement days.

Let me know the milestones that you are particularly proud of!

Love,

T x

The reality of being a student nurse

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I’m just starting second year and thought now would be the perfect time to describe what being a student nurse is really like. Being a student nurse is a mixture of emotions and achievements, I’ve had amazing days and some days that were not so good. But I have survived year 1 of 3! Have a read of the following realities that I have discovered during my first year.

You won’t believe people when they tell you it’s hard work. 

Now I don’t want to put anyone off but this degree is hard work. There’s no other way to describe it. That’s not me saying it is more work than any other degree, I have only experienced one so can only comment on this one. You will have assignments to complete and exams to revise for, it’s easy to get caught up in university and placements then before you know it, it’s the week of the deadline and you haven’t even started. During placement you will be doing 37.5 hours at least, with assignment work on top. Include any extra paid work you have to do around uni/placement to live and any extra reading/research for placement and you suddenly have very few hours of free time for yourself.

Shift patterns.

You will be expected to work shifts covering 24/7 care. You will be doing nights, long days (12.5 or 14 hour shifts in some placement areas) and you will be expected to do weekends. There are very few placement areas that are Mon-Fri 9-5 so if you had this idea in your head, forget about it now. I’ve had 3 placements up to now and none of them have been 9-5. Get a good pair of shoes because you will be on your feet a lot.

Social life? Remind me what that is again.

Some people may disagree with me here but you will struggle to find time to have a social life. I have been to events and nights out in my first year don’t get me wrong, but it has been few and far between. And every time I have felt guilty that I’m not at home doing something towards university work. Friends that are not on the same degree or at university may not understand how busy you are and that you can’t see them for weeks on end, I’ve lost touch with a few friends because they don’t understand that you really cannot see them for a few weeks because you’re snowed under and that it’s not just an excuse.

Even if you have healthcare experience, you will relearn the core care skills on placement. 

Don’t feel disheartened if you start your first placement and you are working with the HCAs for a few weeks. Your mentors will expect you to learn the core care skills when you start your placement, even if you have years and years of care experience. You can read my previous blog on the phrase “too posh to wash” here. You probably won’t be giving out medications or doing ‘nursey’ things for a while.

You will have doubts. 

There will be days where you wonder why you are doing this. I had a fantastic first year but I still had plenty of days where I thought about quitting and going back to full time work. These were silly moments and I wouldn’t have quit, but you will find out who you can rely on to have a proper rant to and who will talk some sense into you on these occasions. Your support network will become a lifeline so keep a good one around you.

You may struggle financially. 

My bursary and maintenance loan cover my rent and my diesel to uni/placement. I have to work outside of the degree because I wouldn’t be able to do it otherwise. I try not to work much when I’m on placement but this means I have to work a lot during uni weeks and annual leave weeks. The current student finance situation may be more positive but there have been months where I haven’t had money left over after bills/diesel. It will all be worth it in the end! If you can work around the degree, try to save a little bit each month to cover you in case there are months where deadlines are due or placement is busy and you can’t fit any shifts in. Try to join the bank or NHSP at your local hospital as you can then pick and choose shifts around your availability, Sunday shifts and nights are the best paid so you could do a few of these a month.

Prepare to be emotionally challenged. 

There will be days where you are absolutely elated, and days where you are so worn down you cry at the tiniest thing. You will experience many firsts throughout your training, some positive and some negative but each one will be a learning curve. You will experience end of life care and the death of a patient. You may experience having to be involved in CPR. If you encounter situations that overwhelm you or challenge you emotionally, your mentors are there for support. You can also talk to your peers and university support teams. It’s ok to be upset and overwhelmed, these are natural human emotions so don’t be afraid to show them when appropriate.

You are supernumerary. 

Please remember that you are not counted in the staffing numbers. If someone rings in sick or is moved to another ward, you are not there to cover for them. Yes everyone gets involved with care and the tasks on the ward, but you should never be used to replace a staff member that isn’t there. You are within your rights to speak to someone if you feel you are being used within the numbers and not as a supernumerary student. Most placement areas are fantastic and won’t pose this issue.

Being a student nurse is often fantastic. I have experienced so much within my first year and I’m excited to see what second year brings. Time really does fly and imagine how good you’ll be feeling at the end of year 3 when you are qualified and waiting for your pin to arrive to start as a NQN. If you do experience times when you are struggling, please remember to talk to someone about it. Don’t bottle those feelings up as you are not the only one feeling that way.

Love,

T x

 

 

End of year 1!

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I can now officially say that I am a second year student nurse! There have been times throughout this first year that I thought I would never be able to say that, I haven’t found the assignments to be particularly challenging but I have doubted myself in every way possible this year. Is my writing good enough? Am I good enough on placement? Will I ever have the right amount of knowledge to qualify?

I’m sure these are thoughts that a lot of us have had and will have again throughout the next 2 years of our journeys!

I am excited to get started with year 2 and get some more assignments, it seems like forever since I had anything to research and write about 😂 Although I may not be saying that once I get the dreaded research assignment!

My first placement of year 2 will be on ITU/HDU for 6 weeks, with 2 weeks annual leave in between. However, I won’t be off for the 2 weeks as I will be working at my bank job. I do have a visit to Harry Potter Studios to look forward to on the 6th April though!

I have so many expectations for second year, mainly due to what other students have said and things I have read on Internet forums. I am worried about the year 2 blues (although I worry about everything as you will know if you follow me on twitter, so that is nothing new 😂). I know I have a fantastic support network around me to get me through if the year 2 blues do hit.

I doubted myself so much at the beginning of the course and I still do now,  it’s a confidence thing and I think I’ll always be the same. I’m not the kind of person to admit to feeling like I’m good at something and would always rather play my skills down instead of shouting about them. Despite some amazing feedback from both my year 1 placements, I still have doubts about my abilities. I can see how much I have grown throughout this first year though and hope to continue to grow throughout year two.

In year 1, I achieved grades between 70-98% and would love to keep this high standard up throughout year 2 now that the grades start to count towards my final degree classification. I make no secret of the fact that ideally I want to qualify with a first so I need to keep focused on that goal.

During first year, my future focus has shifted from ward work as I now feel this is not where I can see myself in the future. I still have a passion for cardiology though so I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a placement on the cardiology ward at my placement hospital. My next placement is something completely different to my year 1 placements and I am excited to get started on there.

Let me know how you found year 2 and if you have any tips for me 😊

Love,

T x

*Book review* Clinical Placements

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Clinical Placements by Kirstie Paterson and Jessica Wallar (edited by Kath MacDonald) is part of the pocket guides for student nurses collection of books. These are little pocket-sized books that aim to provide useful information to student nurses. Subjects such as intensive care, general practice, older person care and many other areas of nursing are currently under development so please look out for them in the future!

The foreword of the book discusses how the book came to be written and can be seen below. It was written by recent nursing graduates, reviewed by students and checked by a clinical supervisor.

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There is a list of common abbreviations which I know I would have found so helpful before starting placement as the first time I looked at a handover sheet it appeared to be in a different language!

There are four sections to the book: Getting there; Settling there; Being there and Moving on from there.

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  • Getting there includes tips for preparing for your first placement, information about the NMC code of conduct and guidance on social media usage.
  • The settling there section talks about your first day, how to work with your mentor and how to improve your communication skills with the team and patients.
  • Being there is about your time spent on placement and the common assessment tools you may come across within your placement area. Personal safety on placement is covered and drug calculations as well.
  • Moving on from there includes a fantastic FAQ section featuring common questions I know a lot of student nurses will have thought about.

Throughout the book there are links to the NMC code of conduct and handy pages around patient assessment tools such as NEWS and Waterlow. These would be useful for any student nurse on their first placement. There are also spaces for students to make their own notes.

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I would recommend this book to anyone starting university as a student nurse soon, I haven’t seen a book of this size with this much information in before, it is small enough to be kept in your pocket or your bag during placement shifts to be used as a guide should you need it. It is also a great read before starting placement which would help to alleviate any of those nerves around starting a placement. The book is designed to make placements more enjoyable and less stressful – I would say it definitely does this! It would be perfect for first placements but would also be handy for students further into their training to keep as a reminder guide.

If you would like to purchase this book, you can find it here. The book is currently priced at £9.99 and published by Lantern Publishing ltd. You can also purchase direct from Lantern Publishing here.

Common Abbreviations

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The ward I am currently at on placement uses a number of abbreviations on the handover sheet, as I’m sure other wards do as well. I have compiled a list of the most common ones used on my ward. Please be aware that these are specific to my ward and other wards may use the same abbreviations with different meanings.

Ad – admitted

CP – care plan

rv – review

bd – twice a day

inc – incontinent

ref – referred

res – residential

NA – nursing assessment

CCC – continuing care checklist

DC – discharge

TTO – to take out. Used to describe medications that the patient will be taking with them on discharge.

HTN – hypertension

CCF – congestive cardiac failure. Also known as CHF – chronic heart failure

CVA – Cerebrovascular accident also known as a stroke

TIA – Transient ischemic attack – a ‘mini-stroke’

ND/F – normal diet and fluid

TVN – tissue viability nurse

#NOF – fracture neck of femur

AKI – acute kidney injury

LRTI – Lower respiratory tract infection

ROT – rotunda

WZF – walking zimmer frame

PMH – past medical history

HF – heart failure

CKD – chronic kidney disease

Con – continent

RA – rheumatoid arthritis

MI – myocardial infarction

CP – care package

PE – pulmonary embolism

DVT – Deep vein thrombosis

FBC – fluid balance chart

DPM – discharge planning meeting

GORD – gastro-oesophageal reflux disease

COPD – Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

SOB – shortness of breath

Ax – assessment

3WW – 3 wheeled walker

TBA – to be assessed

HV – home visit

Abx – antibiotics

POA – power of attorney

Let me know if your placement uses the same abbreviation for something else!

Love,

T x

 

Assignment planning

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Here are the tips that have helped me gain a first (70%+) in each of my first year assignments 😊

  • As soon as the assignment is set, write the deadline in your diary. I always write in a reminder a month before the due date as well.
  • Print the assignment brief/crib sheet off and read through the learning outcomes to ensure you know what the assignment is wanting. Also print out the marking guidance to check your final assignment against.
  • Soon after the assignment is set, sit down and make a plan of when you would like to have sections completed by.
  • If you have no idea how to make a plan for yourself, Kent University have a resource called ASK : Assignment Survival Kit. You input your start date and deadline date, it generates a plan for you with dates on to have different sections completed by.
  • Begin by finding relevant sources of information that you may use within your assignment, create a reference list with these on as you find them. It’s much easier to compile your reference list as you go along, instead of leaving it until the end.
  • Try to find references from a range of sources. Use reputable internet sites, journal articles and textbooks to give you a wide selection of resources. This also shows that you have taken the time to read around your subject instead of just using what a google search brings up.
  • There is no limit on the amount of references, I aim to have at least one every 100 words.
  • Print internet resources out so that you can highlight key points that you would like to paraphrase, this saves time returning to the website constantly. I write the reference on a sticky note and attach to the printed out resource.
  • Write your assignment in note form. Use headers such as ‘Intro’, ‘paragraph 1’ etc and just bullet point what you think you will include in these sections.
  • Write a draft and then leave it a few weeks before you look at it again. This helps to look at the assignment with ‘fresh eyes’ and spot any errors or information that is missing.
  • I write my introduction first, others write the introduction once they have wrote the main body of the assignment. Either way is fine, whichever works for you!
  • Aim to have the assignment finished around a month before the deadline, this allows time to edit and check all the references a couple of times before it is due.
  • Before submitting, check your reference list matches your in-text references. I also check that any internet links are correct and link to the correct websites.
  • CEB3DD45-5B50-42C6-813C-D3FF225DFC19This option on word will alphabetise your reference list if you highlight the full list and click it.
  • If you are going to buy one book for university, make it the Cite Them Right book. It has many different referencing styles in and I find it better to use than the website.
  • About 2 weeks before the deadline, I’ll submit my assignment into turnitin, minus my reference list, so I can see the similarity score and change anything that needs changing. I will then submit with my reference list attached.
  • Around 2 days before deadline, I will read my assignment for the last time. I will make any last minute changes and then submit for the final time.
  • If you have a couple of assignments due around the same time, try to complete one in at least draft form before you start another one. Some people can have a few assignments on the go at once, but I like to complete one in draft form before I start on another.
  • Try to complete as much as you can whilst you’re on theory time at uni, as the last thing you want to do after a placement shift is work on assignments.
  • Read your assignment out loud as this helps to pick up on any grammatical errors. Choose someone else to proofread it if you can (not the best idea to choose someone in your cohort however much you trust them!).
  • An hour a day is better than nothing!

If you’re a last minute person, you may not feel these tips are useful for you. What I would say is even if you only gather your sources of information so you have a draft reference list, this will save you time whilst you’re writing your assignment. You may find that you need more but at least you’ll have a selection ready to be used.

Let me know if you have any other useful tips!

Love,

T x

Too posh to wash?

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I have often seen this expression relating to qualified nurses but in the last few days, I have seen it mentioned when referring to student nurses. I have been in the presence of many student nurses who see the benefits of providing personal care to patients but unfortunately I have also heard student nurses commenting that ‘they are not there to provide personal care as it is not a nurses job.’ These have been very rare occasions and the belief was challenged immediately by qualified nurses.

Providing personal care to patients is one of the first skills we are taught as student nurses and is possibly one of the easiest to perform. Whether it is assisting to wash someone or performing simple mouth care, we can learn so much about the patient. We can use it as an opportunity to check the patients skin integrity and document any changes to pressure areas. It can be used as a chance to have a chat with a patient to determine what kind of clothes they like to wear or how they like to have their hair styled. The patient may even use this time to express any worries or concerns they may have.

I personally believe that assisting with the needs of patients, such as personal care, is one of the fundamental values of nursing and should be cherished as a time to fully get to assess a patient. Maybe this belief comes from my experience as a care assistant and knowing how much performing these tasks means to an individual, but I feel it is a skill that should be honed by student nurses and continued after qualifying. These skills that we are taught within first year must remain central to our job role as students and qualified nurses.

This is often why student nurses on their first placement will be placed with the HCAs for a few weeks, to really develop these care skills before they begin learning the other skills essential to being a nurse. Please do not think that you are missing out on learning opportunities through being with the HCAs, you are learning so much about patient care and the HCAs really are the backbone of any ward. They know their patients inside out and provide important information to the nurses about the patients mental and physical state. A nurse should not feel that it is ‘beneath them’ to be doing tasks that the HCAs would usually be completing.

On a positive note, I really do see the term ‘too posh to wash’ a lot less than I have done in the past and really hope our new generation of student nurses can really help to abolish this term and train of thought.

Love,

T x

Time for placement!

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Here are my collection of top tips for your first placement, based on my own experience:

  • Visit your placement before starting if possible, it gives you a chance to check how long it will take you to get there and what the parking options are if needed. You can also meet some members of the team and be shown around the ward. I find a quick pre-placement visit helps to stop first day nerves.
  • Contact your placement and ask if there is anything specific that you need to research before starting.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you want to know how to do something or why your mentor is doing something, ask! That is what they are there for and should be happy to answer any questions you have.
  • Organise time with your mentor to go through your placement paperwork and remember to get your hours signed after every shift.
  • Make a note of any terms on the handover sheet or in the care plans that you do not understand and check them with your mentor when you get chance. There are often abbreviations on a handover sheet, the first time I looked at one I thought half of it was in a different language!
  • Spend time with the HCAs, they know so much about the ward routine and the patients.
  • Organise insight visits throughout your time there. I am on a rehab ward in a community hospital so I have spent time with the OTs and physios. I plan to spend time with the district nurses and ANP as well. You can arrange insight visits that are relevant to your placement and these help you to understand the roles within the MDT.
  • Ask to sit in MDT meetings, care planning meetings or other meetings on the ward. Accompany the doctor on their rounds. All these things give you an insight into how the whole ward team work together to provide care for the patients.
  • Take a packed lunch. You may be in a busy area or may not know what the catering options are at your placement, having your lunch with you takes away the stress of spending your break finding something to eat.
  • Your uniform is a reflection on you and the university so always wear a clean, ironed uniform and adhere to your university’s uniform policy regarding hair, shoes, nails etc.
  • Try not to go into placement with high expectations, you may spend a few days with the HCAs or observing your mentor for weeks before you start practicing new skills.
  • If a patient asks you a question you do not know the answer to, it is ok to say that you do not know but that you will find someone who does know the answer. Patients respect the fact you are honest enough to admit you do not know and will appreciate it when you return with the correct answer for them. This also helps to build your own knowledge.
  • Remember to stay hydrated! It is easy to forget to look after your own fluid intake when you are monitoring patients or busy with your mentor but try to keep drinking throughout the day whenever there is an opportunity.
  • Turn up on time and if you will be late, give your placement a quick ring to let them know. Also adhere to any absence policies at your university if you need time off.
  • There will be common medications that are used on your placement, try to make a note of these or ask your mentor if there is a list they can provide. It is handy to research these and to know what they are used for/a few common side effects.
  • Have a little notepad in your pocket to note down anything you will need to research later or terms you don’t understand to ask your mentor.
  • It is ok to feel out of place or overwhelmed. Speak to your mentor or your personal tutor if you are feeling this, they will help in any way they can.
  • Spend any time you can interacting with patients, they will often be experts in their own condition and you can learn so much by spending a few minutes with a patient. This also helps to build your confidence and develop your communication skills.
  • Reflect often. Every experience is a learning opportunity and by reflecting on situations you can see what could be improved upon for the next time or what was done correctly the first time.
  • Do not worry if you don’t have any previous care experience, you will develop the skills over time and it can often be beneficial to go in with no experience as you have no preconceived ideas of how things are/should be done.
  • If you do have care experience, discuss this with your mentor and utilise your existing skills whilst on the placement. However, be aware that some of the practices used within the hospital may differ to those used in care homes or community care if this is where you have gained your experience. Basic care skills are very transferable though.
  • Try not to compare your experiences with those of your cohort, I had days where it hadn’t been a good day and seeing other people really enjoying their placements made me very jealous. Other times, it was me having a brilliant day and others feeling down. It’s good to have their support but remember everyone has their own experiences and good/bad days.
  • Check with your university what you are allowed to do, for example some universities do not allow students to test blood sugar levels even if you have had the training in your employment/previous experience.
  • Remember you are allowed to say no if you do not feel comfortable trying a new skill. It is perfectly fine to observe your mentor until you do feel comfortable to give it a go!
  • Enjoy your days off, even if it means staying in your pyjamas and binge watching tv you have missed!
  • Remember that it is your first placement. Your mentor will not expect you to know or be able to do everything. Take every opportunity to learn and get involved wherever possible. Show a willingness to learn, enthusiasm and respect for the ward and you cannot go wrong 🙂

Let me know if you have any more and where your first placements are!

Love,

T x

A typical day on an elderly rehab ward

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My first year hub placement is on an elderly rehab ward in a community hospital. At Derby university in first year, we have one hub placement where we spend around 16 weeks throughout the year and a spoke placement where we spend 2 weeks.

The shift pattern at my placement is:

Early – 7am-3pm

Late – 1pm-9pm

Nights – 8:30pm – 7:30am

Long days are 7am – 9pm.

Below is a timeline of a typical day on this ward. Other placements will vary and I would love to hear about your typical days on placement!

7-7:30

The night shift nurses handover how the patients have been throughout the night and the patient early warning scores from the previous day. They also relay any information relevant to a patient for the day and if there are any care plan reviews outstanding. Before leaving the handover, we check the discharge board to see if there are any discharges planned for the day, these are often mentioned in the handover as well. HCAs are allocated patients that they will be responsible for assisting throughout the morning and students will often be allocated 1/2 patients as well. The nurses on the day shift decide which side of the ward they will be in charge of for that shift.

7:30 – 9

During this time, the nurses and HCAs are assisting patients to wash and dress. We encourage patients to wear their own clothes and to get out of bed. Information about how a patient mobilises/transfers is included on the handover shift and is also on the board above the patients bed. A number of patients come into the dining area for breakfast but the majority like to have breakfast in their own space. Around 8am, the nurses begin the medication rounds. As a student, there has been times when I have assisted with the morning medications and other times when I have been helping the HCAs to assist with patient personal care needs.

9 – 11:30

During this time, patient observations are completed and documented on the NEWS (National Early Warning Score) chart. Any patient scoring is reported to the nurse in charge and documented. We also document the reason as to why they were scoring and these patients will have their NEWS checked again later on in the day. Any dressings that need changing and UCAM (urinary catheter assessment and monitoring form) charts will be completed in this time. Daily evaluations are completed for each patient, as well as fluid/diet charts for those patients on them. Once my mentor has completed all her duties in this time, I chat to patients and get to know them a little better. The physio team will often be on the ward at this time, completing assessments on patients and helping them to gain confidence with their mobility. The tea trolley goes around the ward around 10:30 for the patients to have a cup of tea and a snack.

11:30 – 12:30

We use this time to assist with toileting any patients who need assistance and patients come into the dining area ready for lunch at 12:30. Patients are welcome to remain in their own rooms but they are encouraged to come to the dining area and socialise with other patients.

12:30 – 14:00

Lunch arrives at 12:30 and all the staff on the ward help to give meals out. HCAs and available students help any patients who need assistance with eating and drinking. At 13:00, the nurses and students go into the handover to provide information to the staff beginning their late shift. Any outstanding duties are handed over to the afternoon nurses to be completed on their shift. After the handover, the nurses on the morning shift complete the lunchtime medication round. The late shift nurses walk around the ward and check on the patients they will be responsible for that afternoon.

14:00 – 17:00

These hours are visiting hours so there are often lots of family members on the ward. I have often completed care plan reviews or personalised care plans within this time, chatting to patients and their families about their preferences. During this time, the nurses will complete any paperwork that needs updating. Morning staff leave at 3pm leaving the late shift on duty.  Patients have a cup of tea and a snack around 3:30pm. Any patients scoring on their NEWS in the morning will have their obs taken and documented. Changes in scoring is reported to the nurses on duty.

17:00 – 18:30

Teatime. Patients often remain in their own rooms for tea, some patients may sit in the day room watching television whilst they have their tea. Patients are offered a hot and cold option and there are different choices each day.

18:30-19:30

Visiting time again, some patients who have had visitors earlier on in the day ask to be assisted into their nightwear at this time as they like to relax late evening reading a book or listening to music in their own space.

19:30 – 21:00

Patients have a hot drink around 8pm and some patients will ask to be assisted into bed around this time. At 8:30, the nurses’ go into the handover to relay any information onto the staff on night duty. At 9pm, the late shift finish leaving the night staff for their shift.

Let me know where your first placement is/was and if your day is different to mine 🙂

Love,

T x

You can find out more information about NEWS here: https://www.rcplondon.ac.uk/projects/outputs/national-early-warning-score-news-2

Missing placement

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Hi guys!

So this week I’m having to miss a week of placement attendance. On the way home from a night shift last week my car gave up on the motorway and I had to ring the AA! After a few hours in the garage to determine the problem, I was informed I would be without my car for at least a week. Not the best news considering it would only be my second week back on placement. The worry set in and I considered that I may lose my place on the course due to this. Silly now I look back but it was on my mind at the time.

I rang the programme lead at university and I cannot fault how supportive she was! She really put my mind at ease and assured me that I wouldn’t have to leave the programme at all. With my placement being 45 miles away from my house, public transport really wasn’t a feasible option as it would take me nearly 3 hours each way so the advice was to be absent for the week as I have plenty of time to make my hours up. I stopped worrying a little bit then about university but was anxious around phoning placement.

I rang placement shortly after and they were absolutely fine! They put my mind at ease again and I assured them that I would work with my mentor when I returned to make my hours back up through my remaining placement time.

If you ever have a situation where you may need to miss placement hours for whatever reason, do not panic! Be honest and open with your university and they will support you in any way that they can. I can only speak for my placement area as they have been fantastic but I’m sure that many others would be just as supportive and will help you if you show that you will work to make the hours back up as and when you can!

I’m hoping to have my car back this weekend so placement can resume next week.

Let me know of any experiences you’ve had missing placement for whatever reasons!

Love,

T x