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'A few weeks ago I experienced my first cardiac arrest'

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Student nurse, Oluwafemi Faniku, is in his second year of adult nursing and discovering what it’s like to take responsibilty for what you know

Placements are an important component of the student nursing curriculum. They enhance lectures with practical experience gained on the ward or community. And they help student nurses understand the rationale behind each process, leading to better proficiency in practice.

I believe that the experience students gain during placements helps them develop their skills and competences which inform their future practice.

My placement experience is on a medical short stay (MSS) ward which is a stabilising unit for acutely ill patients who are recently diagnosed or suffering from exacerbation of a pre-existing illness.

It helps to be resourceful to identify your own learning gaps and where to search for knowledge

The MSS ward is part of the acute emergency medicine directorate caring for patients requiring immediate medical intervention. The fast pace of the MSS environment requires special skills which student nurses may not have yet.

In such situations it helps to be resourceful to identify your own learning gaps and where to search for knowledge. I feel responsible for my knowledge and I am constantly seeking ways to build myself for my future role as a nurse.

A few weeks ago I experienced my first cardiac arrest while on placement and it was a daunting experience.

I was impressed by how calm everyone was in such a critical situation

After the incident and on reflection I was able to process what had happened and compare it to what I had been taught in class.I gained a better knowledge of resus and more confidence.

I was impressed by how calm everyone was in such a critical situation and how they handled the pressure.

My mentors have been really supportive in ensuring that I utilise learning opportunities on placement. They delegate responsibilities such as handing over a patient’s care or enquiring about procedures to be done from the doctors. This builds my confidence and understanding of my role on the ward.

I feel it is very important to be honest about your abilities as a student and not take responsibilities beyond your capacity. A good understanding of the trust policies and procedures together with the NMC code of professional conduct will inform you on what is required during practice.

Patient care is what we are about, so developing a good relationship with everyone on the ward creates an atmosphere where clinical excellence can thrive.

Oluwafemi Faniku is a second year student nurse studying adult nursing at the University of Bedfordshire.

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