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‘How can I make the most out of a “bad” placement?'

  • 7 Comments

Can you advise this student nurse?

“I absolutely hate my current placement. The staff are horrible, there is nothing for me to do and I come in each day with that feeling of dread.

“I don’t want to give any details but I’m on an outpatient clinic and because I’m in my first year the staff don’t think I can do anything except watch – usually. I normally wander around and ask someone if I can watch but they always make it clear that I’m in the way and it would be better if I asked someone else.

“I honestly have tried to get involved and to win staff over, but they don’t make it easy. One of the nurses suggested that the bag charm on my handbag was a sex toy which they all found hilarious but obviously massively embarrassed me.

“Basically I know I just have to grin and bear it but any tips for making the most of this sort of placement?”

- Anonymous

 

Please use the comments section below to share your advice

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  • 7 Comments

Readers' comments (7)

  • Hello. If you haven't already spoken to your PEF (Practice Education Facilitator) and/or Link Lecturer about your experience on this placement, I would really recommend you do, and as soon as possible.

    If you have a personal tutor, this could be another useful person to speak to. Placements can and should be much better than what you are sadly experiencing, and it is your PEF and link lecturer's responsibility to make sure it gets better for you. But it is down to us students to let them know when it isn't working well.

    Another thing you can do for yourself is to read up on skills, or assessments, etc that are found in that area, which will help you get more out of it. Talk to patients when you can to learn from them. And look and listen, to learn from that area.

    If you can show what you have learned, hopefully staff will feel encouraged to let you get more involved. Good luck, and I hope it improves very soon.

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  • I dont think many people get threw their training without a "bad" placement sadly.

    But like the above comment, contact your link tutor and personal tutor. Letting of some steam and talking to someone about it is usually helpful. Reflecting on whats good about the placement and bad is helpful too. As remember one day your going to be that nurses who has a first year student.

    Maybe see if you could follow a specialist nurse or consultant in another area for the day. This come second and third year will really help.


    Remember its only a placement, make the most out of it, take a deep breath!

    Best of luck and i hope these comments help

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  • Hi.

    Sorry to hear you are having such an awful time of it on placement and I completely agree with Anonymous and Michael Robinson. Michael mentions reflection and I would definitely consider writing a reflective piece about how this placement made you feel and what you think they could have done better. Use Gibbs' reflective cycle (or another tool if you prefer) to do this. I think it would be an excellent thing to put in your portfolio because, chances are, you will be a mentor one day and you know how to avoid the same mistakes in your own practice.

    Good luck :)

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  • Hi I'm a first year in exactly sane position two weeks left and cannot wait. It's been mentally draining and I cannot wait for it to be over just try and be strong but I understand.

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  • Matthew  Carr

    Best advice my Dad gave to me about working is that occasionally you're going to have to work alongside a-holes. Just take a deep breath, if you're stuck not doing anything grab a BNF (British National Formulary) and have a good old read about anything in there.

    The sex toy jibe was a bit too far. And I'm pretty sure there will be someone from HR around who won't be happy to hear about a comment like that being made by one of their staff to a student and potential future member of staff. Remember the NHS is understaffed and they want to hire nurses in places like outpatients where it doesn't attract as many people as say A&E or Theaters.

    But keep on trucking. You're going to have bad days and good days. It's not always going to be great.

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  • Matthew  Carr

    Best advice my Dad gave to me about working is that occasionally you're going to have to work alongside a-holes. Just take a deep breath, if you're stuck not doing anything grab a BNF (British National Formulary) and have a good old read about anything in there.

    The sex toy jibe was a bit too far. And I'm pretty sure there will be someone from HR around who won't be happy to hear about a comment like that being made by one of their staff to a student and potential future member of staff. Remember the NHS is understaffed and they want to hire nurses in places like outpatients where it doesn't attract as many people as say A&E or Theaters.

    But keep on trucking. You're going to have bad days and good days. It's not always going to be great.

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  • Just to add to the sensible comments already given, after the worst (for very different reasons) placement of my training I took that as an example of how NOT to do things and reacted against it. Seeing how things shouldn't be done can be as helpful as seeing how they should be done.

    It horrifies me how quickly some qualified nurses seem to forget that they were students, needing to learn.

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