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'I can’t afford to get to placement'

  • 12 Comments

Do you have any advice for this student nurse?

“I recently started a new placement miles away from where I live. I don’t mind getting up early but there’s no public transport that will get me there by the start of the early shift, meaning I have to get a taxi or turn up 30 minutes late.

“I’ve tried to explain this to my mentor but she doesn’t seem to realise how much of a problem it is - she thinks I can claim back from university, which I’m trying to do, but without luck so far.

“Spending all that money is making me so anxious that I’m really not enjoying the placement when I do get there.

“I don’t know if anyone would be able to help me but it would be good to hear if anyone else has been in the same situation.”

Tracy, Somerset

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  • 12 Comments

Readers' comments (12)

  • Hello ... fellow student nurse
    Try speaking to placement mentor see if you can car share with anyone who works there that may live near you.
    Or try speaking to placement facilitator see if any other students are having same problem and whether a swap of placement would help.
    Try posting on staff intranet about care sharing within hospital... check trust or ward policy to do this
    Finally try speaking to university finance team and explain the hardship of traveling you may qualify to a small grant which may help
    Hope this helps :)

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  • I am not a student but am answering as a lecturer and what we would advise students in our institution. If a student had difficulty for whatever reason in attending a placement, we would want them to appraoch the module leader or cohort/year leader/or personal tutor depending upon the reason - or who they can get hold of first: present the evidence - for example transport timetables: the University (as in whichever lecturer was taking the lead) would contact the clinical area- either Practice Education Facilitator or similar role or ward manager etc and lay the case out on behalf of the student so the problem could be solved to a compromised satisfaction and emasures put in place to ensure competencies can be met, and successful completion is possible. The mentor is not really the person to make the decision solely. It may be possible to organise a back up mentor as well as the main mentor or adapt shifts. I doubt that the travel expenses would cover taxi claims anyway. Also you could consider approaching Student Welfare in the immediate term as they may be able to help with hardship fund access. I hope it is resolved for you quickly, there is little money anyway to cover immediate expenses until travel expenses are paid

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  • Removed due to offensive nature. Please refer to this site's terms and conditions before posting further: http://www.nursingtimes.net/terms-and-conditions/

  • I would definately contact your personal tutor at the university. You have to work 40% with your mentor so I am sure something could be worked out to adjust at least some of your shifts to alleviate some of the stress and financial cost. Good luck I hope you have a supportive uni that will help you.

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  • Girl! I was exactly in your position a few months ago. I'm only in my first year and I only knew about my placement the day before and was given a place last minute so I felt I couldn't complain. Had to pay £10 per day to get to my placement which consisted of mainly early shifts. They needed me to be there for 7, so I kept waking up 4am each morning. Took me more than 2 hours to get there. And it made me really ill because my body couldn't copewith it. I only told my lecturer I finished placement and asked if they could put me closer to where I live and they would sort it out. So just inform your lecturer or placement officer and they should help you. Unless you're not going to give your best to your patients if you're in so much stress and worried about your finances:)

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  • Dear Student- please speak to your programme or cohort leader to explore the options available. If there is actually no transport that can get you there on time it would be reasonable to accommodate adjusted placement hours. Alternatively some students are eligible for additional finance to enable them to stay closer to placement if the distance away from their term time address is significant. Hope you can resolve this and enjoy the rest of you placement.

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  • Anonymous | 14-Mar-2014 8:41 pm


    isn't that rather unkind as well as being totally unhelpful?

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  • Anonymous 8.41. Your comment is unhelpful.
    University's try and allocate placements that are easily reached by public transport but that does not mean that if a student has difficulty getting there the placement cannot be changed or indeed some measures put in place for a later start if that helps.
    Being a student is difficult and I'm sure that they realise some placements will be more difficult to reach by public transport.

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  • Have you seen about push bikes, I personally use an electric bike, expensive at first but overall much cheaper and often faster than the bus especially in traffic and works out cost effective in the long run. Maybe someone at your uni is at the same placement get on twitter its amazing what you can find out there.

    Anna

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  • Rachael Starkey

    Ooh I feel for you! I've had placements where I've got through by the skin of my teeth and been selling all my stuff on ebay just to get the cash to get there, it's so stressful! Firstly, as others have said try to get your placement hours changed. If you can't, and you do need to get taxis then there is a form your placement office at uni can fill in which will make sure the nhs reimburse you for them. Take that form (which I think is available on the nhs boss website), and the bus timetables, to the placement organizer and don't leave until he/she has either signed the form or helped you find an alternative. Knowing that you definitely can claim the money back should ease your anxiety a little so you can try to enjoy the placement. Good luck! XX

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  • I had a student recently who struggled on certain shifts, especially at weekends. We negotiated that she would do some link visits during weekdays to make up hours, and she just came in a bit later and went earlier on the shifts that were a problem. As long as overall the hours are right I don't see an issue.

    As mentors we need to support students to get the best from their placements, not make life difficult for them. I take on board the anonymous comment about knowing where they may be placed, but it's actually not as simple as that - many universities have placements in more than one hospital or area, and whilst students should make every effort to get to placements on time, we need to be realistic and supportive.

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  • With our course, placements can be quite limited so we may be required to travel quite a bit. I feel your pain, however, I clearly remember being told at interview about the possibilities of covering such distances. They asked if I'd be able to get to placement for the start of shifts and I said yes, so I get there. I work around 30 hours per week in addition to uni/placement so that helps. We all get tired and people have families to take care of. I don't mind having to struggle in the short term because I know it will all be fine when I finish this course. I'm sure you'll be fine too, so soldier on and keep your chin up. The other comments are right, see if you can negotiate days or shifts where transport is more available, or a swap with another student if possible.

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