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'I can’t afford to get to placement'


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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Readers' comments (12)

  • 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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