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‘I’m about to go into third year and have no injection experience’


Can you advise this student nurse?

“I’m at the end of my second year and somehow I’ve miraculously avoided ever giving an IM injection and only two sub-cut injections.

“If I’m totally honest, I’ve done my best to avoid them though a combination of letting other students on the ward take the opportunity and finding myself on placements where there genuinely haven’t been many injections being given so it’s easy to “be busy” when a chance presents itself.

“Trouble is, I’ve now built it up into a really big deal. Once I’m a third year I don’t think I can admit to a member of staff that I’ve never done one. They’re going to expect me to know what I’m doing.

“But when I’m qualified I’ll have no excuse…

“I guess what I’m asking is, how can I get my next mentor to talk me through it step-by-step without admitting that I’ve actively avoided learning this essential skill? My own doing, I know, but I am trying to make amends!”

- Anonymous

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Readers' comments (6)

  • I've just finished first year and stil have the gruelling second and third years to cope with but I suggest you firstly look up the procedure on to get a step by step guide on how to do it properly. Then when you are have your initial interview at your placement just say to your mentor that you've ony done a couple a long time ago and are a bit rusty and would like to do some on that placement under supervision for the first couple. Get it listed as one of your placement objectives and that will mean you both will be looking out for opportunities for you to have a go. You will then have to bite the bullet, but at least it you'll get it over and done with. And remember to try not to be too hard on yourself.

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  • I have also just come to the end of my second year, up until my last placement I was in the same position! You must be honest and tell your mentor that is an area you need to work on! Just explain that previous placements haven't really offered you the exposure to practice the skill. For my last placement I was allocated the practice nurse - this provided the perfect opportunity to get some practice in! I made it my learning objective and my mentor worked with me to help me achieve it - this involved injecting an orange at first haha (old school but it got my confidence up)! Towards the end of the placement I was going them all the time! You'll get there :)

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  • I secondon't what other commenter have said... just tell your mentor that it has never come up before. As a mentor, I never judge students on what they can't do yet because of lack of opportunity... it really does depend on which placements you get. I'd rather a student admit they don't know how to safely perform a skill than have them blunder through it to save face.

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  • I agree with the others but I would like to suggest you tell your Mentor that you are anxious about giving injections. They can help to build your confidence and give you some extra support. It's nothing to be ashamed of : )

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  • I would suggest you look it up in the Royal Marsden clinical procedures book. It's usually on the shelf in the practice area I have been. Otherwise I would tell your mentor that you haven't had a lot of experience. The principals are reliatively simple, as is the procedure, but practice is a must.

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  • As a student nurse I practiced using an orange as this is supposed to be almost the same texture as a 'bottom'!

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