First ward placement? Unsure what to expect? Here’s a quick guide to some of the learning opportunities that may be available to you when you set foot on the ward
Aside from the knowledge you’ll gain on placement, they’ll also be certain skills you can only learn from doing.
It will not be possible to pick up everything you need to know as a nurse from one placement, but there will be something you can gain from each one.
So, if you find yourself stuck for something to do, see if anyone is available to give you a quick lesson in any of these.
Remember, nothing impresses a mentor like enthusiasm.
- Including blood pressure
- Respiration rate
- Further reading: Measuring vital signs: an integrated teaching approach
- Learning how to speak to someone who you might not have met in any other circumstance
- Further reading: Good communication helps to build a therapeutic relationship
Diabetes monitoring and management
- Checking blood sugar levels
- The use of insulin and diet control of diabetes
- Further reading: Setting standards for diabetes care
- Administration through different routes
- Monitoring of side effects and adverse reactions
- Further reading: Complex medicines management
- Assessing information about a patient’s condition
- Further reading: Early warning scores: effective use
- Clinical note making
- Demonstrating clarity and accuracy in documentation
- Further reading: Assessing the value of electronic records
- Learning how different wounds are treated and cared for
- Further reading: How can I accurately measure a wound and how often should I do this?
- Further reading: ‘Passionate teams are needed to monitor data on catheter care’
- Washing patients
- Further reading: Mrs Smith is dishevelled and dirty. She has declined a bath when offered one. Do I respect her wishes or try to persuade her?
Assessing mental state
- Monitoring and recording a patient’s mental state
- Further reading: Decoding your mental health placement
- Observing and participating in ward rounds
- Acclimatising to working with other professionals
- Further reading: Is the doctor-nurse game still being played?
Most services are used to students ringing up and asking to spend a day with them. If there is something you particularly want to do that you can’t where you are, have a look about where might be able to offer you the opportunity.
This will increase your exposure to different areas of nursing and help you to achieve all your learning outcomes.