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STUDENT LIFE

'The last few months before qualification can be difficult to handle'

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New Year has come and gone, and I am continuing my second to last placement.

A couple of weeks ago I started my first placement in an accident and emergency department.

I must say I was very excited but at the same time fearful of what was expected of me as a final year nursing student.

However, a wonderful matron gave us an invaluable presentation which introduced us to the unit and put me at ease. I was pleasantly surprised by the team spirit and attitudes of the nurses and medical staff. I realised that I could not have asked for a better place to do my placement.

The knowledge I will gain from this placement and the support I am receiving from my mentor and the rest of the team makes it a wonderful experience.

I am now part of a very busy department where knowledge, time management and teamwork are invaluable to the seamless functioning of the unit. Also, it is usually the first place patients enter the hospital when they are at their worst and most vulnerable.

Therefore, good communication skills and the ability to form a rapport with your patient in a very limited time is indispensable. The times when we were first year students, shy and embarrassed, are gone. We need to step up to the challenges and become the nurses we soon will need to be. I hope that every one of you gets the same value and experience from your placements as I am and are able to embrace your inner nurse.

In the final few months before qualification it is difficult to cope with the pressures and other things life throws at us during this time.

I am speaking from my own experience when I say it is imperative to have your friends and family around you to support and help you. As I have found out, when you are down and need help and support, true friends will come forward and lend you a hand. I might not have hundreds of friends like many people do on Facebook but I know there are a few individuals I can speak to and ask for advice. Building valuable friendships both at work and outside of it is essential.

As nursing students we must also think what impact this can have on our future careers, as being friendly, open and part of a team could lead you to an opportunity of a job offer, potentially at your last placement.

Pavel Vit is a third year student nurse at Imperial College.

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