Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

'What can I expect from placement?'


Can you advise this student nurse?

“This isn’t really a problem as such, I just don’t know what to expect when I go out on my first placement in January!

“I’m going to be on a cardiac ward, which is exciting but terrifying.

“What I want to know is what will they expect of me? Will they expect me to know what I’m doing? Because at the moment I don’t even know where to start.

“Any advice?”


Please use the comments section below to share your advice

If you would like to post a questions here, please email We will publish first names only, but please let us know if you’d rather remain anonymous.


Readers' comments (4)

  • Hi, I'm Chloe the student editor for child branch at Student Nursing Times. I had a placement on the children's cardiac ward and the fact that it was a specialist ward did scare me but it was so interersting. You should only be asked to do things you are comfortable with and suitable for students. You will be supervised by your mentor who will support you. I did regular observations, administered drugs, cared for the babies in the nursery, accompanied patients to and from theatre, supported families and completed admission and daily records. I also visited theatre and watched 2 operations. I wasn't asked to do anything I felt was beyond my capabilities but I did try to get involved in all aspects of care to challenge myself and expand my knowledge. It would be useful to ensure you understand the workings of the heart and look up common conditions that you are likely to come across and the treatments given. Good luck!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • see as much as you can, do as much as you feel comfortable with but remember to take the time to acquire as much knowledge as you can, after all in 2 years time you'll be the registered nurse, possibly mentoring someone in you're shoes.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Kathryn Brown

    The good thing is that you know well in advance where you are going to be. That gives you lots of time to research Cardiac issues that you might come across and get you familiar with the pathophysiological side of things. First placements are always very daunting but don't underestimate the skills and knowledge you have been learning thus far. Topics discussed in lectures will suddenly all start fitting into place. Remember, you will not be the font of all knowledge and no-one expects you to be. Make sure you ask lots of questions throughout your placement, especially when you don't understand the rationale for what you are asked to undertake or what you observe. Most of all, enjoy it!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Your first placement may appear to be daunting, but what you have to keep in mind is that you are there to learn and apply new skills which will be used throughout your future career. Your mentor and other staff should understand your limitations and they should support you through your placement. It is a challenge both to yourself and the person who is allocated to oversee your placement to ensure that you have the opportunity to develop as a future nurse.
    Observe everything that you are able to, be involved in all that you can. The best way to learn is to be involved, you don't achieve anything by standing back and watching others.
    Enjoy your training, and good luck in your first placement.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.

Related Jobs