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Starting third year: the countdown is on


As the third year nerves started to get the better of her, Leanne turned to her peers to find out how they’re coping with the anxiety of final year placements


Who fast forwarded time?

I’m now in my final year and before I know it this year will pass too. Time is going so fast and the question in my mind is: will I be ready to qualify?

I’m happy and proud to have made it to this stage but one of my concerns in the run-up to starting final year was that I wouldn’t be allocated the placement areas I wanted. I believe this is a common concern among students as we wait in anticipation for them to be released.

But should we really be so anxious? Should the placements you’re given matter? After all, every placement is a valuable learning opportunity.

But I do think it‘s important. I came to the course knowing which areas interest me and these have remained the same.

Even students who didn’t have a specific area in mind when they started, often have an idea of where they would like to be for their sign-off period by the time third year rolls round.

Throughout our cohort the variety of interest is vast, which shows the diversity of the adult branch of nursing.

We have students attending placements in critical care, specialist community, practice nursing, and hospice care, to name just a few. One student has even taken the brave decision to do a placement in Norway.

These areas are all very different, but equally as valuable to the nursing profession.

I requested a specialist community placement and was placed at a centre specialising in the rehabilitation of individuals experiencing dependency. This is a brand new placement for our campus and also a first for the centre to have an adult branch student based there.

This placement was important for me to experience and I will explain why in a later blog!

My spoke placement is in an intensive care unit. During second year, I completed a placement in an emergency department that left me with many questions regarding the patient journey.

I found it difficult to hand over a patient I had spent time caring for in resus.

Although I knew they would be in good hands, I wanted to be able to follow their care after they were transferred from the resus department to ICU. My spoke placement allows me to do just that.

Despite being happy with my placements my apprehension of year three remains. I can’t be the only one feeling this way, so I spoke to some of my fellow students to find out how they’re feeling about the prospect of our final year.

Here’s what they had to say….


L to R: David Rodgers, Ellen Moseley, Michelle Sandland

I’ve been volunteering with a national first aid charity in the East Midlands since 2008, so when I found out my hub placement was in the Emergency Department with a long spoke in the Coronary Care Unit I felt like I’d won the lottery.

“I think these placements will tie in well with my voluntary work and previous placements to fill the gap between pre-hospital and ward care. Looking at the third year I’m split on my thoughts – excitement at some amazing placement opportunities, yet apprehension at this being the final stage before registration.” David Rodgers

The thought of third year has been quite a daunting one. Yet I know that entering into the final year will lead to wonderful new experiences.

 “I’ve been blessed so far and learned so many skills from a wide scope of health care professionals; being given the opportunity to work more within local community nursing is an honour. 

 “I look forward to my final years study and all the new things I will learn.’Ellen Moseley


Year three… Finally made it! When I requested my placements for the year, I really wanted a community placement as I had already spent time there in year two and really enjoyed it. 

“I also asked for A&E, although now that my request has finally come true, I’m a nervous wreck. So many questions are going around in my head.

 “On the other hand I have my hub placement in community and couldn’t be happier; this is where I’d like to be when qualified so hopefully I can gain as much experience as possible.” MichelleSandland


I’m excited for my placements and for third year in general, and as always ready to work hard. But I still have a long way to go and I refuse to rush my learning or become complacent.

But time waits for no one and I can hear the clock ticking. The countdown is on and this final year of training and how I feel at the end of it; will determine if I will be wearing those blues.

Wish me luck!


Leanne Siekiera is SNT’s Student Editor for Adult Branch 2014/15


Readers' comments (2)

  • Love this article! All the best for the year ahead!

    I'm about to finish and I'm one of those with an open mind about what aspect of adult nursing I'd like to be in for my first job and beyond. I actually thought I'd know by now but I guess not knowing has spared me any disappointment for where I've ended up. However, past placements have helped me decided where I don't want to be. That's for sure!

    We don't have much choice of where we have our placements at our university. You can, however, express an interest in working in the community for your final placement (the big one!) and also for Year 2 themed placement such as the prison service but there are no guarantees that you will get them.

    We've all had that awful placement that will wake us up with night sweats for years to come! I had one of those and it made me wonder if it was the stress of that sort of environment why the staff behaved the way they did - often cynical, apathetic, lack of sensitivity…. It served to make me stronger and I took a lot of lessons from that placement. I guess I can't have it all as most of my placements have been wonderful.

    I'm on my management placement and it isn't where I'd like it to be but the previous placements for my final year more than made up for it.

    To those of you embarking on your final year. Enjoy it and remember whatever your placements - good or bad - there are always lessons, learning opportunities and transferrable skills that will prove useful for the years ahead.

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  • Thank you Justina .Good luck to you too : )

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