My time is now up in A&E. I feel I have learnt so much during this placement, the learning experiences, the staff, the patients were all great.
I did have some issues though. I am at the start of my 2nd year but some staff appeared to think that I was a 3rd year student and therefore expected more from me. This became apparent the week my mentor was off. They were asking me thinks that we hadn’t covered in uni yet, things that they expect all nurses to know in A&E. Well I’m not going to work there once qualified that’s for sure.
There was only 2 nurses like this thankfully. They would stand right behind me when I was doing assessments, this would put me right off and I started to feel like I actually knew nothing about anything. Because of this my shifts were changed the week my mentor returned. Those that I worked with had no issue with me, I was given my own patients and would only go to them if I needed something. Even the practice development nurse I worked with once thought I was doing a great job for a 2nd year. Thankfully after that week I went back to working with my mentor and I felt much more comfortable.
I am exceptionally happy for my time in A&E. I do feel that every student nurse should have a placement, even a short one, in A&E. Now I just need to get an ITU placement
On 9th December 2018, I completed my first year of university and all I have left is an OSCE resit in January. I have 8 weeks off before I return for second year (if I return).
My first assessed placement didn’t end too badly, I ended up having to go in the day after I finished to get my paperwork signed of, I was just glad to be finished with the place.
My second assessed placement was much better, the mentor I spent most of my time with was utter crap but my other mentor and everyone else were great. The placement provided me with lots of learning experiences and I’m really happy with how my year ended.
I feel I have developed over the year, I just have to wait for results the board meets this week!
From now on I am working as much as possible before I return, I am only on a bank flexi contract now so I can fit work around placements much easier.
This first year was easy compared to what lies ahead.
So far I have been on my placement for 3 weeks with 4 weeks left. I’ve worked with my mentor 3 times (all early shifts) and don’t appear to have a buddy mentor, though I have worked with one nurse a lot.
I’m not sure what to make of this placement or how I am going to make up lost hours. They appear to think I need to work with my mentor 80% of the time when it really should be 40%. The only time I’m supervised is when it involved drugs, but I’ve only given them out twice.
I do the admission paperwork alone then they check and counter sign, I take out cannulas alone, I escort to theatre and x-ray alone and I’m expected to make my own arrangements to work in different areas. I went down to outpatients the other afternoon as there was nothing to do on the ward and there was nothing to do in outpatients, I’m not sure I really want to do a whole day there. I been told that my working is affecting what I can do on placement and that they really don’t usually give students a Saturday shift, they just so happen to have gave given me two?!. Fridays are their busy/interesting theatre days but they are days I usually work. I have managed to get 2 Fridays off which is good. They have ‘concerns’ about me travelling and me also working but they don’t actually express them to me.
I have loads of competencies that need signing off but no one has seen me cover them. Also if I am lead to believe by uni, that we need to do 37.5 hrs weeks / 750 hrs in first year, then I need to make up 58 hrs during my next placement. Everything I read says 700 hours as it’s 800 in years 2+3 totalling 2300 overall. The NMC requires student nurses to work no less than 2300 hours, our student handbook states 700 hours, out unit information states both 700 & 800 but uni tutors say 37.5 hours a week or 750 hours in year 1. I’ve emailed the placement team to clarify as it’s going to mean 4 long days most weeks in my last placement to make those hours up, if they let me. It’s my fault for taking a holiday during placement time but why the increase in required hours. I still say it’s 700 hours!
I got up at 4:30 am to get the train at 5:24! I had to be at placement for 7 am and arrived at 6:30 am
My latest placement is at the private hospital Nuffield Health. It’s the first time I’ve done anything private, I’ve always been NHS.
There were 2 nurses + 2 hca’s in the morning and 2 nurses + 1 hca in the afternoon, with only 1 inpatient and 5 (I think) coming in as day cases or overnight. I found it very routine and I can only describe it as an admissions unit. Patient comes in, you go through admission and pre ob questions, do a set of obs, ask them to get changed, do pre ob medication and wait for them to go down. You then escort them down and bring them back up. If they are day cases then you do 3 sets of obs 30 mins apart and once they are ready to go home you go through discharge questions and send them on their way. If they are staying in you do their medication.
I was told that it was a quiet day but a good one to start on. During the shift, I escorted patients to theatre and back, did obs, and sat around quite a bit. I was able to leave at 6 pm.
On the way home there happened to be a hot air bollon on the next food field. I watched if for a short while but really needed to get my train home. I arrived at the station to just miss a train and then realising the trains were messed up and either delayed or cancelled. I ended up having to travel to Littlehampton and then get the train to Worthing. Due to the train issues the train I was on decided to cancel some of their station stops so I ended up getting of at Worthing rather than West Worthing. It wasn’t that big a deal but all in all it took me 2 hours from leaving placement to get home!
Back there tomorrow, here’s to leaving early again 😉
So I start my 3rd placement the week starting 27th August for 7 weeks. This will be my 1st private placement. It turns out that they aren’t funny about my wanting to do long days and I won’t be doing any Sundays as they really don’t do anything that day, in fact not much at all all weekend.
I currently only have the 1st two weeks of shifts, 1st week I’ll be there Tuesday + Wednesday + Saturday, the 2nd week Monday + Tuesday + Wednesday. I’ll actually be on holiday for nearly 3 weeks so I’ll only be there 4 weeks out of 7.
I also need to make up hours at work as I’m currently working 19 hours a week but getting paid for 23. This could prove difficult.
How do other people other there survive uni + placements + work?
Sometime it can be hard to balance everything going on in your life, I haven’t gotten it figured out just yet. How do you balance everything?
For me I have work + uni + fitness + lazyness
I have a 23 hour a week contract but only work 19 hours, the missing hours need to be caught up on at some point, 5 weeks equals 10 hours so 2 days. This can be difficult as I don’t work weekends or bank holidays.
With a 1 hr plus commute and being on call on Thursdays I have very little time those evenings. I can sometimes get off work early on Fridays and maybe I’ll meet my partner for drinks in Brighton.
I basically write off work days as just that work.
I go to uni Monday + Tuesday all day and Wednesday half days. Sometimes I finish early on Mondays & Tuesdays too. I start back at uni February 2019 and I’m there for 4 weeks before I start placements.
This can be any day of the week, but only 3 days unless I need to make up hours.
This is the hardest one to fit in with the rest, that and I can be very lazy at times 😉 I fit in a gym session before uni and on days when I’m not at uni/placement/work etc
So where does this leave me?
I haven’t figured this out yet. I need to write everything in a diary/calendar. I want to try and fit in 3 sessions a week unless I’m in a lazy mood. I can fit gym sessions in before uni but not before work and on my free days. Fitting in anything at other times can be tricky and fitting in Crossfit is another matter. Crossfit isn’t close enough to a train station or at convenient times for me to go before uni so I have resigned myself to go Wednesday evenings and weekends when at uni and weekends & any free day when at placement.
It;s going to be hard but I’m sure I can work things out and remember to listen to my body and take rest days.