I’m not one to just wait around, too many times things haven’t been done when they should and delays have happened. Due to this since December 2019 I have been checking our uni cohort placement spreadsheet to see if it was updated.
13th January, it finally looked like things were happening. There was an extra page, even if it was only named ‘sheet 3’ at that point. Excited, I clicked on the page and saw a list of our names next to dates and placement names. I scanned down the page, looking for my name. Finally, I spotted it but my placement was TBC. All but 2 of us had placement confirmed. I am the only one of my cohort in my placement area and assumed, therefore, it was easier to arrange for me. May be due to me going direct to the NHS trust asking for specific placements, there is a delay. I really hope I don’t get a community placement, not many do in 3rd year. In my cohort, there is probably only 4-5, with the rest mostly in ITU.
I start back at uni in just over 1 week and start placement in 5 weeks. I hope it’s not last minute, I know a few last year who didn’t know till like 1 week before.
So I have officially finished 2nd year of my nursing degree.
Two weeks ago I got my final set of grades. A pass on drugs exam (only pass/fail), Long Term Conditions exam 60%, Evidence exam 66%, Evidence Lit review 57%, Evidence Project plan 88%, OSCE pass (only pass/fail).
The nursing department appears to use all 120 credits to workout the GPA/% for the year rather than 100 credits like the rest of the university.
I worked out my 2nd year classification/GPA using the following document: http://www2.port.ac.uk/accesstoinformation/policies/academicregistry/filetodownload,201850,en.pptx I made it a GPA of 2.65 (do you round that to 2.5 or 2.75?), the uni has given me 2.5 (used all 120 credits, not 100?). I effectively have a 2:2 (just). Now I have 2 terrible essay marks bringing my overall grade down and have lots of work to do to get a 2:1 at the end. My 2.65 could very well have been rounded down to 2.5, therefore, disregarding my horrible 40% unit mark.
I also completed my last placement this past weekend. It was an interesting one, went to theatres twice to see brain and spine surgery, spent time in recovery, was with in charge multiple days and in a bay the odd day. I also ‘did’ a few nights, I’d turn up and show my face then get sent home 😉
Overall I have enjoyed my 2nd year but am on the fight again to get the placements I want for 3rd year.
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
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!
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.