One week until my third placement (first one of second year).
At the end of last year (2017), I was sent an email to request where I would like to be placed for my next placement. My first choice was a General Practice (GP surgery), which to my excitement I got! My first placement of second year is a GP surgery and I could not be happier.
General Practice has always been an area I would absolutely love to work in. There are many reasons as to why this is my personal preference. Firstly, I imagine that, no day is ever the same in this setting; each patient I see will be different. I will be seeing a wide range of patients with conditions across the life span; continuity of care for an individual. Following this, I am the sort of person that likes to know ‘what happens next’ after I see a patient. I love the thought that I will be seeing the same patients back and forth and knowing how they are getting along in life; an experience you do not get in some areas of nursing sadly. It must be an amazing feeling to be able to build that rapport with your patient, and have them as your patient for, hopefully, the rest of their life. Furthermore, I have always valued the prevention, well-being and education side to healthcare and this is also something I envisage from a practice setting. Along with, the idea of the practice being a small team with different levels of expertise, all working together to provide the best care for their patients.
However, I have never experienced this working environment before, but this everything that excites me about it. Nonetheless, I am quite surprised that more students are not interested in a placement within general practice. I have heard a few students saying, ‘I won’t learn any nurse skills.’ On the contrary, I think all the CORE skills to nursing will be found in general practice. There is a misconception that a ‘nurse skill’ means hands on, in a ward setting, removing cannulas and removing drains and clips. Yes, there are practical skills to learn, but for me, the real nurse skills are inside yourself. It is what the 6 C’s of nursing is all about: Care, Compassion, Courage, Commitment, Communication and competence. It is the skills we are taught within university from the start; your professional values. However, I also envisage managing wounds and having variety of wound dressings to master.
Not only this, but you are going to see a whole range of individuals with different conditions every day. As a nurse, you must be able to manage a whole variety of people and obstacles, what better place to learn this than the GP setting? Nevertheless, I do not think there has been many opportunities for practices to offer student nurses the experience of learning within the primary care environment. There needs to be more practices come forward and agree to take us on. If they could only see how valuable their setting is for us and open their doors, we can change the future of nursing in primary care for the better.
My placement starts on the 12th of March 2018 and I am so excited about it. I have been preparing for my placement by reading the transition into general practice nursing document published by the Queens Nursing Institute along with the GP ten point plan and doing some wider research before my first day.
Please feel free to follow my twitter account for updates @C_Carmichael83 as well as here but for now I shall leave you with this quote:
“Love begins by taking care of the closest ones – the ones at home” (Mother Teresa)