What was my favourite placement?

Day 13 of the Nurse Bloggers / NHS Horizons- 30 day blogger challenge.

I have gone on and on about this in previous blogs so I don’t want to bore anyone with the same information haha. So I’m going to do a little summary, actually a count down…. to my favourite placement! Here we go:

In 3rd place

I’m actually going to surprise myself here. I’m going to put my second placement into third place! A stroke ward. This is a new decision! Mainly because I have been thinking about my first placement a lot lately and actually how much I appreciate it over this one.

Overall the stroke ward was fabulous for learning about communication as well as caring for someone who has had a stroke. It was lovely to see patients progress each day with their body movements, speech and swallowing. It made my day when I had had a couple of days off, returned and the patient had moved from puréed food to soft foods! I would be so happy for them because it can’t be pleasant to have puréed food on your plate to eat. Their visual perception and texture of food must just put them off (I know I would be!)

I learnt a lot about manual handling and tissue viability / pressure areas on this ward too. I got the chance to do a couple of drug rounds as well which I didn’t get to do on my first placement as much. I witnessed nurses who genuinely cared about their patients and went above and beyond for them.

2nd place goes to:

My very first ward – abdominal surgical ward. To be honest, I didn’t think I enjoyed this placement as much as I actually did. Does that even make sense?! Whilst on the ward, I didn’t feel like I was making the most of it all, I didn’t feel like I was enjoying it. In fact, something I have never shared with anyone other than my partner, I came home crying because I was so deflated and not enjoying ward work. It made me question whether I wanted to become a nurse at all! But I reminded myself I would never have to work on a ward if I didn’t want to.

The world is my oyster upon qualifying.

However, upon reflecting back, it was actually great for my learning! I saw so many wounds, my Aseptique technique was on point by the time I left. I had successfully inserted a female catheter (after training and supervision from my buddy mentor).

I got to visit theatres too! Which was a fabulous experience. It assisted in my learning about abdominal surgery and actually provided me with more empathy for the patient and what they have been through.

Overall, this ward was actually a great ward to work on. I have no idea what all the fuss was about back then haha.

1st place nomination is:

My latest placement out in general practice! If you already know and have read my blogs before please feel free to switch off now haha! You must be sick of me going on about how much I loved GP!

Not only did I have the most amazing team of doctors, reception, nurses and housekeeping staff but the patients were so welcoming and lovely! My mentor fully supported me to work truly autonomously. I had my very own clinics to see patients in, I was able to recognise and prevent a stroke / heart attack from happening in a patient with an arrhythmia! I felt confident! For the first time in my student nurse journey, I felt like a real nurse! I was giving health promotion, IM injections, doing manual blood pressures, diabetic foot checks, new patient health checks, observing baby immunisations and so much more!

The doctor in charge of the surgery was fantastic! He was so supportive and friendly and very approachable. I went to him with any of my concerns about patients with ease.

My mentor always asked for my advice and support in return. I was also asked to create a mental health care plan and travel vaccine documents. I even used my own initiative and created a ‘student nurse’ guide to clinics to leave behind for the next student.

My placement documents were jam packed of information and skills that I had done, they had never looked so good! All in all, I’ve never had a ‘bad’ placement, everyone single one of them has shaped me into who I am today and I love how much I’ve grown. Actually writing this has made me realise, how much I’ve changed since my first placement! I’m a different person today than I was back then and I couldn’t be happier.

No placement is ever a bad experience, it’s a learning experience. Make the most of every opportunity you have wherever you are.

I need to finish off this blog before it turns into a dissertation on placements haha!

I hope you all have a magical weekend!

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