Written by Beth Cordon
BSc (Hons) Adult Nursing
My first placement as a student nurse began in January 2015, after a term at university. The placement details were put online on MyBU around a month prior to starting, and I was so excited I stayed up until midnight so I could find out where my first placement was as soon as they were put online!
My placement was in a nursing home in the Bournemouth locality. I was so excited when I found out where I was placed, because I knew a nursing home would be the perfect place for me to start learning from the bottom upwards. I did not have much experience in nursing prior to starting the course, so being given the opportunity to work in a nursing home was great.
It was even better than I expected! I know some people may think working in a nursing home would be ‘boring’ but it was the opposite, I learned so much and had a great experience. I got to know many of the residents well which was nice, as I was able to develop a professional working relationship with them, which I may not have got to do if I had been working on a ward where patients stay for short term treatment.
I was treated really well by my mentor on placement; he was really understanding and never made me do any nursing tasks I was uncomfortable with, but at the same time was able to push me to develop my confidence and try new things. I developed my skills with dressings and became more confident with administering medications. I took a proactive approach to placement and knew that the more I wanted to learn, the more I would learn, and took every opportunity I was given to learn new things and develop new skills.
There were some lows to the placement, as to be expected. It was hard knowing my first placement was working with residents who were receiving end of life care, and that no matter how good their care was, they would not get ‘better’. However the ways of working of all of the staff in the home showed me how important good quality care is to increase the residents’ quality of life and make them as comfortable as possible.
It was also hard to juggle placement, two university essays and social life over the three months, but I learned how to adapt to ensure that I was able to successfully submit both essays, complete my placement and still have time to myself to enjoy university life. I feel placement has also helped me to develop my organisational skills, and when I have my next placement in July, I will have a better understanding of how to split my time effectively.
My experience was really good and it made me realise that I had definitely made the right choice by choosing to study Adult Nursing at university, as I absolutely loved being on placement and gaining hands on experience in the nursing field. Placement has truly opened my eyes to what nursing is about, and given me an insight into the care of the elderly, as well as developing my fundamental skills that nurses need.
By Beth Cordon