Written by Scott Bruce
BSc (Hons)Adult Nursing
Here at Bournemouth uni, nursing students are allocated their placements up to six weeks prior to starting placement, so there’s always an air of anticipation when allocation day arrives and everyone finds out what they’ve been given.
Everyone is excited and discussing their different allocations at uni today. Everyone speculates what placement will be like, what sorts of things they’ll be doing and whether they’ll get on well with their mentor!!
I’ve been allocated a community placement for my first time in practice, meaning I’ll be based out of a doctor’s surgery and working with district nurses, this means going in to people’s houses and providing care to them in their own homes. Having never worked in healthcare before, I don’t really know what to expect. Other people in my class have been given a range of placement areas, including elderly medical wards at local hospitals and some being given nursing homes.
It’s day one of placement and I arrive a good half an hour early… No one wants to be late on their first day! (I think nerves probably have a lot to do with this as well!). I’m sat in the waiting room at the surgery when one of my classmates comes down and shows me where to go… It’s nice knowing I won’t be going it alone, and also helps put me at ease knowing that there’s someone I know here too.
I get up to the office and say hi to everyone… Everyone is really friendly and welcoming…. The first thing I’m shown is where to get a cup of tea when I arrive in the morning (Surely this can’t be right?! – I didn’t think this was nursing!!) I’m chatting with the team I’ll spend the next 12 weeks with and everyone says how nice it is to have a male student on placement with them (everyone in the team is female – so I definitely feel like the minority!) but everyone is professional, welcoming and keen to get me involved with the team. I find out a lot about the nurses I’ll be working with and the various experiences they’ve had… There’s even one nurse who was a medic in the army and went on operations in Kosovo in the 90’s… Now I definitely feel out of place… How can I look after people and learn when these nurses have completely different experiences to me?!
As placement goes on I realise that the experiences that everyone brings to the team are all relevant, even me, as the student nurse has something to offer and that’s what makes district nursing so interesting and diverse. I learn that the more time I spend with the team, the more my confidence grows and that I am learning every day. There is something very rewarding and personal about being invited into a persons’ own home to provide care to them. The placement taught me to remain professional and positive, even when sharing some distressing times with patients and their families. I learnt a lot in the first 12 weeks of placement as a student nurse, but I think the most important was that regardless of anyone’s background, they all have something to bring to the nursing profession.
Scott, 2nd year Adult Nurse
Find out more
You can find out more about BU Health & Social Care placements.