I have put this short blog together for all those first years who are due to go out this coming week and may be feeling nervous right about now. This is a very exciting but daunting time for you mainly because this has been a long time coming, but now it is here you will have all sorts of thoughts and feelings going on.
Below is some guidance from me which I feel would benefit you which includes a check list of what to do prior to placement and what things to take with you (you can add or take things away depending on your own specific preferences).
Things to do:
- Contact placement – Make sure you have contacted your placement area in order to determine your shifts and any other requirements that may be necessary (if you have not already done so) Here is a list of contact info for HRI and CHH (however please note numbers and ward situ change all the time so if in doubt call switchboard on 875875 https://www.hey.nhs.uk/visiting/
- Uniform – Make sure your uniform is washed and ironed (maybe have a spare set just in case in your car or bag) some areas require you to wear your own clothes until you reach the ward and the same when you finish your shift, so check this if unsure (some areas may vary i.e community)
- Finding placement – If the area is new to you, do a test run one morning before placement to determine how long it takes to get there and where to park. This saves you from panicking the morning of your placement. When entering CHH please note that entrance 2 is closed so either go through entrance 1 or 3***
- Pebble pad – Refresh your memory on pebble pad, if you have your assessors’ email, share pebble pad with them, however if you do not have this yet do not worry as you can get that on your first day. (to share, go into your pebblepad where you have all your stages / practice standards / skills etc and click on the I want to… in the top right corner to bring up the below – click share and add the assessor’s email)
- Timesheet – Remember to also prepare your timesheet on pebblepad.
- Standards and competencies – Check what competencies and standards you have to achieve and write down what you would like to get out of this placement that will help you to get some of these signed off.
- Late or calling in sick – If for whatever reason you can not attend placement or are going to be late, find out the number for the ward to let them know (https://www.hey.nhs.uk/visiting/) Please do not just turn up late, this does not look professional. Also ensure that if you are not attending placement due to sickness that you also inform the university (this can be done via calling the Hub 463342 or through myhullportal: select course, click on talk to us, ask a question, contact faculty and fill out an enquiry form, selecting absence) and make sure you fill out an absence form on pebblepad.
Things to take:
- comfy shoes
- prepare your bag
- plenty of food and drinks (especially if you are long shifts or nights)
- change of clothes and possibly a spare set of uniform just in case (including socks / tights – you never know what might spill on your shoes / socks/ tights whilst on shift)
- face mask (must be worn the moment you enter the hospital premises – i.e grounds / car park etc)
- Supervisor feedback forms and patient feedback forms,
- Pens (lots of pens) & pocket notepad,
- fob watch (if you have one) name badge (if you have one)
- university ID, SMART card (if you have one)
- Phone charger
- Parking pass (if you need one) (also be aware when parking, blue bays are for patients, white bays are for staff, also check you are able to park there as some areas around the hospital although they are white bays, you may need a special pass or permit to park in that area, so be careful and plan ahead)
- If you take medication, make sure you have it packed, especially if you are on long shifts.
Night before placement
Check everything is ready as mentioned above and then pamper yourself whether that be a nice bath or shower, and do something to unwind such as read a book, meditation, yoga, anything to calm the nervous system and promote a good night’s sleep.
Set your alarm and get an early night
Morning of placement
You may be feeling anxious, nervous, overwhelmed, and / or excited, remember these are all normal feelings in this situation. It is very daunting going onto a new ward or placement area, learning a new routine and getting to know a whole new team of people, but remember they were once students just like you and they will understand how you are feeling and they will no doubt be grateful for you joining their team.
Go into the placement with an open mind. Sometimes you may come across a placement that is not your area of interest, but every placement is an opportunity to learn something new and you may even surprise your self and really enjoy it. If you do, however, feel like you are not supported or have any issues, contact your PLF (practice learning facilitator) for that area / placement to discuss, do not suffer in silence. I will also like to mention here, that you may hear horror stories of placements, but every one has different experiences, likes and dislikes, so try not to focus too much on these and again go with an open mind.
I would also suggest that during your first week of placement you have gone through pebble pad with your assessor and got your orientation and first interview completed in order to ensure you have a plan in place on what to expect and be expected of you.
Ask questions, and lots of them, no question is ever too silly or wrong, asking questions is how we learn. Observe as much as you can and if you feel ready to partake then ask if you can. However, please do not feel pressured into doing anything that you are not comfortable with, this is about being competent, so take it at your own pace, the first week you may feel like you are in the way but trust me we have all been there and still feel like that in year 2 and year 3.
Lastly, remember to take in the experience and enjoy every moment of it, as we know it soon flies by.
Enjoy and I hope to hear some amazing experiences during and after placement has ended.
Hull Nursing Society