Home Health & Wellness My Thoughts on Clinical Placement as a Student Nurse

My Thoughts on Clinical Placement as a Student Nurse

Published: Last updated:
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Clinical placement is where student nurses get the opportunity to interact with actual patients, nurses, and other healthcare workers. Placements are necessary for nursing students since they offer a setting where they can interact directly with the patients, leading to growth and significant improvement in their profession. The change from academic instruction to actual clinical practice is intriguing and challenging for most students. For most of them, it will be their first encounter with highly fragile patients and the intricate, multifaceted hospital ecosystem. Feeling nervous or overwhelmed is completely normal because a clinical placement is probably the first time to engage with patients and staff. There will undoubtedly be difficulties along the way. Nevertheless, students will have learning opportunities from these difficulties, eventually making them better nurses. There are tips that students can adhere to make placement successful. 

Students should read about the clinical field into which they are being placed. Placement is a learning experience where the students put into practice what they have learned in class. Be familiar with activities in the field. The activities include; the procedures, the specialities, and what is expected of them during the placement. They should also be familiar with the kind of patients they will meet and the range of their conditions. Other students or nurses that have worked in that clinical setting before can help provide information about the placement. Having medical equipment such as a stethoscope and watch makes one more prepared and reduces the inconveniences of having to borrow them every time they need to use them.  

A meeting with the supervisor should be scheduled as soon as possible. The meeting is to establish an action plan to be followed during the placement period. Clinical supervisors hold regular meetings with the students to determine any skills that need improvement and track their advancement. At least two sessions should be held per placement, one at the start and the other at the end of the placement, but more meetings may be held in between to check on the student’s progress. Students should be in connection with their supervisors and plan for as many meetings as possible to be able to learn from them.

One should bring a notepad and pen to placement so they may jot down questions and essential details. Placements are learning opportunities; students should keep a daily learning journal. Throughout the placement, keep a written record of all the patient information and frequently update it. If they need help understanding or clarification, they should make sure they ask for clarity from the senior students or other experienced healthcare workers. It is essential to be on the front line during procedures, pay attention to what is being said, and be ready to perform the procedures under supervision. One absorbs the content more effectively and keeps it longer if one actively participates in actual doing rather than just watching. Some working days can be extended; the student should carry lunch or snacks to give them energy during working hours. They should also remember to hydrate by carrying a water bottle.

Set specific learning goals for each placement and make an effort to concentrate on just one item per shift. Doing research and reading about the placement field can help in knowing what to anticipate and the placement details. The knowledge about the placement field will assist in developing learning objectives for the placement, which will help the student become more focused. There’s always something to learn, whether it’s a good or bad opportunity. Even though it can be challenging to view actions and ideas from another person’s point of view, spending time and talking to patients and other care workers helps one to understand their experiences, concerns, and anxieties. Additionally, it enhances listening abilities, which are crucial for becoming a nurse.

Students should enquire further about interactions with the multidisciplinary team and other specialists. Nurses should be able to collaborate with all of the members of a multidisciplinary team and other specialists to create care plans that incorporate medical procedures with the assistance of other medical personnel. Nurses in training should learn how to work cooperatively with a multidisciplinary team of specialists to prepare them for future practice.

Soneika Atkinson is a first-year student mental health nurse at the University of Essex. You can connect with her on Twitter @sunnyandKK


© Copyright 2014–2034 Psychreg Ltd