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How to cope on placements!

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Are you at uni? Can you help prospective students with their questions? We're looking for uni forum assistants 19-11-2014
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    (Original post by Cherry Black)
    Tips for Diagnostic Radiography students:

    -Guard your markers with your life! It's a horrible feeling when you go to put a left marker on the cassette, and you've only got a right one.

    -Be assertive with your positioning. If you move the patient's arm like it's made of unicorn's tears, they're less likely to cooperate, whereas if you assertively put it where you need it (you don't have to be aggressive, or hurt them, just confident) they're more likely to keep it in that exact position, because you mean business!

    -If you're in a department where you get left by yourself a lot, don't take it personally. The radiographer might be there the whole time you're positioning, but as soon as you go to take the image, they've disappeared off the face of the earth. Worse still, that skyline knee was perfect when you set it up, but by the time you've found someone to check it, the patient has flopped their leg down and the radiographer now thinks you have no idea how to image knees. Don't worry! It happens, especially in busy departments. Just bite your tongue and move on.

    -Treat everyone (not just qualified radiographers, but fellow students, APs, and other staff) as potential future colleagues, because they are! It doesn't matter if your placement is in Edinburgh, and you're hoping to work in Auckland, radiography is a relatively close knit community, and if you piss people off, word will get around, and by Sod's Law, that person will end up being your supervisor. Equally, try to make a good impression- we were told just after our first placement that opinions will have already been made as to whether we are considered good candidates for employment, and we've got three years to go yet!

    -Show an interest! Even if you're terrified and want the ground to swallow you up, go get involved. Even if you're just handing cassettes or accessories to the radiographer, get in the room and see what's going on. You're more likely to be respected that way.

    -If you see things in practise that you either don't agree with or things that clash with what you've been taught, don't say "we've been taught not to do that". If you feel you must question it at the time, word it differently "ooh that's an interesting method, I've not seen that done that way before..." and listen to their reasoning. Sometimes it's a bad habit, sometimes it's due to local rules. Otherwise, just make a mental note of it and ask your tutors when you see them. It's less likely to cause conflict this way- a long-qualified radiographer isn't going to take it very well when a first year student tells them they are wrong.

    -However, if you are put in a situation which could adversely affect you, for example in fluoroscopy without appropriate protection, don't just play along! If there aren't enough lead aprons for you to have one, excuse yourself and go find one! Don't miss out on seeing really interesting procedures just because someone's nicked an apron. Equally, if there are no thyroid shields, ask where you might find another! You might get treated like a worry-wart, but this is YOUR SAFETY at stake, and hopefully you're going to be working with radiation for many many years to come, so it's best to look after yourself. It's in everyone's interests that you're safe: you don't want cancer, and the NHS really don't want you to get cancer- it'll be a waste of a radiography degree, and they'll have to treat you!

    Last point (for now)- if you're in a department with quite a few students on placement, don't herd together! It's really intimidating for the patients and it's annoying for the staff. If you're assigned to be somewhere, and there's nothing happening, don't sprint back to be with your mates, it looks really bad and you could miss something interesting.

    That stuff all sounds really negative, but it's not meant to be! Just enjoy your placements and make the most of your time in practise. It'll be over before you know it.
    Awesome! I'm starting radiog in sept, and was terrified about placement (even though it only starts in Jan). I'm saving this!
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    Thanks for the good advice everyone
    Anyone got anymore physio specific suggestions?? Would be very grateful- I go on my first placement in 3 weeks and I'm wavering between totally looking forward to it and absolutely cacking it!
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    (Original post by djk_99)
    Thanks for the good advice everyone
    Anyone got anymore physio specific suggestions?? Would be very grateful- I go on my first placement in 3 weeks and I'm wavering between totally looking forward to it and absolutely cacking it!
    Basically remember that your CE is God while you are on placement. Suck up to him/her, kiss their ass. marvel at their clinical skills, do everything they tell you to do the way they tell you to do it. Don't say, we did it different at uni, they don't care!

    Make your contact before the placement and get any recommended books from the library. Whatever speciality you are doing be it MSK, respiratory or neuro make a crib sheet of what you need to do in a basic assessment. Show this to your CE and get them to give advice on anything that you may have missed out.

    Learn the basic tests which you will need during your assessments. Buy a notebook in which you will keep a record of the exact hours that you work as you need to have that information to confirm your 1000 hours of clinical experience. Use your notebook as a diary to keep a record of things that you have done. This is helpful when reflecting on what has happened during the placement. You'll also need it to keep details for your case study.

    Books which you need to buy, beg or borrow:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Physiotherap...9321145&sr=8-1

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Physiotherap...9321145&sr=8-3

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Pocketbook-N...9321145&sr=8-7

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Pocket-Muscu...9321523&sr=1-3

    I'm assuming that you already have access to books such as Tidy, Petty etc.

    You will also need to have books on specific conditions relevant to your placement, plus access to patient support websites for those conditions.

    As well as that you need to know if there are any hospital based protocols for the treatment of the conditions that you will encounter, Or if there are any clinical guidelines set out by CSP or NICE.

    Make sure that you have all the placement forms that you need for midway and final assessments etc and take them in the first day. Some CE's will tell you to keep them, others will take them and look after them themselves.
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    I found this book very useful for my respiratory placement:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Respiratory-...9356901&sr=1-1

    A notebook's also good for writing down things to read up about or to ask your educator later.

    I now take in a spare copy of the assessment form, although my uni uses PPIMS which is quite common in the south east, several educators weren't familiar with the form and welcomed a copy they could keep.

    Be proactive in asking for stuff - e.g. I'd not got too much idea what a SALT did so asked if I could spend a half day with one - I got to see several of the techniques they used.

    Some CEs can be unhelpful or even unpleasant, but most of mine have been responsive if I've told them my weak areas/things I want to work on this placement (e.g. communication, structuring an assessment) or if I felt they weren't letting me lead enough. I found this a tricky balance, sometimes they need to lead buit ocer a placement they'll expect you to lead more, which felt weird telling a band 7 what to do.

    For PPIMS (and probably other forms, but I'm not familiar with them) it's helpful to read through and make sure you're clear on how to achieve the higher marks - ask the CE if you're not sure. For example, some of my CEs were perfectly happy to accept conversations we had as evidence of clinical reasoning, whereas another wanted formal CR forms filled in or it didn't count, which cost me marks on the first placement.
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    Thanks for the suggestions puddlejumper and iainmacn! My first placement is a medical ward, although tbh I'm not 100% sure what that entails! I'm thinking mainly MSK and resp?
    I have the physio pocketbook already which has been very useful. I also have lots of assessment textbooks (Stokes, Petty and Moore, Pryor and Prasad) but need a few more treatment ones.
    We've got a pre-placement week to go through the forms and assessments, I really don't know much about what they entail yet.
    Good comments about getting involved, this is something I might struggle with as I'm quite a shy person normally, but I'll keep it in mind from the beginning and it should be easier.
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    Yeah I found that tricky, it does really boost your marks though - also don't wait to be asked where possible - so after an MDT volunteer your priorities, volunteer reasoning behind treatments etc. Also once you get used to the set up suggest bringing in other people where appropriate such as SALT, OT etc.

    Medical ward sounds like a mix - closest I had was an eelderly medical ward - lots of COPD and post stroke people, with one GBS - will probably depend a lot on if the ward has a speciality. You could ring up and ask?
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    Yeah, it says on my info to ring up 2 weeks before and ask. Now I've looked at it again, it also says that I'll be doing cardiac rehab too, so that should be fun!
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    You also need to learn to do your thinking and reasoning out loud rather than in your head. You may simply hesitate while you weigh up the options for a diagnosis but your hesitancy can be seen as lack of knowledge. So talk through the options and why you are dismissing them.

    In your placement you will need to be able to persuade people that they can exercise! After all if you've just had a heart attack the last thing that you want to do is to put a strain on your heart! Or that is what the patients believe. You need to get over the idea of the heart being a muscle and it has to be used or it just gets weaker. So look for gentle exercise to build up tolerance,
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    (Original post by puddlejumper)
    Basically remember that your CE is God while you are on placement. Suck up to him/her, kiss their ass. marvel at their clinical skills, do everything they tell you to do the way they tell you to do it. Don't say, we did it different at uni, they don't care!
    I would tentatively suggest that this is not necessarily the approach to take.....

    i think its important that when you start a placement you take time to sound out your educator, figure out what they're like, what they expect of you etc. In some cases I have known eductaors to be like PJ describes but to be honest I think this is global assumption that actually only applies to a small number of educators out there. I can probably count on both my hands the number of people that I know, who have had an educator who expects them to just blindy do as they are told and not remotely open their mouth about anything

    As you might have read somewhere else on this forum I just got myself a band 6 job and in the not too distant future I will be one of those "Gods".......but actually as an educator I don't think I would be expecting any student of mine to do exactly as I tell them without any thoughts of their own. If thats the case then what do you learn? Other than how to repeat things like a parrot which is not actually any good for your learning or your educators ability to teach. To be on placement is a two way process - it is actually a learning experience for both parties, not juts the student

    In situations I know of where people say their educators just expect them to do as they're told there is often an element of miscommunication................ .if I was your band 6 and I explained a way of doing something but you acted like you knew better than me and went in like a bull in a china shop about it then quite rightly I'd be pissed. However if it was an exhange of ideas whereby you were seen to be reasoning and trying to figure things out then by all means I'd accept that. Going in on your high horse won't win you any friends,but nor will be going in with your head up your educators arse. Often it is the way in which things are worded not what actually is said. Plus you never knew - you might actually teach your educator something - stranger things have happened

    But if you do find yourself in that sort f situation whereby your educator expects you to do everything without a second though and are difficult then unfortunately there isn't much you can do about - other than promise to be nothing like that when you have students

    However, should you wish to be my student, treat me like god and marvel at my clinical skills then you are more than welcome lol
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    (Original post by JackieS)
    I would tentatively suggest that this is not necessarily the approach to take.....

    i think its important that when you start a placement you take time to sound out your educator, figure out what they're like, what they expect of you etc. In some cases I have known eductaors to be like PJ describes but to be honest I think this is global assumption that actually only applies to a small number of educators out there. I can probably count on both my hands the number of people that I know, who have had an educator who expects them to just blindy do as they are told and not remotely open their mouth about anything

    As you might have read somewhere else on this forum I just got myself a band 6 job and in the not too distant future I will be one of those "Gods".......but actually as an educator I don't think I would be expecting any student of mine to do exactly as I tell them without any thoughts of their own. If thats the case then what do you learn? Other than how to repeat things like a parrot which is not actually any good for your learning or your educators ability to teach. To be on placement is a two way process - it is actually a learning experience for both parties, not juts the student

    In situations I know of where people say their educators just expect them to do as they're told there is often an element of miscommunication................ .if I was your band 6 and I explained a way of doing something but you acted like you knew better than me and went in like a bull in a china shop about it then quite rightly I'd be pissed. However if it was an exhange of ideas whereby you were seen to be reasoning and trying to figure things out then by all means I'd accept that. Going in on your high horse won't win you any friends,but nor will be going in with your head up your educators arse. Often it is the way in which things are worded not what actually is said. Plus you never knew - you might actually teach your educator something - stranger things have happened

    But if you do find yourself in that sort f situation whereby your educator expects you to do everything without a second though and are difficult then unfortunately there isn't much you can do about - other than promise to be nothing like that when you have students

    However, should you wish to be my student, treat me like god and marvel at my clinical skills then you are more than welcome lol
    Thanks for the advice JackieS. From what I've heard from the 2nd years and from the lecturers, there's a certain element of both. I know you get lots of marks for clinically reasoning things, so being able to explain what you did and why, and our lecturers have been good at drumming that into us so far. I think because I'm on the MSc, there's a lot more reasoning and application of self-learned knowledge than in the BSc (or so I've been told anyway). However, we've also been told not to argue with CE's over certain things, for example how to write up notes, as everyone does it slightly differently and we have to fit in with whatever way they do it.
    I have heard back from my CE and been told that I will be doing some of the emergency assessment unit (falls) and some coronary care (MI, CABG, herat failure, cardiac rehab). But he's not told me anymore to read which is nice as other people's have told them to know everything under the sun, but we're all a bit preoccupied with exams now!
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    (Original post by JackieS)
    I would tentatively suggest that this is not necessarily the approach to take.....

    i think its important that when you start a placement you take time to sound out your educator, figure out what they're like, what they expect of you etc. In some cases I have known eductaors to be like PJ describes but to be honest I think this is global assumption that actually only applies to a small number of educators out there. I can probably count on both my hands the number of people that I know, who have had an educator who expects them to just blindy do as they are told and not remotely open their mouth about anything

    As you might have read somewhere else on this forum I just got myself a band 6 job and in the not too distant future I will be one of those "Gods".......but actually as an educator I don't think I would be expecting any student of mine to do exactly as I tell them without any thoughts of their own. If thats the case then what do you learn? Other than how to repeat things like a parrot which is not actually any good for your learning or your educators ability to teach. To be on placement is a two way process - it is actually a learning experience for both parties, not juts the student

    In situations I know of where people say their educators just expect them to do as they're told there is often an element of miscommunication................ .if I was your band 6 and I explained a way of doing something but you acted like you knew better than me and went in like a bull in a china shop about it then quite rightly I'd be pissed. However if it was an exhange of ideas whereby you were seen to be reasoning and trying to figure things out then by all means I'd accept that. Going in on your high horse won't win you any friends,but nor will be going in with your head up your educators arse. Often it is the way in which things are worded not what actually is said. Plus you never knew - you might actually teach your educator something - stranger things have happened

    But if you do find yourself in that sort f situation whereby your educator expects you to do everything without a second though and are difficult then unfortunately there isn't much you can do about - other than promise to be nothing like that when you have students

    However, should you wish to be my student, treat me like god and marvel at my clinical skills then you are more than welcome lol
    I think that you have misinterpreted what was meant.

    I simply meant that the student must do things the way the CE wants them to do them. Certainly you can offer suggestions such as we did it this way in university or on other placements but the CE is quite at liberty to say my way, or the highway.

    It's pointless trying to argue the toss with the person who is going to mark you on that placement!

    I agree it was a slight exageration, but there is a kernel of truth and advice there, that a student would be foolish to ignore.
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    Some saddo obviously has a problem with the real world or else has a queue of people they want to neg rep. Go and play with the traffic, you immature sad git.
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    im have just finished my 2nd year of physio, and i have had one 6-week placement. And ill be having my second at the end of august.

    Ill try to compile something for placements for physio's.

    What sort of things should i cover?

    bye for now
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    great advice thanks. Could you tell me what sort of shoes its best to buy for adult nursing!!!
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    (Original post by mlo)
    great advice thanks. Could you tell me what sort of shoes its best to buy for adult nursing!!!
    I know our school spesifies black shoes, no higher than 0.5 inches... must cover the full foot, and not be slingbacks. It is also useful to get ones that are quite hard, like leather or omething, incase you drop a needle, or roll a bed over it... or spill fluids :o:

    I have a pair of marks and spencers footgloves, they where about £30 and are extremly comfortable! that is the most important thing, considering you will spend all day on your feet.

    Good Luck with your placement
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    (Original post by Cherry Black)
    Tips for Diagnostic Radiography students:

    -Guard your markers with your life! It's a horrible feeling when you go to put a left marker on the cassette, and you've only got a right one.

    -Be assertive with your positioning. If you move the patient's arm like it's made of unicorn's tears, they're less likely to cooperate, whereas if you assertively put it where you need it (you don't have to be aggressive, or hurt them, just confident) they're more likely to keep it in that exact position, because you mean business!

    -If you're in a department where you get left by yourself a lot, don't take it personally. The radiographer might be there the whole time you're positioning, but as soon as you go to take the image, they've disappeared off the face of the earth. Worse still, that skyline knee was perfect when you set it up, but by the time you've found someone to check it, the patient has flopped their leg down and the radiographer now thinks you have no idea how to image knees. Don't worry! It happens, especially in busy departments. Just bite your tongue and move on.

    -Treat everyone (not just qualified radiographers, but fellow students, APs, and other staff) as potential future colleagues, because they are! It doesn't matter if your placement is in Edinburgh, and you're hoping to work in Auckland, radiography is a relatively close knit community, and if you piss people off, word will get around, and by Sod's Law, that person will end up being your supervisor. Equally, try to make a good impression- we were told just after our first placement that opinions will have already been made as to whether we are considered good candidates for employment, and we've got three years to go yet!

    -Show an interest! Even if you're terrified and want the ground to swallow you up, go get involved. Even if you're just handing cassettes or accessories to the radiographer, get in the room and see what's going on. You're more likely to be respected that way.

    -If you see things in practise that you either don't agree with or things that clash with what you've been taught, don't say "we've been taught not to do that". If you feel you must question it at the time, word it differently "ooh that's an interesting method, I've not seen that done that way before..." and listen to their reasoning. Sometimes it's a bad habit, sometimes it's due to local rules. Otherwise, just make a mental note of it and ask your tutors when you see them. It's less likely to cause conflict this way- a long-qualified radiographer isn't going to take it very well when a first year student tells them they are wrong.

    -However, if you are put in a situation which could adversely affect you, for example in fluoroscopy without appropriate protection, don't just play along! If there aren't enough lead aprons for you to have one, excuse yourself and go find one! Don't miss out on seeing really interesting procedures just because someone's nicked an apron. Equally, if there are no thyroid shields, ask where you might find another! You might get treated like a worry-wart, but this is YOUR SAFETY at stake, and hopefully you're going to be working with radiation for many many years to come, so it's best to look after yourself. It's in everyone's interests that you're safe: you don't want cancer, and the NHS really don't want you to get cancer- it'll be a waste of a radiography degree, and they'll have to treat you!

    Last point (for now)- if you're in a department with quite a few students on placement, don't herd together! It's really intimidating for the patients and it's annoying for the staff. If you're assigned to be somewhere, and there's nothing happening, don't sprint back to be with your mates, it looks really bad and you could miss something interesting.

    That stuff all sounds really negative, but it's not meant to be! Just enjoy your placements and make the most of your time in practise. It'll be over before you know it.
    Sorry for the bump.

    But i found this very useful, thanks! I start my 1st placement in a couple of weeks. Anyone got any more they're willing to share for D.Radiography?
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    Just finished my first placement in mental health nursing, it was four months long and was 11 miles away from my house...oof. took it out of me.
    Those tips did help, and I've a few of my own.

    Guard your pen with your life.
    Don't be afraid to ask questions, don't worry about feeling daft, I didn't have a clue what "responding" meant, kept hearing it everywhere, apparently its a sign of hallucination as its "responding to unseen stimuli"

    Talk to the patients, get to know them, don't come across as arrogant, they know you're there to learn and some are eager to talk to you, and its great when they're willing. Especially if some-one held off having their depot given because they want you to do it, despite being on night duty :P

    Buy some handcream, seriously. If you're on an elderly or crisis ward then you'll be coming into contact with a fair bit of undesirable stuff and the perpetual handwashing makes your hands look red and raw

    When you brew up, make sure to offer ALL the staff one, not just your mentor and other staff nurses, but housekeeper and support workers. They're a great asset, the housekeeper off my ward used to take me with her to do the environment checks, do all the beds and stuff, which often led to some good experiences.

    Be prepared to come across some violence occasionally, some patients might be resentful, scared and confused, especially if they're very unwell and might lash out, just use some common sense.

    If you're in a situation you don't feel you can handle, think on your feet and get yourself out of it, find a member of staff. If you get hurt, or a mistake happens both you and the ward are held responsible. So you need to know your limits.

    That last tip was aimed at any ex-support workers, nursing assistants, HCA's and auxiliaries who feel weird going from having their own role and responsibility to becoming supernumerary... I felt it too :P
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    Hi any info on occupational therapy would be really helpful. There seems to be very little information around. thanks
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    Info on ODP would be really helpful too. Thank you all information appreciated x
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    hey just wondering if anyone has any suggestions on what books to read to get a basic insight into Radiotherapy? I'm hopefully starting the course in September so would like to get a bit of background reading done.

    Thank you, x

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