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    Bit nervous writing this one and not sure about the response. I'm currently half way through my first ever nursing placement, coming fresh from working two years in a pub, no healthcare experience.. And I'm struggling. I've been placed far away from home so I'm not seeing my partner or anyone familiar during the week or after shifts. I'm coming in from a 12.5 hour shift to an empty holiday let... It's really affecting me having no one to discuss my day with when I get in. Also, I feel like maybe I'm not pushing hard enough to do things within my placement. Like I say, I've got no healthcare experience and really wanted to use this placement to get the basics covered like personal care, toileting, assisting people with mobilising. I'm doing all these things but then when I hear from others in my year group about what they've been doing, it just seems so totally beyond my capability, I wonder if I'll pass the year? I know I couldn't be arranging patient's discharges home at this point and it really knocks my confidence to think that maybe that's expected of me. I also hear how loved my fellow students are by their wards and how people are telling them they don't want them to leave... I don't get those sort of comments, a lot of the time I feel like I'm in the way and I know I annoy people by asking if there's anything I can do. I'm not myself while I'm there, while I was working in the pub, I was very proactive in my approach but because I haven't got the experience in a ward environment, I can't be that person here because I need assistance and supervision... Did anybody else feel this way during their first placement? Facebook makes me feel like a failure and that I'm not meeting the expectations of what a student nurse should be. I feel clumsy and stupid. I've got no intention of leaving my course, I love spending one on one time with my patients and helping them with their daily activities but is that enough at this point? What else should I be doing? I think I'm just looking for a bit of reassurance that these feelings of inadequacy are normal in a first placement and that other people have had experiences like this.


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    it's completely normal! Go over the Healthcare and Nursing forum, there's a 'How to Cope on Placement' sticky there. Read through those and I'm sure you'll feel a lot more reassured. It also sounds like you're homesick, which isn't helping, but the placement will go quickly, even if you think it isn't. It's your first placement, you will get the hang of it, don't worry. Plus you will always have fellow students who will tell you that they've practically run the ward/performed operations etc etc! Ignore them.
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    (Original post by Jane91x)
    Bit nervous writing this one and not sure about the response. I'm currently half way through my first ever nursing placement, coming fresh from working two years in a pub, no healthcare experience.. And I'm struggling. I've been placed far away from home so I'm not seeing my partner or anyone familiar during the week or after shifts. I'm coming in from a 12.5 hour shift to an empty holiday let... It's really affecting me having no one to discuss my day with when I get in. Also, I feel like maybe I'm not pushing hard enough to do things within my placement. Like I say, I've got no healthcare experience and really wanted to use this placement to get the basics covered like personal care, toileting, assisting people with mobilising. I'm doing all these things but then when I hear from others in my year group about what they've been doing, it just seems so totally beyond my capability, I wonder if I'll pass the year? I know I couldn't be arranging patient's discharges home at this point and it really knocks my confidence to think that maybe that's expected of me. I also hear how loved my fellow students are by their wards and how people are telling them they don't want them to leave... I don't get those sort of comments, a lot of the time I feel like I'm in the way and I know I annoy people by asking if there's anything I can do. I'm not myself while I'm there, while I was working in the pub, I was very proactive in my approach but because I haven't got the experience in a ward environment, I can't be that person here because I need assistance and supervision... Did anybody else feel this way during their first placement? Facebook makes me feel like a failure and that I'm not meeting the expectations of what a student nurse should be. I feel clumsy and stupid. I've got no intention of leaving my course, I love spending one on one time with my patients and helping them with their daily activities but is that enough at this point? What else should I be doing? I think I'm just looking for a bit of reassurance that these feelings of inadequacy are normal in a first placement and that other people have had experiences like this.

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Hi Jane

    I'm in my third year of adult nursing and I remember feeling exactly the same as you on my first placement. It is natural to feel like a fish out of water, you have zero experience! It is 100% acceptable and correct that this placement should be used to get your personal care skills sorted and to generally get used to being in a ward environment and to the routine of a ward.

    Don't allow others to make you feel substandard when they are regaling stories of how they have done X or Y, as you don't know how much they are exaggerating or what the circumstances were. For example I did not experience my first crash/do CPR until the beginning of my third year, other did it in first year. It is just a question of being in the right place at the right time. And the staff nurses definitely won't expect you to be discharging patients, I didn't start having my own non-complex patients until mid-first year (only had 4) and I still relied heavily on my mentor all the time. Yes, in second and third year it does step up a level or twelve, but you have the knowledge and skills to deal with it.

    Never feel bad for asking questions, how else do you think we are supposed to learn? If you are on a specialist ward then maybe you could try reading a bit about the common conditions/surgical procedures that they deal with, which will help you understand more about what care the patient will require.

    I am living proof that you can survive this feeling, feel free to ask me anything!

    Amy
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    Thanks for the confidence boost guys, I had a days sickness yesterday which really knocked my fragile confidence, having to ring the ward to say I wouldn't be coming in. I don't think I made a good first impression on my ward either so that's something I'll definitely need to work on for next time but then it's hard to make a good impression when everything's brand new and intimidating!

    My next shift isn't until next week now I'll take your advice on board and let you know how it goes! I know I can do this and get through my first placement but it's been so much more challenging than I thought it would be, especially being away from home. I live with my partner and I just was not expecting to miss my home life as much as I have been and I know this has made me withdrawn and quiet when I'm working. Any tips to overcome this? Xxx


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    (Original post by Jane91x)
    Thanks for the confidence boost guys, I had a days sickness yesterday which really knocked my fragile confidence, having to ring the ward to say I wouldn't be coming in. I don't think I made a good first impression on my ward either so that's something I'll definitely need to work on for next time but then it's hard to make a good impression when everything's brand new and intimidating!

    My next shift isn't until next week now I'll take your advice on board and let you know how it goes! I know I can do this and get through my first placement but it's been so much more challenging than I thought it would be, especially being away from home. I live with my partner and I just was not expecting to miss my home life as much as I have been and I know this has made me withdrawn and quiet when I'm working. Any tips to overcome this? Xxx


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    All I can recommend as far as home sickness goes is trying to hang out with other student nurses that are in the same hospital?

    Do you skype your partner? And you could try bunching your shifts up together so you have an extended period of time off? E.g. doing 4 nights each week for two weeks?
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    Have you tried speaking to your mentor or your personal tutor?
    Make use of them, that's why they are there. At some point most people will have felt like you are now. Don't worry! You will be fine. Just use it as a learning curve and to help you cope with any other things that may be thrown your way over the span of your career!

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    You have to take small steps! Rome was not built in a day. Master the basics of personal care - that will give you a good, solid foundation to work up from. Never underestimate the value in being able to give attentive personal care to your patients, not just from the patient's perspective but from yours too - remember you are not simply helping them to wash and dress, you are practicing your assessment skills: skin integrity, mobility etc. It will be noticed by your mentor and will be reflected in your skill clusters being signed off.

    Nursing is incredibly competitive and we all have stories to tell about what we've done. I know it's hard but try not to measure yourself against the others. Their journey is not your journey. Everyone encounters different learning opportunities at different times. You WILL get there. It's not a race :-)

    I would speak to your personal tutor/link lecturer/mentor. If you are feeling down, does your uni have a counselling service?

    Hang in there. It does get better.

    Roo (2nd Year Adult Nursing)
 
 
 
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