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    Hi guys, I am a first year Nursing student and it's been about 3 days since i started my placement in a hospital but I haven't even met my mentor yet. My friends who are in different hospitals work with Nurses/Mentors who show them how to do injections, dressings but all i have learnt is to make beds and move patients around. I always stay with Healthcare assistants because the nurses seem busy doing their paperworks. People ask me to get things for them but i don't even know where they keep their things(bed sheets, tissues) so i ask them to show it to me and they do it. Everyones been talking about the things they been learning but i haven't been taught anything. I talked to the manager about my problem and she said she will try to fix it soon. I think as a first year student someone should always be with me to teach me but i don't really have anyone responsible for me. This is making me so upset. They don't even tell me where, with who i should be working so i get so confused. I asked them where i should work but they just told me to go and make sure patients are alright. On my first day, I was left alone and I was so depressed. I asked them who i should work with so they told me to stay with the Nurse and HCA but the nurse was busy doing her paperwork so i stayed with the HCA and made beds and washed patients. Even the HCA asked me who is responsible for me and when i said nobody she was surprised. As a first year student, am i allowed to do night shifts because i was asked if i wanna do it.
    Thank you!

    Hi there,

    I am a nurse and will try to assist you. Firstly you are a first year student and washing patients, changing bed sheets etc are nursing tasks. You will discover by the time you qualify, that these tasks are of great importance.

    I understand you feel like you are falling behind your fellow students, however often students brag stating they are doing xyz although have done this once or twice.

    Unfortunately, mentors aren't paid anything to support you through placement, the NMC code states they must support others development. So there's often not much in it for them, unless they are genuinely interested in developing people. Seek these nurses out, look for the most enthusiastic nurses and try to work with them.

    That said, you should have a mentor assigned to you. Therefore I would discuss this with the ward manager, if you are not assigned anybody by the end of week 2 email your personal tutor at university, if no assurances have been made, you judge.

    The most important thing is to establish relationships with nurses who are able to sign off students, sometimes students aren't always assigned mentors and somebody just signs them off at the end. that is bad practice but the reality.

    I sense your disappointment, however this is nursing and caused me much frustration through training as a student. You will however find you have very good placements and some very poor placements.

    Try to be proactive, is there's a clinic where they are doing injections? Or such tasks? If so ask to go there, you find out the number of the clinic and ask the nurse if you could observe on a quiet day. Is there a time in the morning where they doing clexane injections, ask a nurse before they start if you can observe her doing a few. Do some reading first, so you understand why and how it should be performed, compliment the nurse and thank them for their time. Show some knowledge, however do not undermine the nurse, you'll get their back up if you do. Trust me if they think you can do it safely and effectively, they'll get you doing them all day. Then you'll be wondering why you were so enthusiastic in the first place LOL.

    This is one placement, you'll have many more and you'll be doing more higher end nursing tasks in 2nd & 3rd years.
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