How to make the best out of a bad experience Watch

wbnurse
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Hi guys it's me again that ranted about my placement. I'm trying to be abit more positive but failing slightly. I have had like....2 good shifts. But other than that it's quite poor. Anyways enough of that I just want some tips on how I can make the best of a bad placement? How can I not wake up and dread every single shift? I no longer put my uniform on and wear it with pride. And I'm upset I feel like this. I'm not doubting the profession please don't think I am....I'm just disheartened and looking for coping strategies. Thankyou
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alleycat393
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Charlotte49
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lilibet01
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This placement will finish. Chalk it up to experience and move on.
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mel_l218
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Hi wbnurse, I am doing my access course at the moment & hope to study adult nursing next year, but I feel that if I was in your position, I would think about what I enjoyed about the patients, maybe you've had a nice chat with a patient or helped a patient eat something and they really enjoyed they're meal, it might only be a little thing, but you can feel positive about it.

I hope this helps a little.
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ThePhoenixLament
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Whatever you do, you learn from it. From this, it sounds like you can say that you learned how to motivate yourself and this will help you later down the line when you have tricky days at work that really could knock you back if you didn't know how to just get up and keep going. As said before, it won't last forever and it means you might be able to cross that field off your list!
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Charlotte's Web
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(Original post by wbnurse)
Hi guys it's me again that ranted about my placement. I'm trying to be abit more positive but failing slightly. I have had like....2 good shifts. But other than that it's quite poor. Anyways enough of that I just want some tips on how I can make the best of a bad placement? How can I not wake up and dread every single shift? I no longer put my uniform on and wear it with pride. And I'm upset I feel like this. I'm not doubting the profession please don't think I am....I'm just disheartened and looking for coping strategies. Thankyou
You're likely to have bad shifts and there are bad placements unfortunately. This, of course, should not be the case. If you feel that you have a poor mentor or placement always feed back to the uni. Make a list of dates and times where things have been unacceptable and let them know. One of the best things you can do to resolve this is discuss with your mentor about areas you would like more experience in and what can be done to improve your experience. Asking to follow a patient's whole journey throughout their time in hospital is a good one, or asking to arrange days with specialist nurses, physio, OT etc. is a good way to look at the bigger picture and have a break from the ward.

You need to focus on your contribution and the difference you are making to patients. Form relationships with them and try and make improvements for them. I always found that focusing on them rather than the staff or issues with the ward made bad placements more bearable.
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deviant182
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Unfortunately you're not going to enjoy every single placement.
But it's about looking at it as a learning opportunity. Look at it as you know that isn't an area you're going to want to work in but you can help the patients while you're there. You can make a difference, no matter how small you think it may be.
You will learn and you will face new experiences.
Do talk to your mentor and do talk to your university staff, ie your personal tutor and your lecturer that links you to your practice placement.
Currently I'm on placement. I'm in a very challenging environment and something I knew I wouldn't 100% enjoy as it's not an area I'm interested in or want to work in.
I face suicidal patients. Patients who are violent. Patients who are very manipulative. Patients who are volatile. You cannot turn your back for a moment. I face locking myself away to keep myself safe or running when patients do have those type of behaviours that puts my safety at risk.
However I am trying to make the most of it and learn as much as i can while I can. It's a very quick journey in starting as a new student nurse before all of a sudden you're qualified and on your own!
It's an area where I will learn a lot about and where I will become very receptive and in tune to those people around me. And this can only help me become a more proficient nurse.
Placements are about learning. About progression.
However, if you're still feeling anxious towards the end or on your next placement I would reevaluate and see if it is something you wish to carry on with.
Nursing is a hard course to do and not the easiest of careers. You need to be doing something you enjoy.

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Charlotte's Web
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(Original post by deviant182)
Unfortunately you're not going to enjoy every single placement.
But it's about looking at it as a learning opportunity. Look at it as you know that isn't an area you're going to want to work in but you can help the patients while you're there. You can make a difference, no matter how small you think it may be.
You will learn and you will face new experiences.
Do talk to your mentor and do talk to your university staff, ie your personal tutor and your lecturer that links you to your practice placement.
Currently I'm on placement. I'm in a very challenging environment and something I knew I wouldn't 100% enjoy as it's not an area I'm interested in or want to work in.
I face suicidal patients. Patients who are violent. Patients who are very manipulative. Patients who are volatile. You cannot turn your back for a moment. I face locking myself away to keep myself safe or running when patients do have those type of behaviours that puts my safety at risk.
However I am trying to make the most of it and learn as much as i can while I can. It's a very quick journey in starting as a new student nurse before all of a sudden you're qualified and on your own!
It's an area where I will learn a lot about and where I will become very receptive and in tune to those people around me. And this can only help me become a more proficient nurse.
Placements are about learning. About progression.
However, if you're still feeling anxious towards the end or on your next placement I would reevaluate and see if it is something you wish to carry on with.
Nursing is a hard course to do and not the easiest of careers. You need to be doing something you enjoy.

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NQNs are not 'on their own' and such scaremongering is what makes students nervous about qualifying. While some preceptorships are better than others, there certainly should be mentorship, continuous training provision and structured support systems. If anything, NQNs work even closer with their team.

Also I don't really feel that it is appropriate at this stage to suggest that OP reevaluates their continuation on the course. I certainly did not get the impression that OP does not enjoy nursing or does not feel passionate about it as a career.
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wbnurse
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Thankyou for your response guys. Charlotte you are right....I wouldn't ever give up nursing down to a single placement. It's not even something that has crossed my mind and I'd hope it never does. I've started taking iron as I've just found out I am in fact suffering from anaemia....I've had it before and it made me very lethargic and low in mood. I've been on iron for 3 days now and I'm feeling TONS better on placement. I'm still certain it's not an area I will work though. It's very short staffed and quite demanding and some days I feel like I'm getting zero from it where as other days I feel like I'm progressing loads....I'm guessing a ward environment this is normal?? Also yesterday the sister said she's very fond of me and would to see me when I qualify and I'd be welcome to come back as a trained nurse....I just nodded and said yes I'd love to....but I don't think I would. It was a lovely gesture though and it really perked me up and made me realise that no not all shifts are going to be all rosey. I have to deal with it. I need to learn to deal with it.
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deviant182
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(Original post by Charlotte49)
NQNs are not 'on their own' and such scaremongering is what makes students nervous about qualifying. While some preceptorships are better than others, there certainly should be mentorship, continuous training provision and structured support systems. If anything, NQNs work even closer with their team.

Also I don't really feel that it is appropriate at this stage to suggest that OP reevaluates their continuation on the course. I certainly did not get the impression that OP does not enjoy nursing or does not feel passionate about it as a career.
We'll I actually stated if she felt like that at the end of her next placement. Not this one.
And yes preceptorships are available. However. Not compulsory. And not all are for the same length of time. It was advice given to ensure that the op understands that there are different possibilities and it's not something she has to force herself to do.
If you're going to give advice then in my opinion you give all options, not just the rosey looking ones.
And the ward I am currently on, yes you have enough support but if a patient is being volatile towards you or you're doing a special. Then at that time, you're on your own.
Or community nursing, your working as a lone worker.
There are times when you will be as a nqn on your own. And this is something that can and will happen if the job you choose dictates that.
There's not much point in hiding away from that
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wbnurse
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(Original post by deviant182)
We'll I actually stated if she felt like that at the end of her next placement. Not this one.
And yes preceptorships are available. However. Not compulsory. And not all are for the same length of time. It was advice given to ensure that the op understands that there are different possibilities and it's not something she has to force herself to do.
If you're going to give advice then in my opinion you give all options, not just the rosey looking ones.
And the ward I am currently on, yes you have enough support but if a patient is being volatile towards you or you're doing a special. Then at that time, you're on your own.
Or community nursing, your working as a lone worker.
There are times when you will be as a nqn on your own. And this is something that can and will happen if the job you choose dictates that.
There's not much point in hiding away from that
Can I just say that....in my trust you never ever see a qualified nurse doing a special. It just never happens. It's a waste of staffing that they simply don't have. They will not put a qualified nurse into a special. They will either order in bank/agency or take someone off another ward to cover it. So I'm not concerned about being alone with volatile patients in the slightest.

Also my trust preceptorship is a year long and you are supernumerary for 4 weeks on your chosen place to work. It's pretty good with newly qualified are involved. I don't think you should be advising someone to quit just because they are having a rubbish time. I was shocked when you said it. Nursing is very difficult, placement are tiring and hard. Most students will consider quitting throughout their training but most won't and they'l go on to love their jobs. My post was intended for advice on how I can deal with bad placements and how to stop myself being negative all the time
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Charlotte's Web
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(Original post by deviant182)
We'll I actually stated if she felt like that at the end of her next placement. Not this one.
And yes preceptorships are available. However. Not compulsory. And not all are for the same length of time. It was advice given to ensure that the op understands that there are different possibilities and it's not something she has to force herself to do.
If you're going to give advice then in my opinion you give all options, not just the rosey looking ones.
And the ward I am currently on, yes you have enough support but if a patient is being volatile towards you or you're doing a special. Then at that time, you're on your own.
Or community nursing, your working as a lone worker.
There are times when you will be as a nqn on your own. And this is something that can and will happen if the job you choose dictates that.
There's not much point in hiding away from that
You stated 'towards the end or on your next placement'. OP is clearly passionate about the career, and has not reported any clinical concern about their competency or ability to provide good care to patients, so offering the option to leave the course is inappropriate.

Preceptorships are compulsory in most UK health boards and are for 6-12 months. I did state in my message that they are of varying quality. You would have to try very hard to find a NQN job which did not offer one. Especially in community nursing, there is a good period of support and mentorship. It is not in any employer's interest to have an unsafe and unsupported NQN working in their clinical area.

I won't be responding after this as there really is no benefit to the OP.
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Charlotte's Web
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(Original post by wbnurse)
Thankyou for your response guys. Charlotte you are right....I wouldn't ever give up nursing down to a single placement. It's not even something that has crossed my mind and I'd hope it never does. I've started taking iron as I've just found out I am in fact suffering from anaemia....I've had it before and it made me very lethargic and low in mood. I've been on iron for 3 days now and I'm feeling TONS better on placement. I'm still certain it's not an area I will work though. It's very short staffed and quite demanding and some days I feel like I'm getting zero from it where as other days I feel like I'm progressing loads....I'm guessing a ward environment this is normal?? Also yesterday the sister said she's very fond of me and would to see me when I qualify and I'd be welcome to come back as a trained nurse....I just nodded and said yes I'd love to....but I don't think I would. It was a lovely gesture though and it really perked me up and made me realise that no not all shifts are going to be all rosey. I have to deal with it. I need to learn to deal with it.
That's great, I'm glad you're having a better time

Unfortunately, yes. Some days it can feel like you are just going through the motions, whereas on others there will be lots of new experiences. You'll probably find this in most environments, especially after you've been there for a while. Also, as you progress, there are fewer new experiences for you, and you start consolidating your learning rather than learning many new things for the first time, which again, is a different experience.

Having the sister say something like that is great because you now know that this area just isn't for you. Lots of people have bad placements and start doubting themselves, and blaming themselves for being difficult to work with or not knowledgeable enough. Sometimes this is the case. It's good to know that the sister has picked you out as someone who is a good worker, especially at this stage in your training.
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