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    I'm a 1st year Mental health nursing student currently on my 1st placement in an acute medical ward at a hospital. I have no care experience prior to beginning my placement. I dread going in to the ward each day as no one speaks to me including my mentor who gives me the impression that she doesn't have time for me (it is an extremely busy ward to be fair) and I'm just wondering if I'm right to be busying myself by helping hand out the meals, do obs, help the HCA's with patients personal care etc. I just feel like I'm standing around like a spare p***k as no one specifically gives me a job to do. I really don't want to fail this placement but I haven't an idea what my mentor wants of me! Any advice would be gratefully received!
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    The very first thing you need to do is talk to your mentor and tell them exactly that. They should have sat down with you by now and set clear objectives, so you can let them know what you hope to gain from the placement and they can tell you what they expect from you.
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    You should have created some goals and objectives with your mentor on starting the placement, this can be really helpful.
    As a first placement and in a medical ward I'd suggest getting hands on with fundamental care; personal care, obs, eating and drinking support, Mobility support or even just chatting to patients.
    I'm also studying mental health although at my uni we don't do any medical placements which is good and bad. Good in the sense that you get more mental health specific and varied experiences, but a lot of my cohort would be unable to provide personal care and those fundamentals because you don't get as much opportunity to learn it. My hub is functional old age which is great because you get functional illness but also a lot of physical illness and physical needs. When people often spoke to my placement they come with me Because they have no clue how to wash and dress someone, which if you've never done it how would you? But I personally think we all need to experience this to be well rounded nurses.
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