itsjustme792
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#1
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#1
Hi guys.
I currently do nursing and I've been on my first placement and I'm starting to doubt if it's for me. I can't see myself as a nurse anymore. I think in my head I had created this fantasy of what I thought it would be like and it doesn't live up to it all.
I was also pressured into doing stuff I wasn't comfortable with. I genuinely wanted to cry a few hours into the placement as I didn't want to be there and I was looking into a different degree which I was more interested in.
I don't even think it was the staff that much because they were nice, friendly, and understanding but my experience so far has been physically, mentally, and emotionally draining and it's only been one day.
For all those who did decide to leave what made you come to that decision, I am struggling and I just don't know what to do.
Last edited by itsjustme792; 3 months ago
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Emily_B
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#2
Report 3 months ago
#2
(Original post by itsjustme792)
Hi guys.
I currently do nursing and I've been on my first placement and I'm starting to doubt if it's for me. I can't see myself as a nurse anymore. I think in my head I had created this fantasy of what I thought it would be like and it doesn't live up to it all.
I was also pressured into doing stuff I wasn't comfortable with. I genuinely wanted to cry a few hours into the placement as I didn't want to be there and I was looking into a different degree which I was more interested in.
I don't even think it was the staff that much because they were nice, friendly, and understanding but my experience so far has been physically, mentally, and emotionally draining and it's only been one day.
For all those who did decide to leave what made you come to that decision, I am struggling and I just don't know what to do.
Hi,
I'm sorry you're finding things tough. Please don't give up just because of 1 placement. Every area is different - if I based my decision off a couple of bad experiences, I wouldn't be here as a RN now!
There are a lot of areas which take time to adapt to and wards aren't easy if you've not had experience. My words to quite aot of our (1st year 1st placement, never worked on a ward before) students on their 1st day tends to be something along the lines of "I don't expect miracles, this 4 weeks is about learning how a ward works". Some people just don't "get" wards and are more suited to areas like nursing homes, district nursing, theatres etc (I know from placement that I have no interest in working in A&E but am perfectly happy on a surgical nurse!)
Please talk to your placement mentor/assessor and to the university. You may find another placement area easier to deal with. If you come to the decision that nursing definitely isn't for you, that's also perfectly fine.
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itsjustme792
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#3
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#3
(Original post by Emily_B)
Hi,
I'm sorry you're finding things tough. Please don't give up just because of 1 placement. Every area is different - if I based my decision off a couple of bad experiences, I wouldn't be here as a RN now!
There are a lot of areas which take time to adapt to and wards aren't easy if you've not had experience. My words to quite aot of our (1st year 1st placement, never worked on a ward before) students on their 1st day tends to be something along the lines of "I don't expect miracles, this 4 weeks is about learning how a ward works". Some people just don't "get" wards and are more suited to areas like nursing homes, district nursing, theatres etc (I know from placement that I have no interest in working in A&E but am perfectly happy on a surgical nurse!)
Please talk to your placement mentor/assessor and to the university. You may find another placement area easier to deal with. If you come to the decision that nursing definitely isn't for you, that's also perfectly fine.
Hi, thank you!
I think it may just be the ward. I have spoken to other RN about this and they did pretty much say what you have said about not every placement being right and I totally understand that. On my first day, I did speak to them about not being comfortable doing everything independently as I don't have any prior experience and it was my first ever placement. It was also agreed with my supervisor that I should pretty much just shadow as I have not actually done any of the skills outside of university training. Despite that, I was forced into doing things I was just not comfortable with despite clearly refusing.
I was having doubts before I even started my placement and now that I have had the experience I am just questioning it more, and I am just unsure about where I stand with nursing.
Is it bad that within the first few hours of my first shift I was already looking at different degrees and careers paths that I am also interested in?
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Emily_B
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#4
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#4
(Original post by itsjustme792)
Hi, thank you!
I think it may just be the ward. I have spoken to other RN about this and they did pretty much say what you have said about not every placement being right and I totally understand that. On my first day, I did speak to them about not being comfortable doing everything independently as I don't have any prior experience and it was my first ever placement. It was also agreed with my supervisor that I should pretty much just shadow as I have not actually done any of the skills outside of university training. Despite that, I was forced into doing things I was just not comfortable with despite clearly refusing.
I was having doubts before I even started my placement and now that I have had the experience I am just questioning it more, and I am just unsure about where I stand with nursing.
Is it bad that within the first few hours of my first shift I was already looking at different degrees and careers paths that I am also interested in?
There's a fine balance here between shadowing people and doing things yourself; you can't just shadow and can't go off on your own accord (as a 1st year need to be directly supervised at all times).
What I'd suggest you need to be doing is:
- taking observations under direct supervision of a nurse or HCA
- doing washes under direct supervision or alongside another member of staff
- feeding patients with guidance of/under supervision of other staff
- go round asking "what can I help with?" (It's taken a fair few shifts to get my current student to the stage where she's comfortable asking this on the ward!)
You need to quite literally join yourself to a student friendly HCA - and also need to 1) stand your ground in saying you're not doing something without being supervised 2) get in touch with the university and the practice education team (they may have a different name at the hospital you're at but they're the hospital/community team who are the student support/link to the uni team).

It's a tough career to start in which definitely isn't for everyone. It can be a real shock for people - my first job in healthcare was as a HCA but in the operating department, at first I hated it and I also hated bank shifts as a HCA on the wards but with perseverance I've settled in. It's not the same for everyone and there are people who haven't stayed.
If you were doubting your choice before starting placement, then I'd encourage you even more to start talking to as many people as possible about your options now.
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itsjustme792
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#5
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#5
(Original post by Emily_B)
There's a fine balance here between shadowing people and doing things yourself; you can't just shadow and can't go off on your own accord (as a 1st year need to be directly supervised at all times).
What I'd suggest you need to be doing is:
- taking observations under direct supervision of a nurse or HCA
- doing washes under direct supervision or alongside another member of staff
- feeding patients with guidance of/under supervision of other staff
- go round asking "what can I help with?" (It's taken a fair few shifts to get my current student to the stage where she's comfortable asking this on the ward!)
You need to quite literally join yourself to a student friendly HCA - and also need to 1) stand your ground in saying you're not doing something without being supervised 2) get in touch with the university and the practice education team (they may have a different name at the hospital you're at but they're the hospital/community team who are the student support/link to the uni team).

It's a tough career to start in which definitely isn't for everyone. It can be a real shock for people - my first job in healthcare was as a HCA but in the operating department, at first I hated it and I also hated bank shifts as a HCA on the wards but with perseverance I've settled in. It's not the same for everyone and there are people who haven't stayed.
If you were doubting your choice before starting placement, then I'd encourage you even more to start talking to as many people as possible about your options now.
thank you I have talked to the appropriate people with regards to that.
I am really starting to explore my options. I don't want to drop out and regret it and I don't want to stay on and regret it either. I do want to finish off my placement though.
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Ghostlady
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#6
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#6
I was a carer and a similar situation. at first I wanted to give it up, but ended up going for 4 years lol. It was all very daunting and the people I saw, some were very cantankerous and liked things done a certain way. Shadowing really helped as well, because at the beinnging there was a lot of remember so it was a case of keeping at it. After a while I got chatting to them, and they trusted me and I loved my time with them. It was just a confidence thing, so please give it time. Or if theres an opportunity where you can go explore other options, hopefully that might be another route you can try.
Last edited by 𝓖𝓱𝓸𝓼𝓽𝓵𝓪𝓭𝔂; 3 months ago
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Dante555
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#7
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#7
Unfortunately marketing do a good job here. I can assure you it does not get any easier, the only good thing is on completion and a years experience you do not need to stay in the NHS, If the career is not for you.
I suggest not telling them at this stage you have a gift year afterall, and may find it easier to transfer onto another degree next academic year talk to the universty about this. Secondly i would advise joining the bank before leaving that way you will have access to employment when you want it at better pay than mc donalds while you study and is why I don't recommended talking to anyone in the trust about you wanting to leave
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itsjustme792
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#8
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#8
(Original post by Dante555)
Unfortunately marketing do a good job here. I can assure you it does not get any easier, the only good thing is on completion and a years experience you do not need to stay in the NHS, If the career is not for you.
I suggest not telling them at this stage you have a gift year afterall, and may find it easier to transfer onto another degree next academic year talk to the universty about this. Secondly i would advise joining the bank before leaving that way you will have access to employment when you want it at better pay than mc donalds while you study and is why I don't recommended talking to anyone in the trust about you wanting to leave
when you say join the bank what do you mean? like bank shifts? I don't intend to tell the people at my placement that I want to leave as that may make them behave differently making me miss out on developing skills. I have let my personal tutor know though so that way I can talk through the appropriate teams and get the support that way and explore my options.
I do agree that it is marketed in a specific way because it is not what I thought it was! it almost sells you a dream which it is but it has taken a lot out of me mentally and physically. I do love the patient interactions and getting to know them, putting a smile on their face, and just helping them and making them feel better and more comfortable but it does impact me as well and I don't want to end up disliking my job and having a negative attitude towards it. I have noticed a lot of the HCAs and nurses where I am do feel like that and I don't want to be like that!
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Arpita Baidya
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#9
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#9
(Original post by itsjustme792)
Hi guys.
I currently do nursing and I've been on my first placement and I'm starting to doubt if it's for me. I can't see myself as a nurse anymore. I think in my head I had created this fantasy of what I thought it would be like and it doesn't live up to it all.
I was also pressured into doing stuff I wasn't comfortable with. I genuinely wanted to cry a few hours into the placement as I didn't want to be there and I was looking into a different degree which I was more interested in.
I don't even think it was the staff that much because they were nice, friendly, and understanding but my experience so far has been physically, mentally, and emotionally draining and it's only been one day.
For all those who did decide to leave what made you come to that decision, I am struggling and I just don't know what to do.
if you really do not like it let the supervisor know there's no harm in being honest.
Last edited by Arpita Baidya; 3 months ago
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itsjustme792
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#10
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#10
(Original post by Arpita Baidya)
if you really do not like it let the supervisor know there's no harm in being honest.
I don't have anything against the placement, most of the staff are nice (excluding the ones that don't understand that it is my first ever care experience) and it is a good placement I just don't think I want to continue as a nurse as I don't think the career is for me. It is starting to have a big impact on my mental health.
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Arpita Baidya
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#11
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#11
Tell them that i think they will understand they will understand
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moonkatt
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#12
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#12
(Original post by itsjustme792)
thank you I have talked to the appropriate people with regards to that.
I am really starting to explore my options. I don't want to drop out and regret it and I don't want to stay on and regret it either. I do want to finish off my placement though.
Have a think about what has made you want to study nursing. What’s your “why”? Where did you imagine yourself ending up?

You’ve already had some brilliant advice in this thread, it’s worth trying to persevere for now and see how it goes. I hated some of my placement environments when I was a student back in the dark ages, others were amazing and have set the scene for my career.

You can Pm me in confidence if you’d like to talk about things in more detail
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itsjustme792
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#13
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#13
(Original post by moonkatt)
Have a think about what has made you want to study nursing. What’s your “why”? Where did you imagine yourself ending up?

You’ve already had some brilliant advice in this thread, it’s worth trying to persevere for now and see how it goes. I hated some of my placement environments when I was a student back in the dark ages, others were amazing and have set the scene for my career.

You can Pm me in confidence if you’d like to talk about things in more detail
Thank you so much.
I don't really have a big why it was just generally to help people and that was pretty much it. I know a lot of people have elaborate 'whys' but mine is just simple.
I am planning on continuing as much as I can.
And thank you so much xx
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EllaRoseThompson
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#14
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#14
(Original post by itsjustme792)
Hi guys.
I currently do nursing and I've been on my first placement and I'm starting to doubt if it's for me. I can't see myself as a nurse anymore. I think in my head I had created this fantasy of what I thought it would be like and it doesn't live up to it all.
I was also pressured into doing stuff I wasn't comfortable with. I genuinely wanted to cry a few hours into the placement as I didn't want to be there and I was looking into a different degree which I was more interested in.
I don't even think it was the staff that much because they were nice, friendly, and understanding but my experience so far has been physically, mentally, and emotionally draining and it's only been one day.
For all those who did decide to leave what made you come to that decision, I am struggling and I just don't know what to do.
Stick with it , there’s a reason you chose it in the first place. If after a few more placements you feel the same way then I’d talk to someone at the uni and see if you could swap course , maybe just the relief of knowing you have a back up option may help (despite not having to take this back up option). If it’s your first experience in care work it can be extremely daunting , maybe taking a bank HCA job may get you more used to the setting?
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Tracey_W
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#15
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#15
(Original post by itsjustme792)
Hi guys.
I currently do nursing and I've been on my first placement and I'm starting to doubt if it's for me. I can't see myself as a nurse anymore. I think in my head I had created this fantasy of what I thought it would be like and it doesn't live up to it all.
I was also pressured into doing stuff I wasn't comfortable with. I genuinely wanted to cry a few hours into the placement as I didn't want to be there and I was looking into a different degree which I was more interested in.
I don't even think it was the staff that much because they were nice, friendly, and understanding but my experience so far has been physically, mentally, and emotionally draining and it's only been one day.
For all those who did decide to leave what made you come to that decision, I am struggling and I just don't know what to do.
Hi

Like few said on there placements you get good and bad ones everywhere okay.
Personally I would stick with it and once this placement over you'll be back at university then you'll be looking forward to your next one which could be absolutely fantastic and you'll think back at what you said on this and say to yourself what was all the fuss about,

All students will have moments like you with crying or don't want to go to it but it's part of life that we get on with things and DON'T let anyone let put you down.

As Emily said on things on basing any decisions on a bad placement then she wouldn't be a registered adult nurse and likewise myself as a registered midwife as been there as well with a bad placement ( was actually one nurse who took things to far but it didn't put me of as unfortunately I landed back there in late my second year and was similar again but I dealt with it - won't say how ).

You should talk to your course leader at university if it would help you for advise and maybe your placement supervisor ?


Don't give up as in time you'll make a good nurse okay xx
(Original post by Emily_B)
Hi,
I'm sorry you're finding things tough. Please don't give up just because of 1 placement. Every area is different - if I based my decision off a couple of bad experiences, I wouldn't be here as a RN now!
There are a lot of areas which take time to adapt to and wards aren't easy if you've not had experience. My words to quite aot of our (1st year 1st placement, never worked on a ward before) students on their 1st day tends to be something along the lines of "I don't expect miracles, this 4 weeks is about learning how a ward works". Some people just don't "get" wards and are more suited to areas like nursing homes, district nursing, theatres etc (I know from placement that I have no interest in working in A&E but am perfectly happy on a surgical nurse!)
Please talk to your placement mentor/assessor and to the university. You may find another placement area easier to deal with. If you come to the decision that nursing definitely isn't for you, that's also perfectly fine.
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itsjustme792
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#16
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#16
(Original post by Tracey_W)
Hi

Like few said on there placements you get good and bad ones everywhere okay.
Personally I would stick with it and once this placement over you'll be back at university then you'll be looking forward to your next one which could be absolutely fantastic and you'll think back at what you said on this and say to yourself what was all the fuss about,

All students will have moments like you with crying or don't want to go to it but it's part of life that we get on with things and DON'T let anyone let put you down.

As Emily said on things on basing any decisions on a bad placement then she wouldn't be a registered adult nurse and likewise myself as a registered midwife as been there as well with a bad placement ( was actually one nurse who took things to far but it didn't put me of as unfortunately I landed back there in late my second year and was similar again but I dealt with it - won't say how ).

You should talk to your course leader at university if it would help you for advise and maybe your placement supervisor ?


Don't give up as in time you'll make a good nurse okay xx
Thank you i am planning to stick with it at least through this placement!
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Tracey_W
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#17
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#17
(Original post by itsjustme792)
Thank you i am planning to stick with it at least through this placement!
Hi
No probs ok.

Do stick with things and get yourself through remaining time on this current placement and look forward to the next one after you been back to university in between. If you have issues then speak to your supervisor/mentor or university course leader about any concerns you got over it as they should be in position to offer you better support etc.
If you unsure about anything they asking you to do while there then tell them that and ask if they can show you what to do first and you do it before you do it on your own.
You do have people like Emily ( a registered adult nurse ) who you can ask advise on things ( myself as well ) and other's on here as don't be afraid in asking ok.
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Dante555
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#18
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#18
(Original post by itsjustme792)
when you say join the bank what do you mean? like bank shifts? I don't intend to tell the people at my placement that I want to leave as that may make them behave differently making me miss out on developing skills. I have let my personal tutor know though so that way I can talk through the appropriate teams and get the support that way and explore my options.
I do agree that it is marketed in a specific way because it is not what I thought it was! it almost sells you a dream which it is but it has taken a lot out of me mentally and physically. I do love the patient interactions and getting to know them, putting a smile on their face, and just helping them and making them feel better and more comfortable but it does impact me as well and I don't want to end up disliking my job and having a negative attitude towards it. I have noticed a lot of the HCAs and nurses where I am do feel like that and I don't want to be like that
I am talking about bank shifts exactly. its a lot easier to join whoever they use to book bank shifts as a student then applying from outside there is normally loads of shifts and better money then what you can earn else where on zero hours while studying.
In regards to hca's I'm one of them. Basically I have failed to find a way out of healthcare and developing my skills to earn more money i will be going fulltime agency at the earliest opportunity rest assured. You are right not to tell anyone on placement or inside the hospital for that matter you wont get support and they will probably stop spending time on you as they see you will leave soon. there is no nice answer here just 15 years of experience talking. I would also not advise a healthcare career in the uk the wages are very low compared to what can be earned else where.
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