The Student Room Group

I feel like I'm not learning anything on my placements

Hi everyone,
From the beginning of September, I'm due to start my final 13-week placement of year 2. I'm going to be on a respiratory ward for most of the time and for one week on ambulatory care.

The problem is that I really feel like I know nothing and am barely learning on my placements - all I feel I know is how to do obs, meds and that's it. I have never had to respond to an emergency situation and that freaks me out a bit.
My first ever placement was on an acute medical unit and that was amazing as I got to see a wide variety of complex conditions but it felt more like it was to get me used to nursing, and my most recent placement was on a Surgical Assessment Unit. Here my mentor placed me on all-night shifts and it was always dead silent with nothing to do so I literally didn't get anything out of it.

I really don't know what I need to do to make the most out of my next placement - especially with it being specialised in respiratory as my past placements have all been general.
Would anyone be able to give me tips and advice for placement so that I don't feel like I'm not learning - as I have felt with my past placements?
Thank you
Original post by 20viper01
Hi everyone,
From the beginning of September, I'm due to start my final 13-week placement of year 2. I'm going to be on a respiratory ward for most of the time and for one week on ambulatory care.

The problem is that I really feel like I know nothing and am barely learning on my placements - all I feel I know is how to do obs, meds and that's it. I have never had to respond to an emergency situation and that freaks me out a bit.
My first ever placement was on an acute medical unit and that was amazing as I got to see a wide variety of complex conditions but it felt more like it was to get me used to nursing, and my most recent placement was on a Surgical Assessment Unit. Here my mentor placed me on all-night shifts and it was always dead silent with nothing to do so I literally didn't get anything out of it.

I really don't know what I need to do to make the most out of my next placement - especially with it being specialised in respiratory as my past placements have all been general.
Would anyone be able to give me tips and advice for placement so that I don't feel like I'm not learning - as I have felt with my past placements?
Thank you


Hi there.

@Tracey_W could help. :smile:

Best wishes. :smile:
Original post by 20viper01
Hi everyone,
From the beginning of September, I'm due to start my final 13-week placement of year 2. I'm going to be on a respiratory ward for most of the time and for one week on ambulatory care.

The problem is that I really feel like I know nothing and am barely learning on my placements - all I feel I know is how to do obs, meds and that's it. I have never had to respond to an emergency situation and that freaks me out a bit.
My first ever placement was on an acute medical unit and that was amazing as I got to see a wide variety of complex conditions but it felt more like it was to get me used to nursing, and my most recent placement was on a Surgical Assessment Unit. Here my mentor placed me on all-night shifts and it was always dead silent with nothing to do so I literally didn't get anything out of it.

I really don't know what I need to do to make the most out of my next placement - especially with it being specialised in respiratory as my past placements have all been general.
Would anyone be able to give me tips and advice for placement so that I don't feel like I'm not learning - as I have felt with my past placements?
Thank you

Hey :smile:

I'm also going into my second year of nursing and do not worry, everyone will have the same worry as you do, I certainly do! A few things I would do before placement is to research some respiratory conditions and also their treatment and management of them, as well as what monitoring may be needed (i.e., hourly obs if they're on oxygen). Certainly, voice your worries to your practice supervisor, they're here to support you! When doing your PAD/EPAD work out what learning aims you want out of this placement.

A 13 week placement will be good as it'll give you time to settle in and learn the ward and staff, try to be involved as much as possible and observe emergency situations if they occur. If any emergency situations occur remember they will debrief you after, when I was in first year I witnessed a cardiac arrest which was very stressful but after debriefing with the team and uni I understood it was a good learning opportunity and has helped me to reflect on other situations I've experienced as a student nurse.

If you get given more night shifts, use that time to research and chat to the nurses about their experiences, I've found that having night shifts is the best time to get your PAD/EPAD completed as there's more time! (after the evening meds!!).

Is there anything you're really worried about in terms of clinical skills? I could try help :smile: But in the meantime I hope this message helps and feel free to reply back! :h:
Original post by 20viper01
Hi everyone,
From the beginning of September, I'm due to start my final 13-week placement of year 2. I'm going to be on a respiratory ward for most of the time and for one week on ambulatory care.

The problem is that I really feel like I know nothing and am barely learning on my placements - all I feel I know is how to do obs, meds and that's it. I have never had to respond to an emergency situation and that freaks me out a bit.
My first ever placement was on an acute medical unit and that was amazing as I got to see a wide variety of complex conditions but it felt more like it was to get me used to nursing, and my most recent placement was on a Surgical Assessment Unit. Here my mentor placed me on all-night shifts and it was always dead silent with nothing to do so I literally didn't get anything out of it.

I really don't know what I need to do to make the most out of my next placement - especially with it being specialised in respiratory as my past placements have all been general.
Would anyone be able to give me tips and advice for placement so that I don't feel like I'm not learning - as I have felt with my past placements?
Thank you

Hi!
I'm sorry to read that you don't feel like you're learning.
My husband was 6 months qualified before he had to deal with an emergency situation (has had to deal with loads since) - you're not the first and won't be the last with this issue; one of my colleagues has been qualified 6 years and never had anyone die on her shift, not even when we've had palliative patients!

I would suggest you do the following:
- learn about common condition on the ward - ask questions about these.
- follow doctors' rounds
- delegate jobs - it can be as simple as "can you see to this person while I see to someone else" (might seem daft, but you'll need to do this once qualified)
- escalate anyone you're worried about
- spend time with respiratory specialist nurses if possible... also critical care outreach.
- take charge of a full bay of patients
- if there's any 1st or 2nd year students around on placement with you, teach them how to do things (like how to interpret obs, if someone had limited mobility then how to check their pressure areas)
Original post by 20viper01
Hi everyone,
From the beginning of September, I'm due to start my final 13-week placement of year 2. I'm going to be on a respiratory ward for most of the time and for one week on ambulatory care.

The problem is that I really feel like I know nothing and am barely learning on my placements - all I feel I know is how to do obs, meds and that's it. I have never had to respond to an emergency situation and that freaks me out a bit.
My first ever placement was on an acute medical unit and that was amazing as I got to see a wide variety of complex conditions but it felt more like it was to get me used to nursing, and my most recent placement was on a Surgical Assessment Unit. Here my mentor placed me on all-night shifts and it was always dead silent with nothing to do so I literally didn't get anything out of it.

I really don't know what I need to do to make the most out of my next placement - especially with it being specialised in respiratory as my past placements have all been general.
Would anyone be able to give me tips and advice for placement so that I don't feel like I'm not learning - as I have felt with my past placements?
Thank you


@Emily_B@Hazelly

Both of them have made valid points for you

I agree that you need to get shadowing more staff to gain the experience that you feel you are lacking from placements.
Take more responsibilities of doing things yourself and if unsure go and get a qualified nurse for advice.

As Emily said delegate jobs to other students in first and second year because you'll be doing this yourself when you are finally a qualified registered nurse so getting practice in now will be helpful to you.

Unfortunately I'm a registered midwife and I have seen many emergency situations as a student never mind now as a registered midwife with mum to be being rushed into theatre for either emergency C-section or something else related to the birth and at first it's scary until you are use to dealing with it.
Reply 5
i was lucky dead peaceful no emergencies. the wife had shootings. a chemical incident. dissecting aortas she was dead lucky. if a little shaken. in her fist year she was left holding a squirting wrist for 1/2 an hour. she worked in manchester

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