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The (not-so) secret diary of a student nurse: THE ...

The (not-so) secret diary of a student nurse: THE BIG PLACEMENT REVEAL

So, us student nurses (adult branch, the others got theirs ages ago) just got our placement trust areas. Basically, student nurses are paid a bursary by the NHS (and by extension you, the taxpayer) to work within an NHS trust for the duration of their course. So, this could be in GP surgeries, on wards in hospitals, in the community setting visiting residential homes and service users’ homes… you get the gist. Primary care and secondary care. Working 37.5 hours a week, 7 days a week. Yep. That’s nights, weekends and Bank Holidays.

Why am I doing this again?

Anyway, for the full three years we’re given a trust in which we’ll work. For those not in the know, the trust covers millions of people, often several hospitals and hundreds of GP surgeries. Examples include Cumbria Partnership NHS Trust, Devon Partnership Trust etc etc. These are large areas, and we’re expected to travel to wherever we’ve been assigned.

not so secret diary of a student nurse

So, we got our assignments this week. Some of our cohort were happy as they were placed within the trusts they live. Students living in Harlow, for example, were placed in West Essex meaning their hospital placement is likely to be in Harlow where they live and where they’ve been as a service user/patient. Others were placed miles away. Students living in halls at Chelmsford have been placed in Colchester when they literally live near the hospital in Chelmsford.

However, such is life. It was explicitly mentioned at interview, at welcome days, and in almost every interaction before options are firmed, that we must be prepared to travel to our placement, wherever that may be. Hey. Taxes are paying for my education. The least we can do it work where we’ve been assigned.

I wanted one of two trusts out of the five we could be offered. And I got one of my choices. Very lucky girl considering there were genuine tears from others who hoped they would get their first, second, or even third choice. I’m keeping it very much a secret for confidentiality purposes of course. Data Protection and all.

So we now have a meeting booked with our placement trusts to get to know the rules and regulations and generally get an orientation of how everything works. After that, we’ll be given our first assignment and off we go, into the wide world of the NHS and all its delicacies. All the theory we’ve been learning over the last few weeks will need to be put into practice. Terrifying.

We’ve covered lots of bioscience, moving and handling of patients who might not be so mobile (hoists were used), as well as much group discussion of mental health needs and learning disabilities. I’ll admit, it’s not something I know much about given as I opted to study adult nursing with plans (at the moment) of heading into A&E when I graduate, but with one in four adults suffering mental health issues at some point in their life, and ambulance services being forced to drop patients having a crisis moment at A&E wards, it’s invaluable information, even though it’s not something we may face day-to-day.

It’s a big relief to finally know. We’ve been given three reading days this week to bone up on everything science, so I’m making the most of researching all there is to know about my trust and the various places I might end up. Let’s see what happens next week!

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