First Nursing Placement during a Pandemic…

Hello hello!

What a whirl wind of a few weeks it has been since Christmas and New year!

I am super chuffed that I successfully completed my first clinical placement in January. I thought I would share with you a wee overview of my experience. 🙂 I don’t know where to start as there is so much to share!!

So I was placed at an Adult Short Stay Medical Ward. This ward receives patients from Acute medical Ward and the Emergency department.

Common Conditions observed on the ward

Toxicology/Mental Health


Alcohol Withdrawal,

Acute Coronary Syndromes,


GI Complaints,

Headache of unknown origin,

Collapsed Adults

Prior to Placement

As you can imagine there were many thoughts and feelings and questions leading up to my first day of placement. I didn’t sleep a wink the night before my first day! I had mixed emotions of nerves and excitement! It was the unknown that nerved me the most!! What will I see? What will I be doing? What will I need to know? How will the pandemic impact on my placement?

Preparation for my first day of placement

I was of course very prepared with all the gear I needed; my neatly ironed uniform, my fob watch, my mini hand gels and hand cream to put in my pocket, my multicoloured pen and note pad, hydration bottles and lunch box. I also brought a spare uniform with me in case there was a spillage on my uniform. However saying that; being mentally prepared was more important to me… I went into my placement with an open frame mind and put my hand to anything I could. I prepared myself for the challenges and difficult parts by sort of expecting difficult and challenging parts just so that these parts wouldn’t be such a shock to the system. I found in doing this I was pleasantly surprised by my resilience and desensitivity to the challenges. I always knew there would be highs and lows! The highs would always over ride the lows though!

The Early Mornings! I was surprised how well I took to these early mornings as I am not used to having my first alarm going off at 4.40am then getting up at five. I’m not sure I saw daylight on the days I was on shift as drove to placement in the dark and drove home in dark. The joys of winter! 🙂

Image result for early wake up

My first day of placement

Although I hardly slept that night the adrenaline was pumping and I was ready to get stuck in and face anything. When I arrived at the ward I was pleasantly surprised that there were other student nurses starting on the same day, so we could be nervous together! We were shown around the ward and quickly learnt the PPE doffing and donning procedure before going in to each patient room. I had a great first day! I was pretty pleased that I achieved taking a cannula out on my first day. It was such a novelty for my first day but as the weeks went on I was taking out several Canulas on a daily basis! Gradually every day I learnt/achieved something new.

Vlog: before and after my first day of placement

Clinical Skills and tasks I achieved during placement

*Taking a cannula out! 🙂

*Personal Care

*Observations: Taking blood pressure, measuring O2 Saturation, respiration, temperature, heart rate & consciousness

  • Performed a Dalteparin injection (I was super proud after doing this skill for the first time)
  • A Bladder scan
  • Samples and measurements of bodily fluid
  • Supervised medication preparation
  • Report writing
  • Glucose and ketone measurements
  • A wound dressing using the Aseptic non touch procedure (The patient fed back and said I did a better job that the nurse the day before and he gave me 9/10 haha!
  • ECG

I was also very fortunate to have several observation experiences and learn from the Multi disciplinary team:

* Observation with the Liver Nurse

*A ward round with the Doctors

*Observation with psychiatry

*Various scans (Head, heart, lower body organs).

*A lumber puncture procedure

*Reuses trolley emergency!!

The impact of Covid-19 ?

Well it didn’t have a major impact on my placement to be honest except that the placement was cut from 8 weeks to 4 weeks. Although this time is made up by doing simulated experience which I am really looking forward to. 🙂 I was very grateful to have a placement unlike many people in my year. Wearing PPE for 12 hours a day was hot and stuffY however I was VERY grateful to have access to the correct PPE to keep us all safe, as there were occasions we were exposed to patients with Covid.

Such a supportive team!

All that is left to say is thank you to everyone on ward 103 for making my first nursing placement a great one! You are all great teachers practitioners! I learnt so much from all of the staff! I had some great learning experiences with the health care support workers too! My mentor and supervisor were so supportive despite the challenging times that the NHS are facing. I have throughly enjoyed my placement and learnt so much in such a short space of time! Roll on to the next one!

Vlog of my last day of placement

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