I am just back from my final first year placement which was spent in the Day Case Unit at Dr Grays in Elgin and I cant wait to tell you all about my experience! I had the best time there! 🙂 Dr Grays has such a lovely community feel about it!
When I first found out I was allocated my final 1st year placement in Elgin I was unsure what I should expect, but I knew with the holiday period coming up I was going to have to book accommodation fairly quickly. I was pleasantly surprised to find that one of my class mates also had a placement at Dr Grays so we shared an Air B and B which was brilliant! The accommodation actually added to the greatness of my placement experience in Elgin and I would strongly recommend it to other students who are allocated a placement in Elgin.
Accommodation: The Balcony Apartment
Jane the host was just super, so kind and attentive! I felt very at home in the balcony apartment. The Balcony Apartment is a private space connected to Janes house with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a kitchen/living space. It has all the facilities that you could need and more! Fridge, freezer, oven, fridge, wifi, TV! It has the most beautiful balcony and garden space. It is only 6 minutes drive to Dr Grays. And of course I cant miss out all the animals, there was wee Maisy the Dog, the 3 horses (Cleo, Dazzle and Sunny) and the pet pheasant. 😂 Coming back to the animals was a great release after placement. I visited the stables every night to feed the horses and had a great time playing and walking in the fields with Maisy the Dog who was such a welcoming wee dog! In fact as soon as my car entered the drive after my shift Maisy would run up and greet me which was lovely and much needed as I missed my own doggos! There was also some great walks in the area too! (Oh and I saved a sheep while on a walk with Maisy and Alexia). There was also a pig farm near by too!
For more information about this accommodation click HERE. Jane also has the old snooker room accommodation which is a one bed space with kitchen and bathroom. Click HERE for more info on the Old Snooker Room.
Time spent with Day Case Unit!
I really really enjoyed this placement and I am going to miss it! It was a really organised and structured placement. The staff on the Day case unit were all great too! All were very knowledgeable in their area of expertise and were always keen to teach. The day case unit was a little different to normal due to the pandemic and ongoing refurbishment within the hospital. In normal times the day case unit is one big ward but during my time on the ward half of the ward was being used as a outpatients department and SAC (Surgical Ambulatory Clinic) and the other half was being used for day case patients. This meant there were 3 side rooms and 6 bay beds in situ for day case patients. With this the case I had the opportunity to visit some other wards which gave me the opportunity to get involved with patient personal care, basic observations and medication rounds.
What is Day case Unit?
Day Case Unit is a surgical ward that provides pre and post operative care for those who are scheduled to come in for a surgical procedure. Prior to patients procedure they must be assessed to ensure they are anaesthetically fit for their procedure. This assessment is carried out in the pre assessment unit which I was fortunate to have a day in during my placement. Patients on the day case ward tend to leave on the same day after their procedure and post opt care. This ward opens from 7.45am-8pm.
There was loads of learning opportunities during this placement! I don’t even know where to begin! 😂
During my time on this placement patients were admitted to ward 1 for many different surgical procedures for example: orthopaedics, ophthalmology, gynaecology and scope procedures. (Colonoscopy, Gastroscopy’s, Cystoscopy’s).
With the patient’s consent I had the opportunity to observe a Colonoscopy, Gastroscopy and Cystoscopy within the minor Op’s theatre. This was super! I carried out some pre reading on the digestive system and urinary system prior to these observations. (I loved wearing the theatre greens they are so comfy!
I also had the opportunity to attend the pre assessment clinic for the cataracts surgery. This involved various steps; a general health check with a registered nurse, an eye check up with a trained health care support worker, a consultation with the ophthalmologist and sizing for the new lens with a registered nurse. I was also fortunate to have had opportunity to observe a cataract surgery a which was fascinating. I also observed a trabeculectomy which is a type of surgery for Glaucoma.
I also had the opportunity to observe a carpal tunnel operation which was also fascinating. I saw the inside of the hand which is such a complex part of the body! The nerve looks like white liquid but it isn’t exactly that!
I spent some time in the Spey Unit which is being used for the IV infusions. (Blood transfusions and Remisma transfusions). I really enjoyed this day. I was doing the observations and talking to the patients. In fact despite only being there for a day I developed a really great therapeutic relationship with a patient and their relative which I felt really great about. I was delighted to have been mentioned in a card from them too! 🙂 (This was the first time I had been mention in a card so I was very honoured) 🙂
I spent some time with the Pain Nurse at Dr Grays and got a great overview of different pain medications and pain equipment used ( E.G PCR and Pain bomb).
When I wasn’t in theatre observing some interesting surgery or at other wards I was learning on the day case ward anything and everything! I was involved in the Pre & post operative care of patients, doing basic observations and documenting on the NEWS chart. I learnt about the admissions & discharges procedure and was confident in doing this independently (which I have to say was my favourite part of this placement because it allowed me to develop my skills in nursing documentation and my confidence in many ways. (My documentation was of course checked and countered signed by one of the nurses). I enjoy speaking to new people and reassuring them if they were nervous 🙂 ). I was also given some really great reading resources on various topics and medications! Medications is something that I really need to keep learning!
Needless to say this placement offered fantastic learning opportunities. I would like to thank allllll staff at Dr Grays, you were all great! (Also thanks to the porter who very kindly bought me a packet of crisps at the vending machine too!) 😂 😃
Adventures and places to visit
There were lots of beautiful places to visit while on my placement in Elgin. Here are just a few places I ventured to:
Findhorn Beach (With the cute little colourful huts)
Roseisle Forrest/Beach (THIS WAS MY FAVORITE PLACE TO VISIT!)
Bring some change to pay for the parking.
Well that is first year complete heres to Stage 2!
You can read about my first year HERE.