Make the most of your placement – tips from BU Nursing students

Final year nursing students at BU recently contributed to a doctoral study about learning on practice placements.

Amanda Alexander, Joanne Hewitt, Teresa Pearce, Elinor Suter and Clare Taylor volunteered to share their top tips to help new nursing students make the most of their placement experience.

Whether you’re a nursing student or not, if you’ll be starting a placement soon, their tips may help you too:

See what team members do:

Spend time with different people in the team. They’ll teach things in different ways – some may ask you to observe while others expect you to practice a technique or activity. Officially request a day working with different members of staff so that you can focus on what you are learning.

Build your confidence:

Do your homework before arriving on placement, and while you’re settling in, take notes and be prepared to ask questions. The first few days or weeks of a placement can be overwhelming, and for healthcare professionals, things like shift handovers can be challenging, especially when there’s lot of jargon being used. Make sure you know who you are working with so you know who to refer questions to, and familiarise yourself with processes quickly so you can make even small contributions. At the end of each day, ask yourself ‘What have I learned?’

Build your knowledge base:

Learning is your priority on placement and everything is a learning opportunity, from practicing a procedure or process to observing how colleagues make complex decisions. Ask questions, request feedback and make the most of time with your mentor to discuss your learning outcomes and how to achieve them.

Stand firm on important issues:

Some staff can resent placement students because of their protected role or lack of expertise, so try and build a good rapport with everyone, keeping your views and actions professional. If you feel that your learning experience is being affected by an individual’s attitude, initiate a conversation with your mentor or your university link tutor. Be assertive in seeking confirmation of who your mentor is on each shift (or project) as it’s important for your learning to know who’s supervising you. If you need more practice with a procedure or process, ask and keep asking – it’s too late to regret or complain once you’re back at uni.

The students’ top tips were originally published in Nursing Standards magazine on Wednesday 28 January 2015.

Success of BU Health and Social Care students celebrated

The School of Health and Social Care has held its annual Awards Ceremony to celebrate the success of graduating students.

Students from each course were awarded prizes from local hospital trusts where they were on placement, course leaders and the Students’ Union.

Professor Gail Thomas, Dean of the School of Health and Social Care, said “I think this evening is one of the high points of the year because it celebrates some of our incredibly successful students.

“All of students are successful, but these have gone the extra mile and have made a real difference to their peers, to the practitioners they work with, and the patients, clients and service users they work with. Well done to all of them!”

A keynote speech from Judith Chapman, Senior Lecturer in Physiotherapy, opened the proceedings with a motivational speech on how learning from the past helps with present challenges.

Presentations were then awarded to the students from all of the School’s undergraduate, postgraduate and post-registration courses.

Olivia Tuckerman, BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy graduate and recipient of the Students’ Union Award said: “It’s such a lovely event, I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone’s achievements”.

Rebecca Mitchell, BSc (Hons) Nutrition graduate and recipient of the Nutrition Award added: “It’s a real pleasure to be here, the evening is really nicely put on and I feel very honoured to be invited to come along”.

The evening closed with a celebration networking event for prize winners, tutors and their families.

Winners of the awards were:

  • Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospital NHS Foundation Trust Prize – Emma Stride, BSc (Hons) Adult nursing
  • Paramedic Science Award – Amanda Houghton, FdSc Paramedic Science
  • Sociology & Social Policy Award – Charlotte Garrett, BA (Hons) Sociology & Social Policy
  • Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust Prize – Laura Prowse, BSc (Hons) Midwifery
  • Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust Prize – Eleanor Hooper, Advanced Diploma Mental Health Nursing
  • Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust Post-Registration And Clinical Excellence Prize – Ingrid Edwards, HSC CPD Framework
  • Poole Hospital Nhs Foundation Trust Pre-Registration And Clinical Excellence Prize –  Christopher Senior, Advanced Diploma Adult Nursing
  • BERTIE BAILEY AWARD, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust For Pre-Registration Nursing Prize – Rebecca Launchbury, Advanced Diploma Adult Nursing
  • Rodger White Prize – Sabeel Ali, BA (Hons) Social Work and Louise Anderson, MA Social Work
  • Dr Eleanor Bond Award – Ileana Savage, HSC CPD Framework
  • Phi Mu Chapter (England) Award – Peter Bartlett BSc (Hons) Child Health Nursing and Amy Phillips BSc (Hons) Child Health Nursing
  • Students’ Union Award – Olivia Tuckerman, BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy
  • Nutrition Award – Rebecca Mitchell, BSc (Hons) Nutrition
  • Exercise Science Award – Jasmine Guizzetti, BSc (Hons) Exercise Science
  • Midwifery Award – Rebecca Moss-Coleman, BSc (Hons) Midwifery
  • Operating Department Practice Award – Tina Wade, Dip HE Operating Department Practice
  • Children & Young People’s Nursing Award – Laura Cox, BSc (Hons) Child Health Nursing
  • Occupational Therapy Award – Alannah Pasokhy, BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy
  • Physiotherapy Award – Kendal Burns, BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy
  • Physiotherapy Team Award – Christopher Dorey, BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy
  • Sarah Cheesman Compassionate Care Prize – Zuzana Nechalova, Advanced Diploma Adult Nursing
  • Dorset County Council Award – Daniel Ralph, MA Social Work
  • Dorset County Council PQSW Prize – Faye Nethercote, PG Dip in Advanced Mental Health Practice
  • National Centre For Post-Qualifying Social Work Award – Laura Tanner, Grad Dip Children and Family Studies
  • Marnie Mae Pope Prize – Rebecca Moss-Coleman, BSc (Hons) Midwifery


Physiotherapy students volunteer during charity run

Third year Physiotherapy students volunteered to provide massages during a charity fun run in Bournemouth.

Christopher Dorey, Stephan Moehrke, Hayden Brunt and Matthew Maher, who are on the BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy degree course, gave up their time between placement commitments and studying to volunteer during the Lewis Manning Time to Care run.

They provided massage to the 5K, 10K and Kids K runners in support of Lewis-Manning Hospice in Poole.

The run took place on Sunday 20th October, and the students did a fantastic job demonstrating their skills and expertise in a challenging environment at Bournemouth Pier.

Their efforts were appreciated by all, and, following the event, the fundraising team at Lewis Manning Hospice said: “Do pass our thanks on to the students who were all FAB and it would be a pleasure to work with them again.”

Professor Jane Reid’s report featured on The Conversation UK

Bournemouth University’s Visiting Professor of Nursing, Jane Reid, had her article featured on news website ‘The Conversation UK’, talking about surgical “never events” and what they are.

The Conversation UK is a new and quirky website that presents and delivers the news using academic opinion and expertise.

Surgical “never events” are extremely serious incidents that should never happen because “they’re entirely preventable”.

Most never events prove devastating, such as having the wrong testicle removed, retained foreign objects post operation and severe scalding of patients. However many are fatal, preventable events: Suicide using collapsible rails, maternal death due to post-partum haemorrhage after elective caesarean sections, wrongly prepared high-risk injectable medication and maladministration of Insulin.

“Unfortunately, too many health professionals, managers and boards continue to tolerate unacceptable practices that are ultimately endured by patients.” Jane Reid said in the article.

See the full article here.

Dean Eastmond

Dean is a student at Budmouth College in Weymouth, who is working at Bournemouth University in the Press and PR Department. He joined BU on a Sir Samuel Mico Scholarship, which provides 10 students from his college with essential work experience for four weeks over the summer.

Professor Elizabeth Rosser gives her opinion on proposed changes to nurse training

Professor Elizabeth Rosser, Deputy Dean in Education in BU’s School of Health and Social Care has given her views on the government’s proposed changes to nurse training.

She spoke to BBC Radio Solent’s Drivetime presenter Steve Harris on the day that the Royal College of Nursing branded the proposals as “stupid” – in particular, plans to make trainee nurses spent a year as healthcare assistants before beginning a degree course.

The government says the proposals will help to improve health care, following the Mid-Stafford Hospital scandal and the Francis Report which made recommendations as a result.

But Professor Rosser, herself a Registered Nurse, said that she believed nurses already received enough training.

“Much has already been done to ensure that students are prepared with the underpinning values that were exposed as problems in the Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust.

“All the programmes leading to qualification as a registered nurse have for quite some considerable time met EU requirements to have 50 per cent theory and 50 per cent practice. That’s 2,300 hours delivered in practice and each is accounted for, working hands-on with qualified members of staff and delivering patient care.”

She added that the proposals to have potential trainee nurses working in wards for a year worried her greatly.

“It’s putting additional pressure on the mentors who are currently supporting and assisting our students out in practice,” she said.

Professor Rosser went on to say that she believed the greater issue lay with the number of nurses on wards, and under-staffing.

“The focus of the 290 recommendations by the Francis Report was very much on the staffing levels, and getting the correct staffing levels to support the dependency on patient care.”

You can hear her comments in full here.