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.

International Nurses Day celebrated at BU

A special event celebrating nurses was hosted at Bournemouth University to mark International Nurses Day, 12th May 2014.

The event combined exhibitions from key healthcare charities and companies and a series of keynote speeches talking about nursing in the UK.

The day, hosted on the birthday of Florence Nightingale, celebrates the contribution that nurses make to society and was also attended by Bournemouth Mayor Councillor Dr Rodney Cooper (pictured).

Dr Janet Scammell, Associate Professor in Nursing at Bournemouth University, helped to organise the event at BU and said, “Nursing and healthcare have been in the spotlight over the last year as reports about poor quality of care in the NHS and elsewhere have come to light.  We know that most nurses provide excellent care despite increased care need and diminishing resources.  The nursing team at Bournemouth University wanted to use International Nurses day as a catalyst to celebrate the best of nursing despite living in challenging times.”

Janet continued, “The ‘buzz’ in the exhibition was full of energy.  The stands were wide ranging, including international nursing, history of nursing, service users perspectives, practice innovations, student pledges and staff research.”

The afternoon also included a panel discussion with two consultant nurses from Dorset. 150 participants were invited to the half-day conference focused on self-leadership, equality and diversity and service user involvement in health care.

Talks included a lecture on self-leadership by BU’s Professor of Nursing Elizabeth Rosser (also pictured) and a lecture titled ‘Improving the Patient Experience’ by Kevin Holton, Deputy Director of Patient Experience at NHS England.

The work of Florence Nightingale featured prominently, as Janet Scammell explains, “This event reminded participants of her work and those of other inspiring leaders from the past and provided examples from current clinical practice and education of how these values are still alive and well in nursing education at Bournemouth University working with its practice partners in Dorset, Wiltshire and Somerset.”

Dr Ann Hemingway defends nurses on Three Counties Radio

By Dean Eastmond

BU’s Dr Ann Hemingway featured on BBC Three Counties Radio, explaining how she does not feel that nursing is deficient in care.

Recent reports claimed that nurses felt they are too busy to comfort distressed patients and fulfil their roles.

Dr Hemingway, a lecturer in Public Health, said that she felt the NHS should be targeted rather than nurses, and explained that she did not feel that care standards have declined.

“Quite recently my mother was in hospital and she had an excellent experience,” she said.

“The job has changed enormously over the past few years which people don’t understand. Patients are much sicker now in hospital than when I trained as a nurse”

She continued: “The key thing is which isn’t really discussed is that nursing care is just as important as cure. If someone gets a bad bedsore, they can die from that.

“It’s incredibly worrying and it needs to be challenged by the nursing and midwifery council”

It was then passionately explained by Dr Hemingway that there are elements of sexism in the recent news, as nursing and midwifery are typically female dominated roles.

There are no reports about surgeons and other medical jobs lacking in care standards.

“I don’t see why nurses should be singled out”

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.