How to Ensure Your Clinical Nurse Placement is a Success

The life of a nurse will not be a simple or relaxing one. It is common for nurses to feel overwhelmed and exhausted, as they are expected to take care of others around the clock and remain on top form. For student nurses, there is no exception. They will be expected to learn in-depth knowledge in the classroom, while completing irregular shift patterns at their work placements. These could potentially be located far from home.

Hospital work placements are an unavoidable addition to a nursing degree, but they will provide on-the-job development and learning, which will improve and enrich a student nurse’s understanding of the career they plan to progress in. Unfortunately, many student nurses will find it hard to engage with and get real value from their work placements, due to feeling too tired and stressed. However, there are many things they can do to get the most out of each shift. To help you achieve this, we will be taking a look into how to ensure your clinical nurse placement is a success.

Plan Your Journey

Planning the journey to your placement and arranging a pre-placement visit can help when it comes to settling your nerves and creating a routine for your clinical nurse placement days. The first day can feel daunting, especially when you don’t know what to expect. Planning your journey will ensure you arrive on time with everything you need. During your visit, you can introduce yourself and spend some time with your mentor, as well as familiarizing yourself with the hospital and the surrounding area. 

Create Learning Objectives

Creating learning objectives for each shift during your placement will allow you to focus on one particular thing during each shift. By reading into and researching your placement area, you will become more aware of the specifics and what to expect. This will also allow you to create your learning objectives, which will help you to become more focused. It is important to remember that every opportunity, whether it is negative or positive, should be treated as a valuable learning opportunity.

Communicate with Others

Communication is vital during a clinical nurse placement and will determine how successful you are. You need to be able to communicate well with your mentor, your colleagues, and your patients. Sometimes, it can be hard to see things from someone else’s perspective, so you should spend some of your time talking to your patients and other healthcare professionals. This will help you to gain a load of invaluable knowledge and learn about unique experiences while boosting your listening skills.

Enhance Your Study

Students who choose to enhance their study via BSN accelerated programs will be able to combine teaching and methodologies, including online courses, hybrid interactive learning courses and lab and clinical experience. Gaining clinical experience will give trainee nurses more time to improve their skills, which will make their placement a success. If you are interested in aligning your knowledge and skills to a more fulfilling career, then check out these BSN accelerated programs at Baylor University.

Always Ask Questions

Making an effort to be proactive is essential during your clinical nurse placement and one of the best ways to do so is by asking questions. You shouldn’t be embarrassed to ask questions that may seem obvious or feel nervous about learning more about a particular area. When you are honest with yourself and your mentor, you will be able to learn more and make less mistakes. If you feel nervous or silly about doing so, remember, someone else could be thinking the exact same thing as you.

Use a Notebook

Using a notebook to log abbreviations will make it easier for you to learn from your clinical nurse placement and will make referencing a lot easier in the future. Understanding and remembering abbreviations can be tough, especially when you are learning and need to remember so many new things during each shift. Keeping an organized log in something like an address book will make it easy to go back and look them up when you need to refresh your memory further down the line.

Be Very Flexible

Being flexible and willing with your shifts during your placement will allow you to get a realistic idea of life as a nurse. When you work with a mentor, you will be expected to work alongside their shift pattern. This means you will need to be prepared to work weekends and nights. Although this may not seem ideal, working these unsociable hours during your clinical nurse placement means you will gain a better understanding of a registered nurse’s shift pattern and will be prepared for real life. 

Remember to Revalidate

During your clinical nurse placement, you should remember to keep revalidation in mind throughout every shift. Revalidation is on every nurse and student’s mind and you will be in the ideal position to bring your knowledge and learning to completion when you graduate. When you revalidate, you will be extending what you currently do. Writing and reflecting about any experiences as soon as possible, keeping an organized portfolio, and staying up-to-date with your learning resources is highly advised.

Try to Relax

All of this learning can feel overwhelming at times and as a student nurse, it is important that you spend some time relaxing and enjoying your student experience. Taking time for yourself will allow you to reflect on everything you have been through and clear your head. Your mental health and wellbeing must be taken care of and is essential for your future. Finding a balance between work and life can be hard for a student nurse, so make an effort to sit down, relax and enjoy the things you love.

Life as a student nurse can be tough. You will be thrown into the hectic lifestyle as a nurse, while being expected to learn and progress during the long and intense process. However, when you know how to approach your work placement, you will improve your experience and be able to guarantee success.

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