Tips for balancing your placement with your college work

By Madeleine Armstrong

My placement is at an emergency care hospital and receives a lot of patients on a 24 hour basis, which proves to be a fast paced and exciting environment to work in. I have found the course so far thoroughly interesting and feel that it pushes me to do my best and research things for myself to get a better underpinning knowledge.

I find that being organised and creating a timetable to manage my workload helps me to achieve my personal goals. Whilst on placement, I take my reflection log with me to do in my lunch break and I make a separate spread sheet for my nursing progress log to enable me to reference specific cases. I also do my own reading and research about the cases that come in as well as any additional research that my clinical coach or colleague suggest. I have found this useful, as subjects will often overlap and so this helps when learning something completely new.

I re-write and condense tutors notes and presentations on to revision cards so that they are easy to take with me wherever I go. To learn any new terminology I aim to remember at least one a week and apply it to a clinical case to help me understand what it means, which makes it easier to remember.

I also find talking to different people about a subject gives it more depth, especially if it is a family member who does not know about the topic as it shows how much you know and gives you confidence. By doing these things and reflecting I feel it has helped to develop my clinical and analytical thinking which will help to enhance my skills and prepare me for the workplace.

Madeleine Armstrong, Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing, December 2012