Clinical placements

The emotional toll of nursing

Caring for patients with cancer on her first clinical placement taught nursing student Charlotte Milliken about the emotional resilience required to be a nurse
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Caring for patients with cancer on her first clinical placement taught mental health nursing student Charlotte Milliken about the emotional resilience required to be a nurse

My first placement as a first-year mental health nursing student was on a surgical ward. I read the placement profile and felt I was as prepared as I could be, but being so new to nursing, I had not anticipated the emotions I would feel.

One of my first tasks was to remove surgical staples from a patient. I couldn’t get the final two out as they were set under a lump of dried blood, so my mentor took over. While watching him, my skin went cold then hot, and I felt dizzy as my whole world swam. I had never thought of

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