Advice and development

Experience of first placement motivated me to help others

Jason Jeffrey created a document of tips and advice for students new to nursing.

Jason Jeffrey created a document of tips and advice for students new to nursing

The first day on a ward in my first year was daunting and scary. At that point I had little nursing knowledge or skills. As a result I didn't have a brilliant experience on my first placement. 

Advice for students

 However, things did get better and I worked out who I could ask questions of and I learned something new every day. I like to try to find a positive in everything I do so I reflected on what would turn my experience into a great one.
I was inspired to create New to Nursing? to help me, new students who followed in my footsteps and patients.
This helped me reflect on my experience and (I hoped) would help other students to provide excellent patient care from the beginning of their practice. 

Help is on hand

The document covers six topics based on my experience – where is everything?, taking patients’ observations, assisting patients with elimination, washing a patient, making a bed, and assisting with nutrition. 
The document is designed for new nursing students who have had little or no experience in health care. It is double sided, and on the back the student can track their progress and write down what they have achieved. This provides an excellent reflection opportunity, allowing students to consolidate their new skills.

This document has since grown legs and has been endorsed by the University of Brighton, East Sussex Healthcare Trust and West Sussex Healthcare Trust for new nursing students, healthcare assistants and other clinical staff, which I am proud of.
This experience helped me immensely with my professional and ongoing development. It also fell in line with the revalidation process. 
My critical skills have improved considerably. At each placement I use the first one to two weeks to settle in and find my feet on the ward. During that time, I talk to and listen to staff to gain an insight about how the ward functions. 

Resolutions for better results

I look at different ways that I can put simple resolutions in place to provide better patient care. For instance, in my most recent placement with a district nursing team I was able to suggest change to their current and future practice – setting mandatory time aside each day to allow for teaching, reflection and skills consolidation. 
Nurses are expected to develop in their role. I take every opportunity to nurture and mentor new students and healthcare assistants to assist them where I've had previous experience.

On a few occasions I have facilitated their learning with my New to Nursing? I will continue to apply my critical and mentoring skills to all future roles and placements to improve services that nurses can offer.

About the author


Jason Jeffrey is a third-year nursing student at the University of Brighton

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