Students

The challenging practice placement : advice for nursing students

Lecturer and registered nurse Amy Dopson on why students may find some placements more challenging and how to cope, including where to go for support and dealing with competing demands
Placement

Lecturer and registered nurse Amy Dopson on why students may find some placements more challenging and how to cope, including where to go for support and dealing with competing demands

This article was updated on 6 January 2022

Placements are a fundamental part of learning how to be a nurse.

While these often prove inspirational experiences, they are not always plain sailing. Most students will have at least one placement they find challenging or more difficult, says nursing lecturer Amy Dopson.

Reasons why there may be problems on placement

The reasons why students may find a placement tricky or disappointing are of course varied, Ms Dobson explains, but these can include challenges in a student’s private life and struggling to juggle academic work with the demands of the placement.

Some students may find the setting more

Lecturer and registered nurse Amy Dopson on why students may find some placements more challenging and how to cope, including where to go for support and dealing with competing demands

A nurse and a nursing student on the ward, having a difficult conversation
Picture: iStock

This article was updated on 6 January 2022

Placements are a fundamental part of learning how to be a nurse.

While these often prove inspirational experiences, they are not always plain sailing. Most students will have at least one placement they find challenging or more difficult, says nursing lecturer Amy Dopson.

Reasons why there may be problems on placement

The reasons why students may find a placement tricky or disappointing are of course varied, Ms Dobson explains, but these can include challenges in a student’s private life and struggling to juggle academic work with the demands of the placement.

Some students may find the setting more emotionally upsetting, or feel they are not connecting well with their practice supervisor.

In this video you will learn:

  • Why you should act early in a placement if you are finding it challenging.
  • Where to go for help.
  • How to approach meetings about your placement.
  • How to develop solutions to the difficulties you are facing.
  • How to manage strong emotions when dealing with difficult placements.

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