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Clinical placements

Do not hesitate when you’re faced with a deteriorating patient

Don't be afraid to put theory into practice as a nursing student – your patient’s life may depend on it
clinical team works on a patient

Don't be afraid to put theory into practice – your patient’s life may depend on it

My final placement as a first-year adult nursing student was on a urological surgical ward. I was on my sixth week of the placement when a woman in her early eighties, who had been admitted for surgery to form a urostomy, became acutely unwell.

The patient had recently returned to the ward after her operation and when I went to do her observations, I realised straight away that something was wrong.

Her breathing was erratic, she was dripping with cold sweat and was feeling nauseous. I asked the healthcare assistant (HCA) I was working with to go and get the nurse, and continued with the observations while doing my best to reassure the patient.

The nurse quickly arrived and assessed the patient and looked


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