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Blog: Excited to begin my student placement in primary care

Second year nursing student Claire Carmichael is about to embark on her latest placement, which happens to be her first choice

Second year nursing student Claire Carmichael is delighted to embark on her latest placement at her first choice option - general practice

When I was sent an email to request to choose where I would like to go on my next student placement, my first choice was a general practice (GP) surgery. To my excitement, I got it. My first placement of my second year is a GP surgery and I could not be happier.

General practice has always been an area I would absolutely love to work in. There are many reasons why this is my personal preference. First, no day is ever the same in this setting; each patient I see will be different. I will be seeing a wide range of patients with conditions across the life span and providing continuity of care for individuals.

I have

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Second year nursing student Claire Carmichael is delighted to embark on her latest placement at her first choice option - general practice

 When I was sent an email to request to choose where I would like to go on my next student placement, my first choice was a general practice (GP) surgery. To my excitement, I got it. My first placement of my second year is a GP surgery and I could not be happier. 


Picture: iStock

General practice has always been an area I would absolutely love to work in. There are many reasons why this is my personal preference. First, no day is ever the same in this setting; each patient I see will be different. I will be seeing a wide range of patients with conditions across the life span and providing continuity of care for individuals.

I have never experienced this working environment before, but everything that excites me about the role is here. I am the sort of person who likes to know what happens next after I see a patient. I love the thought that I will be seeing the same patients back and forth and knowing how they are getting along in life, sadly an experience you do not get in some areas of nursing.

It must be an amazing feeling to be able to build that rapport with your patients, and have them as your patients for, hopefully, the rest of their lives. Furthermore, I have always valued the prevention, well-being and education of healthcare and this is something I envisage as integral in a practice setting. Along with this, I like the idea of the practice being a small team made up of different levels of expertise, all working together to provide the best care for their patients.

Nursing skill

I am quite surprised that more students are not interested in a practice placement. I have heard a few students saying, ‘I won’t learn any nurse skills.’ On the contrary, I think all the core skills of nursing will be found in general practice. There is a misconception that a ‘nurse skill’ means being hands on, in a ward setting, removing cannulas and removing drains and clips. Yes, there are practical skills to learn, but for me, the real nurse skills are inside yourself.

It is what the 6C's of nursing is all about: care, compassion, courage, commitment, communication and competence. These are the skills we are taught in university from the start; our professional values. I also envisage managing wounds and having variety of wound dressings to master. Not only this, but the role means seeing a whole range of individuals with different conditions every day.

Multiple oppportunities to manage

As a nurse, you must be able to manage a variety of people and obstacles, so what better place to learn this than the GP setting? However, I do not think there have been enough opportunities for practices to offer student nurses the experience of learning in the primary care environment.

More practices need to come forward and agree to take us students on. If they could only see how valuable their setting is for us and open their doors, we can change the future of nursing in primary care for the better.

My placement started this week. I am so excited about it. I prepared for it by reading the Queen’s Nursing Institute’s transition to general practice nursing along with NHS England general practice nursing ten-point plan

Please feel free to follow my twitter account for updates, but for now I shall leave you with this quote:

'Love begins by taking care of the closest ones – the ones at home'

Mother Teresa


About the author

Claire Carmichael is a second year nursing student at Birmingham City University

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