My final placement for my nursing degree was in ED at Warragul Hospital. I was really excited to receive ED as my ward, as it was an area that I had not had much experience in and was looking forward to learning lots of new skills. The experience there was amazing. The staff were fantastic, and the support of the educators was great. Being my final placement, I was putting a lot of pressure on myself to be able to work as independently as possible, focusing on my time management and communication skills. Being a different environment to the ward, it was really challenging at the beginning to keep up with the fast-paced nature of the Emergency Department. After a couple of weeks there, I felt like I was really starting to adjust well to my new environment, and really start to look forward to my upcoming Post Grad year. I started to become more confident and have faith that I did know what I was doing, and that if I was ever unsure, there would always be other nurses and co-workers around me who would be more than willing to help. For this reason, I am so excited to be starting my Graduate year in the coming weeks. To become part of a team and work together towards improving people’s health outcomes when they are at their most vulnerable.
Being on placement has always been challenging throughout my studies. Each time you start a placement it is like starting a new job. Finding your way around, learning the policies and procedures, getting to know the team and putting learning into practice. Along with this, there is the juggle of maintaining your personal and/or social life. For myself, the main struggle was suddenly working in a full-time capacity, whilst still trying to maintain my everyday life as a mum of two young kids and a full-time student. Further to this, although the placement days were exciting and enjoyable, they were long and exhausting. My mind often felt overwhelmed from all of the learning experiences, so that by the time I was back in the car for the hour-long drive home, I regularly lacked the energy to do anything else by the time I got home to my kids.
The experiences that we are given whilst on placement are no doubt the most beneficial moments of our studies, being able to work with real-life patients in real-life scenarios and work and learn alongside our peers. I have always been a hands-on person who learns best with on the job training. I am very grateful for all of the opportunities I have been given throughout my placements, but my final placement was the one I was able to enjoy the most. I knew I was almost at the finish line, and able to finally be able to proudly tell people that I was a nurse.