My last major placement, completed whilst attending Federation University, was a six week unit at Bairnsdale Regional Health Service (BRHS). Within these six weeks at the hospital I learnt a lot, tying my nursing skills together, based around getting a patient more involved in their care, and organising services for the patient at not just the hospital but for after discharge as well. By the end of my first week at Tambo ward (the new super ward at BRHS), my preceptor had started helping to develop my skills towards taking a full patient load and speeding up and prioritising my skill set.
I still remember first entering Tambo ward and having to orientate myself to the new ward, the layout was completely different to any other ward I have had placement at before, with equipment spread out in multiple rooms that only staff had entry to. This made my time management more challenging, and required me to take key opportunities when staff could let me in to learn where everything was and ensure I could find things quickly. By the end of my fourth week at Tambo ward I had orientated myself nicely to where everything was and thanks to the support of the amazing staff within this ward, I had drastically increased how efficiently and effectively I could manage my patients, and had realised the importance of ensuring I am fully orientated to a ward to effectively perform my role as a nurse.
After my four weeks at Tambo ward I was rotated into Medical imaging, then Dialysis, these wards gave me an opportunity to improve on my medical education. I was given the opportunity to sit in on different types of X-rays and Ct scans, observing what must be done, assisting and observing and learning to understand certain results. I also had the opportunity to observe some MRI patients, and found the ability to observe the anatomical structure of organs in a 3D sense, gave me a great opportunity to better orientate myself around the body. Medical imaging really opened my eyes towards how different each ward can be, having multiple different patients throughout the day and having to race from one room to set up, to the next throughout the day, it was a real eye opener to see how the hospital functions in different ways.
My final week of placement was in the dialysis ward which was the most unique ward I have been in at the hospital, in regards to the equipment used and how things are done. The patients were so regular that they basically got themselves set up and ready to go without a prompt, they joked around and had fun with staff, which was great to see the staff have such a professionally inviting and friendly relationship with these patients. By the end of this placement I had also experienced the negatives to such a positive workforce, with a death of a patient that left all of the staff quite confronted and saddened. This by far was one of the harder things for me to observe as a student, I have been around many deaths, but never one that a nurse had gotten this close to. This was the point that I realised what an emotionally hard and challenging job nursing is and how much respect I have for all hospital staff.
By the end of my placement I had received my graduate offer from BRHS which was incredibly exciting for me, I had also learnt to improve on my skills and broaden my scope of practice to better the patients that I will care for within the future. Overall this placement was a major eye opener for me, showing just how much work and planning goes in behind the scenes, and how dedicated the staff are to their patients. I look forward to working for BRHS and having as much pride in my work as the nursing staff have demonstrated to me during my placement.