I can’t believe how quick the time has gone since I finished my last clinical placement as a student RN in October 2019, as I have now completed my first couple of weeks of my first rotation for my graduate year at Omeo District Health.
My final clinical placement for my Bachelor of Nursing degree was a 5-week block at Bairnsdale Regional Health Service (BRHS) in October 2019.The first week I was in the Medical Imaging department, I then went to the Emergency department for 3 weeks then Dialysis for the last week. The main goals for me for this placement was to utilise my nursing skills that I had developed throughout my studies at federation university to prepare myself for my graduate year, being more involved in patients care, assessments, admissions and procedures.
I enjoyed my first week in Medical Imaging as I had no idea that nurses worked in Medical Imaging. It was good to learn about the different procedures that nurses assist with in the department and the policy and procedures for each procedure. The staff in Medical Imaging were lovely and eager for me to learn and get involved in procedures, which I really appreciated. I got to assist radiologists with injections guided by CT, and also by ultrasound. I got to help with barium swallow x-rays, watch CT, X-rays, and MRI’s be performed. A big thing about medical imaging was being able to communicate with the multidisciplinary team regarding patient care. One thing I found challenging about Medical Imaging was different radiologists like things for procedures certain ways/different to others. But I was soon able to learn how each radiologist prefers things.
Next up was the emergency department (ED), I had never done a placement in the ED, so I was excited to utilise and build on my nursing skills here. It was a fast-paced environment. My preceptors I had in ED were great, they allowed me to get involved in patient assessments, care and treatment. ED was a good placement to practice my time management skills in a fast-paced environment. I also got to do a shift in triage with my preceptor which was interesting to learn about the triage system and the different types of presentations that present to ED.
My final week of my 5-week block of placement was in the dialysis unit at BRHS. It was interesting to learn about each patient’s condition and their treatment regime and the machines and equipment utilised for dialysis. It amazed me how welcoming and happy the regular patients were with staff and other patients despite having to spend approximately 3-5 hours sitting in a chair 3 days a week hooked up to a machine.
During my final placement, computer match results came out whilst I was on placement at BRHS and I received a graduate offer for the BRHS collaborative program. I thoroughly enjoyed my last placement at BRHS as a student RN. I highly recommend for undergraduates to put Bairnsdale Regional Health Service down as a preference for a rural placement experience. The staff are very welcoming, accommodating and supportive, and it is a fantastic opportunity to care for patients in a rural community.