Placement Week 3

This week was the epitome of mixed feelings. Monday morning started off disastrously. I went in and was told my mentor wasn’t on shift…despite her telling me to come in on Monday. At first, I panicked and went to hide in the staff room. I called my mum and she was angry on my behalf, but helped me talk myself into going and finding out if there was anyone else I could work with. I spent a few hours with a lovely deputy sister and the rest of the day with quite possibly the bubbliest staff nurse ever. I had an amazing day! I started learning more about the medications and where to find them on the trolley. There are two draws, which are for different types of medicines, but inside the draws, there is no logic at all. Fortunately, my temporary mentor was patient with how long it took me to find things.


I saw my first body today. I had met the lady and her family in the morning, so it was very strange going back into the room and her body being there completely still. I kept half expecting her to breathe. This time I was there to observe while a staff nurse and a Care Support Worker performed the final rights, dressed and wrapped the body and made sure the right paperwork was prepared. It turns out quite often doctors don’t officially document time of death and have to be chased and pestered about it.


Tuesday I was with the staff nurse again. After practicing doing obs on Monday, I was allowed to do a few patients independently. I felt like I got the hang of it, but I probably should practice doing manual blood pressures more. It probably comes as no surprise to anyone that communication is the hardest part. Some people are good at chattering away to patients the whole time, I still sometimes forget to introduce myself. I have now written a note of what to say when I first meet people and things to talk about. Most patients do seem to like it if you keep talking to them, even if it’s just explaining what you’re doing – which is good, because when I’m doing obs, I need to talk myself through it!


I had Wednesday off and spent an embarrassing amount of time sleeping. Sleep schedule needs work, that was predictable. I had a couple of wobbles at ninja class, I think because it takes so much energy keeping myself together when I’m on shift. I feel like there’s a very fine line between being okay and having a meltdown at the moment.


Thursday was a complete and utter disaster. I had a meeting with my link lecturer, I thought I was going to discuss the problems I’ve been having with my mentor, but apparently not. Since it has been resolved now, I will cut the rant and give the short version. It turned out to be a meeting with my link lecturer, a ward sister and ward manager in which I was essentially being pushed out, told that my brain ‘wasn’t working the way I wanted it to’ and I wasn’t well enough to be on placement. The basic message was, go home and think about whether you’re doing the right thing, while heavily implying that I wasn’t. I didn’t meltdown then and there. I did exchange a flurry of emails with my academic advisor to arrange a meeting with her. I did still have to miss two of my planned shifts, which has messed up my hours for this placement. Oh well, who needs a summer holiday?

I took my mum to the meeting, which was on Monday, but I’m writing about it now. My link lecturer was in that meeting too, but she didn’t have too much to say. The placement lead and my academic advisor more or less said that the meeting on Thursday shouldn’t have happened and that my mentor wasn’t fulfilling her basic responsibilities. It turns out that my occupational health review has gone walkabouts, so the placement wasn’t made aware of my reasonable adjustments. Had my link lecturer and my mentor done what they were supposed to, it wouldn’t have been a problem. Now everyone has a copy of my reasonable adjustments, which the placement lead said were very reasonable and most of them were basic things that should be done anyway. The short version is, Uni fucked up and it’s not my fault.


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