If you’re just getting started as a nursing student, it’s likely that you’ll come across a few different routes to take on your path toward working in a real hospital or clinic. For one thing, you’re likely to pore over a few books and head to plenty of seminars!
That said, it stands to reason that you should get some hands-on experience. While learning from home or on a remote basis is hugely beneficial to millions of students, getting some physical work experience within a clinic or hospital setting could be just what you need to excel in the field.
Whether you are just getting started as a student nurse or want to know more about clinical placements during your mode of study, here are a few reasons why heading on such placements might be one of the highlights of your degree.
You’ll gain lots of confidence
While studying nursing via a remote or online program will provide you with confidence in your abilities as a potential hospital crew member, there’s much to say for flexing your nursing muscles on the ward.
Many students going into nursing for the first time find that clinical placements are an excellent chance to practice some of the more intricate theoretical elements of their courses. While there are opportunities for you to practice certain skills from home and with others, nothing beats practicing in a physical clinic for confidence-building.
You’ll get the chance to practice what you’ve learned over months of study and learn more about improving your skills in your career. You’ll also gain increasing confidence in working with patients and other specialists within healthcare.
You’ll become part of a team
Most nurses will tell you that learning to work as part of a broader healthcare team is just as important as building medical and clinical knowledge, if not more so.
This is largely because you’ll find that you need to rely on various specialists and departments to deliver appropriate care to your patients. For example, as a nurse, you may find that the work you do regarding broken bones and fractures is limited. Therefore, you’ll need to work with a radiographer to ensure that your charges receive the efficient care they deserve.
You’ll start learning how to work as part of a team through collaborative exercises in online courses such as the Texas accelerated BSN at Baylor University. This particular course, in fact, will serve you well as an introduction to the concept of collaboration in healthcare before you head to a placement.
Such experience will put you in a more comfortable position when working alongside others at your placement. While student nurses generally find placements to be a positive experience, it never hurts to start collaborating within your studies before you head to the clinic!
You’ll make mistakes
As much as making mistakes is no one’s idea of a fun or even an accomplishing time, all students make them – and when working in healthcare, it’s always important to keep an open mind. While it’s never healthy to make grave mistakes through negligence, neither is perfectionism.
As such, working in a physical scenario through clinical placement enables nurses to explore how they solve problems, understand their personal limitations more clearly, and learn from the mistakes they make.
While studying a BSN, nurses gain lots of insight into how and how not to handle certain cases and situations. However, in a physical clinical placement, these students will get the opportunity to see how their decisions play out in practice.
This can seem scary to students and new nurses at first! However, all healthcare professionals realize eventually that there’s no healthy reason to pursue perfectionism. In fact, studies into nursing and perfectionist attitudes correlate with depression on the job.
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It’s a chance to build rapport
When studying from a theoretical perspective, some nursing students may struggle with the lack of interaction with patients. This interaction is critical to success in all types of healthcare.
When heading to a clinical placement, you’ll have the opportunity to work with patients for the first time. For many nurses, students or otherwise, this is the most appealing part of the job. It’s an opportunity to get to know people and to start helping them toward a healthier future.
Working in a clinical placement will also provide opportunities for student nurses to work with various cases not dictated by modules or school guidelines. It’s a genuine opportunity for nursing students to learn more about how basic practice can affect even the most complex cases.
Rapport is vital to nursing success. It’s part of what is known as the famous ‘bedside manner’ – many patients are likely to be more receptive to care and health advice if it arrives from a friendly, understanding face – one who is happy to listen and respond in kind.
Is a placement right for you?
While going on any clinical placement may seem scary at first, remember that it is a vital part of any nursing program – and that all the nurses you work with or have been treated by have been through it before you!
Going on a clinical placement is the first step toward building a successful nursing career and considering where you would like the world of healthcare to take you. For example, do you have a desire to enter into nursing leadership, or would you prefer to specialize in care for young or older people?
A clinical placement is the backbone of nursing education in the US. It’s a fantastic chance for student nurses to apply their newfound knowledge in practical settings and to learn more about working in a fast-paced healthcare environment.
While it’s possible to undertake a BSN or similar nursing program without a clinical placement, there are more than a few reasons why it’s recommended!
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