The placement Visit
The placement visit is essential because it provides the student with the opportunity to initially interact with the placement area on an informal basis. It is like a test-run of the real experience and can help the student prepare adequately for the placement. Sometimes, placement areas may be located within an area that is unfamiliar to the student. The visit allows the student make the necessary logistical considerations. For example gauging the distance and time of travel needed to maintain punctuality.
A guided tour. During the visit, the student may be given a guided tour of the facility. This can help set expectations about the client group, size and scope of the placement area. Initial conversations during visits may involve disclosure regarding the learning opportunities being provided by the placement area and the expectations from the student may also be disclosed.
Research the placement area by visiting their website. This can help the student get an idea about the specific services offered by the placement area. Are they a specialist service? Is there a specific client group For example children, adolescents, adults or elderly? Do they cater for a specific sex for example male or female? In order to get the best from the placement, it is usually useful to read about these services.
Ask about the legal frameworks that are regularly linked to the service. For example the Mental Health act, Equality act, Child act, Safeguarding and so on. The placement opportunity may provide the opportunity to see how these laws are applied to practice.
Ask questions about the placement. It is useful to have questions written down to create a sense of organization. Finding out as much as possible about the placement during the visit can help set the student’s expectations. Hearing firsthand information from the staff can reduce anxiety. It also helps create the impression that the student is eager to learn.
Find out about possible multidisciplinary input. The placement settings give students opportunity to interact with other multidisciplinary teams. It can be worth finding out what other fields of nursing and/ or healthcare are interlinked with the service. This information can create an interesting focus for action plans. During the placement visit, students can ask if there are opportunities to observe these various teams during their interactions with clients to expand the scope of learning. Arrangements may be need to be made in advance to facilitate these opportunities. It is worth noting that client consent needs to be taken into account.
Negotiate with Mentors. Students are always advised to do the shifts that are offered by the placement areas. However, many placement areas may be able to accommodate individual requests for varied shift patterns. This depends a lot on the type of service, hours of work and severity of the student’s circumstance. During the visit, students may perceive this flexibility and make such requests. However, this should be done cautiously.
Thank you for reading.
Written by Lauretta Ofulue.
Photo credit: Pixabay