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Nursing Blog

Nursing Blog

Stories about Nursing at Edinburgh straight from our staff and students

A Summer of Placements

For most of the students, placements are a main feature of their summer. Third years head out on their elective and the second years are off on their surgical placements.

Kristine, Fiona and Steph are third year students who left Edinburgh for their elective placement in China. The three students from the class of (2011-2015) spent two days at the transplant centre of the Zhejiang First Affiliated Hospital where they have gained an overview of intensive care following liver transplantation.

They have also spent time in the Hangzhou First Affiliated Hospital in their maternity department ‘I loved it, it was great to observe childbirth especially since I think that I would love to do midwifery training in the future’- Kristine. The students then headed off on their individual placements at the Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital.


Closer to home Iona Wallace, a second year student (2012-2016), was based in Urology for her surgical placement. Practical placements are an opportunity for students to apply their knowledge and clinical skills to practise and become more confident in these skills to build upon nursing skills and was happy to share some of her experience for the blog.

‘My surgical placement was based in a urology ward where I was able to apply my general surgical skills such as post-surgery observations but also more specific skills to urology. The start of a new placement is always a daunting thought but it is always an encouraging thought that you always have the support of university behind you as well as your assigned mentor.’

‘On each placement, students are assigned a mentor for their duration on the ward who they work closely with. A learning plan is able to be established between the student and mentor at the beginning of the placement and this is able to be worked towards to achieve new skills and knowledge. Mentors are a great way to get feedback on your progress and ask questions that you have and allow students to reflect on their work. As well having a mentor, the university have a liaison lecturer assigned to each student to allow contact and support to be maintained when students are on placement by email as well as being visited whilst on placement. This is another great way for students to make the most out of their learning experience because it is an extra support system and get advice on how they can achieve different skills.’ -Iona

As a liaison lecturer for some of the students, I have enjoyed heading out to see students on their clinical placements to provide reassurance and support for achieving their objectives. It is a privilege to see the students out in practice and hearing how they are getting on.

‘From that daunting feeling of a new ward on day one to signing off your portfolio on the last day of placement, the time in-between goes very quickly. You become familiar with the ward, more confident in performing tasks and all the way are well supported. You feel an accomplishment.’ Iona.



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