FAQ’s – Whilst on Placement

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Do students get full orientation and introduction to staff members in their first week of placement? 

Every student receives a full orientation whilst on placement and an introduction to their nominated Practice Supervisor (PS) who will be supporting and guiding them. First interviews will be conducted to allow the student to discuss-plan and spokes to be achieved from this placement and how they can ensure this is going to happen. More information can be found on this weblink: https://blogs.brighton.ac.uk/supportinglearnersinpractice/southpadvideos/.


Can we choose our own shifts, or will they be given to us?

Placements are often flexible to allow to choose preferred shifts,  although it can depend on the availability of staff as students need to be working with their PS’s as they will be supporting and guiding you. Students will also need to arrange shifts to work with their Practice Assessor (PA) to sign skills and competencies in the PAD and OAR books.

The various shift can be arranged, from long day shifts can be between 07.00 and 22.00, weekends and nights and a half shifts can be arranged.

More information on this can be found here: https://blogs.brighton.ac.uk/supportinglearnersinpractice/southpadvideos/#Overview_of_the_Practice_SupervisorPractice_AssessorAcademic_Assessor

Can we have shifts allocated a few weeks before placement starts? This is possible as long the student and placement provider is happy to organise this prior to the placement starting. It would be best to contact the placement early to ensure the shifts can be allocated. However, to get the best range of experience it may be necessary to travel further on occasions.

If your travel time one way is more than 1.5 hours you can claim practice hours for the additional journey time. For example, if the one-way journey was 2 hours, 1 hour can be claimed as practice (2x 30 minutes for each one-way journey). Please ensure term-time addresses are up-to-date on the personal tab, as these changes will alert the Placement Team (PLL). Travel and Dual Accommodation Expenses may be eligible, an NHS-funded scheme that reimburses excess costs incurred whilst on placement.

More information is available here:  https://studentcentral.brighton.ac.uk/webapps/blackboard/content/listContent.jsp?course_id=_69288_1&content_id=_2595833_1&mode=reset

Who is my Practice Supervisor (PS), Practice Assessor (PA), and Academic Assessor (AA)?

PS’s and PA’s and AA are trained members of staff in supporting students in practice and on their learning development journey. PS’s are any health and social care professionals that will guide and support students through their placements. Your PA has to be a Registered Nurse or Midwife and responsible for signing off proficiencies and competencies demonstrated. The allocated PA will also liaise with your PS’s and AA to ensure you are safely and fairly assessed for skills and competencies. The AA  from the course team will assess and support students through their academic studies.

More detailed information and videos on the roles of person are found on this weblink: https://blogs.brighton.ac.uk/supportinglearnersinpractice/southpadvideos/

Can we refuse to have specific staff members as our supervisors and assessors?

The reason behind the new national NMC changes from previously having mentors to now having supervisors and assessors is because it can stop biases towards students. This is due to not being up to one person to sign off your skills and competencies, but up to a group of healthcare professionals liaising with each other.

For further information, it can be found by clicking on the link below: https://blogs.brighton.ac.uk/supportinglearnersinpractice/southpadvideos/

However, if students are experiencing any difficulties with either your PA or/and PS’s please contact the trusts practice development team or the University to gain support in trying to resolve and issues.

Whilst on placement can I complete more placement hours than are already set? For example, if I am due to work a 24-hour week can I go over and to 32.

No. No student can work more than 32 hours due to the working time directive of not working more than 37.5 hours per week in total (we add the 5.5 hours for reflective practice).  However, the 24hour week placements are to allow 1-day of study per week as for some cohorts we removed a study week, and again students should not work more than 24 hours in these weeks, as 24hours placement + 7.5 study + 5.5hours reflection is the maximum a student can work.

Missed placement hours can only be made upon the final placement in annual leave weeks or at the end of the course.

Can I refuse to do a skill or task in placement if I do not feel comfortable or safe doing it?

Yes. In fact, it is part of the NMC code that nurses must act in the best interest of people and “tell colleagues, your manager and the person receiving care if there is a conscientious objection to a particular procedure and arrange for a suitably qualified colleague to take over responsibility for that person’s care”.

More information on the code of conduct can be found here: https://www.nmc.org.uk/standards/code/read-the-code-online/ if someone continues to set tasks and they are unachievable or a student feels uncomfortable, please email the placement course lead or practice development team to ensure patient safety is preserved. Although this should not happen and nurses would not expect students to be doing things they are not comfortable doing.

I do not like the placement area I am working in as it does not interest me. What can I do?

Although, certain students may have preferences on where they would like to go once qualified it is best that students get varied placement settings to broaden their knowledge and skills set. Therefore, it is necessary for students to alternate and try different placement settings such as acute care, ward-based, community-based, theatres, or specialist nursing. It is true that some placements may be enjoyed more than others, but it is essential to see how the other settings work to gain insight. Some students may also be surprised at how much they enjoy a placement they thought they would not.

A placement I am on does not allow for the opportunity to sign off certain skills/competencies?

Students get a variety of placements and the placement allocation team will try their best to ensure each student is indifferent placement areas in either the community, specialist nursing, theatres, medical ward-based, or acute ward placements throughout the year. This will allow a mix of competencies to be signed. The university will sometimes complete skills sessions at the university that allow some skills to be signed. Some skills that are not completed in year 2 (those marked with an Asterix in your book) also allow the opportunity to be completed in year 3. If you are concerned about getting a certain skill signed off, please talk to the practice learning for adult nursing module lead who will be able to assist you in how to best get the skill or skills signed.

If I lose my PAD/OAR document what can I do?

Students are advised to ensure they do not get lost as this can negatively impact their recorded work. If lost, the student and their academic assessor would contact the PA to see what they recall having been completed. This inevitably gives partial information as they may not remember what has been done with the student, therefore the PAD/OAR assessment, submission, and overall feedback are poorer if lost. It is recommended that it is scanned regularly, I use CamScanner, but other apps are available.

I have not passed the year in placement what can I do? 

Normally students are given a second opportunity to succeed, and therefore students might be offered the opportunity to complete any outstanding or failed elements on the next placement.  However, this is reliant on having passed all other modules. There is a flowchart in each PAD that identifies this on page 9.

Can I work alongside the course?

You can if you feel you are able to manage the time between your studies and your work. It is also beneficial to your studies as working in a healthcare setting can give you further experience in the health and social care setting. Some trusts offer fast-track HCA jobs for second-year student nurses. Contact your trust’s practice development team for further information.

I need to renew my trust IT access. How can I do this?

Trusts contact details to regain IT access can be found here: https://studentcentral.brighton.ac.uk/webapps/blackboard/content/listContentEditable.jsp?content_id=_3339156_1&course_id=_69288_1&content_id=_3339157_1