Student Top Tips

Click on the below image to view our University of Brighton’s practice education guide full of tips and advice to have a successful placement:

5 Important Top Tips:

  1. Ask questions – No question is a stupid question, you are here to learn. Questions allows clarity and knowledge to grow.
  2. Be yourself – As long as you keep a professional manner, do not be scared to be yourself. You are studying your course for a reason and let that passion show, to truly connect with your placement.
  3. Plan ahead – Before your placement starts, plan the route, know the dress code and timings. Again ask questions to see if there’s any reading/resources that you need to prepare.
  4. Be on time – Work on your time keeping skills, ensure that you are not late to start your day or to any meetings you have to attend.
  5. Take notes – Writing things down that you have seen or heard helps to process the information in your mind resulting in effective learning.


Click on the below images to find out more about the sectors you could be placed in:





Interview with 1st year students.

The students we spoke to were on a variety of settings including MSK Outpatients, Community Hospital, Department of Medicine for the Elderly and Orthopaedics. We asked several questions to find out their expectations prior to starting and how those expectations compared to the reality of practice placements.

Feelings and Emotions before starting:

Nerves and apprehension were the most common feelings, with some excitement mixed in. A few students felt unprepared initially, but these feelings were helped by contacting the placement educators. Others were looking forward to getting hands on experience daily and be away from the monotonous laptop screens which have dominated Covid-19 learning measures.

Expectations before starting

Expectations for the first placement were slightly mixed. Some students expected to not be very involved as it is still very early in the course, others expected to be thrown into the deep end and being challenged daily on conditions and treatments, gaining plenty of hands-on and patient experience. Some students simply didn’t know what would be expected of them and this added to some nerves and pressure in the build up.

Expectations evaluated

Student expectations were mostly met within the first week by being given the chance to get stuck in with exposure to conditions and treatments, some of which were covered in the first term’s learning and seeing in ‘real life’ helped reinforce learning. Unfortunately for a select few students, Covid-19 has changed the way in which some placements operate and in these cases the expectations weren’t yet met with little guidance being provided.


The amount of documentation has surprised some students with the depth of the records providing details on all observations and results, allowing them to fully understand the patient’s individual conditions before meeting them. This relieved some of the apprehension of meeting people without understanding anything about them. There was also surprise at how quickly they started seeing patients which ranged from infants to the elderly and how quickly they were able to adapt to dealing with specific demographics. Some were surprised with how much knowledge is required in their departments to be able to provide the service.


Almost all students would tell students not to worry about various things and remain calm, to not be overwhelmed by all the information. The big one here was to not worry about lack of experience and in-depth knowledge, but to reach out to educators in advance to find out how to prepare and to have a positive mindset where you are excited by and enjoy learning a new topic/specialty rather than worry about what you don’t know. To not see asking questions as a weakness and try and guess what is going on such as guessing what hospital abbreviations may or may not mean.