After we finished our first assignment came something that we had all been waiting for as we had our taster week on placement. This involved us going to the area that we would have our first placement, but initially for just a week.
My first placement was up on the Assessment Unit. This is an acute ward area where patients as assessed to see whether they stay in hospital or go home.
As my first time working in the clinical environment, I would learn lots in this week that I would subsequently carry with me throughout the rest of my training. Safe to say I was thrown in at the deep end, with this placement and it was a big learning curve. The ward area is very busy with lots of children being admitted and moving on to other wards. The first week I very much shadowed the qualified nurses. The other major part of working on a ward that I had to deal with was working 12 hour shifts. This was an interesting thing to deal with as I had never worked long shifts before and on the three shifts I did that week I was in for the busiest days.
I found the whole experience very good for me, as I was able to learn a lot from the qualified nurses, see patients first-hand and start to enhance my skills to become a nurse. The qualified nurses were very good to shadow as they helped me a lot with the basic foundation skills of becoming a nurse (e.g. making beds and taking observations). I was also able to interact with the children who would be my patients, and work on the patient communication skills that are an important part of being a nurse. The basic skills I enhanced in this week helped lots when going back to clinical skills sessions at the Uni with my year group, I felt one step ahead at times in these clinical skill situations for having had this experience.
The taster week is a great chance for you to learn lots and helps you gage whether this profession is actually for you.