Medical students are the nurses of the future. Clinical placements are essential because they prepare aspiring nurses to become competent nurses. Students can learn and develop various skills, such as communicating with patients and their colleagues and performing physical examinations. Placements enable students to network with healthcare team members and question them about their positions and specialties, in addition to learning about professionalism in medicine.
A clinical placement is any arrangement in which a student is present for educational purposes in a setting that delivers healthcare or related services to patients or the general public. Placements can occur in primary, secondary, community, or other health and social care settings. They can extend beyond the nurses’ working environment but should encompass the entire multidisciplinary team. Students can be actively involved and contribute to patient care as team members.
Benefits of a clinical placement
A solid clinical education experience for the student depends on adequate planning, time management, organization, and clear communication. Furthermore, building an ideal learning environment strongly depends on your desire to share your time, knowledge, ability, and space with a student in a collaborative, mutually respectful, open, flexible, and helpful manner. So, what are the advantages of providing a student clinical placement?
Career path – One of the most significant benefits of clinical placements is obtaining real-world experience in an industry you are pursuing as a long-term career. Getting the correct work experience might help you determine whether your initial industry pick is the best one to follow in the future.
Apply your skills – We are confident that you have developed many essential skills during your schooling, especially if you are taking a course like an online ABSN program – where students will learn how to conduct a complete physical examination on healthcare recipients. Your university, on the other hand, is a different setting than the workplace. Therefore, one of the primary advantages of a clinical placement is that it allows you to investigate how you may apply your professional skills and abilities.
Networking – Another advantage of clinical placements is that it allows you to create your network early in your career. A clinical placement or internship provides practical experience and helps you network with other professionals. Networking is a healthy habit to develop, and the individuals you meet may present you with future opportunities. For example, they can alert you to job openings in your industry or refer you to clients or other businesses they know.
Making the most of your placement
Clinical placements are more than just a line item on your resume. They are fantastic opportunities to prepare for the working world if you put in the effort, from creating contacts and standing out to determining what you don’t want to do. However, you must be proactive to get the most out of your placement. Here are some pointers to help you make the most of your placement.
Be prepared – Make sure you know when to arrive and plan your route accordingly. Being on time, or even five minutes early, will demonstrate your eagerness. Also, determine where you will report ahead of time; some businesses will offer explicit directions to their department, while others will ask you to wait at reception. Knowing what to do will demonstrate initiative and organization before you begin work.
Ask questions – Asking as many questions as possible has several advantages, including making you appear eager to learn and assisting you in learning about the business and work itself. Just be sure you are not asking questions for the sake of asking them; the response should teach you something.
Make notes – Make a note of any work you’ve done or any valuable skills you’ve obtained; this will come in handy when it comes time to update your CV or apply for jobs or other clinical placement possibilities.
Be proactive – When on clinical placement, it is critical to demonstrate initiative. So, if you complete work in less time than expected, ask what else you can do or volunteer to assist a colleague with another task. Asking to sit in on meetings or accompanying a colleague on a patient visit are two other methods to demonstrate an active interest. You might also get comments from your supervisors after a few days. This will show your eagerness to learn and allow you to demonstrate your ability to implement the advice given.
A clinical placement can help you explore your career alternatives while distinguishing you from the competition. However, it requires time and effort from both parties, so you must understand how to make the most of your placement.