Student A (S’21 cohort)
As a mature student with no previous healthcare experience, I found my Insight visits invaluable and a real opportunity to get an understanding of a healthcare environment before starting full time placements.
I was lucky enough to be invited to join the infection control team at an acute hospital. Considering the global situation with Coronavirus, it was fascinating to get a picture of how the hospital coped throughout the pandemic and how it was adapting to the rapidly changing landscape.
I had some fantastic experiences during my time at the hospital. The days started with a round of each ward of the hospital checking for any potential infection concerns which gave me a chance to experience a range of different settings from intensive care to rehab wards. I visited the laboratory where patient samples were tested and reported on a daily basis using state of the art machinery. I was even lucky enough to assist with the insertion of 3 central lines in the radiography suite alongside the lead vascular access nurse. This particular trust is well known for its dialysis treatment and so I spent one morning in the renal ward observing the setup of a patient on a dialysis machine.
As well as observing these fascinating procedures, I found real value in simply being able to observe the hospital environment. I noted the way healthcare professionals spoke to each other and the way certain teams worked together. I got an understanding of the different uniforms and what they signified. I had the opportunity to view online systems and records and get an understanding of their function.
I truly feel having these insight days reduced the anxiety of going into my first full time placement as I at least had some real world experience. However more than this, it solidified my belief that I had made the right decision in pursing nursing as a mature adult, and that it definitely was the right job and environment for me.
I am extremely grateful to both the infection control team and the university for providing such a wonderful learning experience!
Student B (S’21 Cohort)
Having had a career in aviation lasting twelve years, plus two years working as a healthcare assistant during a global pandemic, I was slightly sceptical about what an insight placement could offer me. This all changed after spending time at Holy Cross Hospital, a specialist hospital for people with serious neurological conditions or an acquired brain injury. I had the pleasure of shadowing a team of experienced nurses and healthcare assistants who knew each patient extremely well. I came across ways to communicate with patients that I had never encountered before, such as one patient who could speak to me through an iPad using just his thumb and another who had special technology installed on his computer that allowed him to navigate the computer with his eyes. All the staff I encountered here seemed genuinely passionate about their jobs and were happy to answer questions I had about various conditions and treatments. During one of the insight days, the opportunity arose to watch a tracheostomy tube being changed. This complex procedure fascinated me and led to me doing a lot more research into how a tracheostomy works. This was a new and challenging environment, but it showed me that there are so many avenues to nursing that can be explored and every encounter should be treated as a valuable learning experience.