Thoughts on placement year – Part 1: B placement

My third year is a clinical placement year. This is different to the professional training year offered in other courses, as it is compulsory training and requires a pass to progress to the final year. The placement year is separated into two main parts: B placement in Sept-Dec, followed by the Applied Dietetics module, and then C placement in Feb-May. In the following couple of blogs, I am going to share my experience and thoughts on placement year.

Choosing placement provider

You will be given a list of placement providers a couple of months beforehand, you can then prioritise your three choices. I would say, do research around the choices. For instance, whether you would like to work in an acute or community or a mixture of both? Any specialities you would like to experience? Do you require accommodations or if you need a car for placement? This helps you to choose a placement that fits your needs.

What’s B-placement like?

For my B-placement, it was an acute and community mixed placement. And instead of 12-weeks, it was shortened to 10-weeks plus 2-weeks pre-placement training with uni. As my first placement was cancelled due to covid, this was my very first job experience in an NHS hospital. I was spending two days with the community team, doing phone-call or virtual clinic appointments, some home visits, leading some education groups; one day with the diabetes team; two days with the acute team based at the hospital doing ward work.

As a B-placement student, you will start with a couple of weeks of shadowing experience in different specialities. For example, observing how dietitians approach patients, flow and structure of consultations, communication within the MDT, the role of dietitians in different specialities… These are all fascinating experiences and eye-opening to me. You could always ask the team if you want a certain experience or practice.

Moving towards the end of the placement, the final two weeks will be your consolidation week. You will be given your caseload of patients, which implies you are responsible for certain wards. It was an amazing experience for you to demonstrate all the skills and knowledge that you have build-up during placement. And you will also be able to have a glance and taste of prioritisation, time-management etc.

Tips for students going B-placement

It could be overwhelming at the start especially when this is your first job experience. But I would say, always believe in yourself. I had a lot of worries before the start of placement (e.g. language barriers, time management, the knowledge I have got, lack of clinical experience), but everything turns out to be fine! You will be able to develop your skills throughout the placement, putting knowledge to practice. And also, never be afraid of making mistakes. I was very worried about bringing trouble to the team. But who doesn’t make mistakes? It’s ok to make mistakes, but not to repeat mistakes. Always ask for feedback and discuss with your supervisor for improvement.

So that’s for my B placement. If you are interested in my placement journey, please don’t forget to check out my upcoming post on my experience with C-placement! See you soon😊