My final week of general practice placement is finished

What an amazing end to my last week of placement! It has been emotional and I was not looking forward to my last day at all….

Monday 30th April 2018:

Today I had a great day as always. I worked alongside my mentor in the morning doing various patients: injections, hypertension, diabetes and patient results. The afternoon, I had my own clinic for diabetes patients;

  • Blood pressure.
  • Weight, height and BMI.
  • Urine sample to send for testing.
  • Patient home glucose monitor readings.
  • Health promotion and advice.
  • Blood results if they have had them done recently. If not arrange a blood test and review this.
  • Complete a management plan with patient.
  • Foot examination, monofilament check and doppler assessment.

My next task was to finish a task my mentor had set me of creating a mental health care plan. Something I have never done before but I absolutely love a challenge! I found this really exciting and interesting to do. Following this, I created a template which featured;

  • Patient current worry/problem, a goal / target for them to achieve, referrals and treatments (which can include counselling sessions).
  • I found some links and emergency telephone numbers for a variety of places for them to contact if needed such as; Birmingham Minds, LGBT centre, Samaritans, children’s organisation, emergency contact details for the clinic.

I completely forgot to take a photo of the template to show you all, sorry! My mentor and the junior doctor appeared happy with it 🙂

Tuesday 1st May 2018: 

I had the privilege of going and sitting in with the midwife at the surgery! How exciting?! This actually made my day. I learnt so much from the midwife and did not realise how much they do! We saw pregnant ladies who were all 34 weeks and over. Here’s what we did in clinic:

  • Blood pressure
  • Urine test for glucose, protein and infections
  • Abdominal examination and positioning of the baby
  • Measuring the belly / bump
  • Listening to the babies heart beat using a doppler machine.

The midwife asked the patients could I feel their baby bump, and lucky for me, they agreed! Yay! At the start I just kind of…. prodded… I had no clue how to even feel a belly haha! I felt so incompetent. The midwife was fantastic and after saying ‘you have never felt a belly before have you?!’ she showed me how I should be feeling it correctly haha. To be honest the first time, I could not really feel anything and I felt so silly for it. However, I have never experienced midwifery before, or pregnancy bumps so I just reminded myself of this and tried not to beat myself up about it too much. Further more, as an adult nurse, we do not train to care for pregnancy like you do as a midwife.

The midwife was amazing, she knew so much! She had been trained for 10 years and knew everything possible. She is a real role model and inspiration to a student nurse. I asked a lot of questions as I wanted to know everything about pregnant ladies and midwifery in general.

The next thing I did, with consent of the patient, was listening to the patients heart beat! What an experience! The midwife told me how to tell the difference between hearing the placenta and the heart beat; the placenta is more of a ‘swooshing back and forth’ sound and the heart beat is more of a super fast tick tock sound. How incredible is that?! The babies heart was 130 beats per minute! Which sounds so fast to me, I had no idea babies hearts could go so fast and not cause a heart attack – AMAZING!

The midwife went through risk assessments with me, and different patients she has seen over her time. Patients from all different cultures and backgrounds and how different everyone deals with pregnancy. It is just something I have never even thought about! For example, how some cultures are just naturally better at breast feeding than others. She told me of some cultures who perceive fruit and vegetables as ‘luxury’ items so they will not buy them. Following this, she told me how much paper work is involved and referring patients to social services etc. The whole morning just fascinated me so much and I am now starting to think about adding a dual qualification to my degree once qualified. Could I be a general practice nurse AND midwife AND work in education all at once? We shall see! I have high goals and I aim to achieve them that is for sure.

Wednesday 2nd April 2018: 

I worked alongside my buddy mentor for the asthma / COPD clinic. We had a few patients come in for a variety of things like injections and sexual health testing too. It is great to see how differently my mentors work but both always have the patients best interest at heart and go out their way to provide that care. I took in a little gift for my buddy mentor to say thank you for teaching me spirometry! Haha. I can now understand how to calculate the percentage because of her. It was only a small gesture, a little candle set for her new caravan and a box of paracetamol for her headaches haha! (A little slice of comedy between us).

Thursday 3rd April 2018: 

My last day of placement!! I have been dreading this day for the past two weeks now for a number of reasons;

I fell in love with general practice nursing and do not want to leave. I have felt part of a team in this surgery and they call me by my name rather than ‘the student nurse.’ I always get nervous for the big final interview and sign off part, because what if… just what if… I have failed? Just because I think I am meeting targets and doing well, does not mean I actually am, that is up to my mentor to decide. And last but not least, I am really awkward at goodbyes and farewells. I tend to stay around as long as possible and just hover because I do not know what to do with myself haha. But the main one is, I will miss this place, these Disney painted walls, the Banksy art in the staff room, the patients I have grown to love and come to know, the doctor, the reception staff and even the cleaner who I always bump into but should not (because I am always so early!) I will miss my routine of parking in the car park, sitting in my car to do some little bits of work before going into clinic and setting up. Offering everyone a cup of tea when I do go into clinic to get ready and them always politely declining, but I offer very day to be polite anyway. I am going to miss the cafe down the road for my second breakfast and how friendly they were in there. But most of all, I shall miss the most amazing mentor who has taught me so much! She has just been fantastic, she really has. To see the 6 C’s inside her soul naturally, to see her care so much for each patient even when they are stubborn and will not listen to her advice. She is my inspiration and role model to be when I qualify and become a general practice nurse.

So, back to today, we had a few patients booked in, a nice variety for the day of: smear test, blood pressure, blood test results, diabetic foot check, injection and a new patient health check. Once the patient were completed, my mentor asked for my book so that we could sit down and fill it out. My mentor seemed as nervous as me for this moment, so much so, she told me to go make tea so she can fill her bits out because ‘you’re making me nervous Claire’ haha! Which made me laugh, but it also made me realise that it must be hard for mentors as well? To have the power to say whether a student is good enough to pass that placement and progress on in their career. I imagine it is a tough challenge for the final year students and their management placements.

I arrived back with tea for my mentor, we sat and filled out my book and I had some wonderful feedback from the whole team. They even got me a good luck card! How lovely!! 🙂 They had all signed it and written a little piece (I did not actually open my card in clinic in case I started to cry).

I then went to the car and came back with a hamper I had hand made for them with a card to thank them all for being amazing and teaching me so much. I got my mentor a little gift for just her, a nice wine glass for when she finally relaxes at home and I had printed out my blogs on my journey of general practice nursing. I had not told her I was writing blogs, I did this on purpose in case she changed the way she was. I think it made her day! I know I would love this gesture if I was a mentor. I would love to see my students journey and everything they have learnt from this placement. I left clinic with a tear in my eye but held it back and reminded myself that when I qualify I can apply for a position there if one becomes available and I have told the doctor to remember me after I leave. He did comment a few times that there will be a job waiting for me so I will hold him to this haha.

So that is it… end of placement 2.1 and I have had the most amazing time here. It is sad that it has came to an end but if I want to progress and qualify it has to happen. So until next time, goodbye for now, I am off on annual leave for the next week! See you all then.
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Here is my Vlog on my final week of placement: Final week of general practice placement

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34 years old and finally achieving my dream of becoming a nurse.

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