My placement in the community as a second year student children’s nurse
15 September 2021 | Holly Wootton
As a second-year student children’s nurse, I have gained experience on placements on a general paediatric ward, paediatric outpatient unit and on paediatric critical care.
When I was told that my next placement would be in the community, I was apprehensive about what this would be like for a student nurse and how different it would be from my previous hospital-based placements.
So, my six-week placement was based with a children’s community team in the North West of England. The Community team were very welcoming and I was soon off out on my first few visits. These involved suture removals, a port flush, and a viral induced wheeze assessment, followed by a wound clinic in the afternoon, so a pretty full-on first day! It went quickly and I was amazed at the variety of things I observed, did and learnt.
Over the course of my placement, I took part in lots of wound care management, including clinic reviews and home visits, with wounds ranging from burns to lacerations. I helped with dressing changes and the general care of these wounds and observed how clinical skills could be delivered within the patient’s home. Many of the children had previously been to the emergency department with their injuries, and it was good to see the aftercare provided by the children’s community team.
I also worked with speciality nurses, including the diabetes team, respiratory team, epilepsy team the learning disability team and within those teams, worked with other clinical specialities such as dietitians, physiotherapists and consultants. It was really good to see the multi-disciplinary approach around the children’s care.
I also took the opportunity to go on a spoke* placement where I spent a day on the neonatal unit. This allowed me to see the discharge process for a child and then later follow this up with regular community visits.
My community paediatric placement was a real eye opener to me. The team were very supportive, I learnt and experienced a lot and I now might consider community paediatric nursing as a future career option.Holly Wootton
I saw a wide range of living conditions ranging from very expensive and expansive properties to cramped flats having four or more children to a room. The community visits brought up lots of safeguarding issues for the community nursing team, which involved liaising with the safeguarding nursing team, to develop a shared plan for the appropriate next steps in the child’s care.
I also spent some time working on the children’s ward due to the increase in winter illnesses such as viral induced wheezes and bronchiolitis. Staffing issues due to COVID were a big problem during this challenging time. These workload pressures then passed to the community children’s nursing team as referrals from the ward increased as young children began to mix again and ward patients were discharged back to the community.
My community paediatric placement was a real eye opener to me. The team were very supportive, I learnt and experienced a lot and I now might consider community paediatric nursing as a future career option.
*A spoke placement is an extra experience students can pick up throughout placements, in say differing services that relate to your allocated placement to gain a wider breadth of knowledge in said area.