Jolie, a Nurse Apprentice, has had her first external placement with us at St Peter & St James Hospice. She tells us about the experience and why the course works for her.
After finishing her A-levels/BTEC (English Literature, Theatre Studies and Health and Social Science), Jolie wasn’t sure what she wanted to do. It was her mum who suggested she do a nursing apprenticeship, which offered her a lot of flexibility. The ability to earn while learning rather than finishing her course with debt was also appealing. Though the course is with the University of Sunderland, it is predominantly held at Spire Gatwick Park Hospital, with one day of online university work per week.
With placements at the hospital (outpatient, inpatients, orthopaedic etc) and one external placement per year, this means that Jolie gets a lot of hands-on experience. She has been able to save money, and travel to the hospital and to placements, which are within commutable distance. So far she has found her placement with St Peter & St James Hospice a unique experience
“Each patient is so individual, you can get to know them. It is really rewarding working for a charity. I enjoy having that personal connection with a patient’s journey. My role has a a greater impact on patients, compared to an orthopaedic ward, for instance.”
Jolie would definitely recommend the hospice as a placement for other students, as she has been able to tick off a lot of skills from her learning objectives such as, monitoring stats, breaking bad news. She has also found that this placement has improved her resilience;
“Dealing with death is a part of nursing but I’m glad that my first experience of a patient’s death has been here because of the specialist nature of the hospice. The support around me has been incredible, giving me space to reflect after difficult encounters. I would definitely recommend the hospice as a placement for students.”
While on placement with us, Helen, one of our Registered Nurses, has been her supervisor and Jolie has felt incredibly welcomed by her and the team;
“I won’t forget them. It is the people that stick out for me, I feel like I’ve been treated like a member of staff; everyone works together for the patient.”