Hazel Firmin, Lead Nurse for PICS
In June 2021, Hazel Firmin (Lead Nurse Primary Care / Lead Nurse Newark and Mansfield North Primary Care Networks (PCNs)) shares her experience of student nurse placements in primary care. 

What type of student are you hosting? 

At our PICS (Primary Integrated Community Services Ltd) practices we have just started to host undergraduate student nurses from both Nottingham Trent University and University of Nottingham. 

How has your interaction with NATH been during this process? 

I heard Errum [one of NATH’s GP Educator Leads] talking at a meeting and highlighting the need for more undergraduate student nurse placements so I got in touch. Errum very quickly introduced me to the University placement teams and got the ball rolling. Errum has been very responsive with the questions I have had regarding being a placement provider and with questions about supervisor and assessor training. 

Have you and your team enjoyed hosting the students? 

It is early days but so far the nursing team have enjoyed having students in the practice. 

What have been the benefits of having a student join your organisation? 

I believe that having students in our organisation motivates staff, helps maintain high standards and contributes to the education of the next generation of clinicians. A good placement can have a real positive impact on a students learning. It may even encourage them to work in primary care in the future. 

How does taking on students benefit your practice? 

The presence of students at a practice encourages a culture of enquiry and lifelong learning. Having students learning at the practice demonstrates to Care Quality Commission (CQC) a willingness to share the good work we do and shape the future workforce. 
The practice receives a tariff payment for each student which can help cover the costs of the time required by supervisors and assessors. 

How does taking on students benefit the clinical supervisor? 

Clinical supervisors have found supporting students motivating. It confirms to them the wealth of knowledge they have and can share with the next generation of nurses. It encourages them to appraise their own practice, brush up on any knowledge gaps and be proud of the amazing job they do every day. 

Did the clinical supervisors feel supported to take on students? 

Yes. The supervisors have undertaken the SSSA training on the NATH website. Many of them are very experienced mentors and so are used to supporting students. It does need some dedicated time to get to grips with the electronic assessment document when you first come across it. One of our supervisors has recently undertaken a course at the university which used similar assessment software which really helped her navigate the system. 

Have you had any issues come up and if so, were they easy to resolve? 

Yes – as an assessor I did get in touch with the University lecturer for advice about the students entries in the assessment documentation. I had an immediate response from the lecturer and felt more confident in my addressing concerns with the student. 

What was your experience of the University Education Audit process? 

The universities require a placement audit to be completed by the practice. This was straightforward and concise. Following completion of the audit I met with a lecturer via MS Teams, to discuss the audit. Again this was a simple process and a good opportunity to meet the lecturers. 
Tagged as: Case Studies, Placements
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