Experiences ~ Caring for a bay of patients

So I am now a 3rd year student nurse, I thought about now was the right time to do this post! 

Now my second to last placement was on a cardiology ward and it was amazing, I cannot rave enough about it! Part of what I liked so much about the ward was that they started giving me more responsibility and I learnt how to organise my time and jobs like I would when I become a newly qualified nurse. So you are probably wondering what this responsibility is that I was so happy to be given...? 

If you are a nursing student and not had a placement or have never followed a nursing student for the day, normally the student nurse follows the registered nurses caring for patients with some autonomous working in there as well. However I was lucky enough that the ward I was placed on had two small bays of about 3/4 patients which meant in my last 4 weeks of placement my mentor surprised me on a shift and decided that I was going to be the 'main nurse' for those patients (obviously with certain activities that I had to ask for help).

I cared for 4 lovely patients in one of the smaller bays in the ward on an early shift which meant I was responsible for making sure I had a complete handover as well as making a mini to-do list on my handover of the essential jobs that patient needed completing that day. Through handover I discovered that 3 of my 4 patients required procedures today so they needed certain paperwork filled out, as well specific things for each procedure e.g. a brand new wristband (a patient that showers every day need new wristbands very often) and it was important to check that each patient going for a procedure had 2 wristbands on (ankle and wrist on opposite sides). I also had to make sure they had stopped eating and drinking at a certain time and showered with the specified scrub as well as shaving the area (my patients were male so they needed to shave off certain areas of body hair prior to the procedure) and were ready and waiting in a gown before the porters rang to say they were collecting them.

Whilst ensuring that this was being completed ready for their procedure, I had to hand over my four patients to the doctors that would be looking after them that day. I also gave medications (with the supervision of the RN), this included a patient handing me a really old twist top bottle of medication that they had been getting their prescription and decanting it into this bottle! I also discussed medications with the on-ward pharmacist (I found this aspect really interesting that on this particular ward every day one of the lead pharmacists was on the ward checking medication levels for patients and discussing how the patients medications are going and if there were any problems with each individual patient. I actually found that this way a really good way of doing it!).

As the day passed I made sure to contact the catering staff to ensure that my patients that had procedures had meals waiting for them once they were able to eat again (quite a few were NBM due to anaesthesia). Once everyone had been fed it was about that time that the afternoon staff were starting to come in which meant it was time to hand over, the nurse I was with for this day was really nice and gave me the chance to hand over whilst she was sat next me to so that anything I forgot she was able to add in.

Overall I felt that it was such a great experience and a great skill to begin to build on whilst I'm a student! 

Danielle Levy


  1. It's such a positive feeling when you get more responsibility as a student and you do well! Wel done hunny x

    1. I was absolutely terrified when my mentor told me, however I felt so much better when she said I know you can do it, you'll be fine! Never forget to support and thank your student! :) I found it such a great experience as in my final year this year we are expected to take on patients care with the RN for support to promote our management and leadership skills.

      Thank you so much hunny :)
      Danielle xx

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