Unpreparedness In Nursing

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Unpreparedness is what I feel every time I go to placement each term. The university randomly allocates students to specific hospitals and wards across ACT and nearby towns. Though we have 1-day orientations every placement, still it is not enough time to familiarize the area. Nursing skills practiced during workshops are, most of the time, rendered irrelevant. There is this irregularity between what was taught in school as the best practice and what the nurses in the hospitals actually practice. What is even more puzzling is how nurses from different wards do the same procedure differently and say their way is the right way. This type of confusion adds to the stresses of student nurses like me on placement. Although unsure and unprepared, I believe sticking to what we know is the best and safest practice is the right way to go in preparation to working in different areas.

Other things I was unprepared for as a student nurse were the numerous things or tasks nurses do in the ward that are not taught in school or during orientation. For example: paperwork and documentation, and the use of some equipment. These struggles make me question whether I am ready to be an RN on the floor in a few months’ time.

Once employed, most of the newly
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Preceptorship is where a senior RN provides continuing teaching and instruction to aid improvement in the newly qualifies RNs proficiency and confidence (Gordon et al., 2014). But not all preceptor-RNs are good at teaching and encouraging. Most of them do more harm to newly qualified RNs’ professional identity than good. This area has been particularly problematic for me during my LPP5 clinical placement. I was assigned to a physically demanding and busy medical ward and I would say it was not the best placement I