My biggest fear for my first placement was being unable to participate. The last thing I wanted was to be getting under everyone’s feet and generally be seen as a nuisance.
Part of my fear came from a conversation I had with a member of staff two weeks prior to placement when I rang for my off duty hours. I introduced myself and asked to speak to the contact I had been given by university. The staff member said she’d go find her but before she put the phone down she asked what year I was. When I replied that I was a first year she said nothing more than a very disappointed, ‘Oh.’
Although that was unfair of her and I shouldn’t have ever been made to feel as if I was a bother, that’s how I felt when I walked onto the ward for my first shift. Eventually I turned that fear into a positive drive to ensure that I was a valuable member of the team that contributed to care effectively.
The badge of ‘second year’ also helped me feel more confident. See the video below for more on this.