Too many times I’ve heard students complain about really valid issues in placement such as not having an identified mentor or struggling with their allocated working hours only for them to say “Oh no I haven’t mentioned it to the PEF”
Each practice area has a designated PEF who’s details will be available to you on Blackboard, via your trust’s intranet and are often plastered all over the student noticeboard at your placement. These details are there to be used! From my experience the sooner an issue is raised with a PEF the more options they will have to improve not just your practice experience, but the experiences of those to follow you as well.
I thought my current placement was dire when I started, I really struggled to get to grips with the layout of the clinics, the working hours were strange and the procedures seemed so abstract and removed from the Nursing I was used to in my previous ward. I was close to asking to be moved when I spoke to my PEF.
She listened to my concerns, understood them and then fired back about 10 different solutions to the issues I had been struggling with for weeks.
After a few days of implementing these suggestions I started waking up excited to get into placement. The wealth of knowledge these members of staff are privy to can completely change your placement and they’re also able to raise concerns with other members of staff if there is a real issue in placement.
So PEFs; teachers, advisors, counselors at times but first and foremost Nurses who’s main goal is to ensure you are as supported and happy as you can be in practice.