My experience – Child Nursing at City

Final Placement


Its happened guys. I’m currently on my final placement as I type (metaphorically not physically), how scary is that!! I have to admit, when I first started this course and saw students on their Final Placements I had reservations I would make it to this point…would I learn enough to get there?? would I be confident enough to look after more than one patient?? Would I pass my OSCEs and learn the clinical skills?? Would I survive night shifts?? It was enough to make me dizzy.

THANKFULLY, here I am! I’m pretty proud of myself- throughout the last three years each placement I have been on has helped me to grow and build on not only my theoretical knowledge, but also my practical skills. Working in close contact with other students, qualified nurses, and patients has allowed me to continually learn and develop as a person.

When it comes to placements, its important to remember that even though some are short (in second year we had quite a few 4 week placements) you have to get stuck in and make the most of opportunities that are offered.

This can be really hard as it can take time for you to settle in to the ward, or school, community team etc and with the people you are working with, but that becomes easier as the course goes on.  Whilst you might not be overjoyed at all your placements, you have to make the best of them and find things you can do to solidify your learning….in the community you give that sub-cut injection! Go out with the specialist nurses! Go to post natal support groups! Things like going on home oxygen assesment visits, they might seem trivial but when you are back on the ward it will click: ‘my patient is being sent home on oxygen, I better refer to the community nursing team before discharge to make sure its safe’, everything you do can be used as a learning opportunity and improve the care you give to each and every patient.

In special schools, speak to the Makaton Specialist! work with the school nurse, do presentations on personal hygiene! Understand the different disbilities that children can suffer and see how children and adolescents overcome them, allowing them to live their best lives. Communication skills are hugely important, and I’ve found that I use techniques picked up at my special school placement everyday on the ward.

Most placements on the ward have sessions being run by education faciltators, for example safeguarding sessions, blood glucose monitoring, aseptic technique, medicine managment…if you get the opportunity to attend make sure you do! It stands you in good stead for you final placement as you have a better grasp on certain skills and willl be able to perform them more confidently.

Every placement is organised for you to learn new skills, its so important to make sure that you go in with an open mind, try and forget pre-conceived views, and don’t always take your collegues opinion as gospel! Even if they have been to that area before you, you may have a completely different experience! But if you go in with a closed mind, then I can guarantee you will not have as much fun, or learn as much as you could!

So, moral of the stroy is…. make the most of all the learning opportunities, because when you get to your final placement its your time to shine and show that you have taken charge of your personal development and can be an asset to the team you are working with!



February already…


Hi Everyone,

Apologies for the delay in posting, its been a busy christmas and start to 2018!

Lets recap over the Christmas holidays….

  • I started to decide on research for my disseratation
  • preperation for final placement
  • general nerves/freak out about the fact that I graduate and qualify in 2018…

DISSERTATION!!!!!!! Lets make that the topic of this post:

The mere word caused shivers of terror down my spine at the start of third year, but it is honestly not as bad as I thought it would be (so far anyway). Firstly we get advice on deciding topics, so looking in to areas that you have a particular interest in- for me, I am interested in emergency/critical care so wanted to do something based around that area.

Now I’m not going to lie and say I found it easy to come up with a question, because truth be told I went through about 5 different versions before I settled on my final one (and even then I might end up altering it slightly for the final draft but hey-ho such is life). Anyway, we decided our questions, and based on the titles were allocated our Dissertation Advisors…now, these people are fab!! Its so important to introduce yourself to your advisor so that you can get to know them and feel comfortable with them…after all you have to have a fair few meetings to make sure your writing is on track. I’ve met up with my advisor multiple times, and she has helped me massively, even though I havent written much of it yet. I feel more confident in what needs to be done to meet the assesment criteria. Thankfully in my last meeting, I went in ready to pull out my hair and not really knowing what I needed to do, but my advisor broke the sections down and helped me work through it in chunks…..I think thats one of the main things to remember, that even though its a large piece of work, it can be broken down in to sections and then subsections and even more subsections if you want! Make sure you work with your advisor to help you break it down so that you can manage it without stressing yourself out…

When it comes to finding research for your diss, its a long process (I can’t lie…can you sense a theme?) but using the Health Sciences Library workshops that are run is super helpful, there is one run specifically for “searching for research for your health science literature review”. I attended this, and honestly, found out I’ve been using the search platforms wrong for the past 2 years, so that was helpful and eye opening! No wonder it took me so long to find research for my coursework! I would definiley say reflecting on my first two years of the course, to make sure you really use the librians avaliable for your course, they are so knowledgable and really know their stuff! They can help you with structuring searches, finding books in the library and referencing styles suitable for your course marking criteria….definitley worth a visit if you ask me. Now you won’t need to find hundreds of articles, fear not, normally around 6-10, you then have to read through these and evaluate them (you will get the hang of how to do that during the course, and its dicussed in depth during the dissertation module)

You can start your disseration prep whenever you like, the sooner the better, and slowly work at it, chipping away every now and again in small chunks, and gradually the whole thing wont seem as scary (I should take my own advice I think), the main thing to remember is that your advisors and lecturers don’t want you to fail! So if you ask for help they will give it to you!



Guess who’s back with a brand new track (/post?)

So as promised heres a lil recap about my first and second year at City.


  • One Nursing Exam
  • One Biology Multiple Choice Exam
  • One Concept/Skill Essay
  • One Communication Essay
  • One Social Essay
  • One Life-course Essay
  • OSCE Exam
  • 6 weeks of Nursery/Health visiting placement
  • 6 weeks of Ward placement

Don’t freak out! It looks like a lot more than it is…you won’t be given all the work in one big load, it gets separated in to the different terms. In First term I had 2 essays and 2 written exams, Second term 2 essays and the OSCE (practical) exam. I had two 6 weeks placement that made up my final term. It might look like a daunting list of work to undertake, but it flies by, and the essays are actually a good way to consolidate the stuff you have learnt throughout each term.



  • One Biology Exam
  • One Acute Care Essay
  • One Long Term Care Essay
  • One Optional Module Essay
  • One OSCE Exam
  • 1 X 5 week placement
  • 3 X 4 week placements
  • 1 X Elective Placement

Okay so once again don’t panic! This gets broken down in to each term like in first year, the difference with this year is that placement was before Christmas break (whereas first year I didn’t go on placement until the end of the academic year). I set myself deadlines for each piece of work throughout the year as we were given the assignments, to ensure that I gave myself plenty of time and didn’t stress myself out too much. It’s important to not let yourself get overwhelmed in 2nd year, it can be tricky to balance between coursework and placement, but once you get your feet firmly on the ground its all good!!

There is a jump in the way that coursework is marked, and I found it really hard to get to grips with the critical discussion element of my first coursework, so ended up being pretty disappointed with my first mark of second year…thankfully I spoke to my lecturer who went through my work with me and helped me to improve my technique hugely (by about 20% in the next assignment actually). One thing that is really important and something that lots of people forget, is to ASK YOUR LECTURER! if you are unsure of anything or just need some help, ask them, they are all so happy to help and and have a wealth of knowledge thats a goldmine!

I started my final year at the beginning of September and am currently having lectures on Leadership and Management in Healthcare, along with lectures and seminar to help with our dissertation. In third year I went straight in to practice after the summer holiday. When I first started my course I never thought I would feel confident enough to be able to go straight in to practice with no theory block beforehand, the idea petrified me, but this year I was just excited to start and get back on the wards. Already I’m stressing about my dissertation and getting it completed on time, but thankfully my dissertation supervisor is fab, and I know she will push me to get my work done and help me get it to the highest possible standard!!

anyway, I should pop on and carry on with my literature searching…

ciao for now



We have lift off….


Hi Everyone!!

So think I should introduce myself (and apologise in advance as this is my first time blogging, so this might seem a bit mismatched!). I’m Sam and I’m in my final year studying Child Nursing at City. I’m one of the student representatives for my cohort, and I’m Captain of the Women’s hockey team at uni!

My plan is to give you all updates throughout the year about my time at City, and balancing my extra-curricular commitments and having time to hang out with my fiends. Nursing is a a really great course and I love it, but it can be difficult when on placement to manage course deadlines and social activities due to those 12 hour shifts being pretty demanding!!

When applying to uni, it was a pretty last minute decision, I had come home from a few months away and decided in mid December (UCAS deadline being January) that I definitely wanted to pursue a career in nursing…and to do that I had to come to uni!!! Luckily, my godmother is a star,  I went to stay with her for 3 days and bossed out my entire application, fast forward 3 years and here I am having finished 8 weeks of placement, and starting to write my dissertation!

I chose to do Child Nursing as I have always wanted to work in the medical field, and the caring aspect of nursing is something I really enjoy. I also love biology, and I think that the biology of illness and how it affects each person is really interesting. Nursing at City is very interactive, with simulated practice to work on learning clinical skills, lectures, seminars and placement. Whilst placement seems daunting in first year, by the time it comes for you to go out to hospitals, you feel ready and able to put what you have learnt in to practice.

This hasn’t really had a very clear theme, but I’m hoping to post again in a few days about the first two years of the course, and how I found the workload.

Ciao for now!!






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City, University of London is an independent member institution of the University of London. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the University of London consists of 18 independent member institutions with outstanding global reputations and several prestigious central academic bodies and activities.

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