We know that placements are an important part of your experience during your course. We’ve already covered what to wear but what about how you get there?
For the second post in this series we’re focusing on travelling to nursing and midwifery placements. We've spoken to a range of second and third-year students from both courses to give you an overview and tips to make your journeys as smooth as possible.
If you’ve been to an Open Day or an interview, you’ll already know that we ask you to travel, but be prepared to travel further across the West Midlands just in case. For Learning Disability Nursing students travel could extend into surrounding areas such as Worcestershire. The good news is that Birmingham, the West Midlands and nearby counties are well-connected not just by road but also bus, train and tram (metro) so getting around is perfectly possible if you plan!
At the start of your course you’ll be asked how you’ll be travelling, whether that’s by car or public transport as well as your term time address.
Once you’ve got your placement, these are our students’ top tips for planning and making the most of your journey:
- Plan your route and then do a dry run of your journey at the time you would travel so you know what the traffic is likely to be like. It’s no use doing a dry run on a Sunday afternoon if your usual travel time will be 7am on a weekday! Apps like Google Maps and Waze are great for giving you live updates on the traffic situation and any roadworks etc. that might affect your journey.
- If you’re driving it can be good to find a podcast to listen to on the way to placement as this really gets you in the mood to learn by the time you arrive. If you’re on public transport you also have the great alternative of reading a book.
- On the way home, music can really help you unwind. If you’re using public transport though you can also use your time to reflect on how your shift has gone that day and make some notes to reflect on your practice so that you don’t forget before you get home.
- Another good tip if you’re on public transport is to get off the bus a stop earlier in the morning and walk the rest of the way. Weather permitting, this is great for body and mind and really gets the blood pumping to start the day.
- Some Trusts will allow you to park on their car park (if they have one) so it’s always worth checking.
- You can ask the students in the years above you where the good residential parking is (where there are no restrictions etc.)
- Placements in different years of the course are staggered so generally you’re not vying with each other to get parking.
- Where you can, share lifts!
- As shifts can start quite early, you’ll often find that the roads are quiet if you’re driving or on the bus and there’s more space to sit in train carriages.
- If you need to wear a uniform for placement, make sure you pack your uniform flat so it looks fresh when you put it on when you arrive. If you do need to wear your uniform on the way to work, make sure it’s completely covered – you don’t want to bring germs to your patients.
How much do you spend as a student?
Second-year student, Mollie, gives us the lowdown on her finances on a typical day.