Being on placements is a great learning opportunity.

Kirsten Leslie, TNA
Kirsten Leslie
Current student
Nursing Associate Apprenticeship
Kirsten is due to complete her Nursing Associate Apprenticeship in October 2022. Read on to find out more about her day-to-day experiences on the course.
Kirsten Leslie, TNA

I did not have any experience working in hospitals prior to starting the course. My family had received a lot of support from the NHS, and I decided I wanted to give something back. Going to university full-time was not possible for me at the time, but I heard about the TNA programme through my auntie.

Each week I have one university day, either online or face-to-face on campus. For each unit at the University, I attend two placements in an alternate field. University days are planned well in advance on the subjects that we are studying for each unit.

On my days off I have assignments, revisions and reflections to write. I have found it very beneficial to do my practical learning and the theory at university at the same time as I can link the two together.

I have been on a variety of placements and gained experience working with children and people with disabilities, as well as mental health; I am currently based in an adult vascular ward. I find it interesting to see the procedures that are completed and the range of dressings for different wounds as part of the healing process.

Being on placements is a great learning opportunity. I now have experience working in various types of care settings including A&E, intensive care, burns units, infectious diseases and Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice to name a few.

My daily activities include receiving handovers for patients, assisting patients with care ensuring their needs are met, assisting in medication rounds, completing dressings, preparing patients for theatre and observing patients on return to the ward.

I really enjoy my role and seeing a patient's journey from admission to discharge is very rewarding. Caring for a deteriorating patient and their family is challenging but is also rewarding to be a part of providing the best care to the patient and family.

When I qualify, I would like to take time to enjoy being qualified as an NA and to continue to work in adult nursing. I would like to complete the top-up course in the future. 

The advice I would give to anyone joining as a TNA is to not be too hard on yourself. Working full-time alongside studying and looking after a family is a real challenge but planning my time each week around my shifts helps to know when I can put time aside to work on my university assignments.

Four students laughing while sat at a bench, outside the Students' Union

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