Your standard working week will be around 37.5 hours on a shift pattern which can include nights, early starts, evenings, weekends and bank holidays. Shifts can be anywhere between 7-12 hours and the pattern can vary between trusts. Your shifts will be confirmed four weeks prior to starting your placement. It's not possible to fit placements around school hours and holidays.
You'll be expected to undertake shift work in which you will be assigned a Practice Assessor and Practice Supervisor, who will directly supervise you and act as a means of support and guidance. A Clinical Link Tutor from the University will also support you during your practice placements.
As part of the interview process, you'll be asked to rank your three preferred trusts, and your trust will be confirmed once you start the course. Please note, it isn't possible to guarantee your first choice. We would recommend that prior to your interview, you consider your preferred trust. During the three years of study, all your placements will then take place in various locations within that trust, so the travel distance will vary.
Travel to placement providers may take up to a maximum of 90 minutes, as calculated by an online travel route planner, depending on your mode of transport. It's your responsibility to ensure attendance at a placement provider by making the necessary plans to travel in advance of your placement commencing. A travel and accommodation bursary is available via the NHS Learning Support Fund for students who find themselves financially disadvantaged. If you feel you may need additional financial support you should, in the first instance, seek free advice from the University’s Student Financial Guidance team.
You will have seven weeks of holiday per year, with two weeks off at Christmas. The remaining five weeks is spread across the rest of the academic year. The timings of the holidays will vary over the three years and we do try, where possible, to align some of these to the school holidays. You are unable to take holiday outside of these set times, but you'll be provided with a three year plan on enrolment.
While you're on placement, we want to make sure you feel supported. In all placements, students are supernumerary to ensure a positive learning environment. You'll be encouraged to participate in all activities and follow journeys to offer additional learning and understanding. You will also have a Practice Assessor who is responsible for your wellbeing and learning, as well as an extensive number of Practice Supervisors to support you.
During your first year of placement, you will always be supervised, and supervision is managed as per student development and bespoke to your personal learning as the course progresses. By your third year of placement, you will manage responsibilities such as small patient groups, a ward area, or a community case load independently, but will still have support from the area staff.
At the end of every placement, we request student feedback which is available for all to see. We also audit all placements annually for quality.