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Placement Wisdom: Block 1...

Hey everyone

Throughout the whole of April (my {Spring Break} *sob*) I was on placement at my local hospital in the Path Lab - I'm studying to be a biomedical scientist by the way!

I had an amazing time on placement - I am so so grateful to have been given a chance to do some actual 'on-the-job' training - the experience really was invaluable and I learnt so much. So I thought I'd share (and document) what I learnt whilst on my first block of placement with y'all :)

  • I'm actually a whole lot more confidentt that I had previously given myself credit for: I had no issues meeting and talking to the new people I met 
  • I learnt how to use a microtome (kinda specific to my job I know but I did still learn it!) and managed to do a pretty good job for a first-timer apparently!
  • There are going to be people that don't want to teach you (for whatever reason that may be - it probably isn't personal!), people that seem to have forgotten that without people teaching them they wouldn't be where they are today - all you can do is just suck it up and deal - their loss. 
  • Over-confident can come across as arrogant and rudeness (this was exhibited by the other person from my course on placement - not a very good impression!)
  • It's only my own blood I faint at - not just blood in general (another specific one - but I was terrified that when I did my time in the blood bank that I was going to be fainting all the time but I didn't - win!)
  • Break in your shoes before your first day - yep, learnt the hard way on this one - having to spend 7 hours on your feet all day with blisters is not fun. At all.
  • Using your breaks as reading time is great! I ended up reading a couple of books each week I was on placement whereas usually I wouldn't have time to read for fun because of studying!
  • Don't be afraid to ask for help - it's mutually beneficial, the person ask will get a chance to teach you something and you will learn something - win:win!
  • Know when to just let someone get on with their job - I was working on the urgent bench of biochemistry for some of my placement and it was sometimes so busy that I just felt really bad for slowing down the person I was shadowing when they had so much to do. Having said that - don't be afraid to try to lend a hand - I asked if he wanted me to do some labelling and booking and and centrifuging which actually helped free him up to get on with the tests - I felt like I was actually helping rather than just getting in the way!
  • Ask questions! No matter how stupid they are! Because a) you don't want to do something wrong that could have repercussions in the future and b) you want to learn something while you're there! I never ever ask questions but on placement I found myself asking loads - even random ones like, what did an abbreviation stand for!
Woah - apparently I learnt quite a lot! 

It has literally taken me no time at all to write down all these points - shows how much I learnt and how much I enjoyed it I guess!

I hope that you can take something away from what I learnt and apply it to your own life - be it school or college or an internship (I know summer is coming up!) or a placement.

aHm xoxo