Students should make contact with their placement area two weeks before the placement is due to commence (unless otherwise advised), so that the student may introduce themselves and discuss any information relevant to the placement. Please do not make contact prior to this as practice staff may not have been provided with the specific information in advance of this.
Questions which students may wish to ask are;
- What is the site’s preferred uniform? Some sites may stipulate that you must wear your tunic, whilst others prefer you to be in less formal uniform. Some placements ask you not to wear a clinical uniform. It may be worth asking what type of clothing is appropriate. Be mindful that you are working in a professional capacity and all clothing in this type of environment should reflect this.
- What is the name of your allocated Mentor/Clinical/Practice/Educator/Supervisor? Please be mindful that the person answering the phone may not have access to this information at the time you call. Ask what might be a good time to call and who you might need to speak to. It may also be beneficial to complete an informal pre-placement visit where placements are able to support this.
- What are the hours that you will be expected to work? Is an off-duty available for the first week? Some placements may say that they will arrange this with you on your first day, however where you need to know this information in advance (for example to arrange childcare) don’t hesitate to ask if you would be able to go in to confirm this sooner to enable you to plan childcare.
What are parking or travel arrangements to the site? If you are planning to drive to your placements, it is useful to find out whether you will be able to park on the site, and whether there is a cost for this, or whether you will need to purchase a parking permit for the duration of your placement. Please ensure you adhere to the guidance provided re: parking.
- What are the changing/locker facilities? You may be provided with a secure locker on your placements, although this is not always available. Ensure you consider this when taking possession to work as you may not be able to securely store valuables. You MUST NOT travel to your placements in uniform due to infection control issues where changing facilities are available.
- What are the lunch facilities? Some placement sites will have facilities where you are able to purchase lunch, however you may wish to take your own lunch, and it is useful to know if there is a fridge/microwave/crockery/cutlery available that you can use. Some sites may need you to take your own mug.
What preparatory reading/study would the placement like you to undertake prior to commencing placement?