We want our young people to enjoy their placement and to experience life within a hospital setting. However, it can also be a very intense experience and is not without risk. They may witness distressing incidents or even feel unwell. We take their safety on their work observation placement extremely seriously and the following information is designed to help to ensure their placement is as safe as possible.
A hospital is considered to be a high-risk organisation and shadowing a clinician in a hospital setting carries with it an element of risk. We have put in place a set of rules and guidelines which aim to minimise this risk. However, it is impossible to eliminate risk entirely and each young person must also take some responsibility for ensuring their own safety by listening to and following instructions at all times, particularly when these relate to health and safety issues. They must be prepared for the fact that they may be prevented from attending planned sessions at very short notice, and may also be asked to leave a session if it is considered unsafe or inappropriate for them to be present.
We ask that all parent / guardians have read and understood the following information prior to the young person’s placement:
Students must make their own travel arrangements to and from their placement. No responsibility is accepted for students whilst travelling. If they are relying on public transport to get to the placement we can try to arrange the placement to take this into consideration if necessary.
Car parking on this site can be congested and can be very expensive if staying all day. Visitors do, therefore, need to be aware of this and allow plenty of time to park.
The main car park to the front of the Trelawny Wing entrance uses a ‘pay on foot’ system. These machines will advise you how much you need to pay. The payment machines can provide change.
Park for Truro’ is Truro’s park and ride facility and all buses operating on this service travel through the Royal Cornwall Hospital site. The site at Langarth Park (Threemilestone) is located to the west of Truro and the Tregurra Park site is on the eastern side of Truro. This service operates between the hours of 6.45am and 7.15pm, Monday to Saturday, and the buses run every ten minutes during peak times and every 15 minutes at all other times..
Lunch will not be provided. However there are 2 restaurants serving hot and cold meals as well as sandwiches etc. There are also coffee bars, vending machines and shops which sell food and drink. They are also more than welcome to bring in their own packed lunch.
Whilst on a work experience placement, students will be expected to:
- Maintain a friendly, caring, safe environment for staff, patients and visitors.
- Treat patients, their families and visitors as we would like to be treated ourselves.
- Be an excellent role model for the trust.
- It is expected that students will arrive for duty smartly dressed. If the supervisor feels that they are inappropriately dressed they will not be able to continue with the placement.
- Clothes should allow for a range of movements. Long trousers, or a calf length skirt, should be worn with a polo shirt or t-shirt/short-sleeved blouse. If the young person is in a clinical area they will need to be bare below the elbows so it sensible to wear short sleeves and layer clothing as clinical areas can be quite warm.
- Shoes should cover the whole foot and be low heeled.
- Clothes should be changed daily to minimise the risk of cross-infection.
- Jewellery should not be worn, except for a watch and plain band/wedding ring.
- A set of surgical scrubs will be provided if they are in theatre or certain other clinical areas.
- It is natural for them to want to discuss their experience on a work placement with friends and family. However, they must ensure that they do not disclose confidential information which could identify an individual patient or member of staff, or information about the business of the trust.
- They must also let their supervisor know immediately if they know any patient personally. This applies even if they are a patient of a service which is different to the area of their placement.
Health and safety
- They will be given a health and safety briefing when they first start their placement and they should pay attention to the information they are given at this briefing.
- They will be given an ID badge at the start of the placement. They must wear this at all times.
- The placements are observational and they will be supervised at all times.
Working in a hospital
We want them to enjoy their placement and to experience life within a hospital setting. However, it can also be a very intense experience and is not without risk. They may witness distressing incidents or even feel unwell. We take their safety on the work observation placement extremely seriously and the following information is designed to help to ensure the placement is as safe as possible. A hospital is considered to be a high-risk organisation and shadowing a clinician in a hospital setting carries with it an element of risk. We have put in place a set of rules and guidelines which aim to minimise this risk. However, it is impossible to eliminate risk entirely and they must also take some responsibility for ensuring their own safety by listening to and following instructions at all times, particularly when these relate to health and safety issues. They must be prepared for the fact that they may be prevented from attending planned sessions at very short notice, and they may also be asked to leave a session if it is considered unsafe or inappropriate for them to be present. They must comply with any requests asking them not to enter or to leave an area at any time.
Below is more information specific to each placement. Please make sure that they student/young person reads the entire placement information sheet carefully. There is a lot of information to take in, but reading this information will help to prepare them for the placement. If you are unsure about any of the information provided, or about the placement they have been offered, then you must discuss this with the contact person for the area they are going into, or the work experience coordinator as soon as possible. This could be before, during or after your placement.
- Within the daily work of the hospital, they may be exposed to distressing situations. This might include a patient becoming distressed, a patient’s condition deteriorating, or even the death of a patient. They may also see procedures or conditions which they will find upsetting. Although we will do our best to pre-empt these situations, they should be prepared for them. If the student or young person is upset please ensure that they tell their supervisor or work experience co-ordinator so that we can talk about the issues as soon as it is clinically possible.
- There is a risk of verbal abuse from patients or visitors of the trust. They will not be expected to deal with any incident of this sort. If they are unfortunate enough to witness this type of behaviour, they should excuse themselves, and contact the nearest member of staff.
- Students/young people must not move or handle any heavy objects. These can include boxes, equipment, and patients.
- There is a risk that they may feel physically unwell after observing medical procedures. This is perfectly normal, and most people feel faint the first time they witness surgery for example. If this happens please let a member of staff know immediately. If they feel faint or sick they should sit down or leave the area, whichever is the most appropriate. There is a risk of injury if they should faint.
- There is a risk of physical abuse from patients or visitors of the trust. They will be supervised at all times during a clinical session, and therefore this risk is considered low. Between sessions they are advised to take normal precautions when walking in and around the internal and external parts of the hospital site to ensure their own safety. This might include not walking in areas which are isolated, or deserted.
- All students must be bare below the elbow and remove all nail varnish whilst on a placement.
- All students who will be observing in clinical/patient areas must be immunised against TB. They are asked to confirm this on the health declaration.
- They must also be aware that being in a hospital environment may mean that exposure to viruses and other infections will be higher than in their normal environment. However, the infections will not be different to those they may come into contact with in their normal life.
- We will not expect them to work in areas, or with patient groups, where observation would carry a high risk of infection.
- Students should avoid contact with bodily fluids, but be aware that there may be a risk of contact in unpredicted situations.
- In order to minimise risk of infection, they must follow instructions given by members of staff at all times.
- They must also ensure that their standards of personal hygiene are very high. They must wash their hands at the beginning and end of each session, and if they use the toilet facilities.
- In order to minimise risks of cross infection clothes should be changed daily.
- They must not under any circumstances handle sharps (needles or other sharp objects) and when in clinical areas should take extreme care where they put their hands, and check before they sit down.
- Do not handle patient belongings.
- If students, or anyone with whom they have been in recent contact have suffered any diarrhoea or vomiting within 48 hours prior to the planned placement they MUST NOT attend. We will do our best to reorganise the placement at another time
Exposure to substances
- A hospital will use a number of hazardous substances. They will not be expected to handle any substances which are considered to be hazardous.
- They must not touch any substance unless they are sure they know what it is and that it is not hazardous. This is particularly important when they are observing in clinical areas.
Risk of accidents
- A hospital setting will probably be new to them, and they are not a trained member of staff or a clinical student. Therefore, you will be at a higher risk of accidents than other members of staff or students.
- In order to minimise such risks they will be supervised at all times when they are observing a clinical session.
- At other times they must ensure that they only access areas they have been given permission to enter, and that they only observe planned procedures under supervision. It is essential that they follow instructions carefully, and leave any area immediately if they are asked to do so.
- If they are unfortunate enough to any form of accident, no matter how trivial they think it is, please ensure that this reported to either their supervisor or the work experience co-ordinator as soon as possible after the event to ensure that the correct procedure is followed.
We want all our students to have a worthwhile and enjoyable experience with us.
If you still have any unanswered questions after reading this or need any help or support during their time with us please discuss these with the supervisor or the work experience co-ordinator.
It should also be noted that on occasions it may be necessary to cancel a placement at very short notice due to circumstances beyond our control. If this happens we will try and reorganise the placement but this may not always be possible.