Nursing Students

Welcome to the Intensive Care Unit

We hope you find your placement at Intensive Care rewarding and enjoyable and your time spent with us provides you with a valuable learning experience.

You will need to contact ITU approximately 2 weeks prior to your start date to confirm your placements details and also to be given you shift timetable and mentor details.

If you wish to visit the unit before starting your placement, we will be more than happy to meet with you and show you around.

Learning opportunities available within the placement area.

  • Patient assessment and recording observations
  • Recognising changes in condition and identifying the deteriorating patient
  • The importance of accurate fluid balance, good nutritional care, mobilisation
  • Caring for critically ill patients and those who are recovering from critical illness
  • Care of patients at the end of their lives
  • Recognising the impact critical illness has on a patient and their families
  • Assisting with the safe admission and discharge of patients
  • Observing interventions such as intubation /extubation, insertion of vascular devices, insertion of percutaneous tracheostomy
  • The majority of the patients on ITU are admitted following medical or surgical issues, however we also admit the following patients (which may vary depending upon site):
  • Maternity – mothers following complications of pregnancy and birth, such as haemorrhage, eclampsia
  • Paediatrics- Occasional paediatric admissions, often requiring respiratory support until the South Thames Retrieval Team come to retrieve the child to a Paediatric Intensive Care Unit.
  • Mental Health – You may care for patients with a history of mental health issues such as overdose, psychosis, personality disorders, depression.
  • Learning Disability - You may care for patients with Learning Difficulties and their families.



What we expect from you

  • We expect students to arrive on time for all planned shifts, and any other activity organised by your mentor or delegated supervisor.
  • We expect you to ensure your mentors are aware of your learning outcomes for the placement and any specific learning needs. We expect you to be proactive in your own learning.
  • We expect students to behave in a professional manner.
  • We expect students to dress in accordance with Trust uniform policy/guidelines.
  • Students must inform their mentor or delegated person if you are unwell and unable to attend your placement. The process for this will be discussed on induction to the ward, and in addition is in The Student Information Pack.
  • Confidentiality must be maintained and respected at all times. This applies to patients, their records, and discussion between you and your mentor.
  • Confidentiality should apply to members of the public and family members.
  • If you have any concerns regarding your placement, please raise them with your mentors, or if this is not possible please contact the ward manager or the education team.

What you can expect from us

  • We will offer you a dynamic, patient focused experience.
  • You will work alongside one of your mentors or another experienced member of the team each shift
  • We will treat you as a part of the team and with courtesy
  • You and your mentors will have time to complete your documentation and discuss your learning aims and objectives
  • You will see how a multidisciplinary team work together for the benefit of the patient
  • You can follow the consultant ward round, the physio, the dietician, the pharmacist to better understand their roles
  • You will get to deliver patient care under the supervision of a registered nurse.

Other multidisciplinary professionals that students may work and spend time with.

  • Critical Care Outreach team.
  • Physiotherapists.
  • Speech and Language Therapist.
  • Pharmacist.
  • Tissue Viability team.
  • Dietician
  • Diabetic Specialist nurse.
  • Stoma Care nurse.

We would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to Intensive Care, and hope you enjoy your placement, and that all your learning is fulfilled.