Fitzwilliam Nursing Placement Student Falls in Love with Theatre Nurse Role

Peterborough student Toni Silk found her nine-week placement in Fitzwilliam Hospital’s theatres an amazing experience. Despite her initial trepidation, she fell in love with the theatre roles and now hopes to start her career as a scrub nurse once she qualifies.

In her third year at Anglia Ruskin University in Peterborough, Toni is studying for a BS Hons in Adult Nursing. Her previous placements have been in Cardiac wards, ITUs, Acute Assessment, Gastroenterology, and a Urology ward but never theatres. She joined

Toni’s 9-week theatre placement involved a rotation of the different areas within theatres. She spent three weeks with the scrub nurses, three weeks with the Operating Department Practitioners (OPDs), and three weeks with the recovery nurses.

Toni says, “It has been an amazing experience. I started very hesitant and worried as I wasn't sure how I was going to respond to blood and open body cavities. I’d never had a theatre experience before and the one time I did see a surgery, it didn't go too well and I almost became the patient myself! However, Fitzwilliam’s theatre team were very kind and gave me time to adjust to seeing and being in a theatre situation.”

“Once I had settled in, theatres just became a part of my everyday life. I really enjoyed being involved and supportive whenever I could. My supervisors were very willing for me to take an active role. I supported the scrub nurses and anaesthetists, and I was able to take charge of the care of a patient in recovery.”

“I want to say a massive thank you to everyone who supported me and took the time to teach me whilst I was on placement. I know having a student isn't always easy! I’d like to commend Fitzwilliam’s theatre team on their professionalism and their strength of care and teamwork. They support each other and work through adversity, going to lengths to teach and provide a safe environment to learn from. It has been by far a hard time for nurses after Covid-19 but this team is definitely full of superheroes. Keep being the great and wonderful team you are.”

“It has been the best and most grateful placement I have had throughout my entire university journey. It has helped to consolidate my learning and make me feel better about my career options and prospects.”

“I really enjoyed learning all aspects of being a nurse in theatre but I especially enjoyed my time in scrubs, being able to give support during surgeries. I also had such a great time learning with the recovery nurses. My mentor there was super supportive and gave me confidence in my skills and developed in me a sense of pride in my choice to become a nurse.”

“Also, the food is the best I've had in a workplace in my whole adult life and so great for value! A little added bonus!”

“I have fallen in love with the roles and hope to do this within my future career. I would love to go into scrub nursing. I just adored the environment and Fitzwilliam has such a great team who made me feel like family from day one. I couldn't be more grateful and I hope that perhaps I may return when I qualify.”

Two women stood next to each other smiling