Community placement settings


Such as Community hospitals, clinics and hubs are local areas that usually cater for patients nearer to home.

Specific hubs, such as sexual health, dermatology and podiatry are able to focus the student not only on treatment but also health promotion and self -management behaviours.

Community hospitals are often where patients are looked after prior to being referred onwards or to home. These placements offer plenty of scope to be more involved with person centred care, and rehabilitation within multi-disciplinary teams these smaller units can offer a range of learning pathways that link in with many other health care professionals to widen your knowledge of patient deliver holistic care and person centred planning.

Community Nursing Teams

Community nurses visit people in their own homes or in residential care homes, providing care for patients and supporting family members. As well as providing direct patient care, they also have a teaching role, working with patients to enable them to care for themselves or with family members teaching them how to give care to their relatives. Community teams also play a vital role in keeping hospital admissions and readmissions to a minimum and ensuring that patients can return to their own homes as soon as possible.

Skills that can developed in this placement setting include: 

  • holistic assessment
  • time management
  • clinical decision making
  • communication skills
  • health promotion and learning about living with long term conditions
  • clinical skills such as ANTT, BGM, injections and vital signs
  • palliative care

Community matrons

The Community Matron possesses a variety of skills in dealing with clients/patients holistic needs in their own homes, fields of expertise may include; chronic disease management, COPD, diabetes, medication management, palliative care, tissue viability, continence and bowel management and urological disorders.

When assessing clients, they may identify health and social care needs that require holistic management; referral to other multidisciplinary agencies may then be required. Patients under the care of a community matron require advanced assessment, diagnosis; clinical decisions made and advanced care planning. This requires collaborative working with a GP/Hospital Consultant to plan and implement treatment for acute illness/injury/chronic illness as required, using skills in nurse prescribing and medicines management.

In addition Community Matrons indicators of chronic disease, anticipating possible decline and proactively managing this to enhance well-being and promote independence. Plan interventions in light of patients’ express wishes and goals of care, facilitating discussion with the family and significant others.

Skills that can be developed in this placement setting include:

  • holistic assessment
  • time management
  • clinical decision making
  • interprofessional communication skills
  • health promotion teaching self-care management

Health visiting team

Health visiting teams may consist of health visitors, community public health nurses, community nursery nurses, family health workers and community clerical officers. They work in partnership with local GP practices and children’s centre staff. They visit families in their own homes, facilitate community based groups and run clinics in health centres and community settings. Health visitors are in a unique position to deliver government policies in relation to the public health agenda, working in partnership with families, education, social care and other allied professionals to assess for health needs and facilitate early intervention. Health visitors are ideally placed to provide ongoing support, playing a key role in bringing together relevant local services to help families with continuing complex needs, for example where a child has a long-term condition.

Health visitors offer universal core services to all families with children under five years old and targeted support to families with additional needs such as post-natal depression, substance misuse, domestic abuse, teenage parents and those living in disadvantaged circumstances. This way of working is set out by the Healthy Child Programme (Department of Health, 2009) and the 4-5-6 Model of Health Visiting (Department of Health, 2015). Health visitors work in partnership with families and communities to improve access, experience and outcomes and to reduce health inequalities. They consider individual community needs including asylum seekers, travelling communities, religious and culturally diverse groups.

Key learning opportunities

This setting will provide a wide range of opportunities for the student to complete the learning criteria across all the domains.

The student will have the opportunity to develop his/her communication skills to a high level in order to promote therapeutic, reciprocal relationships with families. 

  • The student will develop skills in holistic assessment, family-centred care planning, evaluation of care and health promotion. 
  • The student will learn about child development, milestones and deviations and develop an understanding of how a child’s experience and environmental factors can influence their physical and emotional development. 
  • The student will learn about the public health agenda for children, young people and families including healthy weight, perinatal mental health, school readiness and safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults.
  • The student will be working in a multi-agency arena and may have the opportunity to explore the role of other community professionals.
  • These may include; school nurses, specialist nurses, speech therapists, children’s centre workers and professionals from other community services that are used by children and families.