Any Tips For 2nd Semester RN Clinical Student

  1. Hi Everyone,
    I'm a soon to be second semester RN nursing student. Do any of you knowledgable nurses out there have any advice for me? I want to get as much experience and be as helpful as possible. Any tips on gaining experience would be greatly appreciated!
    •  
  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   Rage
    As a soon to graduate student I would like to suggest that you find the area of nursing you want to practise and mention it to any of your instructors. By doing so it's possible that they will give you the clinical sites that would best fit your desires.
  4. by   oldiebutgoodie
    Quote from Team Player
    Hi Everyone,
    I'm a soon to be second semester RN nursing student. Do any of you knowledgable nurses out there have any advice for me? I want to get as much experience and be as helpful as possible. Any tips on gaining experience would be greatly appreciated!
    1. Always be prepared. Clinical instructors can SMELL unpreparedness. Know your meds!

    2. Ask to do procedures (Foley insertions, IVs, etc.)

    3. Have some questions prepared for your clinical instructor regarding your patient, an illness, a procedure, etc. If they see you are interested and prepared, they tend to leave you alone for the rest of the day and go sniff around somebody who is unprepared (see #1).

    4. Always look busy. Don't hang around the nurse's station with your buds, even if you don't have anything to do. (Unfortunately, a lot of times on clinical days, the patient you get assigned to may be discharged or die or something, thus leaving you with nothing to do). Read charts, look at how the nurses write their notes, practice writing notes, look up labs, help other nurses. Stride purposefully down the hall, even if you are just going to the bathroom.

    5. Stay under the radar. Don't be a rebel. If you are supposed to wear freshly ironed white pants, go and freshly iron those white pants. And don't wear black thong underwear under them. You don't want to draw attention to yourself (in a negative way).

    Some drugs you may want to learn about before your next clinical:

    1. Heparin, Coumadin, Lovenox: Why is the patient getting them, what's the difference between them, what labs are associated with these?? What is HIT?

    2. Blood pressure meds: beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, ACE inhibitors, ARBs, diuretics. What labs should you check before giving these? What vital signs should you check before giving these?

    3. Antibiotics: Read up on them, possible side effects, what should you watch out for?? What labs are important to look at?

    I'll post more if I think about it.

    In conclusion: BE PREPARED. STAY UNDER THE RADAR. FOLLOW THE RULES, EVEN IF STUPID.

    Oldibutgoodie
  5. by   Crux1024
    Quote from oldiebutgoodie
    Stride purposefully down the hall, even if you are just going to the bathroom.
    Of all the things you stated, i think that one is the best!!
  6. by   oldiebutgoodie
    A few more gems: (mind you, these were not culled due to my infinite wisdom, but from bitter experience!)

    When you give a medication, you should ALWAYS know what it is and what it is for. Almost every medication you give has an associated condition/fact/lab you should know about prior.

    Here are some examples:

    1. Colace (stool softener). Does pt have diarrhea? Probably doesn't need this!

    2. Lasix: What is patient's K level? Lasix depletes potassium. Don't give it if K is low, ask MD or your nurse.

    3. Potassium: What is patient's K level? (See #2). Don't give if too high. Ask MD or your nurse. (What are the issues with hypokalemia and hyperkalemia??)

    4. Tylenol: How much has patient had today? Guidelines are no more than 4 grams per day, due to liver toxicity. Here's a nice article on acetaminophen overdose, and the antidote (Mucomyst--a question that will surely be on the nursing boards).

    http://www.emedicine.com/emerg/topic819.htm

    5. Beta blockers: What is patient's BP and pulse? Beta blockers slow the pulse, if pt has pulse of 60, should you give it?

    6. Any BP med: Make sure your patient is not getting dialysis later in the day. This is a sure fire way of dropping patient's BP real low. Usually BP meds are held on dialysis days.

    7: Any oral med: Is this a sweet LOL (little old lady) who can't swallow and just flunked her swallow test? May not be a good idea to try to shove that big horse pill of a potassium down her throat.

    Some some things to think about over the holidays!

    Oldiebutgoodie

close