It depends on the instructor, the rules of the state board, and the level of clinicals.
In our first clinicals, pretty much all we did was bedbaths, vital signs, shaky head to toe physical assessments and TALKED to patients (the hardest part...OMG, I can't ask her when her last menstrual period was, or if he had a bowel movement!)
Later, we had to have an instructor check meds before giving, and a nurse or instructor present with invasive procedures (inserting a foley, starting an IV).
Typically a clinical week went something like this: Monday afternoon, pick up assignment, go home, look up all meds, significance of lab work, all procedures, patient's dx, write pathophysiology and tie together primary dx with secondary dx's, meds, labs, etc. Do care plan, come up with nursing dx's, interventions, expected outcomes, goals, etc. Tuesday morning, go to clinical with all this paperwork done and patient was discharged or died so you get a new patient and do all the paperwork while trying to take care of him (not every week, but it will happen). Figure out what works, what doesn't, show meds to instructor, give meds, check AM labs, do AM care, etc. Go to lunch. Come back and try to finish up. Go to post conference and talk about your patients and your day. Try not to fall asleep when Miss Smarty Pants gets into the psychosocial aspects of her patient's illness and drones on about the patient's childhood and how she will use massage and guided imagery instead of narcotics to relieve her patient's pain. Go home and redo crappy clinical paperwork because the instructor looked at it and now it's illegible from all the red marks. Wednesday morning, show up and do it all again, hoping that your patient (the second one, remember the first one died or was discharged) is still there so you don't have to do the stinkin' paperwork AGAIN after you redid it last night. Make it through the day and sit through even longer post conference and talk about everything you learned. Daydream about going to MIT, it's got to be easier and less boring. Go home and wash the poop, blood, vomit, and tube feeding out of white uniform before all the stains set and redo paperwork one more time before turning it in on Thursday. Get papers back on Monday when picking up new clinical assignment and try to hold back tears until you get out of the hospital and to your car because there's so much red and a big "U" at the top.
Fortunately for me, my clinical experience was not that bad every week. Eventually I learned how to write a goal statement and what an expected outcome was. Eventually I got back papers that only had a little red on them (usually had to do with psychosocial stuff).
Just hope the nurse you work with (you'll be taking at least one of his/her patients) is decent, patient, and willing to work with you. Since it wasn't too long ago that I was a student, I am very nice to the students we get (on my rare day shifts). Get on your instructor's good side (assuming she has one...
) and try to see everything, even the mundane, as a learning experience.
Scariest clinical? That would be my second med-surg. We had 6 students taking 5-6 patients each, so we had practically the whole floor. There was a wing that had ten rooms and it's own nurses station, but was still considered part of this particular unit. I was charge nurse (for nursing students) and I had two students taking 5 patients each. The REAL nurses handed me the narcotics keys and said, "You seem to have it under control. See you later," and left the floor. Until lunchtime! My nursing instructor, the other nurses, the other students were on the other wing and did not know we were by ourselves. Fortunately nothing bad happened (like someone coding) and at the time I didn't think anything about it. Now it scares the $h!t out of me!!