What to expect during clinicals

  1. 0
    HI Everyone,

    I am about to enter my first clinical this fall. I am just wondering what will be happening? What will instructors expect from me? What should I get from this experience? Our first setting is at a nursing home.

    Thank you in advance!
  2. Get our hottest nursing topics delivered to your inbox.

  3. 13 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    For me it was a big, big learning experience. I would be so tired once I left the nursing home. So much that you are learning and it can seem overbearing at times but by and by you will get the hang of it. My big challenge was, as simple as it may sound, making up a bed while the patient is in it. Oh my goodness. I thought I would never learn that skill. This is an exciting time and much to be learned but I believe you will be just fine. Take your time and learn all that you can and stay focus. The nursing home is demanding but you will learn so much. Good luck to you and remember stay focused! God bless.-
  5. 0
    You can expect to take care of one - two patients alongside your co-assigned nurse. Depending on your program...

    For ours, we had to come to the hospital the night before and pick our patients.

    We had to go home and start working on clinical paperwork which included: A patho report on the patient's chief complaint, a drug report listing the MOA, pharmacokinetics, indications, dosages and side effects of all the drugs we would be giving the patient... We were also expected to know these drugs and discuss them with our instructor before we were allowed to pass the meds. We had to do a summary of each abnormal lab value and what it meant for the nursing care of our patient. Finally we had to do a nursing care plan on the direct care that we would be giving our patient and a list of 6 prioritized nursing diagnoses w/ 5 interventions for each diagnosis. Once we had to start taking two patients... our paperwork doubled.

    If you do have to go ahead of time to pick your patients, try to look and see who is going to be needing procedures done, like inserting or d/c ing foleys, iv, og/ng tubes, suture removal... all that goodness. It makes your day more interesting if you get to do some actual nursing skills, rather than just getting them tea all day, wiping their bottoms and passing a million meds out.

    Have fun!
  6. 0
    Quote from us2uk4u
    HI Everyone,

    I am about to enter my first clinical this fall. I am just wondering what will be happening? What will instructors expect from me? What should I get from this experience? Our first setting is at a nursing home.

    Thank you in advance!
    You will initially be scared to death (your first clinicals & all), but you'll quickly get used to the environment & patients. Do any prep work for the clinicals (looking up pathophysiologies of certain disease processes...). Ask questions as needed, offer to help others (as long as you're caught up on stuff needed for your patients). Expect to learn a lot. Do lots of patient assessments so you get familiar with what's normal versus abnormal.

    Enjoy!
  7. 0
    Lots of poop and pee !!!
    Enjoy
  8. 0
    Quote from thatsforreal
    For me it was a big, big learning experience. I would be so tired once I left the nursing home. So much that you are learning and it can seem overbearing at times but by and by you will get the hang of it. My big challenge was, as simple as it may sound, making up a bed while the patient is in it. Oh my goodness. I thought I would never learn that skill. This is an exciting time and much to be learned but I believe you will be just fine. Take your time and learn all that you can and stay focus. The nursing home is demanding but you will learn so much. Good luck to you and remember stay focused! God bless.-

    That was my weak point too. I still can't do it without someone helping me. Unless the person is as light as feather and able to MAEx4.

    What was expected of us is that we show up on time, neat and in full uniform. We had 1-2 pts. I always had 1 I wish i had 2. I feel I didnt get that time management practice. We had to do AM care, a head to toe assessment and write it on the assessment paper from the school. Then we made a nursing diagnosis for each box(10 different ones) and 3-5 interventions for each. We gave meds once in med surg. Then not again until OB. We also did any procedures that had to be done and observed most procedures.

    If you have nothing else do and some of your classmates are still trying to get their AM care done or need help with their assessment or anything. Help them out.

    In my downtime when nobody needed anything, instead of sitting around I'd read my patients chart. The nurses notes in particular and the doctors orders. To orient myself with the format.

    Clinical days go fast. Have a good breakfast. Wear nursing shoes with support. Don't forget a pen, an extra pen, stethoscope, pen light and any assessment papers your school gives you. (Make copies for all clinical days). Approach everything with an open mind and be friendly and ask for help if you need it. If you don't you could be putting a patient into danger and you dont want to do that.

    I hope you get the most out of your clinicals.
  9. 0
    There's going to be really great days, and there will be really horrible days. You'll be amazed at how much you've learned, and you'll be overwhelmed with what you have left. Patients will make you cry more than once (for good reasons and just because of frustration), and that's okay. You'll see and do things that you'll want to tell everyone about, but people outside of your nursing classes aren't really going to understand.

    You're going to be nervous every time you do something new. You're going to be proud of yourself every time you do it right. Hopefully you'll be lucky and get great clinical instructors and follow great nurses, but make the most of whoever you get.

    On my clinical days, I usually come home totally exhausted! It's a lot of work, and a lot of fun.

    Good luck!!
  10. 0
    Oh, and don't be shy about helping other students, nurses, techs, anyone who looks like they could use it... whenever you can, you'll be so glad later that you did!
  11. 1
    And whatever you do, when asked to do soething by someone, as long as it is within your abilities as a student to do or to help with, never, ever turn up your nose or act like you didnt hear the request. Always volunteer to help, or to at least learn and observe. I have only been in nursing since March (graduated in Decemebr and started in ICU in March), and already i am amazed at the number of students we have that come through, sit around the desk with their starbucks, and turn their nose up at any offer to assist or request to help thrown their way. We had one girl a few weeks ago precepting there, and in the middle of my patient that was crashing, my other very brittle diabetic had to have a glucose check. The other emplyees were busy with their very sick patients and the tech was off that day, so i looked over at her and politely asked if she would mind getting the suger, and she actually looked at me and said "i am here for management, and i dont have to do any thing with patients). I was appalled!!!! Sorry, but my nerves on this one are still raw..i can remember very well being a student, and looking for anything to do to help with, even explosive poop, just so that i would be appreciated. You know, how you act and perform in clinicals are a thing future prospective employeers look at. That is how i got my job now...i precepted in SICU and, as that was my only real experience, my manager contacted the nurse i was with, who gave me an excellent reference and all the best wishes, along with the comment about how she was sorry that they couldnt put me right there alongside them.
    vopoku likes this.
  12. 0
    depends on your program, but i will warn you, there are some nurse preceptors that are not as receptive to nursing students as others. just remember that it's not you, it's that they are grumpy and for some reason don't like students even though they used to be one. just remind them you are there to assist them with whatever they need!


Top