When I was a STUDENT, the clinical experience I remember most was...

  1. This is a long time ago! More than 24 years:

    The first IM shot:
    He was a cachectic old man dying of bony mets and he needed a pain shot. I just remember giving it in the vastus lateralis and hearing him moan when I stuck him. The instructor settled me and said, "you did fine, give the med now."

    Getting faint because an old ENT used chloroform for his anesthesia agent. The only time I got faint in the OR!

    First surgery I saw was a pneumonectomy, which is a surgery my dad had had. I also remember "getting" to hold a rectractor in an abdominal surgery. (Old Diploma grad.)

    Getting to see an autopsy. Lady had had an MI and blew out her LV. Remember that the pathologist disected the coronary artery until we found the clot, we could see the area of necrosis and we could see the blow out.

    Just how cool it was to see a baby being born.

    The horror of being a brand new student and having to ask people about their bowel habits.
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  2. 43 Comments

  3. by   truemind
    I was very lucky to seeing twins girls being born in the same labour room My twin and I were born in 23 years before, I looked down at 'Twin I' in the cot and said "hello, don't worry your twinnie's going to join you soon", and then the other bundle was put in right next to her, (I was twin II) it was lovely to see them together looking at each other - it made me want my twin and reminded me how precious she is to me.

    I was also lucky to see triplets being born through csection the same week (I was only on maternaty for two weeks! How lucky was I? - its not a big town...)



  4. by   GPatty
    My most memorable....(there's a lot!)

    Probably when I totally blew re-hanging a tube feeding. I forgot EVERYTHING I had learned! I was in tears when the instructor said to me that she realized I hadn't done that since lab. I thought I had blown nursing school for sure (we were supposed to be able to do the measures without prompting). But she comforted me by giving me some tips and laughing about the whole thing.
    Needless to say, I did a lot better next time! (WHEW!)

    Julie
  5. by   huggietoes
    Memorable and embarassing. I am really short, 5'0, and ofcourse I am transferring a patient from a stretcher to bed with 3 other people all around 5'10, so I have to get both knees on the bed to pull just so I can reach, I pull back and pulled so hard that I went a$$ over tea kettle off of the bed, bounced off the window and rolled onto the floor, the worst part was when the transport guy asked me if I wanted to get on the stretcher and go for a CT scan. I politely refused.
    Same day mind you. This nurse is in the med room attempting to get an O2 tank turned on and the valve breaks off and the oxygen is streaming out of it causing the tank to literally fly across the room, I got hit by the blast of O2 in the side of my head and could not hear for 6 hours!
    Then I go in my patients room to change a piggyback and the pole is up way high, and ofcourse can not be adjusted. So I S-T-R-E-T-C-H for all I am worth, get the med hung, lose my balance since I am on tip toe, step on the pole's legs for support and went rolling around on the pole in front of the instructor. She was usually really militant but that sure made her crack a smile!
  6. by   dawngloves
    I've had many a memorable, or immemorable.
    During my first week a nurse came up to me and a co student and said, "Hey, Ya wanna see a dead body?"
  7. by   LasVegasRN
    I'll never forget having to describe to the instructor what we were going to document before we could write in the chart. I had to describe the patient's stool to her. I said, "Dark brown, liquid consistency, kind of a bitter taste..." Her eyes got so big and she turned pale! I was trying so hard not to laugh and a surgeon sitting by the desk burst out laughing at the sight of her face. Took her a while to catch on to the joke.
  8. by   NicuGal
    I had a gentleman that was supposedly not ambulatory from a stroke. The team nurse and I got Mr. X up in a chair, strapped him in with a posey. We went back to the desk to chart and all of the sudden someone said, Hey, isn't that your patient? I looked up and there went Mr. X with the chair tied to his butt trying to get on the elevator

    Then there was the poor girl that had a GI blockage and vomited fecal material all over me while I was putting in her NG.....I scrubbed with Hibicleanse about 100 times and I smelled that for a week!!!
  9. by   mc40421
    My second week of clinicals in a local hospital I was one of three students picked to work with our instructor taking care of a patient who had gangrene of his penis and had to have it amputated. His wife worked in housekeeping at that same facility and we were introduced to her and she filled us in on what her husband had been going through. The patient was wonderful and encouraged us the whole time we were in there taking care of him. As you can imagine, there was a lot going on and it took us a very long time to finish, but he didn't complain once. The courage that man showed remains with me today and I think of him often and wonder what ever became of him. His was definitly the most interesting case I've ever been a part of.
  10. by   sharann
    My 3rd semester, had a sweet gentleman patient who had been C/O constipation. The order was finally recieved for a glyceryn suppository. Well, I had never actually done this technically (you know how it is in school, need permission to breathe), so I got my instructor and we entered the room. I said "I have your suppository now". Well, he said "Oh thank you! You are an angel of mercy! Then he rooled over and yanked up his gown. My instructoe just gave me a look. She said "You must really be good to your patients Shar!"
  11. by   REDWOMANRN
    MY VERY FIRST CLINICAL--I HAD BEEN IN BANKING FOR THE PREVIOUS 10 YEARS!!!

    THE INSTRUCTOR DISMISSED US BY SAYING,"GO TAKE CARE OF YOUR PATIENTS!!" WE-I WAS TOTALLY FREAKED OUT. THE UNIT WAS SET UP IN A CIRCLE AND A FELLOW STUDENT AND I WERE SO SCARED THAT WE WALKED AROUND THAT CIRCLE ABOUT 3 TIMES BEFORE OUT INSTRUCTOR NOTICED AND TOOK US IN TO OUR PATIENTS!!!!!

    I WAS SCARED TO DEATH!!!! NOW I CHARGE RIGHT INTO THE ROOMS, BUT WILL NEVER FORGET!!!!!
  12. by   canoehead
    At about the 6 month mark in my first year I was getting a woman from commode to bed (she had done wonderfully getting up earlier) when her knees buckled and she started sliding down. I turned around and saw an MD standing in the doorway watching and grinning, and snapped at him to come and help me. He wiped the smile off and lifted her back to bed, and as he did her foot got caught in the hem of my uniform, lifting it up to my waist. I was only 17 years old, and mortified, but he left without another word.

    I have to agree that the hardest part of my first clinical was asking total strangers about their bowel habits. And even worse when they were hard of hearing and we had to shout the question so the whole 4-8 bed wards could hear (and once a little old lady in the next bed answered).

    HOW OFTEN DO YOU POOP? IS IT IT HARD OR SOFT? WHAT COLOR? WHAT SHAPE?? (Oh, my goodness, let me just melt into the floor right here...)
  13. by   Heather56
    First clinical rotation my second year of nursing school, general and metabolic med unit. Had my first death the first week and went down hill from there. My poor instructor would go to the unit the night before our shift to find me a nice "healthy" patient. Would arrive the next morning and hear in report that, unfortunately, Mr. X had taken a sudden change for the worse and probably wouldn't make it through the day. I had more deaths in that 3 months than many nurses see in years!

    In my final year I was on a urology unit. I had explained to an very pleasant elderly greek man that I would have to shave his scrotum for his surgery. I got quite busy and by the time I got back to him he explained to me that I didn't have to shave him as he had done it himself. I did have to check but though he'd missed a couple of hairs told him it was fine. it was pretty obvious that he was not about to let anyone else near him with a sharp object (at least while he was awake!)
  14. by   OBNURSEHEATHER
    Originally posted by LasVegasRN
    " kind of a bitter taste..."
    :chuckle HILARIOUS!

    Heather

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