anyone have tips for clinicals and other classes

  1. Hi, I need some one who has been through it to share some advice with me. I made it through my first semester of nursing school with a 3.0. I am nervous about August though. I start clinicals in Med-surg, orthopedics, same-day surgery, OR, and school health screenings. I am nervous about clinicals, do anyone have suggestions on how to be the best clinical nursing student possible, stories on your clinical experiences you care to share? I am also nervous about my classes I will have professional practice1, health management1, pharmacology, and nursing seminar. How can I keep all these drugs and diseases separated from one another. I know it is a lot of memorizataion but I also want to be sure that I am learning and retaining the info so how did some of you learned and get through. Do anyone care to share study suggestions and tips. I know the most important one is to form a study group with a few students and always be sure to pick at least one person who knows a little more than what you know. Any other tips I need all the tips I can get to calm my nerves down because I am so nerouvs and anxious to get the next semester started already and I have not been out of school for this semester for even a week yet.

    Thanks.
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   janleb
    I am about done with my first yr nursing school!!!!!!! It is hard, but doable. As far as the lecture part of nursing, find out what study techniques work for you whether it is index cards, study groups ect. If you feel you are in need of help, don't wait til you are half way through to get a tutor.
    As far as clinicals just remember they are not expecting you to know how to do heart surgery. Come prepared if you have to do a preparation on a pt the night before. during the clinical report abnormal findings to your instructor and the pt nurse. Any questions ask. Clinicals get to be fun after a while. And you start putting the big picture together with all the S/S you learn. Go through the bulletin board there is tons of advice throughout. One more thing, don't be timid if you know how to do something just do it. Preforming skills during clinicals can produce anxiety, but I made myself volunteer.(sometimes it was like an out of body experienc). relax and have fun. Janice
  4. by   TexasGirl
    I think you've made it through one of the hardest parts! First semester was really tough for me because you have to learn to think like a nurse and figure out what your instructors expect of you. I'll be starting my fourth semester in August and have had two semesters of med-surg already. It's tedious, but definitely not the hardest clinical rotation. You'll really learn to perfect your skills and manage your time better. I would definitely come to the hospital each morning prepared. We always had to go to the hospital the day before and pick patients and get all their information for our care plans. I would always come home and read about my diagnosis and drugs. It is helpful for me to write down noted about s/s and procedures just in case your instructor quizzes you (It always happens!) Be prepared! It will make you feel more confident and relaxed because you know what you're doing. Everyone has a first time and patients are usually understanding of students and appreciate all the extra care they get. I like to take my drug books with me and have everything tabbed with those little Avery tabs (I couldn't have made it without them!) This makes things easy to find and makes you look organized when you are researching your meds with your instructor or staff nurse before administering them. We also used patient care sheets that helped us to organize out day. These were great.
    You will have a lot of info to retain with all those classes you are taking. I would try to break everything down into its simplest form to study. I always have more luck understanding why things work the way they do than just memorizing facts. You won't remember them that way unless you really get it. I got a really good book last weekend that might help you with your pharmacology. It is a Kaplan book called "NCLEX-RN Exam Medication Flashcards Flip-O-Matic." This is a book of all the drugs you'll need to know for the NCLEX with side effects and nursing considerations. It is a little easier to absorb than reading it right from your drug book. This one is specific for nurses, so it is everything we need to know without all the extra "fluff."
    As far as studying goes, I started out using study groups my first two semesters. Last semester I studied by myself and felt like I got better results. Sometimes I felt like I wasn't really getting my needs met in a group, although, this may not be true for everyone. I like to really slow down and study in a very organized fashion. Most of my studying is solo, but I have a partner that I get together with really early on test days and cover the last minute stuff with. Most people don't recommend studying the day of the test, but it had always helped me. You need to experiment with what works best for you. I also like to make notes while I study about things I think I may not remember or don't understand too well, so I can go over them a little more.
    You sound just like me. I always freak out in the summer because I don't want to loose any skills or get "out of the groove." So, I load myself down with extra nursing classes in the summer to keep my skills in tune and my mind on track. The two week break between the semesters is enough for me. I really enjoy nursing school, although it is the most challenging thing I've ever done. To make you feel a little better, we have a lawyer in our class that says that nursing school is harder than law school!
    Hang in there. You wouldn't have made it this far if you couldn't do it. You sound really determined and dedicated. You can do it!
    :spin:


    Quote from peaceful2100
    Hi, I need some one who has been through it to share some advice with me. I made it through my first semester of nursing school with a 3.0. I am nervous about August though. I start clinicals in Med-surg, orthopedics, same-day surgery, OR, and school health screenings. I am nervous about clinicals, do anyone have suggestions on how to be the best clinical nursing student possible, stories on your clinical experiences you care to share? I am also nervous about my classes I will have professional practice1, health management1, pharmacology, and nursing seminar. How can I keep all these drugs and diseases separated from one another. I know it is a lot of memorizataion but I also want to be sure that I am learning and retaining the info so how did some of you learned and get through. Do anyone care to share study suggestions and tips. I know the most important one is to form a study group with a few students and always be sure to pick at least one person who knows a little more than what you know. Any other tips I need all the tips I can get to calm my nerves down because I am so nerouvs and anxious to get the next semester started already and I have not been out of school for this semester for even a week yet.

    Thanks.
  5. by   francine79
    Relax! They won't throw you to the wolves at the beginning of clinical. Most importantly come prepared. Make sure you know about your client's condition (if able) and try to map out your day when you get there so you are organized. Pharmacology is tough, you will never retain all the drugs just by taking the class. You will really learn them when you start administering them. So don't get too worried. Also, in clinical don't be afraid to offer assistance to the nurses with other patients (if allowed). They will more than likely appreciate it and will be more willing to help you through your learning experience by seeing your enthusiasm.
  6. by   Rhoresmith
    If you are able to get your patients information the night before, a helpful thing is to type ( or write by hand) a sheet with all the meds they are taking and what they are for and when they take them, put side effects and if any special care needed with these drugs ( with full glass water, do not crush etc). My school has guidelines for certains meds ( take apical pulse, take BP within 30 mins of administration, check certain labs ) before we administer these I write those down also and then I use that paper to keep all the info that I need for the day also ( vital signs what time I did what etc) this helped me out tremendiously(sp). Remember you are there to learn you don't have to know it all in the beginning

    Rhonda

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anyone have tips for clinicals and other classes