We are in our first semester of clinicals at nursing homes. One of the sites has an instructor who uses the time as a mini-lecture / Q&A / Chart Review rather than hands on. The rationale is that we are only trained to do general care now (hygiene, feedng, dressing, vitals) and since they did several weeks of that, it is learned. Because that work is not typically core RN work, the time is better spent learning new things through lecture and written means, and more fair because everyone gets the same experience.
My instructor makes sure we are hustling 90% of the time. We do whatever needs to be done, and as we check off skills in lab, we can start to do them in clinical. Although because of the ratio of 1 teacher to 6-8 students, typically only a couple people get to do something "new". The rationale is that although this isn't core RN work, there are things we will see and learn from in the course of doing the basic care and overall we are being exposed to the way things really run in a facility, even if what we are doing is taking coffee orders in the dining room and toileting patients.
Thoughts? Is one better or "more fair" than the other? How do your clinicals work?
Jan 24, '13
I don't have enough info to make any judgments about "fair", but just wanted to say that all of those activities ARE part of RN workload in many clinical settings - well, maybe not taking coffee orders in a dining room, LOL. Even though the tasks can be done by unlicensed staff, the RN approaches it with a different mindset. Bathing is never 'just bathing', it is also an opportunity to conduct a physical assessment, check the patients cognition and monitor how well he tolerates physical exertion. IMHO, the more comfortable you are with providing patient care, the easier your transition to the 'real world' will be.