Clinical Help

  1. Hi, everyone. New to the site & my 1st post. I'm a guy getting ready to start clinicals after the holidays. I was wondering if the people who've been thru this (or are going thru it) could give me some tips, hints, etc.

    I've done well in LPN boot camp & if I don't bomb finals next week, I'll come out of it in good shape. I'm older than most everyone & have been out of high scool quite a while, so I was concerned at first. Everyone has been great, though (including instructors), & I'm enjoying myself despite the hard work.

    Anyway, just thought I might could get some valuable info from upperclassmen (or nurses). I appreciate any help.
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   Daytonite
    Hi, coyle!

    First and foremost, follow any of the rules you are given. Think of your clinical instructor as your supervisor. This person is going to be evaluating you as well as giving you instruction. So, if they give you a direction, follow it. The biggest reason people fail clinicals is because they don't do what they are told or they do something that puts a patient in jeopardy of harm. That includes things like sitting a patient up on the side of a bed and then turning your back and not paying attention to them while doing something else, or walking out of the room. When the patient falls on the floor it's the student's fault for not looking out for the patient's safety. The same goes for forgetting to pull up the siderail on a confused patient after putting them back to bed and then they roll out onto the floor.

    You will usually get some sort of orientation to a facility on the first day you are there. That includes a quick run down of where the important places are that you need to know about and how things are generally run. You're not supposed to remove charts from the area where they are generally kept without letting someone know you are doing so. In an acute hospital, the charts are looked at pretty frequently so they need to be available to everyone.

    Don't be afraid to ask questions and volunteer to do things. Instructors take note of this. They also take note of students who don't ever volunteer or show initiative. I've often posted that the evaluations of clinical instructors go into student files and are referred to later when students need recommendations for their first nursing job. Employers of new graduates aren't so much interested in how many procedures you have done because they know you lack that experience. They are more interested in your character and what kind of employee you will be. So, you want to always have a positive outlook, act responsibly, be flexible, show initiative, demonstrate that you can work harmoniously with others and can show some leadership when the situation calls for it.

    Also, carry at least two pens (in case you lose one or a doctor walks away with one), a small notebook that you can jot notes down on, a pair of bandage scissors, I always had a pair of hemostats as well, and enough coins to buy a Coke when you go on break.

    Don't be concerned about your age. My mom went to LVN school when she was 50+ and worked as an LVN in California and LPN in Ohio until she was 68 and they practically had to throw her off the job! You've got life experience on your side. I'm sure you'll do fine. We've all been through these first day jitters. As a nursing student I used to get nauseated as I walked into the hospital for my clinicals because I was scared to death of accidentally doing something that might kill someone. It was years before I was able to overcome that fear. And, still, I would step forward and volunteer to do things because I wanted so badly to learn and to gain the experience. Well, it's been 30 years and I haven't killed anyone yet.

    See you on the student forums! Welcome to allnurses!
  4. by   coyle
    Thanks, Daytonite. Your reply has already calmed some of the anxiety I'm feeling towards clinicals. Much appreciated.
  5. by   nurseangel47
    You'll be fine. Above advice is good. Don't be so uptight. It hinders the learning process. Take deep breaths...eat a good breakfast before going into clinicals that morning...stay hydrated and eat a nutritious lunch. The day of clinical rushes by time wise so don't dread it....do it! Best of luck to you! Mature students who've already sampled the adult world and how real life is often do the best in clinical practicum.
  6. by   raekaylvn
    I just finished my first clinical rotation for LVN school. I was so nervous going in! We were in a SNF for 6 weeks, and the day of orientation I felt completely overwhelmed. My advice to you is to take it 1 day at a time. You'll probably start off with 1 patient. My assessment took a long time, as did AM care, but as the weeks went on, I found short cuts and it became a lot easier. If you're allowed to work with a partner, do it! It alleviated nearly 90% of the anxiety I was feeling. Dont be afraid to volunteer to do a procedure. You have to keep in mind that there are licensed professionals there to help you, and they wouldn't ask you to do anything you couldn't do. Listen to your instructor, the LVN's, RN's and even the CNA's... you will learn a lot! Clinicals will drain you, its literally a job, but instead of them paying us, we pay to go there! Get lots of rest the nights before, eat a good breakfast, and most importantly... Have fun!
  7. by   coyle
    Thanks for the replies, nurseangel47 & nurserach.

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