Clinicals...I want to be a good nurse

  1. I started clinicals 2 weeks ago....we have clinicals one day a week for 4 weeks.....then the semester is over....then we have august off...I hate that we have so much time off. I don't feel like I get enough practice time...I want to be a good nurse...I know I am just in my second month of nursing school...I forget things...like yesterday I forgot to empty my pt's foley bag...I went back to get it and the nurse had done it....I should have known...but forgot...we did go over foley care in lab but that was many weeks ago....ahhhhh....I am still at that point where I am afraid to do anything wrong....does this go away???

    Any advice would be appreciated.....I JUST WANT TO BE A GOOD NURSE
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   LisaG
    You'll be a good nurse. We all forget things. When I started clinical in October I couldn't hear breath sounds. Of course if I had the stethescope on I would have heard them. LOL Things do get easier. If you have skills sections in the book look them over or even make copies to bring to clinical with you. BTW I am still afraid that I'm going to do something wrong but that came from other classmates that were rude to me.
  4. by   Alice McDonald
    Just relax. We are in our down slope part of Sophomore term. Today was my first real patient with diabetes. We really haven't had anything on diabetes yet. So what happens when you find two types of sliding scales in your patients MAR? Yea I found that one today. My instructor said subcutaneous 6 units. Okay I can do that! But which sliding scale am I really supposed to go by. She says the one in her chart with the orders. Okay. Well the on duty RN says use the hyperglycemia protocol one. Hello people I am a student here and getting more confused by the second. So we spent the better part of an hour calling her doctor to see which scale to use. Meanwhile the patient eats lunch. Okay up goes the sugar to 275! I was getting so frustrated when here comes the diabetes educator in. So she redoes the accu check and it's now 315. So she signs the MAR and draws up 20 units of Lispro and gives it to the patient. Needless to say I was so upset if I was a quitter I would have. But I have looked up Diabetes on the net and printed off all I could find about the disease. I was just afraid I could have killed the lady and then I would never be able to help others. After listening to my instructor for quite some time afterwards I asked her if it would be possible to spend time with the diabetes educator and learn more there. I have everyone tell me it gets easier, it does because a lot of the other things have gotten easier. Just the new stuff and being thrown into it as I was today is so scarey to students and maybe the RN's and LPN's have just forgotten what it's like to be in our shoes.


    Just another future LPN
  5. by   NICU_Nurse
    Look! You're two weeks into clinicals! You, ma'am, are a BRAND newbie! Give it a chance. You'll see- you will begin to relax and feel more confident as time goes on and you begin to not only learn new things but to RETAIN them and put them to use.

    Clinicals are stressful, but they are also exciting! Enjoy them! Enjoy learning what you don't know. Honestly, though it is important to empty a foley bag, your real priorities lie elsewhere first. If that's the worst thing you did all day, you should be pretty proud of yourself!!!

    Can you make a list of important tasks to do the night before, or, heck, even that morning? Stick it in your pocket and go over it before you leave for the day. I work in the NICU, and the first thing I do when I have a chance is sit down with a piece of looseleaf paper or scrap stationary and write a list for each patient of things that need to get done. I put down meds, doses, and times, along with basic needs like change OGT's or reposition the vented babies or skin care or whatever needs to be done. I carry that list with me in my pocket all night long and frequently refer to it to make sure it gets done. Can you do something like that? Maybe it would help.


    As far as what Lisa said about her classmates, boy, can I relate to that!

    I had a classmate who was just very, very haughty. She was definitely one of those people who feels better when she feels superior in any way to those around her. Not only that, but she was a big kiss-*** and the instructor that semester loved her to death.

    Well, we were on an oncology unit, and I had a patient with end stage lung cx who had tumors pressing against his spine. He was completely paralyzed from the nipple line down, and he was a BIG guy (about 190#, 6'6" tall). I'm a tall girl myself, but there was no way I could move him alone, and I HAD to change his linen.

    I went out to the station to ask a friend of mine to help me, and she was busy. This other girl overheard this, and so she offered graciously to help. We went in, and we proceeded to strip the bed and put the clean linen on with him still in it, but about mid-way, she says, "Wait...that sheet is upside down." I said, "Oh, you're right, but we'll just leave it upside down. It won't hurt anything, and I'd really like to just hurry up and finish so we can get him back into a reclining position." She gave me a look and I gave her one back that said basically "Let's not fight about a sheet, okay?". We finished, and we walked out. Patient comfortable, in clean sheets, period.

    Later, my friend came up and told me that immediately afterwards, this girl had gathered a group of my clinical partners in the break room and regaled them with the story of how I couldn't even make a bed correctly and what a horrible nurse I was and how SHE knew that the seam was upside down, and SHE TRIED to tell me, but I wouldn't listen to her.

    The seam? Upside down?

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaand?

    Did she prove that I was a horrible nurse-to-be? No.

    She proved that she was rude and petty and proved my suspicion that I would never want her on my team IRL.

    Ignore them. Or don't. Either way, don't let them get you down. I've got your back.
  6. by   thuii
    Well, don't worry about it! I'm pretty sure you would make a great nurse! You're still new and it's normal to tend to forget stuff, I use to feel the same way, and still tend to forget to do some simple stuff after finishing 2 yrs of nursing school. Just make the best of your experience and learn from them. Everything will go great!
  7. by   essarge
    I've found clinicals to be one of the toughest things to go through in nursing school. Every day, you feel like you have to proove yourself to the instructor. The stress level is extremely high, in my school, due to some instructors who feel that students are nothing but a "banging board". But that being said, I have survived two years of clinicals and hope that this last year is better. I've been working in the hospital now for almost two years and that has helped immensely. At this point in the process, I just hope to finish school, graduate in May, and pass my NCLEX. I have seriously been thinking of going on to get my master's degree and coming back to teach.....treating students with respect and knowing that they are there to learn....not chewed up and spit out!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  8. by   Carolanne
    Hi, allow me to introduce myself - my name is Carol and I'm new to this site. Sounds like a great group and I look forward to chatting with a lot of you! I'm a returning to school adult - in my 40s - nursing has been a lifelong goal for me. I waited till the kids were a little older to get back into school - now they're both in high school, so we're all "cramming" together. Anyway, I'm starting my second year of school in the fall - hope to graduate in May '04. It's so good to hear people sounding off about clinicals -- they are enough to give you an anxiety attack some days!! And to boot, I'm in perimenopause and stress and emotions send me into pretty potent hot flashes. Well this past semester I had my share. My instructor must have been a first descendant of Hitler. Seemed like her goal some days were to make me feel like a total moron. This was not the case in another clinical I had, the instructor was a sweetheart and I couldn't wait to come back again when the shift was over. Anyway, Mrs. Hitler thought nothing of it to belittle me at a patient's bedside, one night bringing on a hot flash as I wavered the syringe full of medication in my hand over this poor patient's arm. He must have thought I was insane - beet red face and neck, syringe shaking with inexperience. It was all so demeaning. I'm still recovering over this woman. My main point is, I don't want to begin school again in Sept. with this fear of being belittled again, especially in front of a pt. and their family. I'm a good student, just won a scholarship over the summer, and I truly want to be a good and competent nurse. Any suggestions on how to toughen up and remain confident even when you get the sense you're being ganged up on?
  9. by   janleb
    The learning does not stop with graduation. In this profession I am constantly learning. Use your resources at the hospital ect.

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