Clinicals - - what to expect? - page 2

Hi, everyone! My name is Liz and I'm new here :) I've been stalking the site for several months to try and get information every time I have a question and usually that works, but I figured it would be even better if I just... Read More

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    I just finished my first semester of nursing. A lot depends on where you are placed. Some schools place you in a long term care facility to really focus on basic care and the pace is a bit slower. Other schools like mine put you on a med surg floor in a hospital so it's a bit more fast paced and you see a variety of patients and disease processes. Personally I was very nervous about clinicals in the beginning but with time I felt more comfortable. Understanding how to do a thorough but brief head to toe assessment is very important and definitely takes time so try to not stress yourself out. It's definitely a learned skill that I'm still learning! The best advice I have is to get your hands on everything new. If you have never done something before, try it with permission of your instructor of course! Nothing makes you understand skills better than doing it on a real patient! By the time I finished my first semester I was fortunate enough to do a wound dressing changes, administer pn meds, oral meds, injections and remove a Foley catheter. The only downfall and not sure if your program will be set up the same way is our paperwork and care plans were all due at the end of clinical day before our post conference so it makes it difficult to be hands on with paperwork in the back of your head.

    My last suggestion is to help your peers and let them help you with patient care like baths and such. My instructors encouraged us to help each other because we are really a health care team!

    Enjoy your first semester. You will never be the same but in a good way of course. Welcome to the crazy but fun world of nursing!
    julianaylor likes this.

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    Thank you!

    *Edit* Whoops. I'm still trying to get the hang of this board. Thank you to everyone who has responded. You've all given me a much better understanding of what to expect and have definitely calmed my nerves. I'm thrilled to join the nursing world!
    nurse_van2014 likes this.
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    In my program, everyone is required to take a basic nursing skills course (basically a CNA course) before being accepted into the program. So in first semester's clinicals we were expected to be able to do all of those basic skills from day one (baths, vitals, toileting, transfers, etc.) In our first semester we learned physical assessments, non-parenteral and parental meds (including all types of injections), catheterizations, NG insertion/removal and NG/PEG meds/feedings, and (basic) wound care. They put all of our checkoffs in the first 6 weeks or so of the semester and as we were checked off on a skill in lab, we were from then on allowed to do it in clinicals. Every program is different, but you'll never be thrown into a patient's room alone to do something you don't know how to do - nor should you be. Now not knowing how to do something and being nervous about doing something are different things. Most people in my clinical group felt very much out of their comfort zone quite a bit during the semester, but that's how you learn and grow!


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