Do Clinicals Get Easier

  1. Please tell me that clinicals get easier as time goes by. Next week will be my fourth clincal in LTC, and I still lack confidence. Even though I can do the skills I still feel incompetent. Does practice make perfect? Do you eventually feel more at ease and capable? How long does it take to feel like you have it together? I am worried because next week we are assigned 2 patients instead of 1 and they will present more of a challenge....trach tubes, fractures, peg tubes. My grades are great A's and B's but it is a matter of actually applying it on the job that scares me. Any advice would be appreciated.
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   moongirl
    of course it does!
    each clinical provides you with the opportunity to learn and practice.
    it will get easier each time!
    hang in there!
  4. by   marilynmom
    Yes, it gets easier. I remember my first clinical in Med/Surg Abdominal Transplant Unit. I was scared of the patients and could barely handle a short head to toe assessment! I remember thinking "man these people are REALLY sick". Silly I know, but that was how unconfident I was at the time.

    You absolutely will get more confidence in time. Now I LOVE clinicals and can take many patients at once and go out of my way to find learning opportunities. Like anything, the more you do something, the better you will get at it.

    Your just getting started learning your skills. You have to have the theory behind what your doing (you will use that more and more--I see myself using my theory/critical thinking skills more and more at clinical now, it's amazing how I am starting to think like an RN, I love it), now you have to get the actual hands on portion down, and you will, it just takes time.
  5. by   Lisa CCU RN
    Yes, it will get easier, just be patient.
  6. by   locolorenzo22
    Yep, the catch with 2 pts is that you have to ENSURE you get all their VS and meds done pronto and on time...outside of that, do the care you have to do.....
    I had a VERY demanding pt on top of another in contact isolation, which meant that I had to gown up everytime I went in and out of the room (NM that the STAFF didn't!)...had to get everything together that i had to do at once so I didn't wind up going back and forth the entire time....
    the other guy was very independent and elderly, but he INSISTED that I do things for him he could clearly do...told me arm was paralyzed, but when I went to get BP he offered up that arm....
    So, just do your care and get it done pronto...then you have a bit of a window....
  7. by   greatan
    Quote from moongirl
    of course it does!
    each clinical provides you with the opportunity to learn and practice.
    it will get easier each time!
    hang in there!
    Thanks to everyone for their advice. It is so much different learning everything in school and then actually have to take all that info and know how to actually apply when working with pts. I guess I just needed reassurance.
  8. by   belabelisa
    Yes, it gets easier and you will feel more and more capable as you go along.

    Look at it this way - it is a GOOD thing that you don't feel capable yet. You are just starting to learn these skills. If you felt competent, you would be dangerous (and you wouldn't be open to learning).

    Be easy on yourself and give yourself time to grow into your new role. It will happen. I promise.
  9. by   shoegirl28
    I would have almost said yes they get easier, but after thinking about it, I think from my experince no they don't. The expecations increase dramatically with each semester (in my nursing school anyways) so I don't think things get any easier. Maybe when you graduate as a nurse they do. I certainly hope so. I am half way through my 4 year BSN degree, and so far it just keeps on getting harder and harder.
  10. by   Medwynn
    I agree with comport ... Each semester the clinical instructor expects more from you.

    Just last semester the instructor wanted me to know the H+P , Drugs, Labs, X-ray, Patho of the Primary dx and secondary dx and to tell her how they tie together. Talk about having to know your stuff. If our instructor didn't feel as if we were prepared .. off you were sent home with your tail between your legs.

    But anyways it will get easier in the aspect of knowing what to do during you clinical and what you are expected to do. Practice as much as you can during your clinical rotation. It's even better if the nurse you're with is very accepting of you. They will let you do so much.

    It will all start coming together for you. I'm in my last semester and it all seems to be clicking together. We start with 2 pts on 1st day. Pick up a 3rd for our 2nd day of clinical. Good luck.
  11. by   WDWpixieRN
    I am in my second semester, and I don't think that it's gotten "easier", but we have a great clinical instructor and just by her letting us know she has confidence in us and trusts us has done a LOT for my personal confidence in dealing with patients and feeling the responsibility for my actions in clinicals.

    I think the expectations will always be set higher, and never higher than once we graduate and are out of training and on our own, therefore, I don't think I'd ever look for any of it to get "easy"....but if we're learning what we need to in order to be competent -- or better -- nurses, we should be feeling more comfortable in a lot of aspects of caring for our patients...
  12. by   *lisa*
    Good luck to you Thanks so much for asking this question. This is exactly what I wanted to ask. Its good to hear that confidence does comes with time. Hopefully soon!!
  13. by   StudentSusan
    As time goes on you gain a greater since of confidence in yourself. There is always something new to be learned and I have a feeling that will be the case our entire career in nursing. Don't give up, the more you use the skills and apply the knowledge, the more comfortable you will begin to feel. I graduate this summer, but; everytime I have a complete new situation - I still get nervous butterflies - but I look forward to them now. After I do the new "thing" - I feel better about my abilities. Good Luck

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