Does clinical do this to anyone else?

  1. So it feels like on the days that I have clinical I come home so absolutely exhausted that I just feel too foggy to study or do anything productive. It seems like it's got to be something more than just physical activity! I mean, I can work out really hard and be on my feet for most of the day, and feel okay when it doesn't involve clinical. Is it the getting up early? On my clinical days, I get up around 5:15ish, and I'm there from about 6:40am to 4pm. I'm doing total patient care, and etc. so it's pretty labor intensive at times, but there's also a lot of sitting down to chart and do preconference/postconference... Anyway, I"m just sitting here all frustrated that I feel like passing out in bed at 7:19pm when I have 3 major tests to study for! Anyone have any suggestions? Anyone else know why clinical does this haha? Or is it just me?
  2. Visit lelafin profile page

    About lelafin, ADN, RN

    Joined: Oct '08; Posts: 62; Likes: 53
    from US
    Specialty: 3 year(s) of experience in Critical Care, Trauma, Neuroscience


  3. by   lalopop86
    If I had to guess, I would say it was a combination of the physical activity, the getting up early, the stress of being at a site that you may not be 100% comfortable or familiar with, the stress of doing patient care as well as paperwork and the other things that you have to do when you get home. No suggestions unfortunately. Nursing school in general makes me tired
  4. by   morningdew
    Yes! My classmates and I were talking about this today. For the first time we're having 12hr clinicals and we're just so exhausted that we pass out when we get home. I can never study or get anything productive done after a clinical day so I usually plan to do things during off days. It's just mentally and physically draining.
  5. by   mshessle
    It doesn't get much better when you start working as an RN. 12 hr days are draining.
  6. by   Stcroix
    I agree with the above posters. However, I think the stress component does most of the damage. I say this because as the semester goes on and one gets more comfortable with the roles, the physical exhaustion part of it lessens, at least for me and some cohorts.
  7. by   lelafin
    Yeah it must be all of the above... I think it's most likely the stress that tops it off! The stress of getting a poor mark from your instructor for any little thing you overlooked has you constantly on point - there is actually NO rest even when sitting now that I think about it!

    I forgot to mention that when I get home, not only do I just want to drop in bed and zone out, I usually just want to stuff my face for a few hours with many different forms of chocolate as well LOL! I guess the solution is to stop planning to study after clinical... it just seems like when you're a nursing student you sort of are required to learn how to study when exhausted if you want to get by.
  8. by   abiklags
    peds rotation i was up 4:30, on the train @ 6. worked the floor 8-3, the post conf for 1 hr. walked in the door to my home just before 6pm. then i had to shower, dress, eat, and prepare for a second day of clinicals. the second night i would come home, shower, dress, eat then prepare for theory the next morning. it was brutal. when the weekends came, i was so pooped i would start falling asleep early friday eve.

    i'd say its a combination of physical exertion plus imo its the constant changing schedule that throws off the circadian rhythm so nothing works right. dont forget your brain is also doing lots of work on clinicals so that can be why you are so foggy. add in the stress of tests, quizzes, readings, etc and its a miracle anyone can study. as the other posters said, as you get more into the swing of things and get used to the clinical setting, things should settle down and the level of exhaustion should decrease
  9. by   Esme12
    Nursing is an emotionally draining, physically exhausting, mentally challenging with some areas of nursing demanding more from a nurse emotionally than others. Constantly making critical decisions that affect a patients well being and can mean life or death takes it's toll and nursing school is the introduction. You do go home drained sometimes which is why seasoned nurses are snappy sometimes, feel we don't make enough money for what we do, and it leads to burn out in many cases. Then you need to go home after working for 12 hours with energy to spare for our families..

    I'm not so sure it gets better but you do get "used" to it. Try not to have to study during clinical days if it can be avoided in any way. I do think it gets "better" as your knowledge and confidence gets larger. You will become more protective of your "downtime" at home and learn to budget your time more efficiently.
  10. by   Despareux
    I also become very exhausted after clinical. I'm fairly certain it's the stress of learning how to become a nurse on a floor where you have to learn the protocols, among much more seasoned minds.

    Off topic: Every time, after taking a test, I come home feeling exhausted. Learning and applying that knowledge, takes a lot out of me.
  11. by   milksteak
    Learning is exhausting! I know that halfway through my readings, I fall asleep if I don't et up and move around. When I go to clinical, I'm good the entire time...until I stop moving and using my brain in the car. I sometimes have to pull over I get so exhausted. And this was only the 8hr up is a 15hr shift then. 12 on Saturday:/. ..ever try an energy supp like 5 hour energy?
  12. by   MN-Nurse
    I always scheduled my study time with the assumption there would be no studying on the day of clinical.
  13. by   lelafin
    I've always wondered if 5hr energy works... guess I should go get some!
  14. by   mattersoftheheartRN
    Just had my first 12 hour clinical today, was from 0530 to 1800. I'm pooped... I have 2 - twelve hour clinical per week for advanced med surg right now. And studying is not on my mind tonight. I'm still regaining feeling in my feet that are cramping up right now.

    I've tried 5 hour energy when I used to work late at my old job, so I think that it works... its just really strong tasting and needs water to wash it down.