Feeling green about 1st clinical site - page 2

Ok... I'm feeling kind of green here. We went to the hospital today to orient to our first clinical site. I am on the cancer ward. Tuesday will be my first day, and I am absolutely terrified! I don't... Read More

  1. by   frann
    I know how you feel. I've been a nurse 10 yrs(has it been that long) and I just started a new job.
    There's new people to get to know, new procedures etc. I sometimes feel like a fish out of water, like I don't know how to swim. It will come in time. Pretty soon I'll be swimming with the rest of the fish.
  2. by   NICU_Nurse

    Off the top of my head, soft and squishy is usually a good thing when you're talking about abdomens. You want to feel pliable, soft flesh and nothing hard underneath, such as an abdominal mass or an enlarged organ. If the abdomen were hard, it may indicate one of the above, or, for example, third-spaced fluid that has collected in the abdominal cavity, such as blood. If your patient has a grossly edematous abdomen, the skin will be taut and shiny, as if it has been stretched to it's limit and looks as if it is ready to burst. This can also be seen in other areas of the body such as the lower legs and feet- if your patient has peripheral edema, the skin on their legs and feet may be particularly taut and shiny. I had a patient with ESRF who was circling the drain and I have NEVER forgotten what gross edema looks like. Smooth as a baby's bottom, shiny, and tight as if you could breathe on it and it would just explode. Think of a pink balloon. Before you blow it up, it is a pepto-bismol pink, very matte and solid looking. When you blow it up, you stretch the latex and it becomes paler, thinner, and very shiny. I'm exhausted, once again, and these are the best examples I can come up with. Hope they helped!! ;>)
    Last edit by NICU_Nurse on Aug 28, '03
  3. by   merck
    I'm glad I am not the only one who is scared. We just did our 1st practice on head to toe assessments in class and I am nervous. Clinicals aren't until the end of March and I hope I can learn how to do this.
  4. by   ibspider
    Wow, I'm really glad to have this site and this board. I am in my second semester and the first semester clinicals really had me nervous. Though I knew it was normal, it helps to hear people talk about the fear and how they faced it. It's hard to do on site with peers as everyone seems to wants to appear to have it all together.

    I appreciate what one said about getting to know the staff on the floor. I made the mistake of assuming staff would be somewhat enthusiastic about having help and providing guidance. On the contrary, most were hostile or indifferent and as a newbie I was so caught up in monitoring what and how I was doing w/ patients that I didn't pay much attention to getting to know staff. I am going to make a strong effort to get to know individual staff at the next site and hopefully develop some good working relationships and experiences.

    A question for students and nurses out there...How can a clinical student cultivate a great relationship with nurses at the clinical site?
  5. by   Bonny619
    I'm surprised they put you in oncology for your first clinical.
  6. by   GPatty
    This is such an old post....way back in 2001 when I was a young LPN student!

    The wonderful advice I received then still applies......
    breathe in and breathe out continues to be my basic philosophy!

    Best of luck to all of you new students out there! (I, too, am starting ASN schooling in March....)
  7. by   GPatty
    And PS:
    I have discovered that Oncology is my first love. I do believe that is the area I belong in.

    Probably because my Mom was diagnosed in May this past year, and has undergone surgery, radiation and many other issues that go along with it.

    Horrid and devastating disease.
  8. by   tallison
    Good luck with your career!
    Last edit by tallison on Feb 8, '07
  9. by   tallison
    Julie, many have gone before you, and many will follow in your footsteps. Just look at the other students in the hallways who are ahead of you in the program. They made it through this experience and so will you. During my first rotation, I introduced myself to my patient and advised her that I was a nursing student. She was very short with me and asked me what school I attended. I told her the name of my school; she said I could take care of her, but that she didn't want any students from another nursing school in the area. I quickly told her that I would comply with her request, but that the other school had an excellent reputation and that I was honored to work beside their students.....then she formally introduced herself. She was the dean of the college of nursing for the other school. I was sooooooo nervous the entire day...just knowing that she was watching everything I did and hoping that I didn't mess up. At the end of the day she gave me a good review to my instructor and I was very happy that the day was finally over. Always remember, that which does not kill you will make you stronger. From then on, my clinical experiences were a breeze. Good luck with your career!
  10. by   PralineLPN
    What Kristi said.. You'll be fine-Jump in there-Didn't your teacher give you a assessment list to follow? Check your nursing books for "Head to Toe Assessment" this is what you need. And just talk to your patients like you would a good friend (even if they are throwing garbage cans at you, this really happened to me, but I got over it).
  11. by   merck
    Wonderful advice Tallison!!!
    I will keep this in mind when my 1st clinical comes around next month.