First Day of Clinicals....Disaster - page 2

Hi everyone, I just wanted to share about my first day of clinicals. It was awful. :crying2: We had partners to take care of one patient. Our patient was 95 and her daughter was glued to her side.... Read More

  1. by   WILLBEANRN
    Wow. Thanks for writing that. I felt sorry for you while I was reading it. I don't know why instructors have to be that way. Making people nervous does not help them to learn. Although I can tell you where I WILL NEVER leave the foley bag again. And how I will watch that IV like a hawk and not get a drop of water near it. It's so scary to have so much responsibility for people but I'm going to do it. Thank you.
  2. by   9livesRN
    Instructors can put so much scare Into us "little lambs" and make something so easy be so stressfull!!!

    I am really glad that I did not have to go through that!!!

    my first bedbath lasted 3 hours, because the pt was incontinent and did not know when IT was comming, so when I got there, the bed was soiled, cleand pt up, made the bed with the pt on it, and when I was about to leave, BOOM more doodoo, so fine, cleaned patient, changed the chuch, when i rolled the patient to the side to pull the new chuck from under him, BOOM farts and diarrhea, that went all over!!! so another bed change on a room which the temperature was 85 patient was cold, I was on contact isolation, sweting like a pig!!!

    what did I learned from it? when pt is incontinent and cant feel it coming, you got to move the arround, and roll them a bit to get the pipes cleaned!!!
  3. by   Psilant
    I think everyone has at least 1 bad clinical experience, some of us more than others. Try to stick with it and stay calm. Trust me, by this time next year, you will laugh about how nervous you were to give a pt a bed bath.

    Things will not always go as planned, in fact they rarely do (for me at least). IVs come out. We had a seasoned paramedic accidentally pull out an IV while transferring the pt from the stretcher to the bed. It happens!! No one died!!!!

    Foley bags are placed on a pts legs while in transit. Granted, that's increasing the risk for infection, but you simply placed it on the bed rail, no need for panic!

    Be patient with your instructors. We are practicing under their licenses. Medication can be a sore spot for many instructors. I have had both types, one that wouldn't let me do any meds, but I still had to research them. And one that would watch me pull them up, verify pt, and then leave the room while I administered them. Go figure, everyone is different.

    You will eventually figure out what each instructor wants. I tend to take the, "Yes, ma'am, You're right, ma'am. I will try not to let that happen again" approach. But again, Stay Calm!!
  4. by   Benedina
    When I first began thinking about nursing school, I took a CNA class. I asked my RN instructor how nursing school had been for her. She shared some of the things she had loved about it, paused, and said, "Of course, there's always some old battle axe ready to jump on you..." But she laughed as she said it, and then said, in a serious tone, "But they were the ones I learned the most from."

    I don't actually think jumping down people's throats is an effective teaching tool, but it doesn't matter what I think. When I run into correction at my job *or* school, no matter how it's delivered, I try to look the person in the eye and say, "Thank you. I appreciate the feedback."

    And I *do* appreciate the feedback. If I don't appreciate the delivery, my response tends to turn down the emotion. Even if your instructor is being unprofessional, keep responding as a professional. If nothing else, you'll be learning to respond as a professional under stress.

    One thing you've learned is that this instructor does not intend to soothe you when you feel overwhelmed. You still deserve some soothing, so kudos to you for coming to a safe site to get some. I hope your next clinical goes smoothly.

  5. by   WILLBEANRN
    Quote from MAFDC08
    Definitely sounds like a hectic first clinical. I hope you have a (much) better experience next week. I'm not in school yet (start in May at BC, north campus) and must admit I'm somewhat fearful of days like these. Just thinking about it makes me cringe a little. Try not to let your thoughts consume you though. Learn from it and move on.
    Hi there. Good luck starting in May! It's exciting. When I went back to clinicals the following week it was much better. I did well for the rest of the time and passed. We just got through Nursing Process I. Process II starts next week.

    Thanks for the pick-me-up!
  6. by   MAFDC08

    You must be very proud of yourself! I'm so glad to hear that you are now proceeding to process II. These experiences, as nerve-racking as they may be, will make you that much stronger and smarter too!

    Please keep me updated on process II. I'm always up for any tips and advice on how to survive (lol), grow, and just different things to look for to be more successful as a student and hopefully a nurse...
  7. by   MattiesMama
    I totally feel your pain! My first clinical rotation was a complete nightmare. My instructor was a complete witch, she made me cry every week and told me on numerous occasions that I should look into a different vocation. She humiliated me in front of my classmates during post-conference-she actually announced that she was pulling me from the floor for the rest of clinical because she felt I was "unsafe" to give pt. care. It was a nightmare-I almost quit school after that.

    It's a hard thing to get used to-doing invasive procedures on a living breathing human being, while being scrutinized by an instructor who has years of experience on you and the power to fail you out of school. It WILL get better though. A good instructor can make all the difference-once I was put with a NI who saw potential in me and actually put the effort in to help me learn from my mistakes and grow as a nurse, I really started to hit my stride. Hopefully you will get someone like that next time around.
  8. by   scoacrafter
    Oh my goodness, you poor thing! It sounds like you don't have a very nice instructor. Remember WHY you started this want to care for others. Don't let that day discourage you. Some days you leave feeling defeated and others you leave walking on air because everything went smoothly and you made a huge difference in someone's life that day. Things will get better, just keep going, learning, and it will just come naturally. Hang in there!!!
  9. by   kfactor
    That is really good to hear. thank you for sharing that it is possible to come back from a shaky start
  10. by   citylights89
    Yea, I just had 2 clinicals so far. The first week we were to buddy up and follow around a PCA to get a feel for the unit and help her out a bit with the basic nursing duties. All the patients were so nice and I felt good changing beds and helping people to the restroom! LOL Small things, but they made me feel good.

    A few weeks later, after we had to get checked off for our meds (which was an ordeal in itself), it was time to go back. At first, we were going to be buddied up again with one of our classmates to one patient. Then, all of a sudden we were changed to one patient each. Me and my partner were already nervous and then we get separated! Man, I swear for that whole shift I probably went into the patient's room 5 times out of 8 hours. the rest of the time I was on the hospital patient computer system to get the med information and look up some information on the database about things I didn't know that could help me. I gave meds, which went fine, and did a half-assed head to toe, which could have been better. I hadn't did one since last semester for the check off so I couldn't remember the exact places to check and how to do it. My instructor showed me how I would document it on the hospital system. It was during that time that I realized how much I missed. I felt incompetent and said that I missed so much. She said that it'll happen for a while, even after when you're a new grad, because it happened to her. I just don't want it to be a common occurrence for me to be so forgetful. I'm pretty sure my patient was like "Get outta here! What are you doing?" compared the the compliment filled patients from the last time. The way the RNs and PCAs had good relationships with the patients made me feel worse, like a worm on a totem pole. The only I know to do right now is to prepare myself as much as possible for next time. I don't like feeling inadequate.
  11. by   BabyLady
    The 95 year old patient's family had the right to insist on the blood pressure first...had you given the bath first or moved her around for the assessment, your BP might have been artificially high, so the patient's daughter was correct in her request.

    Also...did you have to take health assessment BEFORE you started your class for clinicals?

    That was the first thing that stood out on your post...we didn't have health assessment until our second year and that is when we did the assessment.
  12. by   GabbsRN
    I go to the same school as the OP and physical assessment is one of the first things we learn in lecture and campus lab. We have several campus lab days, then check off and then we start in the hospital. By the time we actually get to start in the hospital, there are only like 4 clinical days left (these are 8hr days, not 12hr).

    Also, the OP did say they were starting vitals first, and that's when the daughter insisted on the BP being done first, not that they were going to start the bath or assessment first.
  13. by   AOx1
    Can I just be frank? You are not the failure, your instructor is. I am a nursing instructor, and would never in a million years treat a student in this way. It would be one thing if you were a student who was well advanced in the program and still didn't understand where to place the foley bag. However, this was your first day. I can't understand how this is teaching you anything. Yes, you should have been corrected, in a private manner, with compassion.

    The only time I would ever become this angry is if a student isn't trying (ex- reading a book instead of working, etc). You were trying. Everyone has bad days, and if this experience had been treated properly (as a learning experience) it still could have taught you what not to do without completely undermining your confidence. It is possible to have extremely tough standards without resorting to humiliation and unkindness to enforce them.

    You are on track as much as one would expect at this point. I would ask experienced staff about developing a routine, and as you mentioned, begin to find a plan that works for you in organizing your day. It will get easier. That said, even the best laid plans go awry, and we all have horrible, terrible days from time to time. Brush yourself off, and realize that the problem is primarily the manner in which your instructor handled things. I will say one thing: the best thing I see coming from this so far is that you easily admit mistakes. There is nothing more dangerous than a nurse who either does not admit or does not realize more mistakes (in other words, a "know it all"). Clearly you are not this type of student. This is a good thing.
    Last edit by AOx1 on Mar 18, '10