Have any advice on how to handle a tough clinical instructor?

  1. Hello all...

    I am in an accelerated BSN program and currently in my second level of the program.
    Here is the issue: starting my second clinical rotation and now I will be on the PCU floor with a very tough clinical instructor. I was babied the first semester, my first clinical instructor was very nice and patient. This instructor is very strict, we do not get a patient we are assigned to a nurse and follow her with her 4 patients. We then get to pick one patient in which we give our instructor report about, including meds. She is VERY strict with Meds and only gives us 15 min to look up the information about the patient.

    I'm worried I won't know an answer to her questions about the pt/meds, I am also very intimidated by her. Anyone have any advice as to how to answer her if I am not sure of an answer. Anyone have experience on a PCU floor, what will I see, what drugs will i expect to see, I need all the preparation I can get. Hoping someone can help!
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    About JMJ523

    Joined: Aug '12; Posts: 6; Likes: 1


  3. by   Compassion_x
    You sound like you got "lucky" with clinicals. Personally I'd love to just shadow a nurse with 4 patients. Instead, we get a patient, do VS twice before the end of our shift, give showers, meals, change linens, pass meds and do head to toe assessments. Then we fill out a packet every week including a paper on the pathophysiology of our patients chief complaint. When we pass meds we are expected to know the classification, use, side effects, and nursing interventions, whether we have 15 minutes or a whole day.

    Just to give you some insight on what others' clinical experiences are like.
    On the meds- start making drug cards on the most common meds like coumadin, and various other anticoagulants, analgesics, ACE inhibitors, beta blockers, etc. That way when you're expected to know all about 10 meds you'll at least have an idea of what some of them are for.
  4. by   Sun0408
    I loved instructors like you fear right now.. He/she will make you a better nurse and you will learn a lot. Take this for what it is. Learn your stuff and when you don't know, DO NOT bs your way through, you will come out looking worse. If you don't know state you do not know but will find out. Never be afraid to ask questions , this will help ensure pt safety which is top priority to your instructor.

    His/her questions maybe tough but it will get you to think like a nurse. Study, look up common meds and know them by class like PP stated, it will help. We all encounter meds we do not know but the trick is we know where to find the answers we seek.
  5. by   nurseprnRN
    I was that instructor. Trust me, you will remember her for far longer than the ones that "babied" you, because she is the one who cares more to be sure you learn what you need to develop as a nurse.

    She will pick your work apart in the early weeks. Do not panic, do not give up, just because you have never had an instructor like that before. She is not doing it because she is mean, bitter, or enjoys eating young'uns. She is doing it so you will listen and learn, and next week you will do it better.

    If you truly care enough about your professional education to put the work into understanding the big picture the way she expects, you will do it better, and the "attagirl" you'll get from her will be the sweetest thing you ever heard...and you deserved i
  6. by   nurseywifeymommy1
    Not everyone responds to nit pickers. I know I didn't and the only name of the instructor I remember is Kay. Sweet kind gentle and willing to go over things as many times as needed. The nit pickers didn't hv real names; they were the big fat one or the nazi