Quote from HoorahFLY
I am starting clinicals in a couple weeks
-woohoo!! Anyways, how do they work? Do you go around in groups observing? Or does each student get assigned to a nurse to follow around? Do you go through all kinds of specialties? Do you get to observe a surgery? Sorry so many questions! I'm excited!!
--I'm sure it varies between colleges, but just a general idea would be awesome THanks!
This is how mine, and generally most, clincals work.
The night before, you get assigned a patient and you go home and research the medical diagnoses that patient has. Then you come up with your nursing diagnoses and construct a careplan. You also will probably write down all the information pertinent to your patient's meds.
You get to clinical the next day and check in with your clinical instructor and sometimes have a preconference, then you head to the floor and get report form your nurse or you may just listen to them give report to the oncoming nurse.
You go introduce yourself to your patient and take vitals. You could follow with AM care, which is bathing, bed change etc or you may wait till aftr breakfast.
You should at this time check to see if everything in the patient's environment is safe ( no water spilled on floor, trash picked up, IV fluids running at right rate, see if patient is in need of anything).
You probably saw what time your patient had meds the night before, but now is a good time to see if new orders are on the chart or if new meds have been added. Then you get out any meds and go find your CI to check the dosages and then you do the five rights etc and give them.
A lot of things are progressively added per semester. For example, we only learned injections, topical, per rectum, PO meds first semester, but not IV stuff, so I really didn't check those on the patient at first. Our CI pointed them out to us though, so I started checking just so I could learn them.
We learned new skills second semester that we hadn't learned first, so we responsible to start doing whatever we were taught in skills lab.
Anyway, second semester, we did more care, minus giving baths, because we went up to two patients then three by the end and we did total care and charted on the patient and everything, whereas in foundations we were not allowed to chart and we had limited things we could do, but we generally took care of the patient ourselves with help from CI.
I hope my rambling gave you some kind of idea of what to expect.