Long Clinical Hours

  1. Just started 2nd semester of ADN program and for this summer semester we have clinicals on Sat & Sun 7a-7p. It was tough to find enough to do when we had 1 or 2 patients from 7a-1p, but 12 hours is going to be really hard with only 1 or 2 patients. I'm planning on taking books to study, but wanted to know if anyone had any other suggestions to fill up 12 hours of clinical time? I've always asked the staff if they have anything that I can do and have been checked off on. I'd be more than happy to help, but with 6 students on the floor, those things are few and far between. I hate just sitting around waiting for something to do, it makes the time go so slow and makes me look like a slacker, but I don't want to be following the staff around for 12 hours like a puppy begging for chores.

    I'm starting to resent the fact that our program decided to put an entire semester of Med-Surg nursing into a 12 week summer semester. Between the studying and the hours spent in clincials, class and labs I'm fairly certain a lot of our class is not going to make it. I can't even imagine how the ones who are currently working are going to do this.
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   kas1965
    They just switched our summer program from 8 weeks to 10 weeks for our OB. We will have 8 hour days in clinicals . I know last semester clinicals were slow and boring and all 8 of us were looking for more to do. I would use the time to study if your able and hopefully gather as much experience as you can from the nurses on the floor. It does make for a long day though.
  4. by   lizmatt
    I had 12 hour clinicals this past semester and it actually worked out pretty well ... but this was mostly because of our instructor. She did an excellent job of keeping us busy for the most part. She broke the day up pretty well, and did the best she could to provide alternative work to do - like she would have us research different things, review NCLEX questions, go to the library and research particular things, visit other departments such as ER, surgery and cardiac cath. The 12 hour clinical with this particular instructor seemed to go much much much more quickly than the previous rotation when we had a not so great instructor for 6 hours.
  5. by   sbyramRN
    Will will be having two days of 9 hour clinicals this summer along with Med Surg I. I am not real sure what to expect...kinda nervous!
  6. by   bld24
    Quote from apoole77
    I had 12 hour clinicals this past semester and it actually worked out pretty well ... but this was mostly because of our instructor. She did an excellent job of keeping us busy for the most part. She broke the day up pretty well, and did the best she could to provide alternative work to do - like she would have us research different things, review NCLEX questions, go to the library and research particular things, visit other departments such as ER, surgery and cardiac cath. The 12 hour clinical with this particular instructor seemed to go much much much more quickly than the previous rotation when we had a not so great instructor for 6 hours.
    Your instructor sounds great. I love my instructor, but she expects us to be proactive about our clinical experience-she won't search out things for us to do-and I don't have a problem with that.

    Unfortunately, we have to stay on the floor the entire 12 hours (other than breaks), we are doing observation rotations on Fridays to ER, OR, cath lab, peds, etc. Fortunately that day is only 7-3. I like your suggestions and will use them to come up with a plan to present to her for when we have some down time.
    Last edit by bld24 on May 21, '07
  7. by   mixyRN
    Our clinical instructors NEVER let us stand (or sit) around during clinicals, no mater how long we are on the floor. Even with 8 students on our unit there is always something to do or something to learn. If I am not helping my own patient I am assisting another student, observing another nurse, assisting with transfers, running errands for another nurse (ex. get unit of blood from pharmacy.) And if it's really slow, we are filling water pitchers, changing linens, giving back rubs, shampooing hair or sitting with clients and putting our therapeutic communication skills to good use!
    I've found that I have to sometimes look for things to do, otherwise my instructor will FIND things for me to do...LOL.
    Good Luck this summer.
  8. by   maolin
    Can you ask to take more patients and focus on developing your time management skills? I had the same issue when I was in L2 and asked to take on more patients. I didn't have to submit the usual paperwork on my 3rd or 4th, but really got to exercise time management & increase diversity of dx I was exposed to. Since you're paying to be there, I'd ask for my money's worth - get in all the experience you can get. Kudos for taking initiative and the motivation to do above & beyond the minimum.
  9. by   bld24
    Quote from maolin
    Can you ask to take more patients and focus on developing your time management skills? I had the same issue when I was in L2 and asked to take on more patients. I didn't have to submit the usual paperwork on my 3rd or 4th, but really got to exercise time management & increase diversity of dx I was exposed to. Since you're paying to be there, I'd ask for my money's worth - get in all the experience you can get. Kudos for taking initiative and the motivation to do above & beyond the minimum.
    That's actually a really good idea that for some reason I hadn't thought of. Thanks!

    I'm just brainstroming on all of the things that I don't know yet. I haven't seen an admission done for some reason, so thats on my list for next weekend. I've also been curious as to how the lab and the pharmacy operate, so I'm going to see if some of us can't get down to these places and get a little tour.

    thanks for all of the replys
  10. by   maolin
    YEAH!! A field trip to pharmacy & lab would be really cool. I've always wondered how things work in those depts. Right now I just take for granted that the meds just magically appear...but would be nice to see the behind the scenes. I'm still a new nurse, 1 yr now. I totally appreciate what those dept do so we can do our job, but hanging out and seeing how it goes from point A to point B would be illuminating. I think I might ask my sup to go observe those one of these days. Thanks for the idea.

    Also, if you have the opportunity, check out a heart cath & some imaging stuff (MRI, stress tests). I spent an entire shift in ER triage as a student and got to start a zillion IV's - now that's quality clinical time - repetition of one skill.

    Wishing you continued sucess!

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