med surg clinicals

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    I was wondering what exactly does one do in clinicals for med surg? I'm asking because I haven't had a chance to practice my skills (foley, ng, wound care etc..) b/c I have to retake and pass a math test to stay in the program... and i know that's a lame excuse, but i just feel overwhelmed, and am terrified of this coming thursday (first actual clinical day) and even tomorrow(math re-test). TIA.
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  4. 0
    Here's some things we were required to do during our med surg rotation:
    vitals, am care, head to toe assessment,check IV lines/tubes make sure they're patent,calculate IV dripping factor to make sure the pt is getting the right dosage,give meds and other treatments(foley's,IS,ambulate etc.) In other words we were doing almost everything except wound care or getting IV's. So yeah,it would be a good idea If you practice your skills.
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    Med/Surg 1 wasn't much different than what I did as a nurse tech. We gave showers/bed baths, made beds, fed patients, wiped bottoms, helped with clothes/hair/teeth brushing, did vitals, etc.
    We started passing meds on the second half of the semester. I got to give 1 injection and had one g-tube patient during the entire time. I never had any dressing changes. I think I got to put on Ted hose twice and I went to rehab therapy with my patient once.
    Here's to hoping that Med/Surg 2 will have more opportunities!
    KPolk RN2B likes this.
  6. 4
    The MED/SURG skills are just as the other posters described. Just review your skills, I'm assuming you have recently had skills lab, so you should have DVDs or your skills manual to use as a reference. Don't stress so much, the nurses know you're just a student and they WILL help, if they don't want to go to someone who will. These nurses on the floor are there to help you, and your fellow class members are also a great resource. If you have anyone in your class that was a CNA or MA talk to them about how they handle situations, and don't be affraid to seek their help, they will be more than happy to impart any knowledge they have to you. Good luck, and DON'T stress so much, take the initiative, PAY ATTENTION to what you're doing, remember the rights, and have fun (as much as possible) it's all VERY doable and don't let your instructors scare you too much. Lloyd
    slimlvn, missjennmb, KPolk RN2B, and 1 other like this.
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    Like above posters have said, in my med surg I and med surg II class, the students were responsible for almost everything. We did all charting, procedures (i.e. wound care, enemas, central line dressing changes etc.. with the supervision of our CI of course), assessments, hygiene,.......... etc.. We are not allowed to start IVs until 3rd semester (of 6 semesters)... and were not allowed to do a select amount of other things, such as hang blood or chemo. Basically, we were responsible for everything their primary nurse would be doing except for a few exceptions.

    A.
    KPolk RN2B likes this.
  8. 2
    Thanks to the above posters, I just had my first clinical experience at Med Surg and it was horrible. =( the CI was on my back the whole time as soon as i got there, i think because I'm the only male in the group.. and I felt and looked so lost. it's weird because she just assigns us a nurse and tells us to go so i followed my nurse around for a while because i really didn't know what to do and then my CI was like wt* are you doing? My CI pulled me aside and told me to stop slacking off and ask she came with me to ask if i could do anything for the patients on my team(6 of them)... I got to take out an IV and make a bed in the morning and in the afternoon I got to give a Subq. I have no idea what I did besides that.. =( i'm so lost in clinicals...

    I really don't know what my problem is. It's like as soon as I step on the floor of the hospital i forget everything i know, and it sucks.. BLAH. sorry just had to get that out..
    slimlvn and rhondaa83 like this.
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    Don't worry I did the same thing I forgot how to do a bowel sound assess just stood there like a lump luckily my ci stepped in an explain think of a happy face with the umbilicus as the nose and do all four quarters it was ok after that, relax you will do find
  10. 2
    Quote from NursingIs4CoolPeople
    Thanks to the above posters, I just had my first clinical experience at Med Surg and it was horrible. =( the CI was on my back the whole time as soon as i got there, i think because I'm the only male in the group.. and I felt and looked so lost. it's weird because she just assigns us a nurse and tells us to go so i followed my nurse around for a while because i really didn't know what to do and then my CI was like wt* are you doing? My CI pulled me aside and told me to stop slacking off and ask she came with me to ask if i could do anything for the patients on my team(6 of them)... I got to take out an IV and make a bed in the morning and in the afternoon I got to give a Subq. I have no idea what I did besides that.. =( i'm so lost in clinicals...

    I really don't know what my problem is. It's like as soon as I step on the floor of the hospital i forget everything i know, and it sucks.. BLAH. sorry just had to get that out..
    I think you should clarify what role the nurse is to play for you, and what role you should be taking. I have never followed a nurse around, even for 10 minutes.

    During first semester, I did independent head to toe assessments, vital signs, AM care (bathing, etc.), linen changing, wound care, and injectable and oral medications with my instructor. You shoud come up with a routine for organizing your care responsibiliies. For example, my system was that I would take vital signs first thing, then head to toe assessments, then medications, then bathing, and then wound care, charting everything as I went along. Make up a chart listing all your responsibilities by time of day and stick to it. After I was done, I would ask my nurse if they had anything else I could help them with.

    If you don't come up with a system for organizing your care, your instructor is going to have your head!
    Last edit by vashtee on May 24, '08
    slimlvn and NursingIs4CoolPeople like this.
  11. 0
    Well, tomorrow is officially my second day at clinical, and I'm terrified. I really don't know what the heck I'm doing on the floor, and my CI is incredibly scary.. So I was thinking that I was going to do what natania does, because natania's process seems organized. I think I'll ask for two patients so I can have more meds to give, and always have something to do so it doesn't look like I'm a slacker. =)
  12. 0
    Good luck with clinical day number two! I just finished my first round of med surg clinicals, there's more to come in the next year!

    I'm with many of the other ones. By the time my class reached med surg one we were checked off on several skills and (depending on CI) were able to perform any skill we were checked off on (depending on the skill, if we've done it before, if CI & student were comfortable with previously demonstrated ability, & pt acuity..etc--the CI may or may not have to be present or may send another RN to supervise). By the end of the term we were able to perform any skills necessary for our pts (IV/Foley/NG insertion/care/removal, INDEPENDENT (and ACCURATE!) head to toe assessments (that began on day one), VS, ADL, medication administration (all routes). Some of us got chances to do "special" things--like remove JPs--if our patient needed it! . We were responsible for listening to morning report, clarifying what we did not understand with that report, documenting our findings in the pt record, and reporting off to the pts primary nurse. We could even do a little teaching with our patients and families (usually consisted of them asking questions, us answering to the best of our abilities and/or relaying the question to our CI or the primary nurse for confirmation or more teaching if they needed it)

    We only had one patient each and were responsible for every aspect of their care during a clinical day. After report, we were to *try* to follow our "plan" that we made in clinical paperwork the night before--as much as patient condition and hospital would allow (it changes alot b/c they're scheduled for a test or PT comes to get them..or whatever--if I didn't learn anything else I learned to expect nothing to go as planned!) We could follow them to labs for x-rays, ultrasounds, cardiac cath, GI lab..wherever they were going.

    *BTW--I did everything I could to stay busy during clinicals. If my patient was comfortable and didn't need my attention at the moment--I'd take off to help nurse aides changing linens, helping with baths, answering call bells, helping with new admits/discharges, seeing/assisting with a procedure I'd hear about ("I'm going to reinsert a catheter in room ABC"--"Can I come along and assist?" and usually the answer is yes). This way the CI would not see me standing around and I could write a number of things in my journal report after clinical. It never seemed to fail me...


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