Not Enough Clinical Experience - page 2
Please a kind hearted nurse student-- Someone weigh in with your advice or experience that could help!! I am in an accelerated RN program and in my final quarter. I graduate at the end of the year... Read More
Aug 8, '11you misunderstand me and i am sorry i didn't make myself clearer.
of course the oil changes of our bedside care, like bed baths, aren't only oil changes-- they are filled with the opportunity to observe, assess more deeply, intervene, engage the patient in conversation about home, understanding medications, treatment plan, and so much more. this is why rns should be doing them, and why care situations should be staffed so they can. of course anyone can do a psychomotor skill, with training; that was exactly my point. i believe the op's original concern was that s/he hadn't had "enough clinical experience" in those sorts of things. i was trying to explain that nursing is so much more than tasks, and that s/he will be proficient in tasks soon enough, whether or not s/he had the chance to do them as a student or not.
i am sorry you only got ten clinical days per area in your bsn program. we did three days per week for three years in mine; full semesters (not quarters) in medical nursing, surgical nursing, psych, public health, ob, and pedi. and even with all that, the list of "stuff" i never had occasion to do as a student was a long one. but it all came out in the wash at the end of a year or so, and i had seen enough and learned enough by then that i was ready to have those hands-on experiences backed by a good theoretical framework. i stand by my assertion that new grads need worry less about not having sunk half a dozen ng tubes as students (or even one), and more about how to be ready to keep learning for a professional lifetime.
Aug 12, '11Quote from jjjoy:redpinkheI'm sure you see a lot as PCT and asst, but I know when I was working as a PCT, I was so busy with my job responsibilities that I had little time to find out anything beyond what I needed to know as a PCT; so student clinical time for me was best used focusing on issues beyond basic care. I'm very grateful for my nsg asst experience as I never would've learned so many 'tricks-of-the-trade' or gotten as comfortable with basic patient care just on student clinical time.
I can second this. I work on an abd tx floor, and I rarely get a chance to sit down and chart, let alone ask my RNs to let me watch them do skills or answer questions or explain things to me. I'm starting to think HUC (unit secretary) might have been a better job to familiarize myself with the daily routine, get comfortable with MD/pharmacy/other calls, have time to ask RNs questions, etc. Maybe I can cross-train... Either way, PCT-ing has been a great experience to feel more comfortable with clinicals, just not being a nurse exactly. I am now proficient in MANY drains, giving baths, and linen changes such as for pts on bedrest (it took a while taking lead from RNs and experienced PCTs), which is more than I could say in clinical last semester. So hopefully in my last two semesters of clinical, I will breeze through those aide skills and have the time and energy to pester the RNs to let me do/watch their skills.
Aug 15, '11I agree that a unit secretary job, depending on the facility and exact job description, could be *very* useful for someone going into nursing. It's not hands on clinical care, but the exposure to the floor routine, calls to and from physicians and other departments, and familiarity with meds and dosages if doing order entry could really be priceless.
Aug 15, '11Quote from grnteai think we do mostly agree! : )i was trying to explain that nursing is so much more than tasks, and that s/he will be proficient in tasks soon enough, whether or not s/he had the chance to do them as a student or not. and even with all that, the list of "stuff" i never had occasion to do as a student was a long one. but it all came out in the wash at the end of a year or so, and i had seen enough and learned enough by then that i was ready to have those hands-on experiences backed by a good theoretical framework.
since i am personally much stronger in analysis than in application, i just tend to find the advice "oh, you'll pick that up in no time; don't worry about it!" frustrating. especially when faced so often by the expectations of colleagues and employers that one *should* already know this and have done that. it's not my experience to hear "oh, of course you wouldn't know that/have done that yet!" more like an exasperated huff and "what are they teaching in schools these days" comment. since i'm not a quick study in regard to *feeling* competent in psychomotor skills, i tend to feel threatened by implications that i may not be meeting expectations. here are these experienced nurses who seem to expect that i should have more comfort and familiarity with a whole plethora of skills, and i not only haven't done a couple of them, but i've only done one or two of them, once or twice, ever... am i supposed to stay in that position in good faith when i know that it will take another six months to a year to really have the skills to fill my job role? that during that time, my colleagues will be burdened by my lack of experience and not only be burdened by it, but huff every time until i do finally get up to speed... i know, i need a thicker skin. : )
yes, a working nurse is likely to get this kind of experience within their first six months to a year. but i think it's a shame and a bit backwards for the newbie to have to not get that kind of experience until after they have the license and have been hired into a position that is really for someone who *already* has that kind of experience. the first six months, the newbie isn't only learning the specific job they are doing, they may be getting their first real exposure to . if nursing school only ensures that graduates are *ready to learn* to practice nursing, as opposed to *ready to practice* nursing, then a formal transition step between nursing school graduate and ready-to-hire rn would seem to be necessary - like residency for physicians.
i do see the many dilemmas with that model. i just also see many dilemmas with the current system. i don't think there are any easy answers, especially when one must factor in limited resources.