Starting clinicals

  1. I am starting clinicals once our class returns from spring break. My question is for all of the students who have already started clinicals. What was the one item ( other than caffeine) that was a lifesaver while in clinicals? The one item that you wished you could pass along to others, so that their clinical experience will be exceptional.
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   Altra
    Quote from hyperstudent
    I am starting clinicals once our class returns from spring break. My question is for all of the students who have already started clinicals. What was the one item ( other than caffeine) that was a lifesaver while in clinicals? The one item that you wished you could pass along to others, so that their clinical experience will be exceptional.
    A notebook small enough to fit in your pocket, and a clipboard that's really a plastic case - opens up and you can store stuff in it (Wal-Mart, approx. $6.00). Stuff your pockets with as much as they can reasonably hold - bandage scissors, penlight, etc. Even if your assigned patient has no dressings, for example, you may get a free minute to see what's going on with someone else's patient and help out.

    Caffeine is definitely a biggie, though ...

    Good luck.
  4. by   memphispanda
    Don't forget the breath mints! Not only do they protect the patient from your coffee breath, they can also be helpful in blocking out certain odors.
  5. by   Jen2
    RN notes. I tell everyone about this little book. I also use a kit that holds bandage scissors, penlight, pen, and everything else. The kit is nice because it holds everything and you can fit it into your pocket, Allheart.com has them. I also think having a tote bag is a good idea. I don't have one yet, but plan on purchasing one, because I find that the more skills I learn, the more equipment I need, and it won't all fit in my pocket and I have to leave most of the stuff in the lounge, then if I need it I have to go off the unit to get it. If I had a tote bag I could leave it at the nurses station. Hope this helps. Good luck!
  6. by   MellyAnn
    I definitely agree with all of the above posts. Also, we kept our pockets stuffed with alcohol wipes, those things come in handy all the time. Our instructor loved when we were about to remove a dressing or DC an IV or INT and we whipped out an alcohol wipe to soften the stickiness of the tape...makes it more pleasant for the patient if you do that before you remove the tape.
  7. by   AmyB
    I agree with the above posts, as well. When you listen to report, listen to report for all your nurse's pts and use your notebook to take notes. If you have a skill you need to check off, you may find it with another pt. Also, it's good to know what all your nurse has to do so that you can be more helpful. Definitely keep lots of alcohol swabs, extra gloves in your size, and bandaids in your pockets. They come in very handy.
  8. by   rpbear
    Don't forget to eat a good breakfast!!! Nothing like passing out on the first day because your blood sugar dropped! (happend to a student on our first day!)

    Realx, and enjoy it! Ask questions and be prepared!
  9. by   Carolanne
    Lots of good ideas above ... A small pocket note pad to jot things down and make notes to yourself on things you may get stuck on (like procedures, etc. My biggee was the blood glucose machine!) Breath mints (I love the new Altoids strips that dissolve on your tongue), extra scissors, roll of tape, alcohol wipes are a must, and pens.
  10. by   twintoo
    small notebook
    tape
    scissors(mine got stolen my a nurse who didn't have any LOL)
    gloves
    alcohol pads
    a couple pens
    a good stethoscope

    These are all the things that I have used. At the hospital where we had our first clinical rotation some of our students brought their own BP Cuff and thermometer because when you have so many students doing vitals sometimes they become scarce. Good Luck and DEFINATELY eat a good breakfast NOT DONUTS, eat something that is going to stick with you.
  11. by   Purple Princess
    For clinical I took a small shoulder bag with a lab book, care plans, and my drug book, I also had a clipboard for my papers and carried my notebook,pen, scissors, and penlight in my pocket. Another handy thing to have, and most college bookstores have them, is a little nurses companion that gives hints for procedures like injections and dressing changes and lab values in a quick easy to read format. Clinical is rough because they start very early. I live in Butler, PA and I got up at 4:30 or 5 to get ready and drive to the hospital and be there by 6:30 to start. So it's rough but it will be worth it in the end for you
  12. by   Catma63
    For clinicals, I carry my blood pressure cuff, my stethoscope, an RNotes book, my Davis Drig guide, my IV medications book, a chubby notebook, black ink pen, measuring tape, alcohol pads, change for the drink machine.....oh....and my smallest Carpenito nursing diagnoses book.
    Have fun at clinicals!
  13. by   WalkingInTheRain
    Keep gloves in your uniform you never know when you will need them.
  14. by   wintergreen
    Quote from hyperstudent
    I am starting clinicals once our class returns from spring break. My question is for all of the students who have already started clinicals. What was the one item ( other than caffeine) that was a lifesaver while in clinicals? The one item that you wished you could pass along to others, so that their clinical experience will be exceptional.
    I always like to take my drug book, and any clinical book that has diagnosis in it, so you can look up anything you don't know about. It gives great information, that the nurses or your instructors may not have time to tell you about, or don't know. And they main thing to take with you is a willingness to learn! Always be searching for knowledge. Once a nurse stopps worrying about being a good nurse, they aren't one! Good Luck!

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