Tearful 2nd week of clinical

  1. I just had my second week of clinical. Three of us had to do vital signs all day. We all thought vital signs?! We wanted a patient!!!! I had 6 patients and thought okay I'll be able to get my vitals done and help the aide with changing linens, bed baths, maybe get to see something new and interesting. Well I did get to see 6 injured/sick pts. One was so confused and unable to hold the thermometer in his mouth even with my help. I couldn't get his temp. and I felt so bad for this pt that I had to tell him I would be right back. I went to the bathroom and cried. I came back in and got an axillary temp. and had to sit with him most of my clinical to keep him occupied because he kept trying to rip his IV out. He was a very nice man and as long as I would keep him in conversation he was less confused. I hope my skin becomes a little tougher and I won't have another emotional breakdown. Has anyone else gone through an emotional experience?????
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   traumaRUs
    Hi. Sorry that you had such a bad day. However, it sounds like you handled the situation well. What are you upset about?
  4. by   medsomething
    I'm sorry you had a bad day All things considered though, you really did a good job in the situation. So what if he couldn't hold the thermometer? You still got the temp And you sat with him and comforted him..good for you! Try not to be so hard on yourself. I've decided nursing school is not about fun or even happiness but ENDURANCE. Hang in there!

    10 months to go and counting.....
  5. by   llg
    As the other posters have said, it sounds as if you did fine. You collected the information necessary for the man's care and also comforted him.

    Now you know why your instructor assigned you to just be data collectors for the day. Nursing is a lot harder than a lot of new students think. You have to start at the beginning and build up to the more advanced stuff. Take the lessons you learned from this early experience and build on it for the future.

    llg
  6. by   HeavenBound0530
    actually yeah, i had a really bad one and it even beats yours. my grandmother died of lung cancer in feb. and on my 4th week of clinical i had a patient that also had lung cancer. We went to lunch and when i came back (around 12) my patient was dieing...the family was standing around her singing amazing grace and like 2 min. after they were done she died (which is what happened with my grandmother). I couldn't go in the room because it hit home so hard that i started balling in the middle of the hallway...my teacher pulled me to the side and asked me what i felt..if it was the fact that she died that was making me cry or just death in general and i told her about my gram and that was the only thing i had to say..she left me alone the rest of the day but i felt like such a dork because all of my clinical party kept askin me what was wrong and everytime i'd go to tell them i'd get choked up and start crying again. I wanted to go in a talk to the husband of the woman so bad but i couldn't because i knew he was hurt and i knew what he was going through...so instead i would stand outside the doorway and look in at them...that's what i can't forgive myself for because i should've went in and talked to him..at least did something instead of just stand there and watching her die.


    So yes, i have had a very bad clinical experience and i'll never forget it as long as i live..I've become a stronger person because of it because i know how to handle myself better but you'll never get tused to patients dieing..it just shows that you have a heart and you care for people and their families...
  7. by   WDWpixieRN
    I think this is the hardest part of being a new nursing student...my mom passed away very unexpectedly in her sleep right after her 69th birthday in March....probably her heart (who knew?)....but my first pt was a 70-something year old woman who had lung cancer and passed away shortly after we bathed and did some very basic assessments...her daughter showed up and 15 mins later she was gone...I heard her crying...I could so sympathize, but then really didn't even know what to say except I felt her pain SO very badly....then again, her situation wasn't the same as mine, so I left the family alone....didn't want to say the 'wrong' thing....

    When I see very old people who made it years past my mom's age, I get a little bitter...then I see someone really suffering with cancer or Alzheimer's and I think she had it easy....

    I think being new at this throws all kinds of emotional curve balls at you that you maybe didn't consider going in....that's on top of the emotions of NS period and being overwhelmed and worried and scared to death.

    Hang in there....and know this isn't probably the end of the sadness we will feel in many different situations we haven't even considered yet....
  8. by   HididiScribbler
    You did just fine...
    Everyone breaks down eventually...the first couple of weeks are hard, because it can be a shock. My first couple of weeks I had a lot of confused patients with Alzheimer's and dementia and it was...heart wrenching, especially since my grandmother had it. It's hard to take, but you toughen up and learn to realize that you DO make a difference...think of the difference you made just sitting with that patient! You may not be able to cure them, but you can be there for them...
    Me, I broke down over something stupid...it was my first day passing meds, and I had literally 20 to give (pretty stressful for my first day! I spent HOURS doing my prep on the drugs the night before and was trying to know everything). I got all the drugs together, and then the nurse came and said that he was going to give them because the patient was upset that they hadn't been given yet... no big deal, right? But all the anticipation and stress just HIT me, and I went to the nurses' lounge and burst out crying...another student found me in there and although she was great, I think she thinks I have major emotional issues I think it was the lack of sleep and the stress but I felt like such an idiot...
    I've also cried in front of my instructor which was HORRIBLY embarrasing, but I wasn't the only one...half of our clinical group cried in front of her...it's a long story.

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