What do you want?

  1. Here's your chance to affect clinicals for some of your fellow students. I was just offered a job teaching clinical for ADN students. I'm really excited, but kinda scared too.

    It's been a while since I had my clinicals, so I'm wondering what you think ... What works? What can I do, how can I plan the experience, to best get you ready for the job? I will be tough, because it's a hard job mentally, ethically and physically, and you need to be ready - but I also want to give every possible chance for success.

    So ... please let me know what you have experienced - at this point you are expert students ... and I want to do everything I can to get you ready to be well prepared nurses.

    Thanks!
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   Ortho_RN
    The one thing I can say.. Is NEVER make your students feel stupid!!! If they are about to do something wrong in the patients room find some way to stop them without yelling or making them feel like an idiot... We are nervous enough anyways.....
  4. by   NicuNsg
    I just graduated in May from an ADN program. I can honestly say I had terrific clinical instructors for both my 1st and 2nd year (they complimented each other well). The best part about was the fact that they took the time to really get to know us as individuals...I call it caring by example. They were always available to talk, if there was something I was unsure on. It was never a "oh, why dont you know that". We would go over and I never felt judged. They treated me like a co-worker. It is a blessing to have an instructor like that, it teaches respect for co-workers and gives the student space to make choices but an anchor if needed. Don't get me wrong...we were never babied or spoon-fed, but we were encourage and by our second year, the instructor became more of a consultant and friend. I know other students who didn't have the best instructors, it was tough. Words to the wise:
    1. NEVER forget where you came from (you were there once)
    2. Continue to work 1 a week or PRN (you'll never lose touch)
    3. Relax (Teach caring by example)
    I wish you luck! Hooray, we need more instructors!!!
    Thank you for asking our opinion, Nicunsg
  5. by   Carolanne
    I agree with the above comments - I expect to graduate in May and have had great and horrible clinical instructors. The great ones worked with you, not against you, treated you as an equal and never, ever downgraded you in front of anyone including fellow students, staff, pts. or their families. Nothing is worse to a student than that feeling of being placed in the firing line. You might as well open a window and let everything you ever learned fly right out. Treat your students as your equal, work with them and share in their accomplishments and you'll be a terrific mentor who everyone wants for next semester!! Best of luck!
  6. by   NurseDixie
    I agree with the above comments. I have been very lucky with the instructors I've had so far. They were all very nice to me. Other students in my class didn't like some of them, but I didn't have any problems with them.
    Be nice and don't yell at them in front of the other students/staff.
  7. by   susi_q
    Thanks for your responses - keep 'em coming. What would you like for post conference? What kind of "homework" is most helpful? What feels like busy work?
  8. by   NicuNsg
    In post conference we went over our feelings on the day, the nursing style of our preceptor, and one pt that we could discuss (kind of like a case mgmt type situation). Homework could be looking up a drug and getting any add'l info you can find, you can never go wrong with drug calculations, and Patho. Maybe have ea. student do a different thing that may all relate to each other...to piece it all together..teamwork!
  9. by   essarge
    I agree with the above comments and would like to add a couple of things.

    1. Let your students know up front what you expect. If you expect them to know about the drugs they are giving tell them what it is they need to know.

    2. Stick by your guns on the rules (e.g. lateness for clinicals) if you do to one do to all. It really disrupts things when a student does something "against" the rules and there aren't any consequences and another does the same and there are consequences.

    3. Remember that confidentiality goes to the student/teacher relationship also. If a student comes to you with a problem, be it in clinicals or personal, do not discuss it with anyone else without the student's permission unless it puts the student, other students or patients at risk for harm or injury.

    4. If you have care plans that need to be completed and turned in, give them an example so that they know how it should be set up to be acceptable to you.

    OK...nuf said...good luck! I grew up in Michigan so I remember the winters really well!! Hopefully your clinicals are nearby.
  10. by   susi_q
    Actually - my clinicals should be at the hospital where I work - about 20 min from home, only difference will be going on days instead of nights (always worked 7P-7A here). I'm really enjoying all your comments - appreciate your thoughts.
  11. by   PJMommy
    Hey! Just wanted to add a couple more thoughts...

    I felt the affective part of post-conference was the most helpful. I think *all* nurses need to talk about what went well, what went bad and how they felt about it.

    Find opportunities for your students. If one student hasn't done a cath yet, let the staff and other students know so that student is on deck for the next cath.

    Ask students questions and make them think but don't give the third degree. I like the CI who'd casually ask "And before we give this medication (anti-hypertensive), what assessment should be done?" It gives the student an opportunity to say yes, they've gotten a BP and it is ___ -- or, on the flip side, the student can stop to think and say oh, yeah - I need a BP. It's a whole lot better than "So what's the patient's blood pressure?".

    Constantly remind them that there are no penalties for asking for help and no one should try and be super-nurse.

    Do all schools do patho-diagrams? I feel they help tremendously...even though I hated them at first. Assign a pathodiagram on a patient where student must make connections between disease processes, S/S, lab values, treatments, meds, etc. These have helped sooooo much.

    Encourage and nuture confidence. Always start by praising the good things a student has done and then suggest improvements. A confident nurse is not afraid to ask for help, is not afraid to question an order and - most importantly - is not afraid to advocate for his/her patient.

    Just offer general help. I had a wonderful psych CI who'd actually taught pharm many years ago. She would often just ask us how pharm was going, offer hints for remembering drugs, etc. Be a teacher - teach about whatever is the event of the moment. Teach about different types of incontinence when a pt is incontinent. Teach about schizophrenia if a pt has it. It does not matter if it is within the immediate scope of the unit or rotation you are working on. Don't think..."well, they'll get the info on pneumonia when they are in patho" or "they'll learn about warfarin in pharm" -- teach it if it's there to teach. It aids in the synthesis of the info for the students.

    Good luck!! If you are so interested in doing the things to be a good CI, then you have some very lucky future students.
  12. by   happystudent
    Last semester I had an instructer who was so afraid of one of us making a mistake during pt care that clinicals became a hinderance.......For example, I had a pt that needed sterile dressings changed q4h the first time she was there she helped me through the procedure.........She praised me on how well I maintained sterile technique....okay....next drsg chg I mentioned to her in passing that I was goin to do it and I felt confident enough to do it on my own...........

    She ends up following me into the pt room...mind you there were 3 other students that needed her to pass their meds.........So she watched me do it again...IN my mind I was thinking that maybe she felt I was not doing it right??

    After the drsg chg I pulled her aside and asked her if I was doing something wrong..............She said that I did everything that I was supposed to do.she just wanted to watch to make sure...........oookayyy

    so to make a long story short.....meds were passed late.......treatments were done late..............pt care was late..........post conference didnt exsist because she was frantically checking everyones paper work.. documenting...everything.....

    Please dont get me wrong....she was being careful....I understand.........we ALL understood.........but we didnt learn anything............We were to PARANOID that we might do something wrong and cause our instructor to loose her license........sheeesh....... what a way to learn !
  13. by   susi_q
    Happy: Sounds familiar - that's what my clinicals consisted of ... and I don't want to repeat the same mistakes. Thanks for the reminder.

    Next question: when I find someone who just needs extra hand holding - or is just not competent ... how do you want it handled? Given that you might be working next to me some day, I want to make sure you are ready to go, but also want to make sure that you have every chance to succeed.

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