What I learned in clincals

  1. Some of this may seem common sense, but I learned the hard way

    1. Anytime your patient has any vital sign outside of the norm immediately
    relay this information to the primary nurse. If you can't find her. Call her phone.

    2. Don't ever touch a pill. Find a way to split w/o touching. Your instructor
    may be different, but we weren't to touch even while wearing gloves.

    3. Know your meds. Make sure to look them up, know how they work and if
    it will affect the patient's blood pressure you better have that value handy when
    getting ready to give it.

    4. Put on those gloves. Do touch anything w/o those gloves on. One in our group
    grabbed the urinal w/o them and got a U.

    5. Make sure you are aware of the indicator for contact precautions. At our facility it was on the door. A girl in our grp walked in the doorway to take shift change report and got a U. Do not take your stethoscope or paperwork in the room. We would put ours in the breakroom.

    6. When you go for orientation on the unit. Get a map or make your own. Very important
    where the soiled utility, clean utility, linens, etc. are located. My instructor would give NI's for not knowing the unit.

    7. If your patient has a mastectomy or shunt. Do not take Blood Pressure reading on that side. There will usually be signs on the door or above the patient's bed. Make sure to look.

    8. When changing bed linens make sure you have a trash or laundry bag in room to put the dirty linens in. Don't put on floor, Don't hold near body.

    9. Saline flushes should be disposed of in the biohazard receptacle. You can squirt any remaining fluid since the hosp does get charged by the pound. I was told that housekeeping may mistake them as needles.

    10. Get help with bathing total care patients. Don't try to do it alone.

    11. Do not hang anything attached to the patient to a side rail. Hang it on the framing of the bed. (Foley Cath)

    12. When transporting a patient in a wheelchair, always back into door ways elevators as to not knock the patients feet or legs.

    Right now I can't think of anything else. But would love to hear anything that you learned in clinical or that you heard someone getting a bad mark for doing.
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    About snowwhite2002

    Joined: Oct '12; Posts: 26; Likes: 16
    from US


  3. by   Esme12
    Good advice!
  4. by   springchick1
    WASH YOUR HANDS!!!!! When you go in a room, when you leave a room, or even if you just pass a sink. Keep those hands clean!
  5. by   StudentOfHealing
    Always ALWAYS get report before doing EVEN the smallest thing (taking a bp etc.)

    Always report to the RN before you go off to lunch. Report to the RN the patients condition: cardioresp status.

    Before your ER rotation take 5 minutes to learn snow over grass, smoke over fire, and middle earth. You might be the one asked to place the pt on Tele during an emergency! LOL. Yeap that was me. I'll never forget.

    Before you freak out at an O2 sat of 40% ... check the placement and make sure its taped correctly on their finger. OBSERVE YOUR PATIENT.
    Patient assessment before monitors.

    This goes in hand with the above statement. Don't freak out because you see VTACH ... check the patient. LOL. Are they being moved around? Eating lunch? haha..

    Label your syringes. This is so important and thankfully I didn't make a mistake but my nurse told me of something she witnessed... so ALWAYS LABEL... You "think" you'll remember which med was in what syringe but ... just label!

    Part of an assessment (especially if you're new to a unit) is knowing where the crash cart is and where the SUCTION is. Know your patients desires (DNR/full code).

    You know those bulky clipboards we all carry as first years... leave them in the breakroom and carry a piece of paper with you. Those clipboards are security blankets. Let them go.
  6. by   blackvans1234
    - Never question the floor nurse if you think she's ''doing a skill wrong'' - you can politely ask about their technique. Many times I ask if there's a ''real world'' way of doing a skill.
  7. by   codeblue222
    Wow ! I really appreciate this list! I have just enrolled into an ABSN program and I am hoping this helps me out when I enter clinicals! Thanks!
  8. by   monkeybug
    Quote from blackvans1234
    - Never question the floor nurse if you think she's ''doing a skill wrong'' - you can politely ask about their technique. Many times I ask if there's a ''real world'' way of doing a skill.
    There are many ways to skin a cat, and you might learn something new and interesting that you can use later (even if you can't use it while you are in clinicals and thus required to do it their way).
  9. by   Cammy17
    Great tips! Thank you!
  10. by   Marsha238612
    Very good easy to follow advice.

    Sent from my iPhone using allnurses.com
  11. by   That Guy
    If you find yourself bored, ask if there is someone, anyone you can help with anything.
  12. by   pknurse
    Quote from blackvans1234
    - Never question the floor nurse if you think she's ''doing a skill wrong'' - you can politely ask about their technique. Many times I ask if there's a ''real world'' way of doing a skill.
    Many times what you learn in school is different from what the hospital abides nurses to. Hospitals have policy and nurses must follow policy regardless of what your textbook states.
  13. by   pookyp
    If you get an abnormal bp in one arm, don't run And tell the primary nurse just yet! Take it in the other arm THEN if it's still abnormal tell the primary nurse.
  14. by   Baubo516
    Do not, for any reason, take out your cell phone and look at it. I know some people say they use them to look up meds, but you can usually look up meds on the hospital's computer system, as well. I makes you look like you are texting friends or just wasting time and can be interpreted as unprofessional, especially by nurses who are not of the same generation as you.

    Do not turn your back to the patient when charting on a computer in a patient's room. If you must do so, make sure you turn and look at them before you start talking to them. This was mentioned to us by our clinical instructor. Apparently some students were doing this and it made the patient feel he/she was being ignored.

    If you do not work as an aide, really take this opportunity in clinicals to learn how to help a pt to the bathroom, change a bed and give a bath. You WILL have to help with these things at some point if you work as a nurse on a hospital unit. Also, if you are willing to help in these ways, you will be a better team player. (Don't assume you will be done with baths and toileting once you are an RN.)