What suprised you most when you started clinicals? - page 3

I thought this would be a fun thread for those of us that haven't started yet. What did you have to personally do that was interesting, suprising, horrifying, disgusting, shocking...anything! ... Read More

  1. by   Cfitz
    My experiences have been pretty similar to many of yours. I was surprised at how they push you into it and expect you to know what to do! I have learned that 85% of being successful in nursing school is pretending like you know what the hell you're doing. Seriously. It helps to be a good actress.

    It surprised me that I actually cried one day when my (male) clinical instructor hounded me about doing med calcs in my head, and I felt so on the spot that I froze up and couldn't do it. He ridiculed me and accused me of not being able to do basic math. I am NOT a cry-er, but he really got to me. I complained about him and my director gave him what-for. That was nice.

    I was surprised at how easy it finally seemed to jump in and just "do it". I was terrified of going into my first patient's room, not wanting to look or act like an idiot. Once I finally went in though, it just seemed to come naturally. Patients are, for the most part, happy you're in there. There are a few exceptions, but we deal with it. People like to talk about themselves! They like to tell you about their symptoms. It can get to be too much at times, but it is very helpful when you're filling out your mile-long data tool.

    I was surprised that I have really good days and really bad days. Some days I'm on top of the world, everything seems to go smoothly, I feel competent and confident. Then there are days when I honestly don't know why I'm doing this because I'm obviously in way over my head. They balance each other out.

    I was very surprised at how I love and hate my classmates. We're like sisters (and brothers - we have 73 women and 4 men!). We argue, b*tch at each other, and adore each other all at the same time.

    I'm surprised at how much we actually learn when we have one of the most awful instructors I can imagine!
  2. by   Natkat
    I was surprised by

    The hotel experience that patients and families expect when they come to the hospital. I thought we were there to give medical care, but a lot of times I felt like the maid.

    How horrible family members can be. I get the feeling that they think the meaner they are, the better care their families will get. Where did that come from?

    How little regard people have for their bodies and sticking to their treatment regimens by continuing to smoke, not adhere to their diets, not exercising, etc, which brings me to....

    How most problems seem to be from lifestyle choices. Most patients I dealt with had problems related to diet, exercise, smoking, etc. I saw few patients who had an actual disease or problem from an outside source.
  3. by   Kiringat
    I'm suprised at the emontional ups and downs.
    For example: I am one minute listening to my patient tell me that I'm going to be a wonderful nurse, then the next I go to pull her drugs and found a med error. The thing is, I hadn't noticed the error the day before and had ended up giving my patient Lasix wich had been d/c the previous morning, but was still listed in Pyxsis. No harm to the pt. at all, thankfully, but I felt horrible. :uhoh21:

    Then there are the people who's only source of medical knowledge comes from the TV, but who obviously know much more than the nurses and doctors when it comes to the care their family member is receiving. There are so many of them!!!
  4. by   dubstar
    I remember..

    On my very first clinical in a bathroom with a wonderful 90 yr old lady, she was naked and i was supposed to shower her!? I didnt have a clue lol I'd only ever showered my kids and myself, so I thought oh well cant be much different and it wasnt.

    Learning where to position your head when showering (in particular old men) they just fart and do not care where your head is.

    On my second semester I was in the bathroom again! with an RN trying to dodge blows off a sweet old lady who had dementia and it gave her the foulest of mouths I was a f***ing dirty whore and she spat at me and tried to nip me and trying to empty her bowels at the same time on the loo.

    Another time a slightly confused chap told me I could go and f off if i thought he was going to take his meds! then he winked at me and smiled.

    Having a gloved hand of warm soggy dentures.

    Having to empty a bed pan that was full of the most foul smelling green poo i had ever seen

    Having to deflate a colostomy bag for the first time the smell just about knocked me over, i left the room very quickly and started to heave in the corridor.

    Funny now I'm in my 3rd year and it just doesnt bother me now but what an eyeopener
  5. by   Cfitz
    Quote from dubstar
    I remember..

    On my very first clinical in a bathroom with a wonderful 90 yr old lady, she was naked and i was supposed to shower her!? I didnt have a clue lol I'd only ever showered my kids and myself, so I thought oh well cant be much different and it wasnt.

    Learning where to position your head when showering (in particular old men) they just fart and do not care where your head is.

    On my second semester I was in the bathroom again! with an RN trying to dodge blows off a sweet old lady who had dementia and it gave her the foulest of mouths I was a f***ing dirty whore and she spat at me and tried to nip me and trying to empty her bowels at the same time on the loo.

    Another time a slightly confused chap told me I could go and f off if i thought he was going to take his meds! then he winked at me and smiled.

    Having a gloved hand of warm soggy dentures.

    Having to empty a bed pan that was full of the most foul smelling green poo i had ever seen

    Having to deflate a colostomy bag for the first time the smell just about knocked me over, i left the room very quickly and started to heave in the corridor.

    Funny now I'm in my 3rd year and it just doesnt bother me now but what an eyeopener
    Oh man... this past Tuesday I was caring for a lovely woman with end-stage COPD (she passed on Friday, ... ). I had helped her to the BSC and then was going to empty the bin. For some reason I just wasn't taking it well. When I got into the bathroom I went to empty it and the BM was just a certain consistency and odor and I started heaving my guts out. I couldn't stop myself! I have never done that in my life - I've been crapped on by all 4 of my sons when they were babies, I've cleaned up way more than my share of dog poo, and I've never batted an eyelash. For some reason that still isn't clear to me, I just couldn't stomach it that day. It was awful. Thank goodness she was to a point that she didn't notice and didn't care.
  6. by   angel_blue_rn
    I'm a second semester student and the first 6 weeks of clinicals were fine. The next 6 weeks were horrible, due to a bully of an instructor. My patients were so wonderful. Some of the nurses were great mentors too. Thursday is my last clinical day at the hospital where I will watch surgeries being performed in the OR. I have had great experiences and have learned so much about patient care.
  7. by   Travellpro
    I am nearing the end of my first semester and what surprised me was pretty much the same as what others have listed:

    1. It is sooooo boring. 3/4 of the time we stand around and talk to each other waiting for a call light to go off because we've already finished our assignment.

    2. I was scared to death the first time we had to go into a patient's room. Worst of all, about six family members were crammed into this little room and I had to make small talk with the patient. The family ended up talking to me the most and so it wasn't that bad.

    3. I agree about pretending to be confident. My nerves are definitely a lot better at this point but the best advice is to go into the room acting confident even if your not. Having a game-plan before you go into the room will help you out there.

    4. Just being thrown into it. I always had this idea that the instructor would be in the room watching us or helping us and the only time she comes in is when we ask her to. Its kind of nice but sometimes I wonder if I'm doing everything right.
  8. by   HeartsOpenWide
    How some of the nurses talked bad about clients during report (ie. "she only came to america to have her baby"----we live 850 miles from the border:uhoh21: )

    How overwelling it can be to have 2 patients at once, and real nurse get 5 ouch!

    How hard it is not to cry when people come to say hello/good-bye to dying family members in the ICU (even though I have only taken care of the client for 12 hours)
  9. by   Danish
    My first clinical site was a nursing home...needless to say, the nurses had their hands full and appreciated our help. They made us feel welcome. I had a pt with end stage Renal neoplasm who was to be receiving an experimental chemo PO. She was actually getting an antilipemic instead. The nurse a MONTH ago had transcribed the MAR wrong and pharmacy missed it and was sending the wrong med. I was surprised to see the nurse manager call the pharmacy and make it go away. The lady hadnt had her chemo for a month!!!

    Also, something that surprised me about myself...I almost passed out while holding a pt my first day in med/surg while the Dr was putting in a chest tube. It was really hot in the room and I was straining to hold him. The doc was taking a really long time (bent the trochar and had to start again) I started to sweat all over, couldnt hear and started to pass out. Thank God there were other students watching so I could get help holding the pt and sat down before I hit the ground I feel like such and idiot!!
  10. by   Danish
    Quote from Cfitz
    Oh man... this past Tuesday I was caring for a lovely woman with end-stage COPD (she passed on Friday, ... ). I had helped her to the BSC and then was going to empty the bin. For some reason I just wasn't taking it well. When I got into the bathroom I went to empty it and the BM was just a certain consistency and odor and I started heaving my guts out. I couldn't stop myself! I have never done that in my life - I've been crapped on by all 4 of my sons when they were babies, I've cleaned up way more than my share of dog poo, and I've never batted an eyelash. For some reason that still isn't clear to me, I just couldn't stomach it that day. It was awful. Thank goodness she was to a point that she didn't notice and didn't care.

    I had nurse show me a little trick...you can fill the basin with tap water, empty the colostomy (if liquid, spray shaving cream over top and it hides the smell and sight until you make it to the toilet to dump it)
  11. by   RNDreamer
    Quote from Danish
    I had nurse show me a little trick...you can fill the basin with tap water, empty the colostomy (if liquid, spray shaving cream over top and it hides the smell and sight until you make it to the toilet to dump it)

    I'll try to remember this
  12. by   charebec65
    Quote from Annabelle57
    Some of my favorite clinical memories so far:

    ----Having a cranky detox patient who yelled at everyone because they didn't speak Spanish pat my hand after I gave him an insulin shot and say, "Bueno, bueno" and SMILE.


    :spin: :spin: :spin:

    Well, this IS the United States of America....... we speak English here.
  13. by   Danish
    Quote from charebec65
    Well, this IS the United States of America....... we speak English here.

    Ouch...not a very ethical frame of mind when you are caring for pts. I live in Florida and just because a pt doesnt understand english does not prevent empathy or deserving the best care

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