Quote from positivenfun
Any advice out there about clinical rotations? I will be starting clinical rotations and found out that I might be going to a SNF. What exactly is a SNF? What will I need to do? Are patients usually approachable? I wanted to go into nursing to specialize in pediatrics. I will have to learn so many different fields, is it necessary?
"SNF" stands for skilled nursing facility, which you might know as a "nursing home." Programs vary, of course, but I'll just tell you how my clinical rotations went down in my LPN program. We did our CNA block clinicals at a nursing home, which consisted of assisting the residents with their basic ADLs (showering, feeding, perineal care, continence brief changes, etc.). If you're uncomfortable around the elderly, you may not like the nursing home. Although I don't really plan on specializing in geriatrics, I really enjoyed my time at the nursing home. Many of the residents are still alert and oriented and have some amazing life stories to tell, but some are in various stages of Alzheimer's disease; it was a mix at the facility we were at, but most of the residents at least had some degree of Alzheimer's.
We did our adult medical-surgical clinicals on a basic med-surg unit at a local hospital, where we were responsible for 1-2 patient(s) AM care, wound dressing changes, trach care and tube feedings (those were rare to come across on that unit, unfortunately), vitals, head-to-toe assessment, oral/g-tube/rect/vag/topical medications if it was your day to pass meds and any other treatment that we had been checked off on in our skills lab. The ages of the patients varied from 18 to 100. Most of the patients I was assigned to were very cool and completely fine with having a slow student hang out with them for 6 hours. I did have one patient tell me to get the hell out of her room and leave her alone. It happens. I found that most patients were receptive to the idea of having a student help care for them.
Our pediatrics rotation consisted of us rotating to different group homes that mostly housed children with severe neurological problems from parental abuse or birth defects. Most of the kids were on vents and had g-tubes (and some of the patients weren't even pediatric patients, but young adults). Because it was an LPN program and there's so many RN programs around my area, we were unable to secure a clinical spot on a peds unit at a hospital. Got a lot of good hands-on experience from this rotation though, especially with administering tube feedings via pump and bolus.
OB rotation was at a local hospital, where we were paired with a nurse each day, and got to observe (and assist, depending on if the nurse you were paired with okayed it) post-partum assessments, newborn assessments, antepartum, labor & delivery - I had the opportunity to stand in the OR and watch a c-section be performed and I have to say, that was probably one of the COOLEST things I've ever seen.
I know, I'm gross, lol. But I want to go into perioperative nursing someday.
Our final clinical rotation was back at the same nursing home we did our CNA block clinicals at, but we mostly passed medications and did treatments as those are what a regular staff LPN at a nursing home typically is responsible for during a shift.
Many people go into nursing "only" wanting to work pediatrics or "only" wanting to work in the NICU. The point of having different clinical rotations and learning about adults as well as children and neonates is to expose you to different areas of nursing. If you're planning on specializing in pediatrics, you may have a tough time finding a job at a hospital as an LPN, although you may be able to get a job doing home health or at a pediatrician's office. I like kids, but I don't think I would like to have them as patients, if that makes sense. I think a few of my classmates who originally wanted to go into peds changed their mind after seeing some of the children during our pediatric rotation, many of which were heart-breaking worst case scenarios. It definitely takes a special person to work pediatrics.