LPN Clinicals- what are they like?

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    What can we expect to be doing at the hospitals, nursing homes, etc, during clinicals?
    Last edit by Joe V on May 9, '12
  2. 30 Comments so far...

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    I just finished my very first clinical rotation in my program. It was at a local Senior Living Facility and we do everything that the CNA's do. I feel like I did everything aside from administering medication! We all had one resident of our own to take care of all day. We had to get the vitals, do a physical assessment, get them bathed, change their linens, get them dressed, take them their breakfast and lunch, as well as record the percentage consumed. We had to keep up with their intake and output. We also had to practice individualizing our care with our patients. If we seen their needs, we needed to do everything we could to fulfill them. In between all of that, we had to extract information from their charts to make up care plans and to create a database of our resident. It sounds like a lot at first, especially just starting out, but it becomes like second nature! You will hopefully also get a chance to get some of your skills checked off on your first clinical rotation. Good luck!
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    Quote from Iridescent Orchid
    I just finished my very first clinical rotation in my program. It was at a local Senior Living Facility and we do everything that the CNA's do. I feel like I did everything aside from administering medication! We all had one resident of our own to take care of all day. We had to get the vitals, do a physical assessment, get them bathed, change their linens, get them dressed, take them their breakfast and lunch, as well as record the percentage consumed. We had to keep up with their intake and output. We also had to practice individualizing our care with our patients. If we seen their needs, we needed to do everything we could to fulfill them. In between all of that, we had to extract information from their charts to make up care plans and to create a database of our resident. It sounds like a lot at first, especially just starting out, but it becomes like second nature! You will hopefully also get a chance to get some of your skills checked off on your first clinical rotation. Good luck!
    WOW! That is exactly what I was wondering! I hope you keep posting as you go thru your course- I feel so much better when I am prepared! Thanks Iridescent Orchid - you shine!
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    I finished LVN school in December. What you will do will be based on your clinical placement and how willing the staff is to let you care for their patients. If you show up, are ready to work and stand out from the rest of the students, you will have unlimited access to patients and clinical skills. If you are timid, shy, or don't like to work hard, you will learn or do very little.
    I am the first person. The nurses loved me and allowed me to care for ALL of their patients assigned that shift, instead of just 1 or 2. In first semester, we were assigned to 1 patient. Second semester, 2 patients and 3rd semester 2 also. But, from 2nd semester on I cared for up to 4 patients. I only had to do care plans and drug cards for 2, but the nurses allowed me to do all meds, ADL's, charting,ect for all of their patients.
    I have had patients with the following dx:
    AIDS, bowel obstruction, hip fractures, lupus, stroke, BKA, coma, ORIF, finger infection,chest tube, DM (both types), bed sores and the list goes on.
    I went to school in Northern Ca in the Bay Area and was placed at SFGH, St Luke's, Chinese Hospital and Maxine Hall.
    Good Luck with school and learn all you can.
    student forever likes this.
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    leinasmom that is great! I hope I can do as well as you have done. How is the work situation going?
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    Student Forever.. Thanks very much. I just took and passed my NCLEX and am driving to Sacrament today to get my license. Most people in my class are working at UCSF, the school district, and SFGH. I plan on applying to Corrections after summer. Then next year I hope I can get into an LVN to ASN program, do my 8 months, and sit for the RN NCLEX. My dream job is an Oncology Nurse or Labor and Delivery. In California, there is not a huge shortage for LVN jobs, you just have to be willing to do LTC or SNF or clinics at hospitals, as not many work on the floor in hospitals.
    Good luck!
    student forever likes this.
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    I started school in January and am on my second rotation already. We basically go to the hospital in the town that we are doing clinicals in (5 all together) including nursing homes, hospice, doctors offices ranging from OB, general, wound care, you name it. In the hospital, we are in the ER, OR, ICU, Med Surg, Post Partum, Labor and Delivery...basically all over it. We do it all. From giving meds, to bathing, dressing, charting, head to toe assessments, starting IVs, whatever the nurse does, we do it....I can see how much we have learned in the short time we have been here, as when we are at the hospital, there are RN students that are half way through their program, and dont know half of what we do. Makes me proud that I go to the school that I do....I love clinicals, and am even more glad we graduate in December...11 months, non stop...
    student forever likes this.
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    drofseg-

    sounds like you are really going to be prepared for the real world. I have no idea how my school will compare to this, but I hope it is comparable. Are you graded on clinical acheivement and progress? If, so, how does that work?
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    In my program we are graded with a pass or fail for clinical..but our skills lab has a letter grade. Our careplans and med cards also got a letter grade...I think each program is unique to their grading system. You can ask you programs instructor or dean and they should be able to tell you..
    student forever likes this.
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    I graduated LPN school in June 2008. We had 5 mods (similar to a semester just a bit longer ). We went to school M-F from 730a-330p. Here is how my clinicals/lectures went:

    Mod 1 (clinicals were at LTC)
    The first 6 weeks we spent M-F all day in classes/lectures. We also attended 'labs'. After we were lectured about certain skill, we then went in and practiced and then we were tested to be 'signed off' to do that particular skill/procedure at clinicals.

    At week 7 we went to classes M-W all day. Thursday and Friday we spent from 630a-230p at clinical in whatever long term care facility we were assigned to. While at clinicals we were only able to do only the skills we were signed off for (during the first 6 wks all of us had been signed off to do everything the CNA's could do). We did do some basic charting. We were graded on our different classroom classes, as well as a letter grade for clinicals. Our clinical grades came from our care plans, med cards etc as well as our performance in clinicals.

    Mod 2 (clinicals at LTC/rehab)
    Again M-W was class, Th-Friday were clinicals. Again we had skills labs we attended and were signed off to do certain procedures /skills. Grading was the same for clinicals. During clinicals we did what we did in Mod 1 but we were also able to do others such as placing indwelling caths, straight caths, some dressing changes. As well as some injectible meds like insulin, flu shot etc.

    Mod 3 (clinicals at LTC/rehab/community nursing/renal dialysis clinics)
    M and T were classes, W-F clinicals, same grading. Same lab skills lab. We were able to do everything we did in mod 1 and 2 and we were also able to do. But we were also doing med passes and more involved dressing changes, PO meds, IM meds etc. At this point we had learned and been signed off for a majority of procedures/skills that you would have as an LPN. Grading was the same as the previous mods

    Mod 4-5 (clinicals at LTC/rehab/outpatient facilities/hospitals)
    Again same as mod 3. We acted as our assigned patients nurse. We did it all. Charting, meds, treatments, whatever the nurse would normally do, we did. Grading same as previous mods.

    During Mod 4-5 if you had handed in the required homeworks, careplans etc and had gotten the minimum grade needed you were allowed to go observe different departments in the hospital. I was able to go to the hospital and observe in many floors and different outpatient areas. Such as renal dialysis, same day surgery, OR, GI lab, cardiac lab, etc


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