Starting Clinicals Tomorrow, Any Tips/Advice?!?! I have so many questions!!

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    Sooooooo I start clinical rotations tomorrow, and I am kinda nervous!!! We were told little things like bring extra shoes(so as not to bring germs home) and to wear our lab coats, but what did you guys do to ensure that you weren't bringing home germs/disease to your children & family members?? If you did change, when/where did you do it?? What did you do to avoid gagging while changing briefs?? Suctioning a trach? What were the hardest things for your to overcome? What did you actually do during clinicals??
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    I would like to know this also...
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    The best thing to help with the briefs (and other various "interesting" smells) is to bring a small thing of "Vicks" (you remember the stuff ur mom used to rub on ur chest at night when u were sick) and rub a little around each nostril. It wont totally block the smells, but it will make it soooooooo much more bareable. And I have a HORRIBLE gag reflex from smells. Good luck in clinicals guys! U will love it!
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    Some people bring extra shoes and change them in the parking lot before getting in their car. I go home in what I went to work in unless something went very very wrong. If you are dealing with anything really bad they are probably on contact precautions and you should have a gown on.

    I wash my hands before I leave, go in through my garage and leave my sneakers at the door there. Scrubs go in a seperate basket in the laundry room and I head to the shower.

    So take a deep breath, (not while changing a brief) and relax Clinicals are not that bad.
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    Clinicals was the best part of the schooling for me. It's where you actually get to apply some of the skills you have been reading about. First off, don't be soo nervous, your instructor will walk you through a lot of things and check to make sure you are performing correctly. Some of your task will depend on your site you're assigned to and what your instructor will allow you to do. My advice is listed below:

    - Volunteer to perform EVERY task you can because that may be the one opportunity you will see it or get to perform it.
    - Your scrubs and shoes are not so dirty that you can not walk in your house with them. I would usually wear the same shoes to clinicals and place them in a corner in my room. I would not let my kids hug me though until I had taken off my scrubs.
    - Try to always have your stethoscope, some strip thermometers, a small notepad, and a pen. If you are performing assessments, you will also need a pen light. Later in your training you may want to have a pair of nursing scissors. I would also keep some hand lotion and chap stick in my pocket...my personal preference.
    - Be professional at all times, double and triple check your work, if unsure, ASK, do not assume, some clinicals sites will use you as the escape goat for their errors
    - The nursing world is VERY small so make sure to be friendly and show that you know your skills, you may need those nurses one day to get a job....many nurses and doctors work at several facilities


    Feces you will get used to, the sputum you will not.
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    The day of my first clinical. I sat in the parking lot in my car and almost refused to get out, I was so scared. My first patient? Couldn't talk, quadriplegic, incredibly anxious, and played with his feces all day long. N.O.T. F.U.N. I hated it. Something happened on day 2 though. My patient for some reason seemed calmer. His wife had come in not long after me going in and said that she hadn't been able to come in almost a month and he must have been lonely. I left that day and cried (I am sort of a crybaby). From then on I realized that every single patient I touch that is mean, nice, hurtful, dirty, friendly, crying, screaming...... needs me. Needs us.

    Ok, so I went on a tangent- as for germs, I wear boxers and a t-shirt under my scrubs so when i get home scrubs go off at front door and in separate hamper and my work shoes stay at work in a locker.
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    I cried the 1st day of my 1st semester. It was SO overwhelming!

    I also cried the 2nd day of 2nd semester. I had so much go wrong with my day but none with my patient. I am not even stressing over my care plan. It's done. I will hand it in Monday and it will be what it is. I have 10 more pages to read before Monday's lecture.

    Bring a small notebook that will fit in your pocket to wrote notes on. I have found if your patient is verbal, you can learns a lot from them.


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