So I'm wrapping up my first term, and my clinicals are going to be starting soon. Anyone have any advise, stories, words of comfort? I'd love to hear from other students, their experiences during their first clinicals.
I thought that all through PN school I was horrible at clinicals, but then received the "clinical star" award at my school in the end. I asked why, and they said that it came down to a few small reasons. 1) Remember why you are in school and that you are a guest in the clinical site. I always met the nurse and CNA that was assigned to my patient. 2) Ask questions, but research FIRST. 3) Always foster JUDGEMENT- Know why you are doing what you're doing and protect safety first.
My first day of PN clinicals was ridiculously nerve-wracking and I wanted to quit. My first day of RN clinicals was cake-walk. It came down to the social aspect- i didnt know how to approach patients and that was a skill a WONDERFUL CNA taught me. Good luck to you!
1. Remember you are a visitor in your clinical facility. Treat the RNs, CNAs, LPNs - treat everyone as your would want to be treated and/or as if your instructor was immediately over your shoulders. Realize you represent your school to the community (hallway, patients and family). Be on your best behavior. You NEVER know who you will be interviewing with for your first job as a new grad. It's a small world...
2. Introduce yourself to the nurse you are working with. And to the CNA. Discuss your plan for the day. Will you be assessing the patient? Will you be documenting your assessments? Will you be passing medications - if so what types of meds - PO only, PO and SQ - discuss the whole plan. What care will you be providing? Baths, helping to ambulate - make sure you discuss it and document appropriately (as permitted by your facility - in some of my clinicals we only had to have our instructor's co-signature, others required our instructor be right there with us while working on the documentation).
3. Introduce yourself to patients and their visitors. Protect/respect your patient's privacy - it is always best to ask a patient if you can speak to them about their care or medications in front of their visitors. And explain it as such - 'My name is (name), and I am a student nurse, I will be part of your care team today, my instructor (name) is also helping too. I see you have some company. Do you mind if we discuss the medications I have for you with your visitor present? I ask because I value your privacy.'
4. If you are assessing a patient or taking vitals for med administration - if anything is not normal for that patient (pt with a hx of HTN suddenly is hypotensive) - that may require some trouble shooting (check the cuff, check it manual instead of machine etc), your instructor needs to know and the facility's staff assigned to care for that patient needs to know.