New clinical instructor ~any tips for a new instructor?

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    Hi All, I am a new clinical instructor any tips?
  2. 6 Comments so far...

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    Make sure you outline or give your assignment schedule to the students right in the beginning, make a rule as to how you'll tackle situations when students miss their clinicals or give assignments late, give them prompt reply usually within 24 hrs, don't give lenient A's until its really well deserved. watch their interaction with nurses. Good luck
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    Quote from UNITEDRN
    Make sure you outline or give your assignment schedule to the students right in the beginning, make a rule as to how you'll tackle situations when students miss their clinicals or give assignments late, give them prompt reply usually within 24 hrs, don't give lenient A's until its really well deserved. watch their interaction with nurses. Good luck
    Thank you I appreciate the tips.
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    I hope you do not mind that I'm leaving a comment, I'm a senior in a BSN program. I just wanted to say that in my limited experience I have had all of the "tough" clinical instructors and I have had some of the most amazing opportunities to learn from them. When I compare my rotations with other students I've been challenged more but because of that I do better on exams. I'm one of the students that others come to for help because they know that our group had experience in that topic.
    Students want to learn and be challenged. Ask questions that make us use all the knowledge we have learned. If we don't have the answers ask us to look it up quickly and re-present the info to you. Please dont feed us info trust me we learn when we look it up not when you tell us.
    My last instructor was a stickler on us knowing at any time during clinical what drugs the patient was on what rate why they were getting it ect... We would go in and get the initial assessment and then have 20 minutes to organize ourselves and any notes we needed. We would then give her report and she would "quiz" us. Things like: If your pt has renal failure what would be a sign that her stats is decompensating? This way we knew what to look for with the patient but we also worked in our past knowledge of renal failure. If they had HTN what was their last BP compared to their current BP? What do we think is the major concern for this patient right now? I cannot even put into words how intimidating this was at first but as time passed we started to think of things before she asked and it allowed us to grow so much over that rotation. We even started to ask each other these questions before we presented to her and we learned from each others cases.
    Best of luck and thank you for teaching a new generation of exceptional nurses!
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    That was so very helpful! Thank you as I am a new instructor, I appreciate your feedback
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    First off, I LOVE being a clinical instructor. I think that is important because it is so easy to get burnt out. Not only are you dealing with difficult patients, co-workers, family, administration... but now you have the potential of difficult students. So I hope you enjoy it!

    I find it helpful to spell out my expectations the first day (orientation). This is the information I spoon feed to them. What assignments will you complete, what must you have prepared prior to clinical, what are the consequences to being late, med errors, failed assignments.

    I have my students prelab. They are expeceted to go to the facility the day before and look up the medical record. At home, they are to research medications, make drug cards, research diagnoses, or labs, review procedures that may come up (like inserting a straight cath, giving a SQ injection, or doing an Accucheck). I find that they are much more prepared on the day of clinical and then they are not spending valuable hands-on time working on thier care plan.

    I also like to send them to ancillary departments (in the hospital). A student may follow the respiratory therapist and learn more about breathing treatments, PFTs, EKGs, and abnormal lung sounds. They go to surgery (pre, intra, and post-op). And they go to the clinic and follow a pediatrician or family practice. I have also before (on slow days) sent them to radiology to observe positioning for xrays and to view images or scans.

    Overall - Challenge them! If they want to know more about a disease process or medication... make them find it and then come back to you for discussion, or have them present it to the group. At the end of our clinical day we also do post conference where we can discuss interesting cases, experience new equipment, practice assessment on each other, or work on vocabulary, math, or abbreviations. My favorite post conference activity is practice NCLEX questions. I bought an NCLEX book and I usually try to make the questions we cover match up with what they are covering in class that week. I have had good feedback from this.

    Best of luck! And I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
    lwhatley likes this.
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    I like what ER RN Instructor says about send the students to other departments, there is more to nursing than just nursing. I get quite a few paramedics through our program, and me being a paramedic as well get most of the in clinical. I try not to send the through the ED, because they can do that job blindfolded, I have the paramedics go through ICU and cath lab as much as they can.
    For the generic students I try to give them as much verity as I can without overwhelming them.

    RH


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