New clinical instructor ~any tips for a new instructor?

  1. Hi All, I am a new clinical instructor any tips?
  2. Visit HappyWife77 profile page

    About HappyWife77, ASN, BSN, LPN, RN

    Joined: May '13; Posts: 765; Likes: 1,630
    Staff Nurse; from US
    Specialty: 29 year(s) of experience in LTC, Hospital, CNA instructor,Hospice


  3. by   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
  4. by   HappyWife77
    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.
  5. by   babsy28
    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!
  6. by   or.nurse
    That was so very helpful! Thank you as I am a new instructor, I appreciate your feedback
  7. by   ER RN instructor
    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!
  8. by   RogerHimelstein
    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.

  9. by   BSNbeauty
    Bump. Any more tips or advice? I am a new clinical instructor !
  10. by   AnnieOaklyRN
    It has been a while since I have been a nursing student, but please just go in with an open mind, and treat ALL students equally!

    I found some instructors favored certain students, or certain types of students, and disliked others. I was a medic before I became an RN, and only one or two clinical instructors that knew actually treated me fairly after finding out, the others picked on me, gave me tougher assignments (and openly admitted it), and just didn't respect the fact that I was going into the program with some knowledge. I did not have a know it all attitude either! It is NOT easy working on an ambulance and doing all sorts of stuff, including giving IV medications, and then going to nursing clinical the next day and having to be babysat flushing an IV. I understand it may be necessary, but realize it isn't easy for the student!

    My last semester, or maybe two, I stopped telling instructors and asked my classmates not to either. Our last semester clinicals were in maternal child health, and in our OB rotation we had the opportunity to watch a delivery. I would have gladly given that opportunity to someone else since I had already delivered a couple babies in the field, including one set of twins, but since I was keeping my paramedic license a secret I watched the delivery, which meant another student who had never seen a delivery missed out on that opportunity. When we watched delivery we were assigned to that family and baby for the rest of the clinical day. The OB nurse couldn't believe how comfortable I was giving the Vit K and that I was totally afraid of the eye ointment, which she found amusing since most students would have been the opposite I would assume. I had already given a gazillion IM injections, so that didn't bother me.

    Bottom line, keep in mind some of your students may be paramedics or other healthcare professionals who may be changing careers. Respect that they are coming in with some knowledge and experience under their belt, but don't abuse them for it! I felt as though some of my instructors viewed that knowledge as a threat.

    Good luck and it is very respectful that you are asking for advise!