Networking during clinicals
5Feb 19, '13 by BriGuyRNUse your clinical rotations to your advantages! Take time to meet and introduce yourselves to charge nurses and nurse managers during clinical rotations (when appropriate!). If the unit you are doing clinical rotations on interests you, let them know and show interest, but don't become a brown-noser.
Keep in mind that EVERYONE is watching, from CNAs/PCAs, RNs, to housekeeping, patients and volunteers, so maintain a professional composure at all times. You never know, the patient may have a lead to get you hired.
Keep in mind that RNs provide nursing care, compassion and, in today's world, customer service. Do what you can to make patients comfortable and happy, from adjusting position to helping with a TV remote.
Let yourself be known, it's not the time to blend in with the others...
8Feb 20, '13 by Meriwhen, ASN, BSN, RN Senior ModeratorIMO, networking during clinicals is not a bad idea...if done in moderation.
Remember, you are at clinicals primarily to learn and develop your skills. If you spend more of your time trying to schmooze a job than to actually perform your assigned duties, you're not making yourself look good. You'll stand out more by showing a willingness to learn and get your hands dirty, by performing skills well, and by having a positive attitude, than you will by endless lip-service and working the job angle. At least that's what gets my attention when it comes to students trekking through my unit.
By all means, mention if you are interested in working in that department/specialty and try to (without excessively forcing it) cultivate a contact or two. But keep in mind why you are really at clinicals, as that is what should always be the priority.
2Feb 21, '13 by anashenwrathMeriwhen's got it. Network, but not to the point that you're not nursing. I'm doing my 12-hours on my dream floor, and I have made sure that everyone knows I'd love to work there--while at the same time demonstrating my competency, helpfulness, and good attitude. If you spend all your time sitting with the nurse manager schmoozing, then the nurse manager is noticing that you're not working.
I definitely agree with the OP's comment about doing little extras to stand out. Assume your instructors/preceptors are surveying every single patient about your performance. Patients are more apt to remember that you were super nice and went out of your way to make them comfortable than they're going to remember the stuff that we all know is more important (medication rights, safety, etc). (Just so we're clear: things like safety, etc, are 100% more important and should never ever be skipped, I'm just saying a patient is less likely to notice you followed safety protocols vs say, giving them an extra roll at dinner when they request it.)
And be decent to EVERYONE. If someone is nasty, kill them with kindness. Smile and show that you want to be there. Offer to help the LPNs, housekeeping, food delivery, etc if you have nothing to do. Volunteer to help clean patients and change linens. Not only does it show that you're a team player, but it gives you one-on-one time to chat and network WHILE you're proving your competency.