Hi everyone! I am currently a student nurse and I will be starting my first ever clinical in OB in the next few weeks. Any advice?
What should I bring with me?
Anything specific that I should read up on?
Anything that is really annoying that I should avoid doing?
Any advice you guys might have would be greatly appreciated. I would like to get the most out of this clinical experience without pestering my preceptor and the other staff.
Jun 3, '03
You sound very conscientious. I'm sure you'll do just fine! I'm never annoyed by students who ask questions, it's those who do stupid things without asking that drive me up a wall!
Ask your instructor for a list of commonly prescribed meds for OB. Most units have a pretty small list of commonly used induction agents, pain meds, anti-nausea drugs, anti-gas meds (for C-section patients), stool softeners, etc. Prepare drug cards on these meds so you can look them up quickly and easily before administering them. Also know the normal range of vital signs for moms and newborns. Prepare a cheat sheet of this info so you can carry it in your pocket and refer to it as necessary. Read up on breastfeeding, and ask your preceptor to give you a short course on how she counsels breastfeeding moms, as consistency is very important in helping moms and babies to establish good nursing habits. If the hospital has pre-printed teaching sheets on newborn care, post-partum care, feeding, etc. get copies and read them beforehand so you can be consistent in your teaching.
Most of all, keep your eyes and ears open. If ANYTHING doesn't seem right, notify your preceptor immediately. Instinct is one of the most valuable tools in OB. Many times, moms and nurses FEEL that something is wrong before it becomes apparent. Trust your instincts! And enjoy! It is truly a privilege to be allowed to be a part of the birth experience. Thank your patients for allowing you to do so!
Jun 3, '03
Bring your open mind and leave your modesty at home!
I remember I wanted to die when I assesed my first fundus and episiotomy!
Jolie gave you good tiips on what to read up on, so good luck!
Jun 4, '03
Be a sponge. Eyes, ears and nose open. Try to help the nurses in any way you can; just ask what you can do. Don't be afraid to ask to observe ANY procedure being done. It's YOUR clinical experience so try to make the most of it by being actively-involved in your learning process.
Don't be afraid to ask a lot of questions. It is how you learn and most nurses are glad to share their knowledge. But if a nurse you are following seems harried, it may help to write down what you want to ask and wait til he/she has more time to talk. Timing is EVERYthing, believe me. I wish you well. You sound like a super nursing student and I hope you get the most from your learning experiences. I love working with students as an RN. I remember what it was like. Good luck!!!!
Jun 7, '03
you'll do fine!
just posting this shows you are eager to learn!
ask questions, don't waste opportunites "chatting" w/ other students
tell charge nurse what you'd like to see/accomplish...
so she'll help find opportunities for you!
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