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Applying book knowledge to clinical practice

First Year   (305 Views 2 Comments)
by RN416 RN416 (Member)

1,642 Visitors; 29 Posts


I was wondering if anyone could help me. As a new nurse on a med surg unit, I am struggling with applying book knowledge to clinical practice. I was a great student, a great test taker, but real life nursing is so different than school, and in real life you aren't given 4 options to choose from like you are on nursing tests, you just have to know what to do. Besides just being patient to learn from experience, or giving it time, does anyone have any tips to make critical thinking and "knowing what to do" easier? 

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6,351 Visitors; 574 Posts

It takes some time and experience to get the hang of it, but I still don’t always know what to do after 3 years. But that’s ok, I have coworkers, physicians, RT, etc to help if needed. 

When I find something off, I try to put it together. Take a set of vitals. Do a focus assessment. Think about their history (check blood sugar if diabetic), diagnoses and recently administered medications. Talk to a more experienced coworker to help you work through it. 

Do you have something specific in mind?

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