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Benefits of Clinicals w/ partners vs. without.


Specializes in Critical care.

Our instructor offered us a choice tonight, to do our medsurg clinicals with a partner or without. Up until now we have been paired up by the instructor and given patients.

I feel like I am a go-getter, I'm pretty good at hunting down floor nurses who are about to "do something" and asking to help, even if they're not the nurse assigned to my patient (in my program, this is encouraged; I know other programs you have to stay with your nurse). I am probably the most assertive of the bunch and I feel like I drag my poor partners around because I don't usually stop to ask if they feel like doing something, because there isn't time (that nurse with 5 other patients isn't going to wait for us before she puts the IV in; it's now or never). So I feel like in that respect, I do better on my own. I also am not very shy and I have no problem going into rooms by myself, talking with patients, etc. I feel like being alone would further force me to "develop" and not have the crutch of a partner to lean on.

Buuuuut on the other hand, I am still new at this. This is med surg one. And, there is that old saying that two eyes are better than one. There have been times where my partner has caught something on assessment that I have missed. And, a partner is another general knowledge base to double-check nervous newbie skills, someone to commiserate with, a moral support.

The instructor has left it up to me. So, do you think it's better to have a partner or not have one during beginning clinicals?


Specializes in Critical Care. Has 1 years experience.

It seems to me like you are one of those students who is a real go getter, who would've been fine day 1 without a partner. It really depends on where you are in your education-- med/surg is where it should all be coming together, so I think at this point, you'd be better off by yourself.

However, don't be surprised if you get paired up again when you start critical care rotations- there just aren't enough patients to go around. Good luck!

SopranoKris, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 6 years experience.

Having done both in clinicals, I personally prefer flying solo rather than being paired up. I am a fast thinker and I'm super-organized, so I'm always done before everyone else. When I'm tethered to another student, I feel liked my day drags on because I have to slow down to accommodate the other student. I prefer a fast pace, it's just how I'm "wired" :)


Specializes in NICU. Has 6 years experience.

My cohort suggested to him last semester to pair us up and be assigned to one nurse (I think that is his plan for your clinicals). That allowed us to get a feel for being a Med/surg nurse and have 4-5 patients to care for. Your partner would not necessarily be tied to your hip. That increases your chance of preforming skills and also prevents classmates (other than your partner) from stealing skill opportunities from your nurse (nurse feels obligated to you and your partner). While it is a good thing to be a go-getter, I have had certain classmates attempt to steal skill opportunities numerous times on my assigned patients while I was assisting another nurse. Fortunately, my nurse told them that I had first chance at the skill.

classicdame, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

myself - I woudl prefer being alone to be able to ask the nurses more questions.

I'd strongly prefer not to have one. I still have to pay the same for the class, and with partners you only get half the experience. No way I'm letting someone take away all my cool skills opportunities. (You'll find other students will sometimes try to do that anyway. Show claws. Just wait until the first time your instructor tells you your patient needs an IV started and all the other students try to weasel their way into doing it instead.)


Specializes in Critical Care. Has 1 years experience.

Just wait until the first time your instructor tells you your patient needs an IV started and all the other students try to weasel their way into doing it instead.)

The worst! MY patient, MY IV. I threw down over this in nursing school.

although solo is good,remember nursing is also about teamwork. Your not the only one taking care of the patient, other interdisciplinary are involved and you must be able to work with them to provide the best care for your patient

I remember classmates fighting over skills practice in clinicals...just remember that skills can be learned.Any junkie on the street can stick a needle in a vein. A good nurse, however, knows why he/she needs the IV regarding the patient and pathophysiology, what medications they should expect to go into that IV, side effects, possible complications....and so on. Skills are great, but don't get so caught up you forget about the most important things!

Well i just started my last semester of clinicals. I can day this, that my clinical group is paired up on the same floor not the same patients. I however am all by myself. At first I was a bit apprehensive about it however, now I enjoy it. Not having any other students on my floor made me push myself. My instructor told me this week 4 weeks in that she did it on purpose. She said she read my previous evals from past semesters and thought i could handle it. She also had me take more patients then other students. I not only exceeded her expectations but really I proved to myself that i am capable and competent. It is such a good feeling! I am not the nervous student I once was. I am a team player. I help the Cna's and other nurses whenever i can. I just know that i dont need the security blanket anymore! :) try it solo! You will be amazed at what you are truly capable of!