Starting Clinicals...

  1. Hi all,

    Today was day 1 of clinicals and there is so much I learned and so many things I wasn't even aware of, I feel like I've already become way more capable than I felt before, just working with mannequins and other students in the lab.

    I can't possibly go over all the things that I saw, heard, felt, experienced, learned, or even taught today, but I will say that apart from the CNA who really went the extra mile to stop and explain things to three of us as we shadowed her and were periodically in her way, the residents really made my day. I talked about MySpace and Twitter with one man, and giggled and joked with a small lady in a wheelchair who told me her nickname was "Fast On Foot". I gave a shower and received much approval from the resident in that, including many compliments on my watch and my shoes. One resident told me I was beautiful and she loved how I was caring for her. Another resident joked around with me in the shower, and told me he would teach me all I needed to know about being a CNA there, and that'd I'd do fine if I just pay attention to what the residents need. I fed a man who was a complete assistance, and counted and served food in a level 1/2 dining hall, then took up the trays and made way for housekeeping to get the room ready for Bingo.

    And so much more. I really got a lot out of it, not only from the great CNA I had, but also from the residents, who were overall kind, sweet, and VERY patient with this fumbling, slow student.

    We have 2 more clinical days and thought my feet are ACHING and I feel a little twinge in my back, I feel like I accomplished something today. It feels great.
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    About Girl Scout

    Joined: Feb '09; Posts: 166; Likes: 79
    CNA; from US


  3. by   Busia
    That sounds wonderful!!! My class doesn't start for two more weeks, but reading your post has me even more excited!! I hope your next two days are just as great!
  4. by   mncna08
    Isnt it great when you find a place where everyone is nice and they really train you! lol its a great job, wait until your on your own, you will learn alot of great things and meet fantastic people! oh, and new balance shoes work really well for me! your body will also get used to it! good luck with everything!
  5. by   Girl Scout
    Hi, well I had day 2 of my clinicals yesterday and I thought by noon that I was going to just go crazy if I couldn't rest my feet. I've worked at a desk job in an office for years and years. I literally had to tell my CNA that I needed to go to the bathroom, then I went in there and rested my feet about 10 minutes. I know this gets easier as you go on, but wow. I will say this: if you are new to this, and starting clinicals, you are going to be spending about 50% or more of your time moving. And that reduces the foot pain a lot. You are going to be literally racing back and forth on the floor, answering call lights and assisting residents and other CNAs, and you completely stop thinking about how much your feet hurt. It's the times when you've got 5 minutes in between everybody needing something, that you realize... "Wow, my feet feel like crap!" lol

    Day 2 went by reasonably fast. There were lulls in activity, and times when I completely lost my CNA because she walks VERY fast. I could tell really quickly that when she gets in her routine, she is totally "in the zone" and doesn't even notice how fast she moves from room to room. She gives excellent care, though. She is very personable and sweet with the residents, does not rush and hurry them. I did, unfortunately, work with one very lazy CNA. She ignored her residents while she was helping with ADLs, just kind of treated them like cargo rather than people.

    However, I have got to say, that the CNA I was with 75% of the time was amazing. And she had only been a CNA for 3 months. She knew her job well and had the respect of the other staff. Staff also listened to each other and tried to pick up each other's slack if someone got behind.

    Oh, we also had a tornado warning, so we had to move all 100 residents into the halls and into the showers, various offices, etc. THAT was something else, I'll tell you. Except for the residents who could not be moved, we did it all in about 6 minutes. I have never seen anything so amazing. The few of the residents that weren't cooperative, were soothed by CNAs who stayed with them. They sang songs with them to keep them calm. The students (15 of us) walked the halls fast doing anything/everything we could to move residents to safety. The director of the facility and our 2 instructors on site were very proud of us.

    We have 1 more clinical day next week. I'm looking forward to it. It's hard work, so don't be fooled, but it is so rewarding. I do not yet know that LTC is what I'm cut out for, but I've found at least that I've enjoyed the feedback from the residents and the thanks from the nurses and CNAs on floor, so it makes me feel like I would probably be good in the field.
  6. by   Busia
    I love reading your updates!!
  7. by   Girl Scout
    Quote from Busia
    I love reading your updates!!
    I'm glad! When you start class, it may seem like an information overload, but stick with it and just study every day, and you'll do fine. And when you get around finally to your clinicals, be sure and post and let us know how it's going. I love comparing notes about experiences. :wink2:
  8. by   Misslady113
    Wow. Finally a positive post about a clinical experience. Good for you. I start my clinicals on Mon and you just made me have a little bit of hope.:redpinkhe
  9. by   Girl Scout
    Today was my last clinical day and the least physically intensive also because I worked the geri psych floor, and there really weren't any changings or showers to give, just feedings. The nurse let us know right away when we came on at 7 that it was very low-key and that the CNAs, while being there to change dirty britches and ambulate residents (ie, the usual stuff), our main job was to redirect and keep the residents from abusing each other. We only had a couple of residents who were known for bursting into violence and they were pretty calm today. At one point I was present with 2 CNAs as they changed a resident who was nice otherwise, but would get violent (biting, scratching, hair yanking, cursing, slapping) in changings, and it was kind of upsetting to see. The CNAs were as gentle as possible with her, but they really had to work very fast and couldn't really do the job well since the resident was so up in arms.

    But mostly, the day was just slow, and low-key, and I spent most of my time directing one-on-one attention to just a few residents, spending time talking with them, and physically comforting them like with holding their hand, and reassuring them they were safe and their families knew where they were. I really, really grew attached to several of the residents just in one day. One fellow kept saying over and over that he was happy and he loved us. One woman was actually very lucid and independent and seemed out of place there. Another guy told me all sorts of things about where he grew up around here, and told me my hair was beautiful and reminded him of a girl he fell for a long time ago (he got teary-eyed talking about her). You had to talk to one fellow completely in 3rd person.

    We did activities with them, like ROM, tossing a balloon around, singing, and when I left they were doing art stuff. I think later they had a movie or TV shows planned.

    Oh, and the charge nurse let me take her bp in both arms. I need(ed) the practice and she was real cool about it. Both she and the LPN were cool to work for, and professional and I could tell they were both very knowledgeable about this field.

    So, that concludes my CNA clinicals! All in all, it's been really interesting, exhausting, fun, dirty, and occasionally gross, and sometimes upsetting, sometimes sad... but I worked with some really great people and many of the residents took time to tell me they really appreciated me, and that's what makes me smile while I'm sitting here thinking back on the experience.

    If you're going into CNA clinicals, just keep an open mind and a really good pair of insoles, and if you have the option, work as many different areas as possible so that you get a lot of varied experience.