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First ever clinical THIS FRIDAY...advice ?!?!

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by Maladroit Maladroit (New Member) New Member

4,729 Profile Views; 111 Posts

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So, I start my very first ever clinical rotation this friday! I'm so nervous :o and I want some advice on what to study up on - I really want to be as prepared as possible! It's at a LTC facility. I've been to LTC facilities before, but as a visitor for a resident, not on the clinical end ever. Anything I can do in advance? Thanks!

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workingharder has 2 years experience.

308 Posts; 8,816 Profile Views

Congratulations on your first step. Get physically prepared, get plenty of sleep the night before. Arrive early and be enthused about doing what ever is assigned to you. When we started our LTC rotation we were doing a lot of CNA tasks. That means pads (diapers), wiping, feeding, changing linens, and transferring. The medications you typically run into are anti-hypertensives, heart medications and lots of insulin.

Be prompt, friendly, generous and confident. And, treat the CNAs as you would treat your best friend. You will find that a good CNA is like gold.

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96 Posts; 3,471 Profile Views

Keep a good attitude no matter what task you are given. It makes all the difference.

Be available to help the staff. Offer to help with the things you are capable of doing.

Make friends with the CNAs. Seriously, they're the best resource you'll have as a student nurse in clinicals about your patients. They know everyone and the way things are usually done for that particular patient.

Don't be afraid to ask questions. Learn on your feet. Try to understand everything happening to the best of your ability. Seriously, I've forgotten alot of what was taught to us in lecture, but I remember EVERYTHING I learned in clinicals. It's the best time to really get an understanding of things.

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27 Posts; 1,451 Profile Views

Congratulations! Get a good nights sleep, eat something that morning even if breakfast isn't your thing. Lay out you uniform, shoes, what ever gear your school requires, the night before. This avoids the running around the house like a chicken with your head cut off looking for your stethoscope in the morning routine :). A small notebook to keep track of things like codes for doors to leave the floor, where the extra gloves a kept (an extra pair in your pocket is a good idea), what time breaks can be taken, name of your nurse for the day ect.

Remember to smile, be positive and remember no one expects you to know it all the first day.

Good Luck!:up:

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559 Posts; 6,053 Profile Views

Pay attention as soon as you hit the door. How is the place set up? Where is the nurse's station? Where do they keep supplies? Where do you go to get things for a client such as coffee? Where's the trash? Dirty linens? Don't be writing everything down and miss half of what's going on. It's a lot to take in but it will save you endless trouble later on.

When you speak, do so wisely. If you're going to ask a question, make it a good one. Don't ask about something you should already know. (Bring your notes/book incase you need it.)

Start off on a good foot with the nurses and patient care staff. They are HELPFUL, especially the latter. Be helpful to them, and you'll get a lot of good experiences.

So my basic advice is open your eyes and ears, shut your mouth, and be helpful. :D Of course you have a lot of other stuff going on, but these things have NEVER failed me.

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10 Posts; 873 Profile Views

Def. get a good nights sleep! Eat breakfast and if your nerves don't allow for breakfast bring a snack! Be proactive on the skills you are able to perform not on just your patient but see if you can help out another nurse! Know your meds if you have the opportunity to get your patient info the night before! Be proactive and watch procedures you may not yet be skilled for. As another person said make friends with the CNA's! They are the BEST! Sit in when the doc visits your patient. Help pass out meal trays...HELP HELP HELP all that you can!

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111 Posts; 4,729 Profile Views

Start off on a good foot with the nurses and patient care staff. They are HELPFUL, especially the latter. Be helpful to them, and you'll get a lot of good experiences.

So my basic advice is open your eyes and ears, shut your mouth, and be helpful. :D Of course you have a lot of other stuff going on, but these things have NEVER failed me.

I CAN DO THAT!!! Thank you ALL for the advice! I hadn't had any idea on what to focus on - so thanks a TON! I plan on being as helpful as possible! Thanks again!

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14 Posts; 1,286 Profile Views

I just finished up my LTC Clinicials... Like everyone else said its a lot of CNA stuff, so know your normal ranges for VS, and maybe some other basic lab values. Definitely bring a little notebook that you can keep codes to supply rooms and what not. My facility had 7 different codes for different rooms...never did learn most of them so my notebook saved by butt. I also brought a blank piece of printer paper with me that I folded into quarters, 1/4th of the paper for each of my patients. I wrote their room number and admitting dx at the top and then wrote their VS as I took them. Also, bring a pen or two that you dont care about. Many of my patients were in isolation for MRSA and VRE. I just wiped my pen down with an alcohol pad but sometimes at the end of the day I'd just pitch it. Oh and last but not least, make sure you alarm clock is set for AM and not PM! I made that mistake once, never again! :)

And just relax, no one is going to expect you to you know everything the first day and you'll be amazed at how much you've grown when you get to the end!

Best of luck!

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125 Posts; 2,461 Profile Views

Be on time.

Be friendly whether you feel like it or not.

Be patient with the residents and fellow students.

Be appreciative of the nurses and CNA's who are willing to teach you.

Be willing to volunteer for any task that comes available.

Be willing to do anything you are asked no matter how repulsive it seem.

And most importantly....relax and enjoy the experience!!!

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turnforthenurse has 7 years experience as a MSN, NP and specializes in ER, progressive care.

3,364 Posts; 36,347 Profile Views

Get plenty of sleep the night before and arrive on time. Bring a snack or two, bring some cash (no more than $10) if you are planning on buying a lunch, otherwise I would just pack my own. Never bring a debit/credit card because someone might take it!

You will start off doing very basic nursing tasks. I know several people mentioned "CNA work" - yes, a lot of this is often delegated to the CNAs but don't forget this does fall within your nursing responsibilities, too :) Nothing bothers me more than nurses who think that wiping butt doesn't fall within their job description :mad:

Anyway, you will be doing vital signs, so know your normal ranges. You may or may not be doing assessments. When I went through, only about 15 of us were taking our health assessment class, so a majority of my fellow students didn't start learning assessments until their 2nd semester. You still might practice listening to heart/lung/bowel sounds. Basic care includes bed baths, turning, incontinence care, assisting patients with meals, toileting, that sort of thing. You will pass meds, but you most likely will not start out with IV meds right off the bat.

In nursing school, they kind of "ease" you into it during your first clinical rotation. They know that most, if not all, of this stuff is brand new to you and you cannot be expected to know everything. That doesn't mean you shouldn't study, though - make sure you are keeping up with your readings for lecture and studying the material that is currently being presented to you. Never be afraid to ask questions - we were told that there is no such thing as a stupid question. Take advantage of every learning opportunity, and also allow your classmates to share in the wealth. For example, we had the same patient every week for clinical. I had a patient who was comatose and had a PEG tube. I learned about PEG tubes in that clinical but also had my classmates learn about them and practice giving feedings, etc (with my clinical instructor, of course). That sort of thing. Ask the other nurses or students if they need help. If you are not busy and there are call lights going off, answer them.

Good luck to you!

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