Quote from Team Player
I'm a soon to be second semester RN nursing student. Do any of you knowledgable nurses out there have any advice for me? I want to get as much experience and be as helpful as possible. Any tips on gaining experience would be greatly appreciated!
1. Always be prepared. Clinical instructors can SMELL unpreparedness. Know your meds!
2. Ask to do procedures (Foley insertions, IVs, etc.)
3. Have some questions prepared for your clinical instructor regarding your patient, an illness, a procedure, etc. If they see you are interested and prepared, they tend to leave you alone for the rest of the day and go sniff around somebody who is unprepared (see #1).
4. Always look busy. Don't hang around the nurse's station with your buds, even if you don't have anything to do. (Unfortunately, a lot of times on clinical days, the patient you get assigned to may be discharged or die or something, thus leaving you with nothing to do). Read charts, look at how the nurses write their notes, practice writing notes, look up labs, help other nurses. Stride purposefully down the hall, even if you are just going to the bathroom.
5. Stay under the radar. Don't be a rebel. If you are supposed to wear freshly ironed white pants, go and freshly iron those white pants. And don't wear black thong underwear under them. You don't want to draw attention to yourself (in a negative way).
Some drugs you may want to learn about before your next clinical:
1. Heparin, Coumadin, Lovenox: Why is the patient getting them, what's the difference between them, what labs are associated with these?? What is HIT?
2. Blood pressure meds: beta blockers, calcium channel blockers, ACE inhibitors, ARBs, diuretics. What labs should you check before giving these? What vital signs should you check before giving these?
3. Antibiotics: Read up on them, possible side effects, what should you watch out for?? What labs are important to look at?
I'll post more if I think about it.
In conclusion: BE PREPARED. STAY UNDER THE RADAR. FOLLOW THE RULES, EVEN IF STUPID.