Clinical Advice

  1. I am a nursing student in my junior year and I am going to my first clinical next week! I am nervous and excited, but I was wondering what some of you did to calm your nerves at you first clinicals. What should I expect? I would appreciate any advice.
  2. Visit KES profile page

    About KES

    Joined: Sep '05; Posts: 40


  3. by   Daytonite
    What you are feeling is normal. All during my nursing school clinicals I had a sick feeling every time I walked into the hospital. It was because I was afraid of accidentally killing someone. I look back on it now I wonder what I was thinking! Anyway, to answer your question. . .make sure you shower and are wearing a clean uniform. You're going to be sweating a lot most likely from nervousness, so use deoderant (I'm serious). Get there 15 minutes before you are supposed to be there. Have at least two pens in your pocket in case one gets lost. Don't take your purse into the facility. Lock it in the trunk of your car. If you think you'll want some money for a vending machine just put a few coins or one or two dollar bills in your pocket. Don't take any books into the site with you your first day unless you've been told to bring them. Reason is because if you set them down somewhere and forget about them, you may not get them back. If you're allowed to bring a clipboard, do that with a couple of sheets of blank paper on it. Otherwise, fold a couple of sheets of blank paper and put them in your pocket in case you need something to write notes on. Follow all instructions you were given about working in the clinical area. If you were told to call your instructor before doing any particular thing with a patient--do it. Your first clinical will involve some orientation to the facility and how to contact your instructor because she/he won't be with you all the time and you will have to page them when you need them.

    If you don't know where the facility is, it would be a good idea to make a "dry run" to the place (Sunday mornings are a good time to do that) to make sure you know how to get there and where you are to park. You don't ever want to be late to your clinicals.

    Good luck! We all went through this. You'll survive too.
  4. by   KES
    Daytonite- thank you for your advice! I will definately wear deodorant! I also liked your idea of bring a small pad of paper to jot things down! Thanks again.
  5. by   hippienurse
    Hey there! I always feel a little nauseous going into clinical, but I am usually smiling SO big when I leave because of what a great experience it was. Remember that and get all you can out of it!

    I would take at least two BLACK pens, a penlight, bandage scissors. Make sure you have some change or something for a drink, etc. And most of all, try and keep in mind everything you know!!! You will do great, just follow direction, ask for help when needed and if needed LOOK IT UP!!!
  6. by   truern
    Quote from Daytonite
    make sure you shower and are wearing a clean uniform. You're going to be sweating a lot most likely from nervousness, so use deoderant (I'm serious).
    Thank you!! You wouldn't believe the way some students smell

    To the OP: You need your stethoscope, a penlight or small flashlight (personally, I can't stand penlights...they're forever dead), a 4-color pen (really helps when taking notes, etc...and charting)..bandage scissors, BREATH MINTS, and a small change purse to keep lunch/break money in.

    Once you start patient care make sure to always have alcohol wipes in your pocket!
  7. by   MissBrn
    Looking back now this is really goofy, but--no one really told us what to do at my first clinical and I had no med. care background. I didn't realize that if the chart said OOB w/ assist, then I better get my patient out of bed! Apply a cream to buttocks! What do you mean that's what I am here for? lol-Honestly, at that point I hadn't made the connection between what the Kardex says is what we do. :imbar Get vitals right away as soon as you get there. Keep your chin up and smile--it'll be fine-first day--piece of cake!

    What type of clinical setting will you be in?
  8. by   peds4now
    I'm a beginning nursing student, 3 weeks into clinicals, so I can give you a real beginner's view. Bring all those supplies people mentioned, and also your own BP cuff if you are going to a non-acute facility. For me, the skills were not the main challenge. You start off with vitals, a.m. care, bathing, etc. Go over it in your clinical skills book and just use common sense! Ask a fellow student to help when necessary. ID the best CNA and go to them for a real education! The thing that got me, and that I think you have to overcome quickly, is being assertive (not mean and bullying!) with clients and taking charge a bit of the situation. I'm not used to being in the dominant position or people much older than me looking to me for guidance. Believe it or not, you walk in there with a uniform and they expect you to be efficient and confident. So fake it! Well, don't do anything outside your scope of training, but go for it with your client. Start right away asking assessment interview questions so they get used to answering you, and so it will be a no-brainer when you have to write the care plan. Oh, and don't use reviewing the chart as an excuse to not be in with your client for long stretches! Some people in my group are doing that, and the teacher is getting, uh, a tad annoyed.

    Good luck! It's fun!
  9. by   KES
    Schooldays- thanks for the great advice. 3 more days to go! Wish me luck.