Clinical day preparation - page 3

What does everyone do to prepare for clinical days the night before? Its hard becuase we are having our patients chosen for us the first few weeks so we dont know what we'll get, but I feel so... Read More

  1. by   NurseKatie08
    For us it depends...early on, in fundamentals & med-surg, our patients were chosen for us, and there was time to come in the night before clinical and research. My peds/maternity clinicals were a 12 hour day one day a week, so you got your patient the day of & received report in the morning with the nurses. In psych, we didn't pick or have particular patients assigned to us, but interacted with whichever patient we clicked with. In critical care, since this was a senior level course, my instructor felt she had no business picking our patients for us since she did not know what we hadn't seen before, were interested in, or wanted to learn more about. So we came in, got report on the floor, picked our own patients & followed with the nurse that had them that evening. The next day we cared for them with the primary nurse. In my rehab rotation I was on a pediatric unit, and the kids we picked on the first day we had until they got discharged, so the continuity of care was nice. In community health, we "had" whatever patients our vna nurse was going to visit that day (my other day I shadowed a NP at a community health center.) So really, it's very different.

    In terms of being prepared, I tried to keep a sheet of paper on me where I could write report & write down my assessments, meds & other things I had to do. In community health, I kept notes on my observations/assessments. It varies depending on the setting. Definitely making sure you have your uniform and supplies (& lunch!) together the night before is important.
  2. by   missninaRN
    Quote from leeniebeanie_2767
    I start clinicals in 3 weeks. Does your instructor go in with you in the beginning? I am unsure what to expect myself, but love the tips that are given on this site. Do they tell you to bring a notepad, because I will keep that in mind! Good luck to all who are starting out and thanks to those who have been there and can offer advice!-Aileen S.P.N.(student practical nurse)
    Our instructor didn't go in the room with us, unless we were doing something she had to observe (we had to do a head to toe assessment on a pt for checkoff and always had to have an instructor present for IVPs, for example). Of course, she was always available if we needed her. The other students in my group and I usually paired up and helped each other during our first few clinicals. She literally had to force some people to go in and assess their patients.
    Some people carried a very small spiral notebook in their scrub top pocket; I preferred a few sheets of blank printer paper, folded up to fit my pocket. Over time, that sheet of paper evolved into a form that I print out on my computer and use as my pt assignment sheet now that I'm a new RN. It's been through several "evolutions" as I have refined it and I think it's quite dandy now.

    To the OP:
    I packed my backpack the night before, set out my scrubs, put my shoes by the door, packed my lunch, just did everything that I possibly could the night before so that I could sleep a little later!
    When I got to the floor, I put the following in my pocket: several sheets of paper, my penlight, a black pen, scissors, a bunch of alcohol swabs, saline flushes, and stickers for labeling tubing (because it was required that all of our pts IV tubing be properly labeled or replaced with new). I also sometimes carried a very tiny calculator and clear plastic gauge for measuring pupils and wounds.
    You will find your routine over time, from how you prepare the night before to what you put in your pockets before you start assessing. You will figure out what works for you and what doesn't. And you will probably find the best way to do things by doing it several ways that are not the best first.
  3. by   locolorenzo22
    the previous threads were I do believe the op has got a system that works for them by now. (I'd hope!)
  4. by   stormymemphis
    UNORGANIZED....that pretty much sums up my whole nursing school experience thus far. You can prepare and prepare and prepare as much as you want, but it what it comes down to is being able to multitask. As a nurse, it's sink or swim when it comes to multitasking. You're right. "life" happens. You can sit down and say "ok i'm going to get this done right now while i have time" and then next thing you knwo the patient is calling, or the doctor is calling, or radiology wants them for their chest xray right now! Something is always going to get in the way. That is why it's so important to learn time management and the art of multitasking while you're in school. We get our assignments a day or so before we actually have clinical. So at the very latest, the night before clinical I'm at the hospital going through charts getting all of my information. KNOW YOUR MEDICATIONS....KNOW WHY YOUR PATIENT HAS BEEN ADMITTED...AND HAVE AN UNDERSTANDING OF ALL PROCEDURES YOUR PATIENT HAS OR IS HAVING DONE WHILE ADMITTED. If you don't know these things before you walk through the door on clinical may as well not even be there.
  5. by   >--stethoscope--o
    This is a good thread. =]