Clinical Nursing Student Needs Advice 5 patients - page 5

Hello All, I am finishing up my ADN with 9 weeks to go. I'm in my mid fifties. In my current rotation we care for as many as 5 patients on a cardiac tele unit. I am overwhelmed to say the least. I... Read More

  1. by   nurse4sale
    Quote from winddrinker
    And what is your point? In the real world you will work much harder than this. If you think this is too much for you, maybe you should have pursued a different career....and you're not even working nights, weekends, and holidays for 12+ hour shifts yet, as ou will do as an RN. My first job with a BSN was on a cardiac/tele floor, and I had 12-14 patients.

    Now that's the spirit of a Nurse Ratched!!
  2. by   RNam
    Sounds intimidating for a student, but you can do it! You've already gotten several really good suggestions like a good "brain" report sheet, prioritizing. A couple other small ideas that might help....... See if there is a way for you to come the day before your rotation to get familiarized with the place, and if that's possible, try to have some of your more important questions ready, and if not, have them ready for the day of & get there as early as you can! Have a game plan before the day you start, and eat a good breakfast. Also, leave room on your report sheets for a "To Do" list or write them on the back of each sheet, so as your getting report & throughout your day, you can quickly jot down things you need to do, such as education, change an INT, supplies they need, dressing change, etc. and mark them off as you complete them.
    Best of luck!
  3. by   ama3t
    Wow! We never have more than 2 patients! Although we are responsible for all nursing duties and hygiene, vitals, ADLs. Even if we weren't that just seems crazy! I don't see how your instructor can possible supervise more than one student caring for 5 patients each...
  4. by   Jenni811
    Quote from LadyFree28

    ^AMEN!!! :Whoop:

    In my experience, "all business" was not only good, but better for my patients. My competency allowed them to trust me, and they saw me as empathetic.

    Like the saying goes: Forewarned is Forearmed!!! Take advantage of the opportunity, OP
    Yes! Ill be warm and fuzzy if you or your.loved one is dying. But if you just had open heart surgery yup it sucks, and I need to be tough to get them moving to get them better. None of this fuzzy warm crap. That is for when you are better. I feel I'm taken more seriously this way as well. Rather than a push over.
  5. by   metal_m0nk
    It seems that some of the folks who are talking down nursing programs that don't give their students opportunities to take on more realistic patient loads are lacking in scope a bit.

    When I was a student, I had 1-2 patients first year and second year I would have 1-6 or 7 depending on when and where my clinical days were.

    Some facilities (especially those in rural areas) don't have high enough census to accommodate each student with a full patient load. In the majority of clinical rotations, even small programs of 30 to 50 students could have 5-10 students on a single floor during one clinical shift. If the unit has 25 beds and only half the beds are full, then no single student is going to get a realistic patient load. My program was great in that half of my clinical days were weekends where I had a preceptor and I took on whatever she had been assigned for the day. But not all programs are at liberty to provide such an experience to their students.
  6. by   Lynn52
    Thanks again for the tips, support, and the confidence you all have in me. I'm on spring break right now so I'm using some of the time to view skill videos and memorize more drugs. I think on the one hand I'm glad my school does all they can to prepare us for the real world of nursing on the other I would hate to fail out just because I don't have as good a time management skills as an already practicing nurse or because I'm handicapped time wise. This floor has been a little different for us on the other floors we just do it all and go find our floor nurse if we have questions regarding their pts. sometimes on this floor the nurses spend the day with us which is fabulous because they have so much to teach us it just depends on the nurse!!! I'm clinging to two things I'll be as prepared as I possibly can be and our instructor did say if you get into trouble use your nurse....I take that to mean have them do some of the pt. care if that is my plan. Once again, thank you for taking the time to help a nursing student be successful!!!!
  7. by   bamaguy1989
    At least you are getting that experience now. I just started my first nursing job on a medical floor and they are building me up to 6 patients. I have never had more than 3. I was never given more than 3 in clinicals and my preceptorship was in the ICU where they maxed out at 3 pts
  8. by   SleeepyRN
    Quote from chrisrn24
    Wow some of you guys are not nice...that is a lot of work for a student. When I started my first job it was a struggle.

    OP, it will be easier once you get into a job where you actually start to know the people, the place, where supplies are, what supplies you have, how to use them, etc.

    Exactly. There is a difference between doing this at work when you graduate because you get TIME to learn the unit, policies and procedures and so on. In clinical, it was extremely frustrating being ready to give meds or do a skill on your patient, but the nursing instructor is nowhere to be found (he/she is with another student in a room.) We had 8 students in clinical with 1 instructor. How is that instructor going to make his/herself available to each student for each patient?
  9. by   LadyFree28
    NURSING is TOUGH; nursing school PALES in comparison. When you get your first job, you have sometimes only 10 WEEKS to be on orientation, and then you are on YOUR OWN.

    It is up to the person to accept the challenges and go forth...No one is being mean, forgot where we came from, etc, etc. Every chance I get, I add to my experiences from my orientation. IT IS A HUGE LEARNING CURVE; yet, I decompress, look things up, and become more forearmed and things click together. I can see the difference of when I graduated as a new grad LPN having a large load, where I was able to get on a floor and take on a patient load, compared to a new grad RN. I was able to take on a good amount; however, I'm able to put it together, but I would've WISHED for this type of load be side it gives you a great assets of a nursing skill to anticipate while you assess, as soon as you get on that floor. I don't always have that luxury until after the fact, which, for me and my nursing practice, is not always best; I don't like to play catch-up when my patient needs me there in the now, not later.

    Again, OP, glad you were able to gain insight on looking things up, being your best advocate for asking for help, delegating to others; skills that sometimes a new grad feels hesitant to utilize, putting them at risk for burnout in the first year. Hope you are doing well...this experience will allow you to grow LEAPS and will see when you get that first job, promise!!
  10. by   loriangel14
    10 Weeks? That's a lot.Our new grads get 2.
  11. by   LadyFree28
    Quote from loriangel14
    10 Weeks? That's a lot.Our new grads get 2.
    ^ *Shrugs*... My first job as a LPN I got 12 weeks, along with an additional 3 months of resource nursing if needed; got reviewed at 6 months. This organization has a new grad residency program, which is 18 months, which I'm in; maybe that is the difference?

    If the OP were to get hired at your organization, then this is what she needs then; this experience is beneficial!
  12. by   Racer15
    It's scary and stressful to have that many patients...but you will be better prepared when you graduate. My first job out of school, which I'm working now, is in an ED. By my fourth week I was expected to take four patients on my own. Four patient isn't a lot, but in an ED where you have a lot of unstable patients, patients needing IVs, blood draws, EKGs, etc, and you're getting a new one every few's a lot. Your first job won't care how new you are. You have an orientation period, and then you are cut loose. And the scariest part of it is that YOU are the nurse. As a student, it seems like a punishment, but you will eventually be thankful that your program expected that much of you. I remember it used to take me 20 minutes to do a total assessment on one better believe my first RN job taught me to cut that down to 2 minutes, lol (although in the ER we do focused assessments). I know you're just a "student", but you are close to graduating, and the job market is fierce. Being able to handle a normal patient load will only help you. This coming from someone who was a student three months ago and is now handling 3-ish critical patients at a time on their own. See what I mean? At nine weeks till graduation, you're only 12 or so weeks from having a heck of a lot more responsibility. At least in school you are not yet really the RN for these patients.
  13. by   12hrshifts
    Lynn52, I'm so sorry your clinical experience is like this. Hopefully you are even closer to being finished and this will all be behind you. In my clinicals, we are assigned to nurse and we work with her. She may have 5 or 6 patients, but they are not our sole responsibility. I've read some of the other posts and know they don't agree with me, but I feel they've thrown you in like a fish out of water. Hold'll be over soon. lol. I know that is like telling you to hold your hand on a hot stove. Keep us posted.