Clinical Post Conference

  1. i am a nursing professor, i am thinking of conducting a study on the benefits of clinical post-conferences.

    i hated post-conferences as a student (25 years ago) and my feelings have not changed. i see nursing students who come to post-conferences wanting nothing more than to go home. i know i'm burned out, especially when i have two clinicals in a row. i understand a colleague of mine is instituting a 2-hour post-conference for our students--that means the clinical instructor will give another 2 hours of some sort of instruction after the students have had 8 hours of direct patient care. i believe this is asking too much of our students.

    now, i know nursing scholars and faculty members who will recoil when they read that i think post-conferences need to go away. isn't that how change begins?

    take a stand and say "no more." nursing students have changed so dramatically over the years, someone must take this into consideration. how many are single parents or work full time? patient acuity has changed leaving students drained at the end of the day.

    as a nurse, i was exhausted after an 8 hour shift (or 12) and could not give another 2 hours to anyone, i wanted to go home. i believe debriefing is warranted after a simulation but not in the clinical setting. what do you think?
    Last edit by Joe V on Jul 26, '11 : Reason: formatting for easier reading
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    Joined: Mar '10; Posts: 18; Likes: 8


  3. by   KimberlyRN89
    I HATED post conference. Mainly because after awhile it didn't seem like a learning experience, but just a big gossip session. Maybe I just had a bad clinical experience last semester though, lol.
  4. by   lansgrl123
    OK that is the one thing I do love about clinicals, the gossip! Honestly, my students end up talking about something they saw that was disgusting and from there, the conversations go quickly downhill and the stories they tell are usually funny. For me, this is learning too, they will see things they cannot go home and tell their kids or parents about so that part is good. Thanks for the reply.
  5. by   KimberlyRN89
    I guess I should have been more specific lol. I like learning about my classmates patients..sometimes I would get a little envious because their patients would seem so much more "interesting" than mine, lol. By gossip I meant their own personal lives, love lives,what they did @ the club that previous weekend(I had Monday 7-3 clinicals last semester lol), that sort of thing. I liked the girls in my clinical group a lot, its just that I didn't feel like being stuck in the conference room listening to all their drama..I wanted to get home & get started on my care plan!
  6. by   Certifiable
    What is a Post-conference? Is that just a fancy name for sitting around and talk about what we did that day? I'm not from the USA, so i'm unfamiliar with this term.
    We have 8 hour clinicals, and about an hour towards the end we go into the conference room and talk about what we did, the patients etc' etc'.
    Two hours after an eight hour clinical? that is a bit too much in my opinion, especially if you've been up since 5am.
  7. by   foreverLaur
    I am a current nursing student who is not a fan of post-conference. We do it the last hour of clinical. Personally, I don't really care to sit around and talk about our feelings about the day. I think we should spend 15 minutes at the end of the day discussing what we need to do next week, assignments that are due, and having the opportunity to ask questions. If we don't have any? Go home! I would rather spend that extra 45 minutes on patient care, not sitting around talking.
  8. by   BacktotheBeach
    I hate it when the instructor wants a really long post conference with teaching, quizzing going on. We are exhausted at that point.

    I do love the quick discussions, debriefing if you will, to wind down and share info about the day. I don't think it should be longer than half an hour.
  9. by   CBsMommy
    I am a single parent student who does like post conference at the end of the day. I am all for 1/2 hour discussion about what each student was able to see that day. 2 hours is just too long. I learn more from being with my patients.

    One of my clinical instructors did something totally awesome. We would all meet together for lunch, each day, for an hour and she would have a "guest speaker" such as social workers, infection control RNs, a certified nurse for breastfeeding, respiratory therapist, etc and they would come down, do a little presentation and answer any questions. That shortened our clinical time overall and was very informative.
  10. by   Hygiene Queen
    I looked forward to it.
    Grab some coffee, eat some cookies and just heave a huge sigh of relief that I made through another clinical day.

    But no more than an hour. Tops.

    Yes, there was some beneficial teaching, but sometimes the students needed to vent.
    After witnessing a fetal demise, the young man who died in the ER or anything else of that nature, where else can the student get immediate support? They probably can't go home and talk about it.

    But if it's just going to be a personal gossip session... nope. Obviously, it's not worth it. Let me go home, do my research and sleep.
  11. by   JROregon
    How else would I have gotten to know a group of eight GREAT people? Yeah, an hour was too long and it was nice to be able to have a snack or meal whilst taking. I would say that even a group of 9 is too big to talk about "feelings" but it's the perfect size to laugh about stupid things that happened, our kids, our spouses, our strange fetishes and gross-outs. If we had added pizza and beer and a shuttle bus home, I think that would have been the perfect end to every clinical day or night. I had one term where 2 clinical groups would do post conf together and that kinda sucked although one of the instructors was pretty good about bringing visual and tactile learning tools right before an exam. Two hours might just kill me.
  12. by   Double-Helix
    We had post conferences after every clinical for about an hour. Depending on how the post conference was run by the instructor, it was either helpful or useless.

    A few instructors would just let students talk about whatever they wanted to, if they wanted to. There wasn't a lot of discussion or learning taking place.

    Another instructor (for OB) had specific topics that she wanted to cover each week. They were usually about clinical situations they might not see during clinical but would need to know. For example, we spent one post conference talking about what to do if you find that a mom has a pro-lapsed cord. She would also allow time for students to ask questions about their patients or anything about their day. These post-conferences were very helpful.

    Most instructors has students go around the room and talk about their patient's conditions and what they did for them. I thought this was very valuable because there is no way that students will get a chance to care for every kind of patient during clinicals and it's beneficial to hear what other students have done.

    So to answer your question- no, I don't think post-conferences should go away. I get that students are tired, but there will be times during professional practice when they will be tired but still need to stay for an hour and give report, finish charting or attend a meeting. Rather than getting rid os post-conferences, perhaps clinical instructors should be taught ways to maximize the post-conference experience so it is seen as a learning opportunity, not a waste of time.
  13. by   ssalulu
    This is my first clinical rotation and our post conference is about 30 minutes. It's included as part of our 8 hour clinical day. I find them beneficial. Two hours would definitely be overkill.
  14. by   Always_Learning
    I liked post-conference, (time to relax a little!) and I actually learned a long as it didn't drag on forever and was focused. I hated the ones where discussion was not at all clinical-related (all I could think was, "I could be at home right now...")

    In general, I really enjoyed talking about my day and learning from others' experiences too. About 30 mins. is enough to accomplish this in a small group, in my opinion, although my instructors always offered to stay longer if someone needed to talk. I think it is important to keep the discussions focused, e.g. "What one thing would you have done differently if you were the primary nurse?" or "What was the most difficult aspect of your day?"