ok so i just got accepted into nursing school, and well i have a basic idea of clinicals..but i wanted to know more about exactly what you do in them because every talks about how grueling they are! so if anyone could give me the 411 on clinicals...it would be awesome haha
May 19, '07
Clinicals is where you practice what you learn, and where you start putting everything together. In the classroom you learn about disease processes, etc. In clinical you actually work with live patients.
It's much much more than that, but this is a good starter explanation.
May 19, '07
i was scared to death. there was no one i really knew that was a nurse and i had heard that we had to learn to sharpen needles, sterilize stuff to reuse it again and make the food the patients ate. well, i was hearing this from some really old nurses who had been out of the business for a while. but, the point is this, does it matter? i was ready to roll my sleeves up and dig in and learn. your attitude is what is most important. we all were scared of our first clinicals. we all went through what you're worried about and feeling. but, we faced our fears. millions of others before you did that and you are about to join them. everyone's experience is unique. everyone's definition of grueling is also unique. what you will feel emotionally will be unique to you. there's no way to predict how your relationship is going to be with your instructors and fellow students just as there is no way to predict how a relationship with a new guy you meet is going to end up. my career has been laced with blood and all sorts of goo that got on my hands. i've held patient's hands as tears rolled down their faces as they told me, a total stranger, about the regrets in their lives. i saw a patient with 3rd degree burns of the face and neck that gave the term "crispy critter" a unforgettable memory in my mind and a lot of sleepless nights just thinking about him. i can also tell you what it feels like to be calling my clinical instructor a really nasty name only to find out she was standing behind me. or, to nearly fall asleep while watching a lady delivering a baby because i had to work the night before and hadn't had any sleep for almost 24 hours.
- "nursing is not for everyone". this is a very down to earth and honest article that broadly discusses what a nurse does and what you can expect on the job as a nurse.
- "ten questions to ask yourself" about any career and if it might be right for you
May 20, '07
I just graduated from an ADN/RN school. My first clinical was terrifying, but after I got into it, I looked forward to clinicals. I really enjoyed applying what I learned in class to "live" patients. It was much more gratifying for me to interact with my patients that to sit in class listening to a lecture (not that that wasn't important).
May 21, '07
I just had my first round of clinicals this weekend (I'm in an evening/weekend program, in case anyone is wondering why I have clincals on Sat./Sun.). It actually went quite well. We each were assigned to a patient and were responible for doing an assessment, taking VS, monitoring I&O, administering medications, and assisting with ADLs as needed. (This was all done under the supervision of our clinical instructor and/or a staff nurse) The part that's hard is all the prep work and making a care plan for the patient. The night before clinicals, we got our patient assignment and then had to research their chart, look up all the meds they had and their diganosis, and come up with a time line for the day. That took until about 1 am and we had to be at the hospital at 6:45 the next morning! Right now, I'm working on the care plan for my patient, which is due at 6 pm tonight. Obviously, I'm not doing a very good job, as I am posting on the message board instead!
May 21, '07
I love clinical. It is alot of work the prior night just as kmarie said. You do have to be prepaired. I always take my drug book with me to clinical. Even if you are there the night before and research all your meds, when you get there the next day your patient could have a new med. I have really great clinical instructors and they are there for any question you may have. The nurses on staff are really good at answering questions too. You just have to try to keep them brief because they have many patients. Aways ask questions when you are not sure. The instructors have more respect for a student that can admit they don't know something rather then one who tries to fake it. You will be fine.
May 21, '07
About how many hours a week do you spend in clinical? Or does it depend on the semester?
May 21, '07
For me it depended on semester. The first semester was 1/2 day a week. By the final semester it was 1 and 1/2 days a week.
As the others said the grueling part was the paperwork. And being scared to mess up! And having 10 students to one teacher so that in clinical everything is "hurry up and wait" and spending half your time finding your teacher because your pt needs a PRN tylenol, etc.
You also do TOTAL patient care in clinical. You do the I&O's, the VS, cleaning up diapers, bedpans, bedbaths, linen changes, all of it. In clinical we had two patients. I am now a graduate nurse and this past week I had two patients at work. it was a BREEZE compared to clinicals. For one I had more autonomy. Two, I only had to look for my preceptor who was in my same area caring for her other 4 patients when I needed help. Third, I had a CNA doing her work. Fourth, I had a whole 12 hr shift to do everything I use to do in 6 hrs at clinical (ie two assessments, looking at monitoring strips, checking the chart, etc) Fifth, I work nights and it's WAY calmer when your pt doesn't keep getting wheeled off the floor and you can plan your time better and your chart isn't constantly disappearing lol.
I always wondered how in the WORLD I could handle 6 patients when the 2 kept me running constantly. While Im in NO way ready for 6 I can see how I can build up to it now. I would say I could handle 4 in the real world about as easily as 2 in clinical.
My last year of school I worked part time as an intern and that did at least get my over the uncomfortable factor of working with patients that I had my first year and I felt more "at home" in the hospital.
May 21, '07
Clinicals can be intimidating at first, but you'll be fine. You will start out doing basic things then gradually do more complicated things. The important thing is to get in there and do what you can. You only have so many hours of clinical so you want to get as much practice as you can. When you have finished doing what you have been assigned to do, find a CNA to work with and help her do some things like taking vital signs, checking glucose, changing linens, turning patients and so on. You'll be glad you did.
May 23, '07
I just finished my first semester of nursing school and we did clinicals 1 day a week from 6am to 11am, and today I start my med surge semester and we have to do two 10 hour days a week. I remember my first clinical because it wasn't that long ago, lol, I was terrified to go into the room but I made myself go in, they gave me a patient that was needy and was there because she was a hypochondriac, all she did was talk on the phone all day. Since then I have had pts on isolation and ones that were deaf and ones that were blind. I love doing my clinicals, I think the hardest part is going into your very first patients room for the very first time. Good Luck!
May 23, '07
i would describe clinicals as your hands on experience of what you learn in class. its days set aside by your university or college so that you spend real time in a hospital practicing with staff and your colleagues. I really enjoyed clinicals during nursing school, it made me believe that this was the right field for me...the best advice i think i learned was to suck up to mean clinical instructors and volunteer for every skill possible. lol i hope you have fun!!!
May 23, '07
sounds like fun i cant wait!
May 23, '07
We have always had clinicals two days per week for 8 hours each day. I am always terrified the first day of clinicals but I always end up loving them. It is so much fun and you really have a lot more time to spend with patients and, to look out for them as well, than the actual nurses do. You usually are assigned one or two patients in your first year, depending on which class you are in, and when you are done doing what you need to do for your assigned patients you can help or spend time with others. Good luck and don't be too worried because it really is lots of fun and it will make you that much more excited about your career choice. TIP: I have always carried a folder with me with examples of assessments or wordbanks or whatever it is that you are worried about forgetting or messing up on. It just makes me feel better knowing that I have the info there whether I end up using it or not. Definitely bring your med sheets or drug handbook
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