Question about clinical rotations

  1. Hello. I'm a junior in the nursing program at a university in upstate New York. I had a question for all of you RN students out there about your clinical rotations. I am about to be a senior next year and I have yet to really get a clinical experience. Last semester (which was my first nursing semester) I had no clinical. We just had weekly skills labs that lasted like 8 hours where we learned HIPAA, injections and stuff like that. Then this semester I had my clinical experience in labor and delivery and then in a women's health clinic. I got to see a vaginal birth and give some depo shots, but that was about it. The whole clinical experience lasted 6 weeks. Other students were in schools and other places where they got zero hands-on experience except for two days spent in a hospital. Alot of my classmates were turned down from internships in NYC including myself due to lack of med-surg experience. I know that I will get alot more experience during my senior year but I wanted to know if any of you had similar experiences. If any of you could tell me about your clinical experiences it would be really helpful because alot of us are considering approaching faculty with complaints about getting denied by hospitals outside of this area due to lack of clinical experience. Thanks for your help.
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    About TNT2

    Joined: Apr '05; Posts: 3

    10 Comments

  3. by   mitchsmom
    I am part time, when I started in Fall '03 our program didn't do clinicals the first semester. This year, they changed the classes and new students had a LTC clinical the first semester. We didn't give meds but we did the rest of the care for 1 patient a day (ADL's, learn simple care plans, assessments, etc.- it was supposed to be introductory and a compliment to our Health Assessment class that they took at the same time).

    Then second semester was psych & med-surg (6 wks of each), where we give meds and do pretty much everything but IV's. Both semesters were 8 hours, 1 day/wk. Care plans & patient worksheets get more complex each semester.

    This summer half of us do Peds/ob and half do "Crisis," which is a continuation of med-surg with more acute patients & where we'll do everything, peds/ob is two 8-hour days/wk. Whichever one of these classes you don't do in the Summer, you take in the Fall of second year. I'm not sure when we start getting more than 1 patient.

    We also have Community and other stuff in the second year (we are a 5 semester program).
    We do a full time preceptorship the second half of our last semster where we do everything that our preceptor would do in his/her normal work days.

    I couldn't imagine not doing any clinicals the first year, some of our students complain as it is that they don't get enough clinical time. However, we don't do much lab time at all and I think we should have more of that... we learn pretty much everything on the floor (we did have weekly 2-3 hour labs for assessment skills but that didn't include other clinical skills & procedures).

    Good luck to you, you guys should give them feedback, our program really does take our feedback into consideration (at least for the next group coming in).
    Last edit by mitchsmom on May 3, '05
  4. by   nurse4theplanet
    In our first semester we started clinicals on med-surg units usually pulling an 8-10 hr shift each week. Although we only have one pt each, we are already giving meds and learning IV meds (depending on who your instructor is). Our instructors are really great about finding extra things for us to do in the community as well from b/p screenings to giving vaccinations to an entire elementary school. In second semester its straight into med-surg once again with a greater pt load, then third semester is OB/Peds at well know facilities, then on to psych. They definitely don't hold us back and many of my peers had enough exp. to get Nurse tech/intern positions at the hospitals in our area. I personally learn more in clinical than they could ever teach me in the classroom and feel grateful for the experience.
  5. by   GrnHonu99
    HI!

    i live in ohio and im in a direct entry nursing program which means i have a degree in a non related nursing field alreay so this will be my first nursing degree....anyway...my program is 5 semesters (15 months straight) and we have clinical every semester for like 3 days a week...our program ends with a preceptorship in an area of our choice...i havent started yet so i dont know how intense they will be, but i do know that with the exception of half of the first semester they are all done in an local hospital...hope this answers your question..
  6. by   soontobe_RN
    I am getting ready to start my first semester of clinicals at DTCC. Our 1st semester schedule states that for the first 4 weeks of class we are at the college in lab, but after that we go to the hospitals 2 days a week, 8 hrs a day, for med-surge. Starting the second semester we go right into rotation as soon as the semester starts. The one thing that impresses me with the college I go to is that we get plenty of hands on experiance from the begining. We do rotation at different facilities. For example, Christiana Care, A.I. Dupont Childrens Hop., and I think... Rockford (psychiatric facility). I am so excited to begin!!!! Good Luck to all of you!!
    Jen
  7. by   mariedoreen
    ADN program

    First term: 8 hours each week at a rehab facility where we practiced our assessment skills and learned to do care plans

    Second term: 8 hours each week at a hospital where we were each assigned a patient and allowed to do skills we had learned in lab (medications, assessments, IVPB, foleys etc...) then we switched to 8 hours each week at a community site where we were assigned to shadow a school nurse, or a public health nurse, a home health nurse, or a prison nurse etc... and were allowed to do things we had already learned (give injections) or assist/observe with those we hadn't.

    Third term: 8 hours each week at the hospital where we do as described above only now we have learned more skills in lab and are able to do more with our patient. We're also spending time in other departments (Radiology, ER, Short Stay, PACU, etc..) during this term as well.

    Next year we'll have 8 hours each week at the hospital (assigned more patients and doing more skills as time goes on) except for a few weeks when we'll do a PEDS rotation in the community. Last term we will finish up with a 4 week full time preceptorship of 160 hours.
  8. by   mom2michael
    Our 1st semester we get 4-12 hour clinical days at the end of the semester. They are from 6-6p. We really only get about 7 hours on the floor though after pre-conference, paperwork checks and post conference. You do total care for one pt. (along with your instructor and/or clinical assistants).

    Our 2nd & 3rd semester you get 16-12 hour clinical days, similar to the 1st semester, total care for 1 pt. then 2pts. then 3 pts, etc....

    The final semester you get "management" experience where you spend the entire semester delegating duties to 1st year students under you while you provide "nursing" duties to 4-5 pts. This is to prepare you for the "real world of nursing".

    I must stress though, quantity does not equal quality. I would rather have 5 good clincal days where I get tons of hands on stuff than 16 clinicals days where I get to do nothing at all.

    Hope that helps!!
  9. by   jasonglh
    I am not familiar with BSN programs but in my ADN program 1st semester we were doing clinicals the 3rd week till the end 7-3:30 on Tuesdays. CNA was required prior to admission so we pretty much hit the ground running. Before mid term we were giving PO meds and IM/SQ by mid term.

    In 2nd semester we had 2 pt's and by week 2 were doing clinicals 7-3:30 on Thursdays. By the end of week 5 we had checked off on all skills and could do anything. We also did 4 clinical days in OR not to mention a day in Cath lab, ER,and ICU. The rest of clinicals were on Med/surg or Tele. On our OR rotation we hooked up with our Pt to do the admission and followed the same Pt until discharge or moved upstairs. It was interesting to follow them from admin, OR, PACU and then to the floor. I got to see a rotator cuff repair, testicular hydrocele surgery and an inflatable penile implant. :hatparty:
  10. by   scorpionrs33
    Quote from soontobe_RN
    I am getting ready to start my first semester of clinicals at DTCC. Our 1st semester schedule states that for the first 4 weeks of class we are at the college in lab, but after that we go to the hospitals 2 days a week, 8 hrs a day, for med-surge. Starting the second semester we go right into rotation as soon as the semester starts. The one thing that impresses me with the college I go to is that we get plenty of hands on experiance from the begining. We do rotation at different facilities. For example, Christiana Care, A.I. Dupont Childrens Hop., and I think... Rockford (psychiatric facility). I am so excited to begin!!!! Good Luck to all of you!!
    Jen
    I'm 2 weeks away from finishing 1st semester nursing ADN program and our clinicals are only 1 day a week, for the last 6 weeks of the semester, then right into rotation 2nd semester as well. At first I felt like ALL the info I knew and had passed validation went right out of my head!! I felt completely lost..but last week was the 4th week, and I felt more at ease. My brain simply will not take anymore input...I'm soooo ready for the semester to be over!
  11. by   soontobe_RN
    Quote from scorpionrs33
    I'm 2 weeks away from finishing 1st semester nursing ADN program and our clinicals are only 1 day a week, for the last 6 weeks of the semester, then right into rotation 2nd semester as well. At first I felt like ALL the info I knew and had passed validation went right out of my head!! I felt completely lost..but last week was the 4th week, and I felt more at ease. My brain simply will not take anymore input...I'm soooo ready for the semester to be over!
    I have heard the same thing about our clinicals! The students who have already started said that it is so much information in such little time that you don't have a chance to really absorb it all. I guess that is why hands on is so important. That way it is a constant reminder of what you need to do as a nurse. They have also said that the 1st and 2nd semesters are the most difficult b/c the instructors are trying to weed out the students who don't really want it. All I know is, when I start in Aug05, I am determined to not be one who they weed out!!!
    Good Luck!!
    Jennifer
  12. by   kahumai
    In my first semester, we had med/surg clinical during that last 8 weeks of the semester, not giving meds. My second semester, clinical was 16 weeks on a med/surg floor, giving meds. The thrid semester was half peds, half labor and delivery, and last semester was back to med/surg.

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