Starting to freak out a little over clinicals....

  1. Hey, all. Well, it's official. Today was our last lab class before clinicals! WHOO HOO!! So, starting next week, we start going to clinical sites. The catch is: first thing in the morning at the classroom, we have a lab test that is over everything we've done this semester(injections, meds, documentation, systems, safety, Asepsis, Urinary sterile procedures/specimens, common lab tests) Don't know, how many questions but am planning for 75 since test lasts 1 hour.
    After that, we have to drive to another LTC facility(not our clinical site) to do a well-elderly interview. Basically, we're assigned one patient to go and talk with them over what they do, what they're there for, teaching, what they plan on doing, how soon they believe they can go home, etc.) I'm actually looking forward to it as I enjoy working with elderly patients and these will be more than your usual assigned LTC residents. They actually volunteer to meet with students.
    The only major issue I'm having over ALL of this is that we have only had our clinical instructor ONCE for any part of the class so far. And that was an 1 hour online orientation to coursework! She won't even be there next week for our well-elderly day, we have another instructor(who I love-had her for my CNA). So we won't have her until our clinical site orientation on 10-13, but am hearing horror stories. Very old-school, demeaning, preclinicals expects you to know ALL s/s of different medical dxs, etc. We recieved a pullout tri-fold of all Clinical skills we will have to show while in clinical, and I can almost see her not answering a question because "you should know already." We got NO explanation over any part of it.
    Okay, deep breathing started, and I know I should just relax and wait until clinical starts to see how things will go. I just have a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach over it....Anyone else ever feel this way before they started their clinicals? Had an instructor who was similar to mine? Had an instructor that they heard stories about but wasn't that bad?
    I just needed to vent and get this out of me so I can concentrate on some other work today. Thanks.
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    About locolorenzo22

    Joined: Jan '04; Posts: 2,449; Likes: 1,252
    ortho neuro detox nurse, new tele nurse
    Specialty: ortho/neuro/detox, tele


  3. by   EMTandNurse2B
    I had one instructor that we had heard some real horror stories about. She turned out to be one of the best instructors I have ever had. Every single one of us would have her for a clinical instructor again in a heart beat. (In fact, I'm one of the lucky ones that gets her the end of this semester!)
  4. by   WDWpixieRN
    I think in my short experience in a clinical setting that the "nightmare" instructor can hold you to a higher standard while also teaching you how to give the best in yourself....I got the instructor that isn't such a drill sergeant, but feel like I sometimes have to pull information and learning out of her....the students of the "nightmare" love how they're not left to flounder and have been thoroughly walked through every new experience the first time ...
  5. by   locolorenzo22
    That's a point that I tried to explain to my classmates but many of them are just focused on the "issues" they believe they may have with her. I'm just doing one of these "Look, we're not there yet, so let's get there and see how it pans out through the rest of the month...." I guess it proves you can't just say "Oh, well, we're screwed..." without having said instructor.
  6. by   jov
    everyone has a different teaching style. We had a drill sergeant type and one guy loved her because she "kicked my @ss and made me shape up in the program." Personally, I didn't need it and didn't like that. The instructor I liked was very classy and had a bedside manner that was incredible. Very patient-focused. She didn't just teach excellence in nursing, she modeled it...She's now the Chief Executive Nurse of the entire hospital (magnet no less), right up there with the CEO and CFO.
  7. by   Megsd
    I had kind of a funny experience yesterday. My instructor TOLD US at the beginning of the quarter she has a reputation as a drill seargent and explained why she took that stance. Needless to say, when she's in the room, I am on my toes. I try to maintain my focus and calm in front of her and my patient, and I thought I was doing that pretty well.

    Yesterday I had to change a fentanyl patch with my instructor's supervision, and after she left, my patient asked who that woman was. I told my pt. she was my instructor and she said "Ohh, okay. That makes sense, 'cos she was watching you like a hawk and you looked REALLY nervous." I didn't know it was that obvious. Later I had to do a G-tube feeding and my instructor was there. My instructor had this death gaze on the syringe (watching to make sure the feeding was going in okay) and my patient had an amused look on her face watching me, the syringe, and the instructor. After the instructor left my patient said "Now you need to calm down. You'll be fine. You did just fine and that's one more thing you know how to do!"

    I did tell my instructor and classmates in post-conference about this, and we all laughed because, really, it was kind of funny. I'm sure once I have done things a little more I won't be so nervous around her, but it was funny to have that impartial witness (my patient) pick up on our interactions so well.
  8. by   locolorenzo22
    LOL, that is funny! I'm already going in pretending I have 2 strikes because A)I don't want to be the first one to face the wrath. B)If I can't focus because I need to, why am I doing this? and C)I just want to prove the people in the class who are anti-male wrong.
    Good advice, and will have to remember that while interacting with clients with instructor there....
  9. by   augigi
    You can learn from both good and bad instructors. You can learn what you do and don't want to do when you're a nurse yourself. Concentrate on learning what you can, and try not to worry too much about the instructor.