What suprised you most when you started clinicals?

  1. I thought this would be a fun thread for those of us that haven't started yet.

    What did you have to personally do that was interesting, suprising, horrifying, disgusting, shocking...anything!

    Ok, I'll admit...I'm going for the "de-sensitizing" mode
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    About justme1972

    Joined: Feb '07; Posts: 2,560; Likes: 1,327


  3. by   GingerSue
    finding in one bottle of ward stock (digoxin I think it was) about three different tablets,
    I showed my clinical supervisor and she didn't even seem to care.
  4. by   WDWpixieRN
    That we were responsible for bed baths and bed making. It hasn't been bad time-wise up until now to have that responsibility, but we just started adding to our pt load and I'm not sure how we'll ever all keep up with that in addition to everything else -- particularly all the UNexpected!!
  5. by   BoonersmomRN
    My first clinical was on the worst unit at the worst hospital near me.

    What surprised me? The absolute jungle that was the supply room where you couldn't find anything-ever. The lack of supplies in general. "sterile" procedures done "non-sterile", a zillion mistakes in the pyxis from pharmacy, tubing wayyyy over 72 hours old, infiltrated IV's that they just kept using, ....the list goes on. The place was a wreck....I gave it the worst evaluation, ever. The instructor was even horrified and complained to both the hospital and the faculty at the school.....guess what? They still use the place.
  6. by   marilynmom
    What surprised me the most? How LITTLE I really know! I remember feeling very overwhelmed and scared my first couple of days because there is just soooooo much to learn! It gets a LOT easier.

    Supply rooms are always bad as a new person because you never know where any freakin thing is it seems! LOL

    Clinicals are fun

    Oh and another thing that surprised me was how much a a jerk some Dr's can be!
  7. by   justme1972
    This is some great stuff! I found out today that there are 4 sections of clinicals we can register for and which section you sign up for dictates where you do your clinicals. For Fall you have your choice between a nursing home, and a hospital.

    I picked the hospital because that is the setting I eventually want to work in. If I can do all of my rotations in a hospital, I am.
  8. by   NebbyLPN
    Had a confused patient that kept bringing up hockers and spitting them all over everything in the vacinity of him. You just had to be careful of what you touched around him. Had another confused female patient that would insist on standing at the side of the bed and trying to pee into the little kidney basin which she put on the floor and straddled. Nursing--gotta love it!
  9. by   Annabelle57
    Some of my favorite clinical memories so far:

    --Giving a vivacious elderly lady a bed bath while she told us about her experiences as nurse. Chart said she had dementia, but it didn't seem that way, until she leaned over to me, motioned me to come closer, and pointed to her roommate (sweet old lady, bedridden, knitting things) and said, "See my roommate? She's a WHORE. She goes WHORING every night. She brings her BOY TOYS here all the time."

    --Holding a newborn baby, fresh out of the womb and just cleaned up, for the first time to the mom, who cried with happiness. So did I.

    --Being on the hospital floor for the first time just after starting school and feeling like a complete idiot among "real" nurses.

    --Being on the hospital floor close to graduation and feeling like I have something valuable to offer (best feeling EVER as a nurse).

    --Forgetting to check NG tube placement in a post-op cancer patient, flushing it with sterile H2O, and nearly having a stroke as the patient immediately clutches his throat and starts choking (he'd pulled the NG tube earlier). It actually turned out to help him cough up a massive loogey and breathe much better in the end... but needless to say, I never forgot to check placement again after that! :uhoh21:

    --Being on a psych unit and having one of my happy manic patients do a spastic impression of Michael Jackson dancing while wearing running shorts and a life preserver (it was 50 degrees outside).

    --Being with an elderly burn victim as he died: he'd burned himself badly changing a light bulb (exploded, burned 30% of his body surface 3rd degree), didn't seek medical care because he was afraid to leave his wife with Alzheimer's (he was primary caretaker), and collapsed with total renal failure. Being with a patient as he passed out of this world was something I will never, ever forget.

    --Having a cranky detox patient who yelled at everyone because they didn't speak Spanish pat my hand after I gave him an insulin shot and say, "Bueno, bueno" and SMILE.

    --Having my favorite clinical instructor give me a clinical evaluation that concluded with, "You are going to be one excellent nurse, Anne."

    :spin: :spin: :spin:
    Last edit by Annabelle57 on Apr 11, '07
  10. by   JaxiaKiley
    What surprised me? That it can be so boring! I thought I'd be busy all the time! I had no idea there'd be so much down time during the day of clinical.
  11. by   mrm1453
    Last edit by mrm1453 on Apr 11, '07
  12. by   EmilyUSFRN
    when i started clinicals--
    i was completely taken off guard. we were never shown how to make a bed, but were expected to do it. we were also expected to give a full report to our instructor when they came to visit (essentially my school did our clinicals as we were on our own and working as a nurse-- showing up at 6:30 and leaving at 3:15, or 7:15 when doing 12 hour clinicals). I think throughout clincials I have been surprised more--
    pt wise-- a man with his bladder outside his body, and a colostomy bag attached to it, another woman w a gaping hole in her abdomen constantly secreting gastric juice and the suction apparatus became disconnected so the nurse (with only 1 hand gloved) put her hand through the wound and into a hole in her gallbladder to reattach the suction.
    nurse-wise-- being told that "I am not being paid to be your teacher, I am being paid to be a nurse-- mind you I was doing ALL of her work in my 4th semester, and then got the whole unit involved in bashing my school b/c our instructors don't stay on the floor.
    I guess through all my examples, I'm trying to say that when you start clinicals, you may be taken off guard, but it certainly doesn't end. Good Luck!!
  13. by   FNPhopeful
    Quote from JaxiaKiley
    What surprised me? That it can be so boring! I thought I'd be busy all the time! I had no idea there'd be so much down time during the day of clinical.

    Definitely that it can be boring! I cant tell you how many days I had absolutely nothing to do, especially in Labor/Delivery. Even now in psych we have to find "busy" work just to make the time go by.

    I was also suprised how the instructors just throw you in there and say go!
    I felt tossed into situations alot. Environments you are extremely unfamiliar with. I kinda thought they would walk us through everything the first few days in clinicals.....but they dont!
  14. by   BeccaznRN
    On my first or second day of clinical, I got to suction a trach for the first time. The actual suctioning didn't bother me, but when I was finished and my instructor said "wrap it up in your hand and then turn your glove inside out to throw it away," I wanted to throw up. I didn't want to touch that slimy thing with a ten foot pole, much less my hand (and it didn't matter that it was gloved)!