What to expect for 1st round of clinicals?

  1. Like many out there starting their first semester of clinicals... I'm getting a bit ansy! I've been a p/t student since 1999. For semester, upon semester of classroom work, I've always known what to expect. But, this is a whole new ballgame. What am I walking into on Jan. 13th??? What is the orientation like, I have that on Jan. 9th? How does the grading scale work & where do clinicals usually begin... in the lab or what??

    Just call me clueless!!! LOL

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    About scorpiogrl

    Joined: Dec '02; Posts: 7
    Nursing Student/OB Tech


  3. by   Ortho_RN
    Well.. Every program is different... So I can tell you what my first semester was like... We only did like one month of clinicals total during first semester... It was only like 2x a week for 3 weeks.. then we went to a retirement home and did a head to toe physical on someone... Most of our time was in labs doing check-offs and learning the basic skills (vital signs, head-to-toe physical, bed baths, bed making, etc...) And during our clinicals that is what we did.. Basically it was CNA type stuff plus the physical...

    Our grading scale sucks.. We must make at least a 75 on EVERY test to continue, if we fail a test, we have one more chance to pass, and if we don't we are OUT!!! An A = 92-100, B= 84-92, C= 75-84....I don't like that either..

    But that is about it..
  4. by   emily_mom
    We had 6 weeks of clinical (2x/wk) which was mainly CNA stuff. We didn't pass meds, change bandages or anything. We only had one patient. Are you a CNA now? If so, it will be gravy. I was the only CNA in the bunch so my instructor sent me off with 4 students and she took 4 people. It just gives you a taste of LTC.

    We had to pass clinical with a 90. If we did anything to compromise our safety or patient safety, we failed. But, no one does. They're not that mean.

  5. by   NurseWeasel
    From what I heard, we're not starting clinicals until 5 weeks into the program. The first 5 weeks we learn how to DO the stuff we'll be doing in clinicals, then we do 1 8-hour day per week at an extended care facility (not LTC, more of a stepdown facility) for the rest of the semester. I don't think we are assigned one particular patient, I think we act as nurses aides and care for whoever needs it at the time. Peri care, assistance with dressing and showers, blood pressure checks, that sort of thing.

    I've been trained and worked as a Medical Assistant but never as a CNA. I figure I have a good handle on the skills and clinicals will be a breeze, at least this first semester. I can't wait til we get to do MedSurg and OB.

    My good friend in another program flunked out of her first semester but for their clinicals they were each assigned one patient. The reason she flunked out was that she had a report due on her one patient, at the end of the semester. It sounded, honestly, like a very in-depth report. She waited til the night before it was due to put all her information together and write the report - and that lack of effort showed. She ended up flunking out by less than 1%. She's going to try again next fall.

    Personally, I can't WAIT. I have a calendar hanging above my computer that I check at least fortyeleven times a day. Right now it says I have 17 days til class starts!

    Oh yeah, Orientation was cool. We were introduced to the NSNA, each other, the instructors, the facility (we had a tour). We were told about the uniforms and books we'll be needing, given booklets on school and nursing program policies, and had a Q&A session with a current student.

    Best of luck to you.
  6. by   subec
    During our first semester of clinicals, we were in the hospital for 6 hours one day a week. We would learn a skill in lab, and then we were allowed to perform that skill in clinical. We began passing meds during the 5th week of class (after passing a dosage calculations test), and then after that we learned injections, IV's, foley caths, NG tubes. I really enjoyed my first semester. We learned a lot in a short period of time, but I really enjoyed the fast pace that they kept us on.

    Good luck to you. This next semester will fly by---enjoy it!!!
  7. by   szccdw
    in my program we started clinicals the FIRST week. I did not think this was a good idea because we looked like asses in front of the pts families since all we knew how to really do was wash our hands properly and the rest we felt our way through. The first semester eventually got to be pretty boring to me. It consisted of every week going and doing a bed bath and changing the linen. The excite of doing clinicals wore of for many us pretty quickly. I am excited about next semester. We will give more injections, meds, set up IVs, do nasogastric tubes, etc..... I can't wait.
  8. by   Jennerizer
    From the looks of it with my program....the first 9 weeks we are in lab for 2 days--8 hours per day. After that we'll be in LTC for 3 weeks--the same 2 days--8 hours per day. Then we move into a hospital setting. We were told after our first semester that we can take the CNA test & get hired immediately into the surrounding hospitals to get experience over the summer since we have a break. After the second semester we can become patient care techs & after the fourth semester we can test for our LPN.

  9. by   kimmicoobug
    Hmmm...my first quarter...similar to other posters. We started clinicals during week 3 or 4 then had two clinicals per week, every other week for the rest of the quarter. During those first few weeks, the days were spent in the classroom setting learning the nursing theory and basic stuff like preventing pressure ulcers and importance of skin integrity. During the offweek when we didn't have clinical we spent the time up in lab. Personally, I hated this set up. Our lab instructor is useless. Our equipment is ancient, and the stuff you want to practice is never available. I learn in the hospital setting. During our summer quarter, which is optional, we had clinicals 3 times per week every week for five or six weeks. This was hard as far as time management, but I loved it. I really felt like I was learning.

    Oh, and another note, we did workshops periodically that first quarter i.e. learning how to do foleys, passing meds, injections, dressing changes, sterile technique, VS....after we completed these workshops were we allowed to do them in the clinical setting.

    Good luck to you...and hope you enjoy it.
  10. by   RNIAM
    our class was a bit different. We started clinicals during week four. We started on a skilled Nursing Facility unit. We spent the first 6 weeks there(twice a week) and then spent the next four weeks on the med-surg floor. We did basic patient care during the first 6 weeks, then when we moved to the hospital we did 4 weeks of iv's, dressing,foley's,bandages etc. When we go back to school we will focus on meds and more on assessments.
  11. by   emily_mom
    We had to do an extensive database on our patient and also 4 careplans. That was another requirement, and you had to keep redoing it until you got it right or the semester ended....in which you did too (as in failed).

  12. by   stillsmilin
    Hi, I just finished my first semester with clinicals. My class of 48 were divided into groups of 8 per instructor. The first 3 weeks we practiced skills in the lab and then went one day a week (for 6 weeks) at a LTC. We were assigned one patient each and had to prepare a care plan each week. We were all so nervous, but by the end of the first day, it was much better. We did basic care, vitals, baths, etc and progressed to wound dressings, meds, injections, etc. After the LTC we spent 2 days a week at a hospital for the rest of the semeseter. We were on telemetry and ICU, and therefore were able to see and do alot of procedures. Just know that you will get through it and will soon wonder what you were so worried about! Good luck!
  13. by   Love-A-Nurse
    we were on a med/surg floor for our first clinical experience. we did six weeks (3hrs two days a week with one patient and try very hard to do continuity of care) and it consisted of head-to-toe assessment, baths, bed-making, vs, reviewing the chart, orders, labs, etc, teaching, care plans, and our pre and post conferences were very knowledegable and interesting, which along with the teaching, i enjoyed conferences the most since i already new how to do the basic care and making a bed still was/is a challenge to keep those corners of the non fitting sheets from coming untucked when reaching the other side of bed! hummm...

    i am sure you will do fine and all the best to you in your endeavors.
  14. by   Yellow Rose RN
    Most of my time during the first semester was spent in the lab doing check offs.... we had one clinical day and spent most of the early part of the semster at a nursing home.... then we went to the surgical floor of the hospital. You will be fine and just remember to practice all of the skills you learn and you will do great!!
    good luck