What was your first clinical experience like? Any suggestions on how to handle it? - page 2

Hello All - I am a 2nd semester student in an accelerated BSN program and I will be beginning clinicals next week! I am extremely nervous, but excited at the same time...I am guessing this... Read More

  1. by   momathoner09
    1st clinical experience was in a nursing home. I personally did not have the best experience due to the fact that my patient was 100 years old (literally) and really did not want me to care for her. She went so far as to shout expletives at me and the students that were trying to change her. Needless to say it did get better from there once we got into the hospital setting. My advice is find people in your clincal group that have CNA experience;they are the best! Do not be afraid to "get right in there" and get your tasks done. Most important thing to bring with you on your first day is a smile and a positive attitude (corny I know, but true :spin
  2. by   OnTheRoad
    My first clinical experience was in a nursing home. That is where they start us at my school, and I had no prior healthcare experience. I was scared and nervous.
    The first day was orientation and we did a physical on a patient that could respond to and interact with us. The best advice I could give would be to just jump in feet first. Utilize every opportunity you can to learn and use the skills you are being taught. Try to act confident even when you feel lost, but don't be afraid to ask for help. In the LTC facility environment (if that is where you start), please realize that even if your patients cannot communicate with you, that doesn't mean they don't know what is going on, so be professional and kind.
  3. by   West_Coast_Ken
    Quote from lmv1230
    I am extremely nervous, but excited at the same time...I am guessing this is normal :uhoh21: .

    Would anyone care to share their first clinical experience and possibly provide any tips in regards to surviving and getting the most out this experience.
    Hi lmv,

    This nursing is like nothing I have ever done in my life. You are thrown into someone else's very personal business (someone who is ill, too) and you really don't have a durn clue...BUT that's the start of the road and everyone's been there be it doctor, nurse, LVN, etc. so keep this in your mind.

    YOU DO BELONG, make no apologies, and know one day, a long time from now, you will be helping and not just learning and this is just how the process works.

    Best of luck to you!
  4. by   StudentNurseAbby
    I was terrified but it ended up being really exciting and I learned a lot about myself and how much I am able to handle and how to care for people. It was a LTC unit.

    Everyone is scared, it's a new experience. You just...do it.
  5. by   GardenDove
    My first clinical was at a hospital SNF. My pt was rehabing after a hip fx. I and a classmate stood outside of our assigned rooms for at least 10 minutes, terrified to enter, as neither one of us had ever worked in a medical setting. I had no idea how to initiate an interaction with a total stranger who was lieing in a bed. I was very embarrassed.
  6. by   nursinginga
    GardenDove...I completely understand your statement. I also stood outside my new pt room for about 10 minutes scared out of my mind thinking I didn't have any clue about what I was doing. It was 6:45am and I hadn't gotten to sleep the night before until around 12midnight and was still waking up. I was so afraid of the pt, like I had never seen an ill person before. My instructor told us that if we did not jump in with both feet at this point then we would never be able to do this and that we could not just stick our toe in and expect to get over the first initial steps. That was some of the best advice.

    I wish I could say that my clinical experience was awesome...but to be honest, it was pure terror most of the time. We were on a med-surg floor with mainly renal failure patients. We had a lot of isolation precaution pt and that was very difficult to know how to handle. Through most of the clinical days (I was in Fundamentals last semester), it felt as if I hadn't learned anything at all through the 6 weeks and thereafter of lectures and skills check-offs. I finally had my first breakdown after the 2nd rotation but prayed a lot and realized that the Lord can give me the strength to get through this and that I needed to start asking as many questions as I could to anyone that would offer answers to things I didn't know about.

    It is a very trying and difficult period to go through clinicals for the first time, but know that if you can make it through your Fundamentals clinicals, you will make it through nursing school. I have spoken to quite a few RNs and they all say that clinicals are the hardest part about nursing school.

    Even though it has been one of the most traumatizing learning experiences of my life, I am very grateful now to have gone through it so that I may be more prepared in the future. I do wish you the very best and good luck in your clinicals. May the Lord continue to watch over us all.
  7. by   LuvatravelRN
    Hello hello -

    To everyone who has posted so far, thank you so much for putting me at ease....at least for now! I now have an idea of how I will approach clinicals next Thursday!!!!!!!!

    Thanks again and please keep'em coming............I am thoroughly enjoying everyone's input and I will be sure to post what happens next week

    Take care,
  8. by   Epona
    Thank you Dixie for the info. on the PDA. Yup... I am going to get one.. as you say... sure beats carrying around all those papers!

    Thank you and have a great new year!! E :spin:
  9. by   manofcare
    Always be polite to the staff. They work for a living. Ask if you can help if it does not interfere with your clinical needs. Ask them to get you for the most mundane of procedures, and offer to help with the grunge work in return. Listen to the handoff in the morning between shifts, you can really learn a lot. Don't hide in the conference room because your patient is at PT, hang with your primary. Do not ever become a wallflower. If you are quick to put on gloves, you get to help. Your instructor and your future co-workers notice this. Walk in a with a smile on your face, even though you didn't sleep three hours from nerves. Be pleasant. How hard is that? Your not the one in the bed. Treat your patient like they are your Grandma, because they are someone's Grandma,wife, daughter, son, etc. If you need an incentive for this, remember the Director of Nursing has a mother. You would absolutely be shocked when you tell your primary that you are willing to help how far that gets you in seeing the cool stuff. Never, ever join in on tearing another student down or complaining about an instructor to another student. Most of all have fun. If I had any reservations about becoming a nurse, my clinicals solved this for me. The first time you really bust your hump to help your patient and they tell you that they thank God you were there for them that day, it is ALL worth it!