Worrywart (me) headed to clinicals for the first time needs advice!!!

  1. I am starting clinicals in a couple weeks (for the first time). I'm probably stressing over nothing, but I've heard plenty of stories about clinical instructors and how tough they are. I have no idea what to exepct, and I'm having a hard time not completely spazzing. We're not going to go to a nursing home, we're starting straight in the hospital. I do a lot better in new situations if I can mentally prepare myself ahead of time, so I would really appreciate any advice or stories or anything anyone can give me.

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    About kbnocturna

    Joined: Sep '07; Posts: 21; Likes: 31
    monitor tech, PCT; from US
    Specialty: Cardiac, Telemetry


  3. by   MissT75
    Hi Worrywart...

    I can relate to how youa re feeling. I am a level 3 nursing student and still feel this way every time I go to clinicals. It's not as scary as you think. in my experience, we've done a lot of fishing through charts for information and racing to be the one to get to observe or do something new. Mostly it's been passing PO meds, working on careplans, assessments, and getting comfortable talking with patients.

    My advice is that no matter how scared you are, volunteer to do everything you can. the more you do, the more comfortable you'll feel as time goes on. EHands-on experience is such a valuable thing.

    Good luck!
  4. by   deeDawntee
    You are going to do just fine. They will try to ease you into clinicals for the most part and will prepare you well for what is expected of you. Know that most patients will be very glad to have the extra attention and are very happy to have a student nurse work with them. I was always concerned that I was bothering them, but I found out just the opposite was true. Many patients are afraid and lonely in the hospital and to have you attending to them is comforting. Even if they have family around, they are there because of their health and the extra attention from a nurse-to-be is in itself comforting.

    You will be pleasantly surprised. I would highly recommend that you connect with your patient and the nurse you are working with. If you did a good job and they compliment you, I would strongly suggest that you ask them to let your instructor know that they appreciated you. They will understand the importance and won't think it strange. It means A LOT if your instructor hears from either the nurse or the patient!
  5. by   locolorenzo22
    talk to your patients like humans, take the time to give them good care, know what your plan for the day is, know your meds and when they need to be given....don't ever give or hang or do something you KNOW you're not supposed to do without your instructor's permission.....that'll throw you off for sure.....
  6. by   BlaineCM
    During my first day of clinicals, we were paired up with a CNA. The CNA would show us what to do (as far as CNA tasks were concerned). WE didn't have to complete any paperwork that entire semester. From what I hear from my classmates with different clinical instructors, their experience was quite different. They got paired up with RNs on the first day. My clinical instructor thought it was essential for us to learn CNA duties well, so she kept us with CNAs for the majority of the semester. Your instructor isn't likely to just throw you in there. You will be paired up with a nurse to work with. I think most programs start you off with just giving baths and AM care. Then work you up to med passes, etc. Good luck!
  7. by   DudeNurseRN
    There is a certain amount of truth in saying that they try to weed people out in the 1st Semester of nursing (if they think that they aren't really in it for nursing/don't want to learn). Do be prepared for tough instructors, and tough clinicals, but you are there to learn and the more you put in as far as asking questions, and requesting to be chosen to do procedures the better off you'll be in the long run. You will have more experience, and the instructors will end up seeing that you are in it for the long haul. Exciting times for ya! Things will tone down a bit typically in second semester. Have fun!

    Had a very hard 1st Semester clinical instructor, very "drill sergentesque", I learned some great lessons from her, but it definately took me a little bit to get used to her style of teaching.
  8. by   It's Alisa
    DON'T forget your drug book...very important..always know what you are giving. (yes, I did get reamed for not knowing...so it's experiance talking..lol) check your meds, check your meds, check your meds...other then that, it's your first day, it'll probably be orientation to the hospital, and a lot of observing, so that way you'll know what to expect on day 2.

    GOOD LUCK! :spin:
  9. by   MB37
    We were told not to bring our drug books, since we have nowhere to keep anything we can't carry at all times. We can look up whatever we need on the computers at the nurses' station. Also, don't automatically assume your instructor will be a witch. And not all nurses eat their young or their students. I've only had 2 days of clinical, so I'm still scared to death, but everyone I've interactetd with so far has just been a regular human being. Try to have as positive of an attitude as you can, and I second the idea of trying to jump at the opportunity to observe a new procedure (or volunteer for it if you're checked off on it). None of my patients have needed a lot of the skills that we've learned, so I need to actively seek out opportunities to practice.