Had My First Clinical EVER Today!


This is what I wrote to sum up my feelings about what happened today:

My First Patient...

...was born before the Titanic sank.

...couldn't feed himself.

...couldn't walk.

...had no bowel control.

...had difficulty speaking.

...was hard of hearing.

...had no visitors.


...gave me a smile when I was the most scared.

...looked to me for help when he was in need.

...offered me his strawberry Jello cup.

...told me to live my life to the fullest.

...reminded me that we should all respect our elders.

...taught me that patience and kindness are deserved by all.

...held my hand, looked me in the eye, and thanked me from the bottom of his heart for helping him when he needed it the most.

My first patient confirmed to me that I want to be a nurse more than anything in the world.

Has 10 years experience.

Oh my! What a beautiful thing to say. Every time I swear off geriatrics as too depressing, someone posts a lovely story about an elderly patient and I think twice...

I keep thinking about him offering you his Jello cup.

Promise yourself you'll remember him when you're jaded in ten years and think you cannot possibly do this anymore...


229 Posts

Hi, I glad that your first clinical went so well. I can't wait until I can start mine. I don't start nursing school until september though. How long was you in school before you started your clinical and what did you have to do(I'm interested)?

Thank You, :thankya:



71 Posts

Specializes in 5 years peds, 35 years med-surg.


Try to remember this pt when you have ones that aren't so nice....and you WILL have them sooner or later. After 40 years of nursing I had problems remembering them. :(


12 Posts

I know that it was just my first day and I'm bound to have tons of difficult ones in the future. Today actually started out very difficult. The client was coughing up a LOT of phlegm and when I went to rinse out the emesis basin I couldn't help but gag! I managed to do it under my breath so the patient didn't hear me. I was honestly so scared on the way to the hospital I seriously considered turning around and going home!

I also changed my first dirty diaper, changed the bed linens, changed him into a fresh gown, gave a full bed bath, applied some ointment to prevent any pressure ulcers. I had to feed him his breakfast and lunch because he was unable to do so himself. The poor thing had to have all his liquids thickened, and it must not have tasted too good because he would look at me and say "please....no more of that stuff!"

He was very lonely (he had had ZERO visitors) so towards the end of our clinical I brought in some of my other students and he got a big kick out of that! He got this big smile and said "COME ON IN!" with more excitement than I had seen out of him all day.

One patient made me cry though. We were observing an IV flush and she was so tired of being poked and prodded that she just said "I think it's time for you to deliver me to the graveyard." The way she said it just caught me way off guard, and I had to slip out into the hallway to hide my tears. I didn't break down hysterically, but a few big ones slid down my face!

Oh...and I just started the ADN program in January. This is our 9th week of school!


7 Posts

Specializes in Telemetry. Has 2 years experience.

oh i remember that day......it probably seems really overwhelming but stick with it becasue it does get better and no matter what you think you will be able to do it!

right now i am on a med surg floor and im not the biggest fan of elderly patients but today i had the sweetest man ever so im slowly restoring my faith in them!


955 Posts

What a wonderful way to express your feelings. Sounds like you have found an area you excel in- not many people have the patience and compassion to recognize all the elderly have to offer. Since joining an LTC facility, I have learned more about life and loss than I ever did before, but somehow the good moments far, far outweigh the bad and I know I will never work in another field.


71 Posts

Specializes in 5 years peds, 35 years med-surg.


Having worked on med-surg for 40 years in Florida, most of my patients have been geriatric. I got tired of it and depressed after so long. I'm now doing home health and private duty and have time to really learn about my patients. I had a patient that expired in Sept and now I take care of his wife. They were both 95 and had been married 72 years! Knowing their life stories was so interesting. He had actually worked for Thomas Edison in the 30's. The wife is blind and bedridden now and we don't know if she knows he's gone.....but I now think differently of my elderly patients. Some of them have had such interesting lives that we don't know about by taking care of them in hospitals, where we just don't have to time to chat with them and their families.

Specializes in Transgender Medicine. Has 15 years experience.

OMG!!! I totally started crying when you mentioned the jello cup! That is the kind of experience everyone needs. Thanks for reconfirming my belief that this is the right profession for me.

This topic is now closed to further replies.