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How long is clinical prep?

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by nianava nianava (New) New

Specializes in Pediatrics. Has 2 years experience.

Hello--I am starting my nursing program Spring 2011 and I'm trying to decide which days to have clinicals. One of the things we have to do before clinicals is of course clinical prep the day before and I was just curious, how long does clinical prep usually take? Is it longer at first, then gets shorter as the semester goes on? Any input would be appriciated :)

Not sure what you mean by clinical prep? Do you mean going to get your assignment as in what patient you'll have? In my program the assignment is posted 2 days before clinical. We go and go through their chart and have our own sheets to write info on....diseases, meds, treatments, etc. Then we come up with a careplan and hand it all in the day/night of clinical. My 1st clinical week, it took me about 2 hours to get all the info I needed. As the weeks (and semesters) go on you get better about finding the info. Good luck!

catz123

Specializes in LTC, Hospice, home health, ms, resp....

In my first year of clinicals we had to look up all the meds. and the info on our pt. the night before. When I got home I had to look up the meds and the class, state why they are used for that patient. I had to do a care plan and a concept map plus the patho on the disease that they had. It took me a long time to complete the paper work. Some times 3 hours. The post clinical was no picnic either. Now I am finishing up my first semester junior year and it doesn't take long at all. Save what you've done, so you don't have to look it up again when your next clinical rotation comes around. Good luck

Hello--I am starting my nursing program Spring 2011 and I'm trying to decide which days to have clinicals. One of the things we have to do before clinicals is of course clinical prep the day before and I was just curious, how long does clinical prep usually take? Is it longer at first, then gets shorter as the semester goes on? Any input would be appriciated :)

We didn't get the patient info in advance- we got it the day of. We got report and got info from our charts and referred back to them throughout the day. Our careplan was due the next week on our patient (if we had more than one patient we did one care plan and clinical write-up generally).

I think a lot will depend on what your school expects you to get out of the clinical prep. Are there recent grads or upperclassmen you can ask?

tech1000

Has 2 years experience.

I get my patient assignment at 6:30am and we're on the floor at 7am... So I'm not sure how long you would need, but I wouldn't think more than an hour or two at the most.

3-4 hours, we get out assignment the night before and then have to do a lot of paperwork

First year student on medical surgical clinical, about 8-12 hrs. We get our assignments the night before, go to hospital, meet patient, gather information. We then complete a 10 page history, concept map, 3 care plans, research pathophysiologies so our care is accurate, look up drugs and memorize dosages, side effects, pt teaching, action, etc. to get quizzed in preclinical.

I thought something was wrong with me but I checked with my group members and they all report that it takes them the same or longer.

Second year students report that the above gets easier, but the workload is increased proportionally.

In other words, depends on the school.

scifihippie

Specializes in ICU. Has 5 years experience.

It depends on what you have to do for your prep. For our clinicals first semester it took about 8 hours the first time I did it. I got faster, but still at least 6 hours minimum prep time.

annietart

Specializes in Trauma SICU. Has 1 years experience.

We get our patient the morning of and have the voice care report and the chart to get basic info, than we go and talk to the patient.

My school has completely redone their curriculum and we don't have clinical prep or care plans. We use concept maps to plot the patient's needs, and I must say it is nice this way. I talk to my nurse and than I pick two or three things that I know I can work on with my patient during that shift and that's what I focus on, along with my assessment, ADLs, and meds. Makes me feel less like a student and more like a team member.

What is clinical prep?

We generally went to clinical, were thrown a chart, and let loose. If you give meds you go find someone licensed to observe. Then after we did our assessment, tended to them, and what not we'd go back write it up, generate a care plan over their chief complaint, and move on.

Our clinical assignment is posted the day before clinical, and we have to fill out what we call a "process guide" (a 22 page packet that is about our pt/clinical experience) with information including:

  • Pt initials
  • Date of admission
  • Resuscitation status
  • AHD status
  • Age
  • Med/surg hx
  • Chieft Complaint
  • Admitting medical dx
  • Admitting surgical dx
  • All MD and clinical orders
  • Lab results (and normal values)
  • Diagnostic tests and results
  • Any surgeries the pt has had while hospitalized

We also have to:

  • Write out rationales for MD orders
  • Write an explanation of the dx along with signs and symptoms, diagnostic tests, prescribed diet, activity etc. and medical and nursing care
  • Write out an explanation of surgeries and pre-op care (if we have the pt pre-op which is rare) and post-op care
  • Write out on an index card our plan of care hour by hour

All of this together generally takes between 4 and 5 hours.

Then, on the night after our first clinical day, we have to write our nursing diagnoses and write a care plan for our priority dx.

2ndyearstudent, CNA

Specializes in CNA.

Hello--I am starting my nursing program Spring 2011 and I'm trying to decide which days to have clinicals. One of the things we have to do before clinicals is of course clinical prep the day before and I was just curious, how long does clinical prep usually take? Is it longer at first, then gets shorter as the semester goes on? Any input would be appriciated :)

Yes, it is much longer at first, then gets shorter.

For your very first clinicals, prep is stupendously long. You will have little experience getting the needed information from your chart - (or in some cases, even getting ahold of a chart) - and you will have exactly zero med sheets done. If it is in a nursing home, your pt will have polypharmacy and you won't be familiar with any drug besides aspirin - and you don't yet know the important things for that.

So for your first clinicals, figure total time (at the facility and at home) of 4-5 hours. One or two goofballs in my class actually stayed up all night for the first couple.

Our second clinicals at a hospital, our time was 2 hours.

Our third in more acute units we got an hour.

For our preceptorships and advanced clinicals - 15-30 minutes.

Have fun.

Gathering data regarding your patient could take anywhere from 1-3 hours depending on how involved your patient is. This is done the night before our clinical day.

Then when we go home, we fill in our profile information with all the data (nutrition, vitals, systems info) we've collected, which also includes the pathophysiology of all their diseases, all the information pertaining to current meds used and PRN, lab information and how abnormal values pertain to our patient and what we plan to do with the information, and then we do mini care plans to turn in the following morning.

The following morning, after we turn in our mini care plans, we meet with our patients nurse, get a report, meet with my group and instructor, give report w/interventions to instructor, quizzed for rationales, if instructor feels satisfied w/rationales, then we are allowed to care for our patients.

JROregon, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Infusion. Has 5 years experience.

Takes me between 5 and 7 hours depending on how many meds the patient is taking. We are assigned our pt the night before and collect our info from the chart and computer. Go home and look up all the meds (can be from 15-40) with rationale for taking the meds, contraindications, side effects, patient education. Our instructors don't want us passing meds without understanding why the patient is taking the meds. We give the pt history and pathophysiology on the primary and secondary diagnoses. We pick several different nursing diagnoses. It's the most time consuming part of the class.

nianava

Specializes in Pediatrics. Has 2 years experience.

Thank-You for your replies. I know its different for every program, for my program we have to go to the hospital the day before and were assigned a patient--gather infor on the patient--then go home and prepare a care plan. I was just curious about the amount of time that people put into it. Thank-You again for your input, I now realize it will be very consuming :)

DC Collins, ASN

Specializes in ED. Has 7 years experience.

The method seems to be different everywhere. But yeah, gathering of data before, working out careplans, etc. takes *forever* in the beginning, but gets faster throughout the quarter/semester.

DC :)

Future RN- June '11

Specializes in Maybe peds someday. Has 1+ years experience.

As you can see, it depends on your school. For me, first quarter clinicals were in the nursing home and we didn't have much clinical prep. We had time to look at charts an hour before taking a patient. Second quarter, clinicals were on the med-surg floor. We went in the night before at about 5:30 pm to get our assigned patient/patients and all the information that we thought we would need to be able to efficiently take care of them. After gathering information, we had to go home and look up all of their medications (dosage, route, reason, class, etc...) and make a mini careplan on them. Basically it took the rest of the evening. Third quarter was pediatrics and OB. For peds we got our assigned patients about an hour before we had to start patient care and had to know enough about them to take care of them and also look up their meds. For OB we didn't have clinical prep. Just got assigned to a nurse and worked with her the entire shift. I just finished fourth quarter, which was med-surg again. We had to go into the hospital about 2-3 hours before to pick our patients and gather all the information we needed to take care of them and also enough information to write a 10-12 page paper. It gets easier and easier as time goes on and you learn the pertinent information you need to gather. I know next quarter we don't have clinical prep. We will just get report on our 4-5 patients and pick them up on the fly. At my school they work you up to not having to do clinical prep and preparing you for the real world, where you get your patients when you get to work and are expected to gather the necessary information in a timely manner so you can begin patient care.