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If I knew then what I know now...



I just completed my first quarter of nursing at my university. We took assessment, pathophysiology and study of nursing (history, laws, Dx). I'm in a 3 year program so we are going to start clinicals in January. I know many of you out there have learned from some experiences and was hoping I could get some advice!?

I already work in the hospital in the ER actually as a ward clerk so I'm a bit familiar with nurses and the hospital but I've never really had much patient interaction.

Please, advice and stories are much appreciated!!


As a ward clerk in an ER you've already gotten great exposure to the hospital environment which will really help you. I just finished my first semester of clinicals and it was quite the rollercoaster ride. Everyone is different but I absolutely loved clinical, with that being said I'm glad I'm getting a break over the holiday's. Clinical can be such a little pressure cooker. I don't know what to tell you to expect because I think it's just one of those things you have to jump in and experience for yourself. The more you prepare beforehand ie. know your patient's condition, what meds their own, and precautions such as fall or aspiration precautions, do they have a foley, trach, a GT etc. are all very helpful to know. Make sure you review the steps of your skills the night before. I got a little tiny notebook and wrote my patient's information out and this was really really helpful to me. Come up with a gameplan. For example first knock, check id bracelet, check safety, vitals, assessment, get linens and supplies, bed bath, linen change, ROM, etc. If you know your patient's condition inside and out, review your skills, and prepare a writeup for yourself in a little notebook you'll be set to go and be in a good position to have a productive and smooth clinical the next day. You never know what's going to happen at clinical so the more prepared you are the better and the more confident you'll feel.

I had some tough experiences and some of the most wonderful experiences imaginable. I had this one man that could not speak but he would flash an ok sign or grab my hand and give it a squeeze. He was so kind and wonderful and I'll remember him always. I just loved clinical and can't wait to get back. It is definately nerve-wracking and you feel the pressure but it's worth it because there's nothing like being there and getting to interact with people and actually use your skills after reading about it for so many years in a book! Lots of luck to you and please let us know how it goes!

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