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Input on clinical instructor responsibilities

Educators   (1,259 Views 4 Comments)
by ap05 ap05 (Member) Member

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Hello all

I taught college anatomy and phys, and microbiology for many years prior to nursing, so teaching is something I am passionate about. I made a career change as I've always been interested in nursing and I've been an rn a couple years now. I recently picked up a job teaching a short clinical to lpn students at a local Ltc facility to move towards my goal of teaching again.  So far I feel I advocate well for the students.  I have them rotate through the facility and follow wound care, dialysis, speech, etc. Each student also spends time with me on the floor. I work aggressively to find the opportunities. My issue is I find it difficult sometimes to know what is appropriate for students to do, and feeling comfortable doing things in a facility I am not an employee of. For instance a patient needed his picc dressing changed. I feel comfortable doing this at my own hospital, but I dont know the policies and procedures here. Lpns actually cant even do this, so is it appropriate for me to do it with them as I am not employed by this facility? Should students be doing certain skills with a facility nurse, or all with me? Basic things like passing meds, giving basic injections, foleys, I don't hesitate. But i leave at times feeling nervous that i overstep my boundaries of what I should be doing. I dont know the facility procedures for so many of these things, so I guess I get a bit nervous.  Any advice would be appreciated!

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12 Articles; 115 Posts; 32,281 Profile Views

A few tips that I have...have been doing clinicals for a couple of years now. (of RN students but I feel that some of this will translate).

1. If you are not also employed at the facility I would not do a 'nursing task' that would not fall under the student heading. Therefore, no, don't do a PICC line dressing. Allow the students to watch the nurses-but don't do this yourself. You have to remember that you are employed by the school and not the facility.

2. I have a strict "No meds are passed except with me" policy. Procedures...are ok for the student to watch the nurse do. However, anything invasive like a foley, I would rather be there. The last thing you as an instructor wants is something to be given/done to a patient incorrectly and you had no idea it was happening. I just decide at the beginning of the day what meds we are passing and then let the nurse know.

3. If the school you are working for has guidelines for what the students can be doing along the timeline of where they are in their studies, look for that.

4. Check your state board of nurses for the scope of LPNs. Keep in mind that students of course are not LPNs...at the very least they should have been checked off in the lab on a skill before doing it in a facility.

5. Stop into the facility on an off day and meet with the DON or whoever and ask for their policy book and review it.

Hopefully something here can help you...all the best!

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Hazel11 specializes in Cardiology Stepdown, LTC.

101 Posts; 2,352 Profile Views

You can always ask your program director as well. For example, my state does not allow students to do IV pushes because they are operating under an LPN license most of the time so the school just has a policy to not pursue IV pushes at all. 

There should also be an online policy resource that you can look up on the facility's computer system. Maybe have one of the staff members at the facility show you where it is. Some places won't allow students to hang blood transfusions, but thankfully it can still be a decent learning opportunity for them to observe and you ask them questions (transfusion reactions, how blood types correspond with the blood, religious considerations, etc.). Hope this helps! 🙂

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14 Posts; 583 Profile Views

What semester are you teaching?  Your school should have policies guiding student behaviors and expectations.  For example, the school should have a specific medication administration policy.  Also keep in mind that there are a certain number of clinical hours that must be attained, so be careful about sending students on other rotations for observation experiences, since this may not fulfill clinical requirements.  How do you grade the students?  Is there an evaluation that you have to complete?  The clinical evaluation should also provide a guide to you.  You don't have to make these decisions on your own!  Someone should be mentoring you!  

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