Published Oct 18, 2003
Hi there. I am in my 2nd year of a BSN program and doing quite well in my pre-req courses. I will start my clinicals in the fall, but I am soooo sooo nervous about it. Can someone who has begun clinicals fill me in on what goes on? Do usually get good guidance and the instructors are pretty nice? I just want to know what happens so I know what to expect.
you will survive! I don't think anyone can be more nervous than I was the first day of clinicals last year (not to mention many days after the 1st). Actually, I think it's totally human to be nervous about something like that and it would be more of a worry if you weren't nervous! But like all things, you get more comfortable with it with time and now I'm in my last year of clinicals and I'm excited to go and love it. I had bad instructors, but I also had great ones that helped you along so well. I'm sure what you do at clinical varies by school but for us last year we'd have one patient that was assigned the day before and we'd research them to know what was going on, the meds, etc. and then at clinical we'd do the vitals, assessment, meds with the instructor, AM care, beds, charting, and anything else that came up. My summer internship really helped build my confidence and make the clinical setting a lot more familiar of a place for me so I'd definitely recommend something like that when it's time. Good luck!
My instructors are very helpful. The main two things to remember is be prepared (paperwork and etc.) before going to clinicals and always ask your instructor for help when your in doubt. Just remember that everyone is somewhat nervous when they first start, but it gets better each time you go. Good luck to you.
wonderbee, BSN, RN
I was once a hospitalized patient who had the good fortune of having a nursing student assigned to me. Unlike the rest of the hurried nursing staff, she took her time with me. She came to me after breakfast and gave me a bed bath, changed my bed, took vitals, took a very thorough history, saw to my comfort needs and got the RN when necessary. It was like having a private nurse. From a patient's perspective, I really loved having this calm, unhurried student at my side. As I was alert and oriented, sometimes she just sat at my bedside and we just chatted.
She must have been first semester. If that what it's like, I don't see anything to be particularly nervous about. I've got a secret to share though: I'm nervous too. At least we'll have some preparation in the classroom and the skills lab before we get to the hospital.
It's perfectly normal to be nervous, you'll do fine. I remember the first day of my clinical, I felt like my patient was a porcelain doll and he would break if I touched him. I kept telling myself, it's just a person, relax, just remember everything you learned at school and do it here. It's just a real person this time and not a lab dummy. I was still not totally comfortable, so I played a little game with myself (and still do to this day!), I pretended that this stranger in the bed was a cousin of mine or a family friend who I had known for years, and that made me feel much more relaxed. I don't know why, it just helped. I was more relaxed, was able to focus more on my vitals, assessment, giving meds, and chatted readily with the person. Often times by the end of the shift, we had a friendly rapport going and even shared a laugh or two (best medicine for them!) Good luck, you'll get into the swing of it!
The patients, unless you happen to get a healthcare worker for a patient, have no idea that you don't know what you are doing. Just be prepared, do everything you are supposed to do and you will be fine. Most of the patients love the extra attention.
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