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New to Clinicals


So I just got accepted into the nursing program and am curious....how much of a nightmare is it...are we gonna be hazed in clinical s and screamed at alot....is it much worse than trying to get in the program...because that was pretty hellacious.


Specializes in L&D, infusion, urology. Has 2 years experience.

Where did you hear that?? Clinicals are nothing like that. It's more that people are scared because of the gravity of patient care and the responsibility of being a nurse. Nobody will you spraying you with a fire hydrant and lining you up to scream at you like a drill sergeant.

I seriously heard horror stories....that there was a "cool club mentality" and we werent invited and also things like CPR is exausting so have the nursing students do it...which honestly that to me ok cuz CPR scares me so I want to do it alot. I dunno I havent started yet and im really nervous.

Lev, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency - CEN. Has 7 years experience.

You may or may not have the opportunity to participate in CPR. Depends where your clinicals are and how "hands-on" you get to be. Some instructors are tougher than others, but no, nursing students are not generally intimidated into being able to spit out knowledge the way med students are by surgeons on their surgical rotation. Nursing school is nice. Clinicals are chill. (The real world is not). As long as you come on time, help out, know your meds for the day, and know what's going on with your patient, things will work out in clinical.

Satori77, ADN

Specializes in Med Surg/Ortho. Has 2 years experience.

How much are you expected/allowed to do during clinicals? Will you do much on your own?


Specializes in L&D, infusion, urology. Has 2 years experience.

I never had an opportunity to perform CPR in nursing school (lots of other stuff, though), and even during the high stress traumas I was there for, I was doing lesser important stuff, more as a support person for the nurses (like holding back a foreskin while another RN rapidly cathed a guy) during the flurry of activity. It's not about hazing, it's about doing stuff they know you can already handle in a high stress situation.

I don't know where you're hearing this stuff, but poke around on the nursing student fora and get a sense of what nursing students are ACTUALLY experiencing, and how nurses respond to them.

Thanks everyone. ...I feel better for sure.....I think here in ga we do a great deal incluDing CPR.... even the rad techs went through clinicals where they did cpr..... I'm scared someone will say go and fetch this and I'll be stuck in a closet searching for something for hours and get hated on. ...or that I'll just blow right through the other side of every vein I come acrOss

akulahawkRN, ADN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in Emergency Department. Has 5 years experience.

Clinical was tough, but it wasn't anything like you describe. Not one bit... even with my toughest clinical instructor, not with my toughest preceptor. Ever. Nursing school should spend some time getting you ready for clinical and then when it's time, they'll ease you into the clinical environment. I would imagine that you'll tour the floor(s) that you'll be on first, then they may have you begin prep on your first patient. Expect that since it's a new experience, that prep will take at least double or triple the time you think it will. It took me only 2 hours or so to gather the data from the computer system and then it took me something like 4 hours to build my 1st care plan later that night. It's more important that you get it right than it is to do your first care plans quickly. They should even teach you the basic format of what they want so you shouldn't be too left to figure this all out on your own. It's just a lot of finding where to put stuff at first.

In my third semester, I'd "graduated" to 3, and sometimes 4 patients per day and I'd have all of the care plans done within a couple of hours. Once you start having more than about 2 patients, the more likely it is that one of them goes home or is transferred off the floor so you'll have to pick up another patient or two. No big deal, really. By the time 4th had come around, in my program we were still had to do the bare bones of a care plan, but mostly it was so that we knew what we were getting and we'd had 4 patients or max load for the floor we were assigned. Once we'd passed clinical, we'd progress to our preceptorship and no prep, no care plans, full patient load. As long as you do your part along the way, you'll be ready for when it's your turn.

As far as CPR is concerned, I've done it a about a couple dozen times over the years, probably closer to 20-ish and run a few codes on my own. I'm a Paramedic as well as an RN (now) and the hardest part of CPR is trusting your assessment and deciding that the patient needs CPR and you need to initiate it and then doing it... for the first time. After that, it's much easier to do the assessment, determine that CPR is needed, push the Code Blue button or call for help and get rolling. Yes, CPR is physically demanding but once you get into a rhythm, it's not too bad. If your technique is not all that good, it'll be exhausting... and you might be sore the next day or so because you were using muscles you aren't used to using. Been there... felt that!

Don't be frightened of clinical. It's OK to be a bit anxious... we all are! I was and I'd had quite a bit of patient care already under my belt... just not as a student nurse. Just don't let the anxiety overpower you. Eventually you'll look back fondly on your days doing first semester med/surg, with one patient, and just be amazed that at one time you only had one patient.