Any Suggestions for a 1st time Clinical Instructor???

  1. I am interviewing for a temporary position as a Clinical Instructor. It will be 4 weekends spread out with two in Feb, one in March, and the last in April. I have not taught formerly at a college or as a clinical instructor before.

    I am comfortable with students and am familiar with the floor I will be working at with the students. The only experience I can draw from, for the 5 students, is what I remember from my ADN and BSN experiences several years ago.

    I would very much appreciate any suggestions I can do to prepare myself for this task. We will be doing 3 / 12s which seems like a lot. The students will be senior students taking their elective clinicals. Again, I have 5 students which seem like a lot (hmmmm... 5 students = 5 patients = 5 families etc).

    I do remember my instructor prepping us a lot when we first started in our ADN program; we would also take a longer break to discuss our patients and make it more a group experience. I also remember, ugh... the chart checks and care plans we researched and worked on the night before....

    I am just filling out paperwork now and will not meet the students until the morning of the 1st clinicals.

    Please help and offer any suggestion, tips, or preparation I can do to make the experience a good one for the students.

    Thank you in advance,

    night
    •  
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    About nightingale

    Joined: Apr '01; Posts: 6,312; Likes: 106
    RN, CLNC, Entrepreneur

    31 Comments

  3. by   hypnotic_nurse
    Praise each student at least twice each day AND give them at least two things to work on each day. Sounds simple, but some instructors do all one and none of the other. Or they give so much criticism that it's discouraging, or so much praise that they are not believable.
  4. by   harleytx
    Try to find real clinical experiences for students to preform with you. Our clinical instructor went to every charge nurse on every unit at our clinical hospital and ask them to over head page her if they had any skills related tasks that needed to be done, she then would come get us (six) and one student would preform the skill while the other 5 observed, with the instructor guiding the skill. It was the best experience we could have had. Not only did we learn from doing, we also learned fron observing. (We participated only in those skills we had been checked off on, the skill we had not been checked off on the instructor would preform so we could learn from her.) Of course it was done with patient approval, all agreed except one. She was wonderful. We were fortunate to have her.
  5. by   nightingale
    Great thoughts and suggestions. Thank you :-)
  6. by   VickyRN
    Quote from nightngale1998
    I am interviewing for a temporary position as a Clinical Instructor. It will be 4 weekends spread out with two in Feb, one in March, and the last in April. I have not taught formerly at a college or as a clinical instructor before.

    I am comfortable with students and am familiar with the floor I will be working at with the students. The only experience I can draw from, for the 5 students, is what I remember from my ADN and BSN experiences several years ago.

    I would very much appreciate any suggestions I can do to prepare myself for this task. We will be doing 3 / 12s which seems like a lot. The students will be senior students taking their elective clinicals. Again, I have 5 students which seem like a lot (hmmmm... 5 students = 5 patients = 5 families etc).

    I do remember my instructor prepping us a lot when we first started in our ADN program; we would also take a longer break to discuss our patients and make it more a group experience. I also remember, ugh... the chart checks and care plans we researched and worked on the night before....

    I am just filling out paperwork now and will not meet the students until the morning of the 1st clinicals.

    Please help and offer any suggestion, tips, or preparation I can do to make the experience a good one for the students.

    Thank you in advance,

    night
    First of all congratulations This is an awesome opportunity for you to mentor new nurses and help shape our future. We need you! By investing yourself in our future nurses, you will end up influencing the future care of countless patients, many of whom you will never meet.

    First suggestion: before you begin, investigate the floor in which you will be having the clinical. It is our responsibility as nurse educators to facilitate our students' education (in other words, we partner together with our students for their learning). It is our responsibility to create the best environment possible for learning. I would advise you to meet with the unit manager and informally chat with some of the nurses just to get a "feel" for the floor. Attend one of their unit meetings or change of shift report meetings, just to help them get to know you better and to be comfortable with you. This little bit of "PR" work up front can earn tremendous dividends later. You may want to "shadow" on the unit for 6-8 hours; this will help you become familiar with supplies, policy and procedures, medication delivery systems, IV pumps, charting, doctors, etc.

    75% of the difficulty we have had with clinicals at our school have been because of unsupportive/ outright hostile clinical environments (actually, it was just one hospital :uhoh21: ). The vast majority of clinical sites, I am happy to say, are very supportive of students and clinical instructors. If you do, indeed, encounter a problem with one of the nurses (or nursing assistants, etc.) on the floor, don't just ignore the problem, but address it at the point of conflict in a professional manner. Go up the chain of command if you need to, until the problem is resolved to your satisfaction. Strive to have constant good communication with the patients' nurses and the unit manager. That good rapport on a unit is worth its weight in gold, but sometimes takes a lot of work.

    Always treat your students with dignity and respect. Strive always to be fair. I hate intimidation--it makes for poor learning. We certainly cannot be personal friends with our students or cross professional boundaries by being "buddies," but we should always be encouraging and let the students know that we desire their success. There is a right way and a wrong way to correct a student. When you have to correct a student, (if at all possible) never do so in front of the patient, staff, or other students. Do so in a private area, as soon after the incident as possible. Start out with a positive statement, then gently bring correction. For instance I stated this to a beginning nursing student last week, "Your patient care is excellent and I can tell you really care about your patient, however, I am a little concerned about your saying to the patient 'You are going to be my guinea pig today.'" (This actually happened!!! ) One thing that can never be compromised are any issues concerning patient safety. This requires immediate intervention. Also, I do not tolerate an "I do-not care" attitude, sloppiness, being late for no valid reason, being unprepared, or treating the staff/ patients rudely.

    There is a big difference, of course, between the performance of beginning students and senior students. The expectations of senior students will be much higher. If you have any questions about student performance (i.e., what they should already know at this level, doubts about them being "where they should be to graduate," etc., etc.)--address your concerns to the director of the school of nursing. Always maintain a united front with the faculty at your school. Say only positive things about the school of nursing to the floor nurses or to your students. Also, never say negative things about your host facility to the students. If a nurse behaved in a perceived unprofessional manner, allow the students to discuss the situation in confidence during post-conference, but only for the purpose of learning. Never allow a student to "downtalk" another faculty member in your presence, and do not be drawn into those type of conversations. Simply state, "if you have a problem with so-and-so, you need to talk to him/her about it." End of conversation.

    It is a good idea to have a "quick" pre-conference before the students go out on the floor, to go over patient assignments. You can also quiz the students as to which of the patients has the top acuity, etc. Have reasonable expectations. Make your expectations crystal clear and stick to them. Be consistent and objective, and follow the facility's and your school of nursing's protocols and guidelines. It's nice to have a post-conference after the student shift is finished for the students to debrief and discuss patient concerns and valuable knowledge and insight that they have gained. You can also question them about patient diagnoses and other pertinent matters: "What does congestive heart failure mean in your own words? How has this affected your patient? Why is such-and-such in the patient plan of care?" Try to inspire enthusiasm and critical thinking in your students.

    One last thing, if you do encounter an unsafe or unprepared student (which is a generally rare occurrence), patient safety is always number one and can never be compromised. Always make sure you document, document, document well on the student's competency form.

    Follow your heart, nightngale1998--I'm sure you will do just fine
  7. by   nightingale
    Oh Vickey, I was hoping you would respond Thank you.

    I shall cut, paste, and copy these suggestion and do them all!

    I have not been approved but it sounds like I have a good shot at it.

    I shall keep you informed. lonker2:

    I have written a list of questions to the Instructor who is out of town and I am waiting to hear back from her.

    My ADN program required those awful Care Plans written out etc... along with Meds... and that was so much work when the time spend would have been better to have had a good nights sleep.

    Thanks again to all...
  8. by   pmchap
    Being only new to the Clinical Educators role - something simple and sweet....

    Practice - don't just preach...... The students will have theory running out their ears - their time on the wards is an opportunity to pt some of that theory into practice & if they can see you model the practice and then guide them as they practice you and they will form a great bond.

    Good luck and have fun....
  9. by   crb613
    Quote from nightngale1998
    I am interviewing for a temporary position as a Clinical Instructor. It will be 4 weekends spread out with two in Feb, one in March, and the last in April. I have not taught formerly at a college or as a clinical instructor before.

    I am comfortable with students and am familiar with the floor I will be working at with the students. The only experience I can draw from, for the 5 students, is what I remember from my ADN and BSN experiences several years ago.

    I would very much appreciate any suggestions I can do to prepare myself for this task. We will be doing 3 / 12s which seems like a lot. The students will be senior students taking their elective clinicals. Again, I have 5 students which seem like a lot (hmmmm... 5 students = 5 patients = 5 families etc).

    I do remember my instructor prepping us a lot when we first started in our ADN program; we would also take a longer break to discuss our patients and make it more a group experience. I also remember, ugh... the chart checks and care plans we researched and worked on the night before....

    I am just filling out paperwork now and will not meet the students until the morning of the 1st clinicals.

    Please help and offer any suggestion, tips, or preparation I can do to make the experience a good one for the students.

    Thank you in advance,

    night
    I am a second semester nsg student so this is all fresh to me. I loved my 1st clinical instructor because, she was down to earth & did not try to intimidate students. She taught, taught, & taught some more. I was constantly challenged & made to think.She always had us to talk through a procedure, she would then correct or ok it. If there was a chance to do something we were checked off on she made sure we got to do it. One student did while the others observed & she was right there beside you the entire time & we then had a discussion about the procedure. I think what I really liked was that she made us feel relaxed and we knew we had her full support. She expected alot & gave alot she was great. I think since you have taken the time to ask for feedback you will also be an excellent instructor just remember no one was born knowing it all. Good Luck & God Bless
  10. by   nightingale
    Great suggestions colleagues.... thank you. I am pretty excited about this oppourtunity. I found out, the lecture instructor will come and help for the first couple of days... that is a relief.

    I agree, if I set the format for learning in a positive and nurturing environment, it will be a positive experience for the students.

    Thank you to all who have posted. I will let you know how it evolves.
  11. by   EmmaSwan47
    Just wanted to let you know that I am in the same boat that you are. I am teaching Junior Clinicals this semester for the first time ever. I am enjoying it alot, but the students are very challenging at times. It can get very tiring, but as cheesy as it is to admit, what keep me going is that I LOVE my job and I LOVE teaching them. I like it when they get it, when they finally put together the Patho on the condition and understand why we learn these things.


    Anyways, if you would ever like to chat, I would love to chat with you
    Emma
  12. by   ProfRN4
    i'm interviewing for a clinical instructor position this week. these posts are very helpful, and have given me some more perspective as to what i amy be getting into. i'm a nuring ed. student, and i really find this particular forum to be very informative. there are no heated arguments, and bashing here. usually very professional and objective responses. just wanted to say that.

    nightgale- let us now how it's going. can't wait to hear about your first clinical!!
  13. by   RNMSN2BN2007
    Quote from bonemarrowrn
    i'm interviewing for a clinical instructor position this week. these posts are very helpful, and have given me some more perspective as to what i amy be getting into. i'm a nuring ed. student, and i really find this particular forum to be very informative. there are no heated arguments, and bashing here. usually very professional and objective responses. just wanted to say that.

    nightgale- let us now how it's going. can't wait to hear about your first clinical!!

    congrats to you all. i am in the same boat also. i just got promoted from an ed staff nurse to staff development at the hospital i work at . part of my new position is to be clinical instructor for a group of adn students. this is my first opportunity to be a clinical instructor. i have been a nurse for two years with my experience being in emergency nursing. i will instructing these students on a med/surg floor that deals mostly with oncology patients. i am very nervous. i start monday (4/4/05). thank you to all of you for the great ideas and advice, i am sure i will need it. would like to hear how everyone's experience turns out. i guess we are truly shaping the future of nursing!
  14. by   Aellyssa
    hi,
    the suggestions here are great and very much with what i have done over the last 20 odd years. i would add:
    1. praise in public, scold in private.
    2. have an interruption phrase. i have always told my students that if i was supervising them doing a skill and i said to them i'll take over now, they were to step back and let me. this meant that they were compromising patient care in some way. when i had finished, i would take them aside somewhere private and discuss it with them.
    3. document everything
    4. have the students keep a small address book with them, when they find a med about which they have limited or no knowledge, they can put that in the book, look it up & add it in the book. that way they can keep an up to date knowledge base.
    5. get the students to do a daily planner - so it helps with their time management - use it with them.
    6. if you have a "weak student", try and get them allocated the same patient(s) on consecutive shifts, it allows you to assess them more easily and it helps (hopefully) boosts their confidence & competence
    7. tell the students that you will always go into to bat for them. but that also means being scrupulously honest in any situation that arises.
    8. have fun with your students as well as being their teacher. learning can be difficult but it should always be fun as well.
    9. always remember the students' vulnerability. they will watch every nuance of your behaviour, and will read into it their own interpretation - often to their own detriment.
    10. always tell the students if you don't know the answer but that you will investigate it to find out. you aren't the font of all knowledge and making up an answer to save face doesn't facilitate good learning. be a good role model.
    11. always tell your students that there is no such thing as a stupid question.
    12. finally, put people up not down.

    being a clinical teacher is the most frustrating and rewarding position in nursing education. i love it.

    aellyssa

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