I am in the second semester of my first year of the PN program. It is 18 months, part time, two nights a week. One night is lecture, the other is clinical. I feel like an idiot at clinical. Typically, we are assigned a patient and then we are sent in to do a physical assessment. The instructor wants us to spend at least an hour in the patient room (this is difficult on the evening shift). About two clinicals ago we started checking in with the LPN and the CNAs before visiting the patient- something I wish we had been doing from the beginning as it allows us to do the CNA's duties for them, thus making it easier to actually spend an hour with the patient.
One problem is that I am always lost. I try to do a full physical assessment each time but a lot of times the patient is irritated that I am there prodding them from head to toe. I feel like it would be more beneficial to perform nursing care on a variety of patients as opportunities for treatments arise. Secondly, I check in with the CNA each time but they can be a bit territorial. We were told to let the CNA know that if the patient we are assigned to rings the call bell that they should let us know so we can help them instead. However, that doesn't always happen and the CNA ends up doing the duties we could be doing. When I alerted my instructor to this, she said it is not the CNA's job to remember which patients we have. I agree that it is not the CNA's job to keep track of us but why even ask them to come get us when a patient calls if it's not their job to do so? I ended up not even seeing my patient one night because of this as she was deeply asleep when shift started and when I checked back in the CNA was already in there performing PM care with her. My instructor tried to make it seem like it wasn't a problem but I could tell she was a little irritated (I ended up helping another student with his patient all night). I just wish I could direct myself better and become knowledgeable than I am.
I suppose I am looking for suggestions on how to keep myself busy at clinical? I feel like I do the assessment too quickly and then I am just sitting around reading about them and their admitting diagnosis to keep busy. How can I stay in the room longer?