We know who our patient is the day before and we have to submit our labs and meds and one piece of our documentation related to their diagnosis the morning of clinical (so we have to go to the floor the day before and get all of our info to do said prework). On the few days we haven't had to do this, I keep a small notebook in my pocket, write down their meds, labs and do a quick search of their diagnosis to really understand what is going on with them. I stay after everyone else leaves and look up the remaining information that I need to complete my paperwork.
Honestly, once our clinical instructor lets us go, I just stay attached to my nurse and that usually results in me getting to do everything else that I'm allowed (it also means I sometimes won't do a 2nd assessment on a really sick patient). I just stay with the nurse and go with them through all their patients and assume they are all mine. It results in me getting to do and see more things that if I just hover over my patient. I've had some of my best experiences with people that weren't my patient.
At the end of the day, I will sit down at the computer and get any information for my paperwork that I need, follow up with the nurse to answer any outstanding questions, then I go home and complete the documentation while its all fresh in my brain.
Am I following the rules? Probably not, but my instructors don't complain because I am never sitting down and the nurses are always happy with my participation. I've even had nurses request me for the day because they had something they wanted me to specifically be part of as a learning experience.
I know we have to do documentation, but if clinical becomes about paperwork more than it is about learning, we will never make good nurses. I know nurses have to document, but if they only know how to document and not how to coordinate patient care, they won't make it past that first year. - just my opinion!