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Rough clinical day


Yesterday easily had to be the roughest clinical day I have had since starting nursing school. I won't go into too much detail as the internet is very public, but here is an example of a couple of things that happened-

Unhappy with me not using her specific method for reviewing a pts chart.

Unhappy that I look in the pts chart prior to coming and telling her about the pt I have for the day.

Unhappy that I did not know a certain med when it was added to the pts chart 5 minutes prior- we were going over other medications and this one was JUST added by the MD. This is my first hospital clinical and I didn't know the medication.

The RN's on the unit are never very happy with us as meds can run up to 4hrs late at times.

Yelling at students infront of pts, families, and staff.

Saying how horrible students are to other staff members.

On top of it we had a meeting and it sounds like she isn't afraid to fail any of us. I know some of the other students in my clinical haven't made the best impression, but I am really attempting to put my best foot forward.

Does anyone have advice for working with instructors like this? I feel like I am constantly walking on eggshells. Clinicals shouldn't have to be this stressful! I was really looking forward to learning more this semester, but I feel like all I'm getting is yelled at the whole clinical day :/

Thanks for letting me rant!

mclennan, BSN, RN

Specializes in CCM, PHN. Has 8 years experience.

I am so sorry you had a bad day. Sounds rotten and I hope you were able to rest and do something fun to forget about it, at least for a little while.

Have you considered having a sit-down with this particular instructor, and asking her to review some of the issues together? Approach it positively and collaboratively, away from the hospital and/or at the end of the day. Ask for a few minutes of her time and have some questions written down, focusing on what you could do better, how you can work together to help you learn and the patients to be cared for safely. Generate ideas about the future, without rehashing the past.

Remember, you are the one in control of your experience. You are allowing yourself to be yelled at. Talk with her. Find out what's going on and how best to handle it. If that doesn't work, go to an academic dean and share your concerns.

Best of luck. Try not to let it get to you!

When somebody asks you if you don't know something, smile nicely and say, "Not YET," and make good and sure it's not something you should have known already, and make good and sure you never forget it from here on. ;)


Specializes in Adult Internal Medicine. Has 9 years experience.

Why are the meds 4 hours late?

Thanks for all of the advice! I'll definitely take it.

Meds are up to 4hrs late at times due to either- her still reviewing the pts info to make sure we have not missed anything, not being able to find her, her being busy with something else, along with a meeting that lasts nearly an hr sometimes where we discuss the pt/their care/medications. We must know every single med, even those we aren't giving, d/c, PRN, and not due on our shift. Which can get pretty lengthy when you have a pt with 20 different meds, including PRN's.

Ugh, I feel for you. I had a clinical instructor like that last semester and those of us who survived the experience were living on pepto and antacids on clinical days O.o We learned to make ourselves so busy that the instructor saw us very little through the clinical hours (this is not a suggestion...I would not tell someone to make themselves "unavailable" to their instructor...I just felt like this was our only hope of survival!) I just want to tell you that I hope things get better...it sucks to dread clinical days. Keep your chin up and just keep telling yourself that it's a small percentage of the program and do what you need to do to learn and better yourself. Good luck! :)