Senior Practicum

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Where should a student be by the end of an 11 shifts in 8 weeks (130 hours) senior capstone internship? Is it expected that they are able to fully take & give report independently? Be able to assess a patient and know the next steps that need to be addressed to the physician? How good should the critical thinking skills or nursing skills be in general??

Mergirlc, RN

631 Posts

Is it ideal or the goal a student know and do everything you listed?  Yes.   Is it happening?  No.  Especially during this Covid-19, schools have neglected to give students full hours when it comes to skills and practicing them.  Also, many hospitals and clinics are still limiting the amounts of students for clinicals, so schools are dumping students in units wherever they can find room. While it’s good to be exposed to different areas of practice, unfortunately what happens is, some of those units are not "ideal" for a new almost graduate student and may not expose you to practicing even a tiny fraction of the skills you have learned in fundamentals so you do not get that reinforcement.  Sad, but true. 

Try to gain as much knowledge as you can.  Ask your nurse plenty of questions if the skills are not available for you to practice.  Because you are in a hospital and I’m presuming you have a list of patients on the computer who are your patients, try to practice handoff w/ your nurse even if you’re not handing off. 

You are not alone if you do not feel adequately prepared.  Most don’t, but especially during the last almost two years of Covid online nursing school, the feeling is a lot worse…….