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Started clinicals this past week...


and I was just wondering where everyone had their first clinicals and what they REALLY thought about them. Mine were in a nursing home of course. My, my, my...what an experience if you have never been a CNA or anything that is in the healcare field before. I was scared, intimidated...pretty much mortified. The sounds, the smells...they were almost overwhelming! The very first day I made a gigantic mistake(although I was told by the instructor that I did nothing wrong)while transferring a patient. I did go and get help to tranfer, but I seriously underestimated how heavy my pt. was, and did not take into consideration that she would be dead weight. To make a long story short, she started to slip and I could not get her onto her bed. I hung on to her with all of my might and let her down to the floor gently. My clnical partner went and got the nurses instead of the instructors, and boy! Did they tear me a new one or what?! They insisted that I dropped her when that was not at ALL the case. I would have rather died first than drop her. My name was written on an incident report the very first day! I was extremely upset to say the least, and cried all the way home well into the night. Yes it hurt me that I got yelled at, but what hurt me most was the fact that my pt. was on the floor and it was all my fault:crying2: I learned from that first day, and I did well on transferring after that. I learned I had more patience than I thought. I also have a new found respect for CNAs and nurses in general. It was hard work, but I was so happy to be taking caring of my pt. and giving her the attention she had so craved for weeks, probably months. I was disgusted at the fact that alot of these pt.s were left to sit in their own feces, urine, and vomit. They weren't being turned, they weren't being stimulated in any way. It just made me so sad to see these ppl in the place that is supposed to be their home, and it is anything but a home. I saw CNAs eating the pt.'s food. One pt.'s family had brought her some goodies and all of the CNAs were going in there getting what they wanted and seemed to not care if she objected. I don't know....my first clinical experience has me a little sad. We will be there for 3 more weeks, and I am hoping I can toughen up a little. My reward: when my little pt. would tell me thank you for helping her eat, or thank you for moisturizing her skin, or for massaging her back. Those little thank you's meant a BIG something to me:) It's an emotional roller coaster....what feelings did you have when you were at your very first clinical?


Specializes in Emergency Dept, M/S.

My first clinical day was an eye-opening experience also. I'm sorry you got written up for something like that. At least YOU know and your instructor knows, and most of the patient knows that you didn't drop her. It is very difficult to know when you will need help with certain patients. I had one that was considered ambulatory w/ "some" assistance. I don't know where they got that from, because he could not get up from the bedside commode without assistance, nor walk 4 steps to the bed. He almost slipped to the floor even though there were two of us there.

I checked the Kardex, and sure enough, it had not been updated to show that he was not ambulatory at all! I know nurses are busy, and dont' know whose job it is to update it, but stuff like that could injure a nurse or a pt.

It will get better! I promise!

This is why I'm glad I have one day left on the floor this semester. Clinical is like the "bad day" of the week.

I hear ya :-(

I always leave nursing homes feeling grieved for the patients. I worry about them, think about them and fret for them. The staff are always so rushed - there are never enough staff to do the basics, let alone give "that something extra" to their patients. And when you try to go the extra mile yourself, sometimes it leads to insecurities among your co-workers.

My experiences in nursing homes have been much like yours -- fellow staff are only too willing to "tear you a new one" if you don't handle a move well, and yet transfer needs are poorly documented and grossly underestimated, and this is what causes the problem in the first place.

Sounds like you have the right attitude though....your patient's needs have never left your mind, and that makes for a fantastic future nurse. You think of the little things like chatting, touching, rubbing cream into her legs, feeding with dignity etc. Those things make the WORLD of difference to a resident! Such important things take only a few extra moments, but can mean the difference between dignity and despair - quality of life and "giving up" for a client. Stuff like waiting outside while a client moves her bowels, or draping a towel over someone's private parts while sponging their top half...these are the things that make a difference. Handling "accidents" with care and compassion, and a kiss of reassurance. Stopping and giving a cuddle on your way past. Using a little scented cream instead of sorbolene. Or putting a pretty ribbon in her hair or a nice necklace or brooch on her. Telling her how nice she looks, how pretty her hair is, how soft her skin is...everyone needs to be appreciated and honoured. Don't be disheartened - you're doing fantastically!! Never lose your heart!

HappyNurse2005, RN

Specializes in LDRP.

my very first clinical was on an ortho floor at a local hospital. i had one patient and i remember being very anxious b/c i was supposed to give her AM care (heck, that was practically all we knew how to do back then) and her pastor was visiting her so i couldnt do her AM care and just didnt know what to do! i was actually so anxious that hte plans i'd laid in my head weren't working out!

lol :)

we only spent one day at a nursing home. i hated it. too many residents, too much chaos at mealtimes, not enough staff, etc etc.

it gets better :)

love, rose

Jennerizer, ASN, RN

Specializes in PCU, Critical Care, Observation. Has 13 years experience.

My first day at clinical was also at a nursing home - seems like it wasn't that long ago - hard to believe it was nearly 2 yrs ago!!!!!!

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