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Staying Alert after Clinical Prep night w/out sleep

Posted

Has 1 years experience.

Anybody have any remedies (coffee, sleep schedule, energy drink, magic no dose pill) that can keep me alert and awake for 5:30Am start time until 4PM with little sleep? Clinical prep starting at 4pm night prior and teacher expects everything to be memorized (I'm 2nd year student) to report to her pre coneference. I don't plan on getting much sleep, 1st year average for clinical prep nights was 4-5 hours. Any advice is appreciated, Thanks!:yawn:

Memorizing patient information is never a good way to go. If you think you can remember everything about every patient without writing it down somewhere you are very wrong. I would say it is more important to get a full night of rest before a clinical shift than to spend all night trying to memorize patient information...

This is what I would do...

Make a cheat sheet. This sheet is personalized just the way you like it. It contains the pts name, age, DNR status, allergies, diagnosis, vitals, med timings etc. Organize the information so you know where it is and can find it quickly when the doc asks you a question. This way when your instructor asks info about your pt you won't need to worry about giving her info on mr x instead of mrs Y.

I hope this makes sense.

Is there any way you could start clinical prep earlier? I had really huge careplans last year for med-surg and I ALWAYS picked up my assignment as early as possible-I found that not only gave me maximum time but cut down on the stress since I wasn't feeling quite as pressed for time.

Also, if meds are part of what you need to know, it might help to type up med info for each pt. each week on your computer and save it every time. That way, if you have a patient on one of the following weeks with the same meds, you can just cut and paste. Over time, esp. if you're on a unit where some meds are used frequently (ex. cardiac) you may find that you have to look up considerably fewer meds.

As far as magic tricks go, I'm sorry to say that I don't have too many. I have found that if I have to choose between staying up waaay late to finish a care plan or getting up at some obscenely early time to cram in a few more minutes of work, it's best to just work late. Those frantic minutes spent on the careplan right before clinical always made me feel even more stressed and grumpy. Taking a hot shower with nice shower gel the night before clinical always improved my sleep, too.

Or, you could just be like me last semester and be so afraid of your clinical instructor that sheer terror keeps you WIDE awake the entire clinical day :-)

2bnurselovescoffee

Has 1 years experience.

Memorizing patient information is never a good way to go. If you think you can remember everything about every patient without writing it down somewhere you are very wrong. I would say it is more important to get a full night of rest before a clinical shift than to spend all night trying to memorize patient information...

Yes that is true but unfortunantely that is what our instructor EXPECTS from us. It's not my own thinking. She wants Pt Hx, surgery's, important labs, meds (class, reason pt is getting, major side effects), and our care plan in our heads.

I am 2nd year student so I know how important sleep is in order to take care of a patient the next day, but also will get sent home if it appears I'm not prepared to care for the patient.

Thanks for the suggestion though...

Another thought related to the copy/paste med suggestion. I used to write my meds on to cue cards cut in half. I put a keyring ring through a hole I punched in one corner and kept it with me. By the time half of the rotation was over there were probably 30 or 40 cards but they fit into my pocket for easy reference and I didn't have to rewrite the same meds over and over

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