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  1. The keys to success in this field are: Knowing what is happening in the calculation rather than blindly following a formula. Setting up your calculations mathematically correct. 5 g (1000 mg/g) = 5000 mg is correct. 5 g x 1000 = 5000 mg is incorrect. Unit conversions, dosage calculations, percent problems, and IV flow rate problems can all be solved using a simple and safe method called dimensional analysis (DA). If you take a couple of evenings to learn this method, you will save yourself hours of trying to learn a long list of formulas. These problems all have the same three parts: The Units of the Answer: Think of it as the destination. A Given: This is what is given to start the problem and what is changed into the answer. One or More Ratios: These are the tools used to change the units of the given into the units of the answer. Examples: Unit Conversion: How many mL in 3.5 L. 3.5 L is the given. mL is the unit of the answer. The ratio is 1000 mL/L 3.5 L (1000 mL/L) = 3500 mL L cancel out and you are left with mL in the answer. Dosage Calculation: A patient is ordered 500 mg of a drug which is available in an oral suspension of 250 mg/5 mL. How many mL will you administer? 500 mg is the given. mL is the unit of the answer. The ratio is 250 mg/5 mL 500 mg (5 mL/250 mg) = 10 mL In this case, we had to flip the ratio upside down, which is permissible. Percent Problem: Convert 0.458 to a percent. 0.458 is the given, % is the unit of the answer and 100% is the ratio. 0.458 (100%) = 45.8% IV Flow Rate: An IV is running at 30 mL/h with a drop factor of 20 (20 drops/mL), how many drops/min is that? 30 mL/h is the given. Drops/min are the units of the answer. 20 drops/mL and 60 min/h are the ratios. 30 mL/h (1 h/60 min) (20 drops/mL) = 10 drops/min Unfortunately, there is not enough space here to go into all the details of this method, but you can PM me and I will send you some study material. Also, I am always glad to help with specific calculation questions. Brad Wojcik, PharmD Dosage Calculations PDF-B.Wojcik.pdf
  2. RoseTh93

    Unfair Grading

    I am new to this forum. I recently encountered an incident that has left me quite disappointed. We had a head-to-toe assessment check off and med check off before we started our second semester for nursing. I made sure to prepare well to do well in both my head-to-toe check off that day as well as med check off. During our head to toe assessment, my partner that went before me missed several objectives on head-to-toe assessment such as, introducing herself to the patient before verifying the patient information, declaring “lung sounds were clear in all field with no adventitious sounds”, she failed to check my lower back for pressure ulcer, she also failed to check cap refill on my lower leg, and she failed to ask about any blood seen during bowel movement, and she failed to check for normal skin tone whereas I missed asking about “clarity” for urine only. Although I am happy for my partner, I felt it was unfair she made a 100 with several mistakes. I do admit I was rightly cut off 2 points for forgetting to ask about clarity in urine. I am very happy with my grade. However, I could not be at peace without communicating with the professor the process of the matter as I felt it was unfair. I am sure the instructor’s intention was not as such. After reaching out to my instructor to address my concerns respectfully, she outright told me to “stop being competitive…we nurses need to be supportive of each other”, and she also told me she made the “best clinical judgement” based on our “levels”. I thanked her for her response and informed her that I and my partner were both in the same level (Level 2). I stated that I believed what I expressed was lost in translation and misunderstood. I never once thought of competition at all. I merely wanted the same fairness for everyone who is on the same level. I never meant to express what I expressed due to the difference in our grades at all. If it was about competition, I would have made sure to say something right then and there. I was absolutely not questioning her judgement. I sincerely apologized if my email ever came off that way. I was merely advocating for myself. We were both in the same level and while I caught several of her mistakes and none of them were accounted for and me being in the same level as her, I made one mistake (missing to ask for clarity in urine) and that was accounted for, I sincerely meant to only advocate for equality and fairness when we are in the same level. We all work hard to do well in school and we all work alongside each other with our colleagues to help each other succeed. I have always made sure to help my colleagues in any way I can to help them do well in class. This was never about competition. Hence, I took the matter to the instructor rather than talking about it with my colleague who admitted her mistakes were overlooked. I simply praised her for doing well. However, instead of addressing my concerns, the instructor simply shut down the conversation by saying “you were not being disrespectful at all, we were just communicating… no worries”! I responded to her email by letting her know that I am relieved to find that she understood my honest intention behind my email. I expressed to her that I sincerely hoped she will address the concerns I have raised. Her previous responses to my concerns were focused on deflecting it towards "competition". I humbly thanked her again for allowing me to express my thoughts and advocate for myself. Sadly, she has not responded to my concerns at all. Being aware of the hard work we all put in to making a good grade in our class while learning to be a competent nurse, I did not feel at peace encountering such unfairness in grading. I felt more at unease when my instructor focused on being defensive rather than addressing the concerns at hand. This is merely the beginning of the semester and she is my clinical instructor who is in charge of grading my competency during clinical hours. I merely wanted to be assured it was an honest mistake and I will not have to worry about such treatment towards me or anyone for that matter. Am I dwelling over it a tab bit too much? Should I just drop it and let it go? Please help guide me! Thank you so much.
  3. I havent seen a thread yet on this year's nurse corps application cycle & my anxiety has made me start one. I'm finishing up my application and should be done with it by today. I know its extremely competitive so honestly I dont think I'll get it but its worth a try! Who else has applied/is applying?
  4. Joe V

    It's Not All Bad

    Nursing students have so many challenges to handle. You can get so caught up in deadlines, classes, studying, etc that you wonder if you will survive. When something good happens, it almost seems overwhelmingly impossible. Tell us how you felt when you started seeing that you are making progress in becoming a nurse.
  5. Have you ever found yourself just staring at the wall? What have you done to give yourself a "reboot"?
  6. NurseStudentK75

    Nursing School Acceptance

    For all of you out there struggling to get into nursing school, I say hang in there and stay strong! I decided to start my path to nursing school about 2 years ago at the age of 37. I had friends that criticized my decision to go into nursing so late in life. Ignore those people. They are battling their own insecurities and are not as fearless as you are. Surround yourself with positive and supportive people. I first began by becoming a CNA to be certain that this career path was meant for me. Then I took my pre-requisite science classes. I am so thankful I already had an associates degree and didn't need to take any general ED classes. Every semester I struggled to get into my classes. I begged the professors to let me in. I made sure my classes were my priority. I'm proud to say that I received and "A" in Anatomy, Physiology, Chemistry, Microbiology, Developmental Psychology, and Medical dosaging, respectively. I also started volunteer work through Cope Health Solutions at Riverside community hospital so that I would have exposure to patients. When the time came, I applied to Chaffey nursing school. The day I received my letter in the mail, I was nervous, excited, scared, you name it! I was informed that I was selected as an "alternate student". That's not exactly what I was hoping for, but it was better than getting a rejection letter. I attended the student orientation and then began studying for the TEAS exam. I passed the TEAS, and immediately started the process of completing all the requirements such as updating my BLS card, physical/drug/TB tests, background check, etc. I basically purchased all the equipment and supplies as if I were accepted into the program. Even though the deadline to submit the packet is January 8, I completed and submitted it on December 12. The wait to receive a phone call to let me know whether or not a space became available was one of the most challenging and difficult periods of my life. Then yesterday, only 1 week before the start of classes, I received the glorious call informing me that a space became available! After I finished jumping up and down, praying and thanking God for this blessing, kissing and hugging my husband and in laws, I went in to receive my admissions packet. I also registered for my classes and purchased my books. Classes start next Tuesday and I CANNOT wait! I wrote this post because in the past I would always come on this site to read about other people's experiences and see what they did and how they got in to nursing schools. I know the frustration of waiting, the fear and feeling of doubt, the sleepless nights and worry. Hang in there, stay positive and do your best. In the end, it will all work out. Wishing all of my fellow student nurses the best of luck!
  7. Omw2nurse19

    ATI Comprehensive RN 2019

    Literally re-taking my ATI Exit Exam in a few weeks. I wanted to know if anyone had any useful resources in scoring a 99% on their exam. Please DM me. I need serious help.
  8. SarahC_RN_BSN

    Pearson Vue Trick 2020 - Good pop-up?

    I took my NCLEX-RN yesterday morning 5/30. At first I was relieved when I was stopped at 60 questions, but then once I got to my car I was filled with dread and doubt. I felt like I had guessed on all but 3-4 questions. I wasn’t sure if I was in the higher level difficulty or if I just truly knew nothing. I used the Hurst review to study and found that it helped mostly for the prioritization and delegation questions (which there were a LOT of). I had probably 10-15 SATA. No other alternate formats. I graduated at the top of my class with a 3.92 GPA, and to think that I potentially failed the NCLEX was devastating. My friend took the NCLEX the day before me and had received an email saying “you’ve taken the NCLEX” almost immediately after her exam. I did not, and I was panicking! I walked out of the exam at 9:30 AM, and did not receive this email until around 4:30 PM. When I got home around 1:30, I tried the PVT and got the message saying that I currently have an open registration and I cannot register for another NCLEX — indicating that I tried too early to do this trick. I tried again once I received the email at 4:30... and I got the good pop-up (our records indicate blah blah)!! It was a huge anxiety-reliever for me, but I’m just paranoid that it’s going to turn out wrong. I’ve always done well on my practice exams via the Exit HESI, ATI, PassPoint, and Hurst. To think that after all of that I could have failed the NCLEX breaks my heart. I’m just holding onto the fact that this PVT has worked for nearly everyone... Has anyone gotten got the good pop-up and then ended up failing?
  9. eternalstudent328

    Passed AANP Exam June 2020

    I just passed the AANP FNP exam and like many nervous test-takers, I scoured this site and the internet for any info. I found this site the most helpful so I felt it was my duty to keep paying it forward. Here is my experience/thoughts/etc. I will break this post into two parts: how I prepared and stuff about the test. How I PreparedFitzgeraldI graduated at the end of April and took a 2-day Fitzgerald review course. It was CRAZY. It was so fast and furious. At some points the presenter was going so fast I couldn't even take notes. Having never done anything like this before I initially thought "WOW!!, that was a lot of info, but great!" In hindsight, I would not recommend this. I felt the price tag (~$600) was outrageous for what you get. I left feeling like I wasn't prepared because they do give you too much information. I can appreciate the approach of better to over-study than under-study but again, these are just my thoughts. Knowing my test was in exactly 4 weeks I felt very overwhelmed. Also, the website review that is supposed to be done after the in-person review is just not good. The layout is not totally user friendly, you can only take practice quizzes a total of 2 times, and you must sequentially move through the chapters. This is to say that while they strongly emphasize you start studying your weaker areas first, their website is not laid out so you can do that! If you are weak on say, dermatology and skin stuff and that's chapter 8, you must first complete chapters 1-7. The review book that comes with this course is okay but again, I liked Leik better. Fitzgerald is also wayyyyyy into using mnemonics. I like these sparingly because it got to the point I couldn't keep them all straight. FNP Mastery Phone AppI then bought the FNP mastery phone app to do practice questions. I like this app. It was inexpensive (~$30) and great that you can do them anywhere. Gives you answer explanations and you place each question into a category (know/somewhat know/don't know) so you can go back and review whichever category you desire. This would be the only thing I would say was probably unnecessary. I would find myself when I wasn't at home with little time to study so honestly what was the point. oh well. great app if you can use it. LeikI had ordered the Leik review on amazon but it took forever to finally arrive. Once it had, I was very glad I bought it. It was (~$50) and my brain could more easily wrap my head around how they presented information as opposed to Fitzgerald. Leik does say the more resources you use the better, but I think if you only use Leik you will be fine. I am not trying to poo-poo Fitzgerald, simply saying for me, and how I learn, Leik was better fit but Fitz does have great information, too (obviously)! Leik has a bunch of online practice questions (725 total I think). Do all of them- they'll def help. I think the book arrived about 2 weeks before my test so I studied about 5ish chapters a day and then did all of the practice questions over 2 days. Then I was able to go back and review weaker areas and continue to do practice quizzes. Practice QuizzesSo I remember for the NCLEX I felt better doing quizzes to gauge where I was at and did the same thing this time. I tried an APEA test, PSI, and Exam Edge. They are all great options. I would recommend doing APEA earlier on in your studies because it highlights your weak areas in their scoring which is helpful. I did PSI 2 days before the real thing to get a feel for the testing layout. Exam Edge I would recommend getting with a classmate. It was ~$40 for 5 quizzes (they do offer different bundles) but more than this I think is overkill. You can do each Exam Edge quiz a total of 4 times. I felt each of these 3 options (APEA, PSI, EE) helped me prepare honestly. While taking the real thing I absolutely felt like some of the questions I had seen before however being that I did use so many resources I can't say where I felt like I saw them. All in all practice questions is a huge part of learning/studying because it does take some serious mental stamina to be able to do 150 questions in one sitting and have your brain do mental gymnastics bouncing from topic to topic. Passing the Test!!Nervous? Flag a QuestionI'm not sure if it was Leik that said this (she does give some great exam tips) but just an FYI for all you nervous folks: you can mark/flag as many questions as you like. If you do not mark a question you can still go back to it, just be sure you wrote down the question number otherwise it will obviously be hard to find. Time Can Be DistractingI could not figure out how to hide the time but it is so small it thankfully wasn't distracting. You are allowed one 5 minute break. Drug NamesI would say 95% were generic drug names but I distinctly remember a question or two using ONLY brand names. Thankfully it wasn't anything too out there, or one you couldn't easily decipher the drug class, but yes both generic and brand names on the test! Lab ValuesNormal lab values were usually given for most of the questions, but I also remember the values changing slightly. So while on one question (for example) it would say normal MCV is 80-100, on another it would say normal MCV is 85-105. Not huge changes but just something I made mental note of. My apologies if this post is rambling. If you have other questions, I would be happy to answer as I will say I couldn't find many posts from 2020 while preparing. My mantra I kept telling myself is, "you are going to walk in an RN, and out an NP." Think positively!
  10. Congratulations to Avill, BSN for the winning caption. 👏 Month-Long Student Nurses Day Celebration Starts Today! Nurses Week Contest #7 Did someone say stress? Not here. School is stress-free. (Says no one ever! 😜) When under stress just laugh. Give it a try? Look at the toon above ... can you provide a laugh-inducing caption for this toon? I know you can. If you share the perfect caption you could win a $100 Amazon Gift Card courtesy of Picmonic! You have nothing to lose. Just give it a try. More Nurses Week Contests Contest Rules You can submit any caption but only those that follow the below rules will be considered for the $100 Amazon Gift Card. Open to registered allnurses.com members only. (Free and quick to Register) Length (number of words) is a factor in selecting winner. Caption must fit the toon. (2-3 lines at most) Captions must be submitted below. Each entry will be reviewed for originality. You can submit more than one entry. One winner will be announced. This contest is sponsored by Picmonic. As a nursing student, your life is busy. We get it. That’s why we created Picmonic for Nursing RN. Save time when studying, boost your test scores, and get your life back with Picmonic. 20% OFF to all allnurses.com Members.
  11. TheNursingdoll

    How to Avoid Pre-Req Burnout

    When I dealt with Pre-req stress and burnout: My first experience with pre-req stress and burnout came in the Summer of 2020 when I was studying AP2 and College Algebra (yes, I took these in the same semester). All the material was jampacked into ten weeks instead of the usual sixteen weeks. I developed chronic headaches, tears and I was just over it after the cardiovascular chapter! Somehow, I managed to see it through and passed and did very well in both courses! Another experience where I dealt with burnout was during the long nights of the Microbiology lab. Although the Microbiology lab was my favorite out of all the labs through pre-req, I personally didn’t like the long nights. I was tired and wanted to be in a warm bed with The Godfather playing while falling asleep. This was my fault. I had taken five other courses on top of this lab while studying for the NLNs. How I dealt with burnout and stress : 1. I prayed – I am not a religious person, but I am a spiritual person. Praying and giving thanks helped me in a way that I can’t put into words. 2. I listened to music - If I wasn’t tired before and occasionally after class, I would jam out to my favorite tunes until I went to bed. 3. I watched TV shows – As soon as I got home, I would always turn on my favorite show or movie! Although it wasn’t much, it did help to calm me down after the long nights of lab practical. 4. I talked to loved ones - I spoke to supportive loved ones, and they shared a lot of wisdom and encouraged me with me! While experiencing burnout, I can say that the Microbiology group meeting that I was a part of was one of the best support systems I’ve had while at my community college. 5. Comedy and laughter – While the godfather trilogies are some of the best movies ever made ( even the third one has its moments), laughter is truly the best medicine! I remember watching my favorite comedy specials and even seeing or thinking something funny to bring a few laughs to my day. 6. Treat yourself- This can be your favorite meal (in my case) or a nice glass of sangria! I rarely did this, but when I did, I felt so great! This doesn’t have to involve food, but if It’s something like a hike or bike ride, go for it! For people still in your prereqs, how to avoid pre-req stress and burnout 1. If you can, please take your science courses alone. DO NOT double up When you are doing science classes, especially for those who are just starting or considering AP with Micro. DON’T! This is stressful, it’s doable, but the stress is something beyond words. If anything, what I’ve learned is to not double up on science courses and, if possible, try not to take them during the Summer. 2. Take two to three classes tops, but preferably two. Starting out in community college, I started out taking one to two classes, which gave me time to enjoy myself. Two was doable, and three, although still possible, requires a bit of time. 3. Go easy in the Summer semester. Summer semesters are very jampacked, and in some schools, I hear that they can be 4 weeks, but at my school, they are usually eight or ten weeks. If you have to take a Summer class, go easy and try to go for the easiest course you can. If you are a beginner, I would say take English during the Summer. I hope these suggestions help. Feel free to add other tips that worked for you. GOOD LUCK!!
  12. ThePrincessBride

    Should I be concerned?

    I am in my first semester of three clinicals and I have been having a hard time with clinical placement. My school (that supposedly places students) dropped the ball, and I did not want to be placed midway through the semester and left scrambling. My first preceptor that I had gotten left abruptly her job prior to the semester starting, so I found another one that works at a private practice. We haven't started yet, but the problem is she is taking four students. (first it was three, now four) She says she [hopes] that not all of us will be there at the same time and plans to precept 2 a day. However... I feel like my education may suffer if I have to share a preceptor with three other students. I was hoping for one on one attention, but I am thinking that might not be an option. Should I try to get more clinical hours in to make up for the shared time? Should I be concerned? Is it normal for preceptors to have multiple students at a time? Thanks!
  13. Tips from My Personal Experience When it came to my pre-nursing journey, I didn’t always have supportive people around me. In fact, some of them were very toxic and had no problem with showing their pursuits to tear me down. It was definitely emotionally and physically taxing, but it made me stronger. Sadly, the toxicity came from former friends and family members. I will be sharing tips on how to deal with toxic friends and family while studying for prereqs. Keep all materials protected and locked away - When it came to my materials, I always made sure to keep them protected and locked away in my room. I say this because when I first started community college, my sister took the pleasure of ruining my laptop, and it cost a lot of money to be replaced. Around this time, my book bag, laptop, and study materials such as printed PowerPoints were securely placed somewhere, and if I wasn’t home, my door was locked. I even had to invest in a laundry hamper for my room because my clothes were being cut up and bleached. Do not tell them about important dates – From experience, if I had a midterm or a final exam, my sister or dad would use either vacuum or before that would start an argument. As an empath, this affected how I studied, and they knew it! Along with this, I had an experience in my honor society to where I was taking my first NLN, and someone who served in a high position told me, “ Are you retesting?”, she knew that I wasn’t retesting, but this was to add doubt. It’s best that if you have something important to keep it to yourself. Along with this, I actually had my dad and sister. Despite several signs on my door saying to do not disturb I’m studying, they knocked anyway. Find an alternative place to study - When I was in my second attempt at Anatomy, I’ve learned how to do this. My alternative places were either the library or a coffee shop. Noisy, yes, but for some reason, it helped me study so much better. If you cannot find an alternative place to learn, earphones or earplugs are vital. Know that jealously or insecurity is the root – When it comes to toxic people, there is something about you that they are very envious of, you may not know what it is, or maybe you do? Along with this, toxic people around you are very insecure and spend more time focusing on you than themselves. Keep plans/dreams/goals to yourself – I remember when I first started Anatomy, like the very first attempt I told my former friend, “I am going to try to make an A.,” and they responded with, ‘That’s hard not many people make it, there aren’t too many Einsteins.” This hurt, but I learned right then and there not to tell anyone whether they were friendly with me or not my goals. Along with this, I was told by a former friend that If I took Anatomy and Physiology 2 and College Algebra together, I’d fail after passing. This person blocked me. Never listen to what they have to say – Whether they are criticizing you or just generally spreading negativity, don’t listen to what they have to say. Let toxic people drown in their toxic behavior. How to Spot Toxic People : 1. They will copy you or compete with you – I’ve noticed when it came to certain toxic people in some way, shape, or form, they will copy you. I had an incident in an honor society where there was this girl whom I didn’t really know to try to compete, I was in an officer position, and she wanted something bigger and better. She got it. Still, I didn’t let her competition and insecurity get to me. 2. They make deceptive statements or gestures – When dealing with toxic people, they usually have to make themselves seem larger than life. By sly remarks, this can mean they downplay your achievements while uplifting theirs. For example, an incident where a mean girl boasted about her Bachelor’s in Kinesiology or rolled her eyes if my honor society was mentioned. 3. You just feel a weird vibe- The gut never lies! Usually, when people have bad energy, you can feel it from a mile away, or your intuition will let you know this before they open their mouths. How to combat a toxic person: 1. Protect your energy – laughing, smiling, and spreading positive energy is a great way to shield yourself from toxic people, even pay them a compliment. This worked for me before and diffused the motives that they intended to do. 2. Keep a distance- If you have to work with someone toxic but not closely, keep conversations short and keep your distance at all costs. Engaging in arguments and their games gives them a weird sense of satisfaction. 3. Surround yourself with positive people – This can be your favorite teacher or simply just a friend. Surrounding yourself with a positive person distracts from the darkness of a toxic person. 4. Affirmations - Saying how smart you are or how beautiful you can help build an emotional and spiritual barrier that can help combat toxic people and help with studying in the long run. Have you ever dealt with a toxic person? What are your tips? 🙂
  14. I've been lurking on this website for a couple years now and have finally joined now that I'm getting closer to applying to nursing school. I've had doubts about whether I'll be able to make it in. My GPA is not the greatest and I've had to retake classes. When I'm able to really focus in on school I can get A's but I've been spread really thin these past few years, with work (as a home health CNA), having two small children and needing to help quite a lot with them plus housework due to my wife having PPD (I'm not complaining, just the way it is), moving three times, tons of home repair projects, etc. Anyway, you get the point. Life has been busy and my grades have suffered. I just finished Anatomy and passed with a C. I'm confident that had I studied more I could have done better but that didn't happen! I'm worried about not getting into nursing school. If my overall GPA was better I wouldn't worry so much, but as it is.... Has anyone on here made it into nursing school with a C in Anatomy? If so, what was your overall GPA?
  15. No Prior Experience I had never even been in a hospital before. I was never a CNA. I didn't volunteer as a candy striper. I did not know what it meant to care for other adults. I was only 22 years old. Prior life experience included years of babysitting and working as a hostess. I didn't hear my call to be a nurse until my freshman year in college and was ill-prepared with real-life experience. I had school to focus on and did not think I needed to get my feet wet in the field to understand it. I thought I'd figure it out as I go. That I'd be able to apply everything I was learning quickly in real life. Ha. Ha. Ha. Little did I know. Deer in the Headlights My anxiety on the first day of clinicals was over the top. I do not remember being excited; instead, I was full of dread. What was I doing? Who was I kidding thinking I could pull this nurse thing off? I could not even walk into my patient's room to say “good morning." I was literally pacing in front of their door. Back and forth. I was pretending to look yet again at the medication/supply cart parked in front. I went to the bathroom five times. Any distraction to avoid going in. My heart was going to beat right out of my chest. Angel Instructor My instructor caught me pacing. I thought I was going to be in trouble. I felt stupid and ashamed for not being braver. I was preparing to defend my distractions with excuses. But rather than shaming me, she knowingly smiled. Without a word, she linked her arm in mine and walked me into the room. We said “good morning” together. She showed me how to place my hands on my first patient. She was confident yet soft. She listened, and she guided. I was in awe by how easy she made it seem. Her assurance opened the door, literally and figuratively, for me to find my own. Pay it Forward My instructor gave me the most powerful gift that day. She held space for me to find comfort and confidence in something so entirely new and unknown. It allowed me to stand a little straighter and hold my head a little higher each time I walked into a patient's room. I was not devoid of anxiety, but I was no longer paralyzed by it. This day made a lasting impression on my career. I held on to it anytime I precepted a student or new grad, offering the same grace and kindness that she showed to me. I was proud to support and encourage them through all of their doubts and struggles. It was rewarding to watch them grow and feel more confident because of that. It's like giving someone the key to the door that stands in their way. It is an honor, really. So this I say to you. If you have found yourself questioning what the heck you are doing on your first day of clinicals, remember to stand up a little straighter and hold your head a little higher. Just walk in and say, “Good morning," and the rest will fall into place. Tips for Reducing First Day Fear Have your supplies, materials, scrubs, and anything you need for your first shift prepared and ready to go. Get a good night's sleep the night before. Eat a well-balanced meal. Don’t drink too much coffee! Arrive early to get your bearings. Breathe. Breathe. Keep breathing. Do not be afraid to ask questions. No one expects you to know what you are doing. In fact, it is usually the opposite. They assume you don’t know much yet. You will be surprised by how many people will be happy to support you. Carry on, clinical warrior!
  16. Retaking a class can be a dreadful thing, emotionally and financially! But as much as it can be a pain, retaking classes does have its benefits. You have advantages. You already know what to expect and have prior knowledge of the material. PRO #1 You know what to expect You already know the syllabus / chronological order of the materials being learned. You may already know how the midterm is set up, the class procedures and how much each assignment is worth. #2 Depending on your school, the better grade is accepted I had retaken courses, some because I did not fully grasp the materials and some I took out of sheer boredom! In some colleges and universities (at my present school), there are usually policies where the highest grade is accepted over the lowest. If this is the case, take full advantage of it, especially if you are a GPA person. #3 Overcome learning obstacles In every class, there is something that an individual has trouble mastering. When retaking a course over again, you get the opportunity to overcome what you didn't master. For example, if you didn't get something in Professor 1's class relating to bones or whatever, you can have changed to overcome that in the next professor's class. CON #1 Finances When you retake a class, this can possibly wreak havoc when it comes to finances. #2 Insecurities Retaking a class, especially if it is your first one, isn't the world's best feeling. You may feel like you are incompetent or may feel like you are in the wrong major. This is a sucky feeling, which is why it's a con of retaking. #3 Frustration There will be times when retaking a class repeatedly that you'll feel like it's simply just a waste of time! But the thing is, remember why you're taking the course no matter how hard it gets. #4 Learning more the next time Retaking a class over can help an individual acquire more knowledge than the last time! TIPS #1 Don't beat yourself up about retaking a course I did this during my first time I had to repeat a class. I thought it was basically the end of the world, and I felt so stupid. I let others' negative talk consume me and thought that I wasn't cut out for nursing! But after a few days of beating myself up, I told myself I was going to be a nurse and signed up for my Summer Semester. Don't ever beat yourself up about retaking a class because you're not the only one! #2 Figure out where you went wrong When it came to retaking classes, I figured out the material I didn't get and wrote it down to practice it before class started. For example, with Anatomy, I didn't get Chemistry and Cytology and Muscle Physiology, so I took extra time to prepare for them! #3 Prepare in advance Usually, between semesters, there is usually a 2 to 4-week break. During the break, I always took time to prepare notes before the start of the semester. #4 Focus more on that class If you're ever retaking a course, try to focus more on it, by that if you didn't get certain material, from experience if I didn't get a certain thing I put more focus into it. #5 Pick an easier or more skilled professor When retaking classes, sometimes the problem is the professor. In my experience, my first anatomy teacher pretty much was a very arrogant person. If you didn't get it, they weren't willing to help, and I noticed how this professor had their favorites (and they could do no wrong in their eyes). Technically they decided if they liked you or not. But during the other attempt, the teacher was very open to questions and was very understanding of each individual's learning styles #6 Don't give up on your dreams If you want something really bad, just remember why you want it and keep at it. A-C grade isn't the end of the world, and it doesn't define you. Have you ever retaken a class and if so, what was your experience? 🙂
  17. In each class, we usually encounter the know-it-all. It usually goes two ways, it either annoys the hell out of you and leaves you with doubt, or you actually take away a thing or two from the know-it-all. I've had personal experiences with a know-it-all and a knowledgeable student. The Experienced Student In my first attempt at anatomy, I would brand this person know-it-all (because I didn't have a good word at the time) when they were a freaking genius. He had prior healthcare experience, working as an MD but decided on a change of careers. He didn't just study the assignment's objectives, what we were learning inside out, and had a cheery attitude. He was much older than our teacher and the students. Despite the environment, he made the best of his anatomy experience and never let others get in his way. Here is what I learned from this genius! 1. He didn't care what others thought. He was there for his education – This is something I look back on and admire him for. He never cared what anyone thought of him and was solely there for education. 2. Opened to questions and constantly asked questions. The few times we were paired up, he helped me understand things I didn't get but also, if there was time left over, he helped me and gave me links and resources. Along with this, he never sulked at missed questions but spent time asking the professor many questions about what was being learned. 3. Diagrams, lots and lots of diagrams – When it came to labs, I noticed that this person came with a binder full of diagrams on whatever was being studied. 4. He simply "didn't know it all". Although he had a medical background, he had said he didn't know everything and didn't act as he did. When it came to anatomy, he had a wide range of knowledge and was willing to share it with whoever crossed his path. 5. Humor and support - When in the presence of this person, he always had a hearty smile, wicked sense of humor and always told me to crush whatever came my way. The Know-It-All In the second attempt, I had run into a know-it-all. This person was pompous. They thought they were a lady's man and made numerous attempts at putting others down. Our group quizzes were filled with multiple eye rolls, putdowns, and countless sighs of relief once the fifteen minutes were over. This later turned into a bit of a hostile situation (not really paying his insults and come on's affect me) but diffused quickly. In our lab on the first day of the Spring semester, this person had a very pompous attitude from the beginning. He let us know his family were alma maters and got their education at the community college and that he knew what he was doing. Although we'd never be at a table sipping tea together, here is what I learned from this situation 1. Putting others down is a reflection of your own insecurities. This person and one of the bullies from the second attempt had put down others in almost every lab and lecture, to the point where our teacher had to tell a class full of grown people to be nice to each other (we actually had a 10-minute lecture on it). A comment was said about "weeding the dumb ones out of the class." yes, this caused discouragement, but at the same time, It was a reflection of their own insecurities. 2. If there is bark, let there be a bite. This person had many things to say about others. He'd give people ultimatums about whom would drop the course and would say something and runoff. But once reported, he backed of super quick, the putdowns were over yet whenever I came his way it was looks of disbelief. 3. Let others give input. Usually, when we took group assignments, this person never let others have the chance to talk, which usually caused us to have a bit of an opinion. Even when the right answers were said by others, something was wrong with how to others said it, and he'd shut others down when it came to input. 4. STAY AWAY. It's usually best to stay away from people like this and save yourself from doubt and headaches.
  18. Denial Letter = I am not cut out for nursing???? As a pre-nursing student, a denial letter is something that you don’t want to see. If you have received one before, you were probably like me. It’s the end of the world. I’m not cut out for nursing or simply asking yourself what now. I just got my letter yesterday, but by the time this article is published, a few days or weeks may have passed by. With a night filled with tears and a morning full of promises, I learned so much and would like to share it with you. The reaction : On the day I got my letter I never knew I was going to receive it, I just had this impending sense that as soon as I woke up, I was going to burst into tears, but I didn’t know why I just went on about my day feeling very weird and trancelike. My letter arrived as my eyes scanned over; We regret to inform you that my insides decided to chip away. I phoned away to anyone I knew related to the nursing program from the college I applied to, then another devastating blow (I was ineligible, due to a low test score), my breath deepened, and a flood of tears rushed down. Everything I tried hard for was coming undone! For the rest of the day, I cried, the worst being at night, and all before final exams! I recently wrote an article, and there was a comment about “Aren’t you a nurse yet.” While crying, I thought about that and the people who called me dumb and doubted me. I wasn’t going to be able to prove them wrong. I thought of the staff I stood up to. I thought they achieved some weird sense of satisfaction from my demise. My dreams fizzled out for the night. Keep Moving... I woke up puffy-eyed (I barely could open my eyes)! I didn’t want to take my exams but knew I had to keep moving(wait for it!) As soon as I showered, it’s like my mood shifted. I had to keep moving no matter what happened to me, that if I wanted something so bad, I had to fight for it at all costs. So I went on and took my final (I passed) and then decided, I’m going to do this over again, and I’m going to do it right! I went to the testing coordinator and told him my problems. He was very kind enough to give me my own test date, just me, and point me in the right direction with resources. I rode home feeling a bit better about my future. My Mistakes 1. I didn’t put myself first – I didn’t practice self-care at all! By this, I mean I took on tasks from others even though I was very tired. If I would have said NO more, despite probably being labeled a *** or worse, I think I would have fared better in this pursuit 2. I took my entrance exam while having other classes to study for Each time I took my entrance exam, I had courses on board with them. In one semester, I took six classes and had little time to study, and the other time I had two. This time I will be going into the test with no classes at all 3. I compared myself to others – Others coming into the programs had good marks and higher GPA. Although I made A’s and B’s, I wasn’t good enough NOR smart enough no matter how much people told me that I was capable. 4. I had severe test anxiety – I could not sleep the day of the tests and freak out to the point where everything I focused on faded as soon as the test began! 5. I let other’s opinions of me get to me – I was bullied by students and gaslighted by staff at my CC. I stood up to them, and while it eased my problems, some staff members did not like me, I felt bad for standing up (then), but it did affect me. 6. I RUSHED – Because I wanted to get in so bad, I paired some courses that I should have taken singularly. What I am doing differently: 1. Solo Testing - Due to my severe testing anxiety I will be allowed to take my test alone and in an environment where I can relax 2. Retaking some courses - This is not a big issue for me, I will be taking time for the Summer and fall to retake classes, 1 class per semester 3. Believing in myself - I wrote this article in tears, not because of disappointment but because I finally started to believe in myself A Blessing in Disguise? Writing this article, I laughed, and then I cried. Was getting denied from my program a blessing in disguise? Maybe so because I didn’t confront my “beasts” (the tests and doubts) with confidence. I listened to the words of my family members, friends, and testing coordinator and decided I’d be focusing on myself more often. I cried yesterday because I was defeated, and now I cried tears of joys, this being because I finally found out how strong I was and the power of believing in yourself. References: Didn’t Get Into the Nursing Program Your First Try? So What! | Becoming Nurse Nae Nursing School Rejection Letter: What to Do About It
  19. TheNursingdoll

    Pros and Cons of Taking Evening Classes

    Evening classes are definitely an experience. Most campuses in the evening are the complete opposite of the morning and the evening students' hustle and bustle shuffling to and from class. Taking an evening class was always ideal for me as I never truly was a morning person (slowly but surely changing). I enjoyed taking an evening class last semester, and I can say it was quite a journey! Here is a list of the pros and cons of taking evening classes! Pros 1- Extra sleep One major perk that I had as a prereq student is that I've gotten extra sleep! While my classes started at 1pm and I would get up at around 10am or 11am (I went to bed some days at 5am), I lacked sleep. But when taking an evening class (during the first half of my course), I benefited from the extra rest. To add to this, getting 8hrs of sleep helps tremendously! 2- More time to study My evening classes started at 6pm, so after waking up and doing the basics (breakfast, shower, brushing teeth, etc.) I had more time to study, whether it was reviewing videos or quizlets. With the extra time for studying for evening classes, I can stay that I came to class more prepared than I normally did when my classes were in the afternoon. 3- More chill / laid back students When taking my evening classes, I encountered more chilled and laid back students. Most of my classmates were in their forties and up, and the rest were in their twenties. The vibe in the class was very chill and relaxed. The course actually helped and encouraged each other, which was a first for me! 4- More focused With more than 8 hours of sleep and studying the chapter before class started, I felt more focused. For people who are not morning people, going to an evening class will help them stay more concentrated! 5- More interaction with the professor In my experience, the teacher was much more engaged than usual. Because class either ended 5 minutes early or on time, the teacher was very eager to explain anything that caused confusion. Even sitting 30 minutes after class to talk about life and to explain material more! I took Microbiology in the evening, and my professor did work in this field, which really helped me understand the material. Cons 1- Excessive sleep/ Disrupted sleep cycle During the second half of the semester, I took advantage of the extra sleep to the point where it disrupted my sleeping cycle. I went from going to bed in the wee hours of the early morning to going to sleep at the crack of dawn. It took me several months to get to the point where I will sleep at a normal time. 2- Occasional boredom There were times during evening class, to where I want to either be in bed watching TV or going out to dinner. Sometimes going into evening class was very boring (depending on the chapters covered). 3- Long days I took a science class in the evening, I'd arrive an hour early to review, class started at 6pm, and sometimes we'd end at 9:45pm. It would be very grueling sometimes, especially when writing lab results and then looking at specimens under a microscope! To make a long day longer, I had other courses to study for as well. 4- Food woes If you're like me, you're usually hungry when you're about to leave class. In my community college, we are literally surrounded by fast food. While this seems awesome at first, it really isn't because you literally start craving it. 5- Social/Normal life is altered If you are a person who is very eager to participate in school, one thing I can say is that it's going to be changed. I was a part of clubs and had to depart and put more time into studying. Even the free time that I usually had during the weekends went into studying. How was your experience with evening classes? 🙂 References Comparing evening and day classes: 8 things you need to know Taking Nighttime Classes in College: 8 Pros and Cons
  20. TheNursingdoll

    How to Deal with Difficult Professors

    In almost every college experience, you will come across a difficult professor. This can make or break you as a student, especially when taking prereqs. When it came to my prereqs experiences, I had 2 difficult professors. I'll share my experiences with difficult professors I've had and tips I've learned along the way. Characteristics of a difficult "bad" professor #1 Attitude Usually, the first big red flag of a difficult professor is attitude. This can range from eye rolls when asking a question to and intentionally not responding to emails. From experience, I had an English teacher (who was very philosophical) who had talked down the class and actually called us out when our paper wasn't good in class, which was very embarrassing. No one in our class enjoyed this experience and half of us all despised the teacher. #2 Make things difficult on purpose (for their own amusement) In anatomy, I had a teacher who told us to study out of the manual during my first attempt at anatomy. On the day of the quiz, not a bone or a key term was on that quiz! I was so discouraged because I studied so freaking hard! In my local CC, there was talk of a former anatomy teacher who made things so difficult that most of the class failed. Sadly, you have some people whom get a kick out of students failing. #3 Favoritism Also, in the first attempt of anatomy, my professor played favorites. It was like he decided whom he liked or not. In other words, if you weren't a mean girl he found attractive, a teacher's pet, or a fan of his favorites, you were literally just disregarded. #4 No response One thing that makes a class more difficult is the fact and it is very nerve-wracking in some cases. The professor usually ignores emails. There have been times when I had to inform the teacher of personal events, and they ignored emails (one teacher literally said he read it, but he paid it no mind). If help is needed, especially on an assignment, there is usually no response. Characteristics of a difficult "good" professor #1 They challenge you to think outside the box A good teacher has a syllabus, but they usually use reality to teach. You are constantly asked to apply yourself during class. You basically "connect" what you learned to real-world situations. #2 They use real-life experience The most difficult teacher I had on a positive note had reminded me that they were my age once, in the same class, and had obstacles. When dealing with really difficult material, they would share what their professor did and taught them about it, making it a little bit easier. I appreciated the fact that they didn't have this arrogant attitude towards students. #3 Usually lightning-fast emails With my very difficult classes (even in COVID), my teachers answered back super quick when help was needed. In most cases, I got a response back within 30 minutes, and the longest I've ever waited with a good professor to respond was about 24 hours. #4 They are straightforward A teacher will tell you upfront about what is expected and what is unexpected. They keep very good watch over student's progress, and if you approach them, they will literally tell you what you need to improve on. They are very blunt, but they care. #5 They help when it is needed Usually, when taking classes, our professor encouraged us to ask questions at any moment. They didn't care if it held lecture or lab back a few minutes. They made sure everything was covered, and if more help was needed, you would be free to email them, arrange office hours, or even a Zoom meeting. If you have a difficult professor, here are the Do's and Don'ts DON'T call them out on being difficult because this is a recipe for disaster. A former professor told me a story about calling a professor out that brought his B grade down to a D. DO the best that you can in that class! Do realize that although that you may not like them, or maybe you do, you do take a lesson or two from them down the road (if I told myself that two years ago, I would've laughed my butt off). DON'T take any disrespectful nature from them. If a professor is being blunt but to the point where it humiliates you or others, don't talk with academic affairs. DO get to know them, but DON'T reform yourself so they'll like you (If you don't like something that they don't like, don't act as if you like it). If all else fails, DO drop the course. Tips about dealing with difficult professors #1 Have a good work ethic Show up ready to learn and put in hard work! Things may get difficult but keep trying til the very end. #2 Talk to classmates When it came to difficult professors, I remember asking students if they have the same experience. Usually, they said yes. Generally, talking to current and former students helps gain understanding about a difficult professor. Current students usually shared their tips, and the former professors told the current students who knew that they would take who was the better professor. #3 Extra resources When you are struggling with the material, finding additional materials helps out a lot. Many extra resources are provided through Youtube. #4 Talk to your advisor When thinking of dropping, your advisor can give you advice and certain dates (such as drop dates, so it won't affect your transcripts). #5 Check rate my professor or take a transient course I would check Ratemyprofessor to see whom was a good professor! This helped a lot, especially after my first attempt of anatomy! Along with this it can also to help to take the course at another school as well.
  21. Jennydeol

    Feel Like A Failure

    I'm 19 years old and I'm currently in my second year of taking classes at a community college. I have always wanted to be a nurse ever since I was in middle school and I can't see myself doing anything else. I just dropped my anatomy class yesterday because I failed a test and my grade dropped down to a C. This is because I just picked up a part time job and I couldn't handle taking full time classes with a job. I'm still enrolled in Chemistry and health but I can't help but feel like a failure. I plan on taking anatomy over the Summer and hopefully passing with an A. The state that I live in, every nursing school is impacted and they turn away straight A students. I can't help but feel like a failure. I still want to be a nurse and I don't want to give up now because I just need 3 more classes and then I can start applying. Just feeling a bit down and discouraged.
  22. Group meets are an exciting and potentially successful way for a class to socialize, connect on events revolving around a certain class, and share material that can help classmates succeed in class. For those looking to join a group meet or start a group meeting, you’re in the right place! Here are my experiences on failed group meets, the successful group meets, and the tips I can give out to ensure you’re not headed for failure. The Failed Group Meet Experiences In my first attempt at AP1, a group meeting was started by this girl who wasn’t the most academically inclined or nicest. She was somewhat of a generic mean girl. I heard about the group by ear and decided, hey, I might join. After one of the “followers” let me in and some nasty looks from the generic mean girl clique, I was in, for like two hours before leaving. It was a flop. There was confusion everywhere, only two people knew what was going on, and it was a popularity circle. Although I dropped, a few people got a chuckle that everyone in this group failed miserably. I dodged a bullet, well, sort of, for the time being. Another hilarious attempt was during my English class in the Fall! Our class had this girl who talked more than the teacher, and she constantly talked over him and, for some reason, had it out for others in the class. Have you not? On the week before our class ended, she decided to create a group chat because she didn’t understand what the teacher wanted, and he was hard to reach. It was hilarious because no one joined! Tips 1- Know what you’re doing The key part of starting a group meet is to know what you’re doing. That means if you’re going to start a group meet, it’s recommended you’re on top of your stuff (not saying academically, but know the syllabus, the due dates, quiz dates, test dates, etc.). I’m just going to be blunt, you don’t want the dumb leading the dumb. I'm not saying that anyone is, but in this scenario, it was dumb to get people together, and they didn’t know what was going on. 2- Leave the popularity food chain mentality in high school The other reason this group failed was that it was operated on a “I like them" and, “I don’t like them” type of system. When you’re in prereqs, It’s best to leave this mentality alone once you get into prereqs. This is speaking for the individual you and not them. When starting group meets or study groups in person or through an app, it welcomes the whole class. 3- If starting a group meet, PLEASE create the group during the first two weeks of class This makes it easier for the people joining the group to know what’s going on. Do not wait until the end to keep people informed. 4- Watch out for ulterior motives This could range from using people to trying to flirt with someone (yes I've heard about it trying to seduce someone actually happening)! If you feel there is a motive it's best to just leave. Successful Experience The best group that I can say I’ve ever been in during pre-reqs was in my Microbiology class during the Fall! The person who started the group was literally the most positive, most professional, and the smartest person I have come across, and the people in the group were a joy to be around. This person made the group meet accessible to everyone, people chipped in to help and encourage each other, and hey, some margaritas and food were thrown in after every test! When it came to this group meet, I enjoyed coming to class because overall, I can say it was a positive experience! 1- Have good leadership skills I don’t want to give away much about this person, but this person had very strong leadership skills! This person took charge and wasn’t the typical leader but chilled and laid back! 2- Teach each other and learn from each other No one person has the answers, but it’s always best to go to someone who does. In this group meeting, questions were brimming, and there was always someone to answer them! Alongside this the group often studied, which was beneficial as well! 3- Lend a helping hand When one is nervous or maybe in need of a scantron ... if you have the means to help someone, do so! Assisting in the group was very prevalent! References 7 Benefits of Study Groups Using Study Groups
  23. During my time in prereqs, you come across a series of characters. One character that has always stood out to me was the opportunist. They usually do not attempt to hide, as usually, they are plain as day. Prereqs are hard work, very hard work, and having someone try to leech off your hard worth ethic is a downright shame! They are in every pre-req that I’ve come across. This article will give you my experiences with the opportunist and how to spot and handle them! How to Spot the Opportunist 1 Opportunists usually try to be your friend right off the bat I have seen this with my own eyes, and I have experienced this myself. Most of the opportunists that I’ve come across were in my anatomy classes. In my first attempt at anatomy, this girl who pretty much leeched off of whom she thought was organized or had their stuff together instantly became friends with a girl who wasn't taking the course seriously, and it crashed and burned. A semester later, a classmate was pretty much open to being friends and wanting to exchange numbers. She was young. Still, as time went on, she didn't associate with people who didn't have A's. If you had A's/B's, she was on you like white on rice, but I made a C, and she dropped all contact and went to someone who had A's. The thing is, when you are either looking like you have everything together or making good grades, there are usually classmates who usually aren't nice or talkative who bombard you; so that I would watch out for this. 2 They don't contribute anything When dealing with these types of people, I've noticed that they don't ever contribute to studying. Opportunists show up, but they do nothing. In contrast, 2 or 3 other people are either trying to learn or teach others. If they contribute anything, it's usually meaningless compliments to keep you unaware of their motives. 3 They usually have no idea what in the world is going on Opportunists typically sit in the lab/lecture for an hour. Still, they have no idea what in the hell is going on, despite the teacher telling the whole class what to expect next week. There have been times when I was either asked while studying or leaving a class what pages we had to read or when this was due. 4 They morph personalities to achieve what they want or need These are very complex yet simple people. They may be cool and chill towards you if that is your personality and you are doing well or seem to be doing well. But if there is a person, let's say who's getting A's on top of A's and is mean as heck, they'd technically morph into their minion to achieve what they want! How I Dealt with Opportunists in Prereqs 1 Distance yourself from them With my first experience from a opportunist, when I found out what the person was about and how they started to morph personalities, I kept my distance. If you've read my blog on cliques and bullying, you'd understand why. 2 Delete all contact When it came to opportunists, I didn't have any contact with them whatsoever after discovering what they were about; I didn't talk to them, I didn't smile at them, and the opportunists whom I met during my prereqs were blocked. 3 Surround yourself with hardworking people When you're taking your prereqs, surround yourself with people who are willing to put in the work and not take advantage of your hard work. Surrounding yourself with positive and hardworking people, willing to put in the work, is usually the way to go. References 5 Traits of an Opportunist
  24. Recent nurse graduate here...but my question today is being presented on behalf of the students in the cohort behind me who have been backed into a corner and are now “afraid” to speak up and are afraid to take action. Last week, two professors posted a class recorded lecture onto the classroom portal, D2L, not realizing the recording included a “private conversation” between the two of them after the entire class had logged off. This recording was viewed by many of the students and included details pointing out and making mockery of students with “accents”, remarks toward how they (the two professors) prefer to have a say in the number of minorities allowed into the program, “hoping” that some of these students fail, included names of students (who actually watched the recording themselves and heard their names being said), and the list goes on. None of the students recorded the recording and only have information of what they recall/wrote down from this recording. Shortly after, the two instructors sent out a mass email stating that details of the conversation needs to remain private and respected. As professional nurses, is this something you feel these students need to remain quiet about? Or should they band together and go to the Dean (who is new) about it and call for yet another investigation? Note: One of the instructors has already been sued in the past by a student based on similar allegations. Wondering what your thoughts are?
  25. One of my favorite job responsibilities as a nursing instructor is nursing clinicals. It is an inspiring moment when a student is able to make the connection between classroom and hands-on nursing practice. As much as I enjoy clinicals, there are situations when student actions or behaviors can bring additional challenges to clinicals. I’ll share a few of these and, hopefully, provide you with a little helpful insight. STEP 1 Appreciate Your Instructor’s Responsibilities Your clinical instructor is legally obligated to safeguard student and patient safety. In addition, they can be held accountable for the negligent or wrongful actions of a nursing student. You can help your instructor make appropriate patient assignments by communicating your strengths, weaknesses and skill level. I have always appreciated students who perform ongoing formal and informal self-assessments on knowledge and skill. STEP 2 First Impression Really Is Important You have several "first impressions" to make on any clinical day- your instructor, patients, caregivers, clinical site staff and others. The dress code is what it is. There are certain uniform requirements as a nursing student you probably find overly strict, out-of-date or too restrictive for your own personal style. When I started nursing school 25 years ago, we were required to wear nursing aprons. It was an archaic uniform requirement, but it was also just that… a requirement. Updating your program’s dress code policy is may be a worthwhile project, but always follow current policy. Students are anxious as it is and a uniform reprimand at the day’s start only makes it worse. Be on time and eat before you come. First, I would like to acknowledge there are legitimate reasons you may be late to clinical (I.e. sick child, traffic, car problem). In these situations, be sure to follow your program’s instructions for notifying your instructor. Otherwise, leave early and allow time for the unexpected. Be sure you eat before you arrive. Asking if you can “go eat breakfast” 1 hour into clinical will probably not be well received. STEP 3 Value Your Program’s Relationship with the Clinical Site Identifying willing clinical sites for students is challenging and requires active relationship building. You can help your clinical instructor foster this relationship by: Caring for all patients with dignity and respect. Following the clinical facility’s policy and procedures (I.e. parking, non-smoking campus, patient confidentiality) Reporting any issues with staff to your clinical instructor immediately. Being realistic with facility staff expectations. Remember, the nurses are busy and stress levels may be elevated at times. Always receiving report and giving report to your assigned patient’s primary nurse. Avoiding “hanging out” at the nurse’s desk. Talk with your instructor if you are not sure what you should be doing. STEP 4 Avoid These Cringe-Worthy Faux Pas I value students who participate and focus on the present clinical. The following student behaviors take focus away from clinical, place your instructor in an awkward spot and should be avoided. Asking if group can be dismissed early because “no one will tell”. Asking questions about past or upcoming exams. Talking negatively or gossiping about other students. Talking negatively or gossiping about other faculty. Asking if post conference could be “skipped” for the day. Talking negatively about the overall nursing program. Talking negatively about the clinical site and/or staff. Arguing or disrespectful behavior toward facility staff. Studying or working on outside assignments during clinical. Asking if the student has to perform patient personal care. Complaining about “working all night” or not sleeping prior to clinical. Providing inappropriate information about personal life. Actions that risk student and/or patient safety. Finally, always avoid behavior or attitudes that diminishes, devalues or is uncaring towards any patient. STEP 5 Set Realistic Goals Pat Yourself on the Back I understand students are anxious and apprehensive. It raises a red flag when a student is overly confident and without any hesitation. Your clinical instructor appreciates a student who asks questions and seeks clarification. At the end of each clinical day, pat yourself on the back and reflect on what fear you overcame, what you learned and how you made a difference in your patient’s care. Do you have tips or stories to share? Would love to read your perspective. Additional Information: Seven Tips For Getting The Most Out of Nursing Clinicals