Tension and Clinical


  • Specializes in Utilization Review. Has 13 years experience.

I have a tendency to get tension headaches on clinical day and I feel terrible and stressed, any suggestions on how to alleviate or avoid them altogether? You as nursing students know a lot of times it's easier said than done... I've tried to consciously relax myself but that's out, so short of muscle relaxant or something medical I'm out of ideas.

9livesRN, BSN, RN

1,570 Posts

Specializes in SNU/SNF/MedSurg, SPCU Ortho/Neuro/Spine. Has 2 years experience.

what I do is, I go to the chapel before I even walk into the floorn and pray for a good day.

I get there prior to preconference and re assess my patient, recheck chart.

then i take 2 excedr. and have a snack bar!

that will keep me strong and confident, thank you Lord I have never been called stupid or made fun of on preconference! (only when this instructor started to make up diseases,) saying that my pt had it!!! urgggHH!!!


395 Posts

Specializes in Peds Urology,primary care, hem/onc.

I used to do this too when I was in nursing school. I realized (thanks to my dentist) that part of what was causing me headaches was I was clenching my teeth when I was stressed. So check to see if you are doing that without realizing it. I also was getting dehydrated and not drinking enough either. So, the night before your clinical, get plenty or rest, eat a good, healthy dinner (may want to exercise too, you will sleep better). The morning of, eat a good healthy breakfast, avoid caffeine and drink plenty of water throughout the day, that should help your headaches. Also, keep some Ibuprofen/tylenol/excedrin (whatever works for you) on you to take if you need it. May help! Good Luck!


353 Posts

Specializes in Psych..

Eat something, even if you're not hungry. I always ate a small peanut butter sandwich on my way to clinical.

Caffeine prevents and takes care of headaches for me. One cup of coffee is enough.

If all else fails, 800mg of ibuprofen takes care of almost any tension headache I get.


84 Posts

I'm prone to tension headaches, too, and I have to agree with the above posters... food, water, caffeine, and 800mg of ibuprofen works for me. Not all at once (or, well, maybe sometimes).

I swear by my 800mg ibu. I couldn't live without them.

NurseThis21, BSN, RN

2 Articles; 121 Posts

Specializes in Adolescent & Adult Psychiatry.

If you need other pharmacological ways of preventing headaches, try taking a calcium supplement before bed or first thing in the morning on the day of your clinicals. It's a natural muscle and nerve relaxant; it also gives you brownie points for practically preventing osteoporosis when you get older! :yeah:

Good Luck and don't stress so much over clinicals. It's all just a learning experience and will be your only time to get away with performing as a "special" nurse (i.e. not quite bright, but that's alright!) :chuckle

NurseThis21, BSN, RN :nurse:

UIC Alumna

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