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Terrible day at clinicals

NP Students   (2,366 Views 11 Comments)
by kkfrn427 kkfrn427 (New Member) New Member

663 Visitors; 5 Posts

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Need a little advice/reassurance regarding a horrible day I had at one of my FNP clinicals.

First of all, I've been a RN for 7 years (mostly with adults in intensive care) and am in my last clinical for graduate school which is pediatrics. I'm working with a NP who does a ton of different things including inpatient, outpatient, and independent infectious disease work. On my 2nd clinical day, she tells me to show up at 8 am but that she won't be there and will have me work with the fellow on the inpatient team. I show up and follow the fellow around seeing a few patients. The fellow is nice but grills me like they do the medical students at rounds. She asks me random questions about all things regarding specific pediatric infectious disease issues of which I didn't know many of the answers (I have had minimal peds experience thus far). On seeing the last patient, while she is examining an infant and the two parents surrounding her, she asks that I exam the infant too. I barely can squeeze by three people crammed in a corner and am frazzled, trying to do an exam on an infant thats screaming and of which, as I stated before, I have had little experience with peds. I get embarrassed and get out of the way after. Then the fellow wants me to come back to exam the ears on the still screaming infant and I say "no that's okay". Of course, I should have just sucked it up and did it, but I panicked and felt semi humiliated. I was so flustered being with a strange preceptor who had made me feel uncomfortable and gave me no inclination that she wanted me to do any exams on the patients she was seeing.

Then the afternoon was worse. I was able to meet up with my actually preceptor who says we will be going to a school to host a flu clinic. She tells me to get there, I will have to walk by myself while she drives herself, an intern, another student of some kind, and equipment. When I ask why can't I drive my car, she states she does not want me to possibly take the only parking spot which should be hers. First of all, this hospital is in the middle of the worse neighborhoods of Chicago (Washington Park). Second of all, the walk is 1.5 miles..each way. Thirdly, I will have to be walking back when we are done which is evening time. Fourthly, I'm dressed in professional clothes and caring my bag containing heavy books/equipment...sweating doesn't look good when trying to dress/look nice.

Then to make it worse..on my small journey to this school that I've never been to, my bag with my books/stuff broke and I dropped my cell phone shattering the screen. I wanted to ball my eyes out and quit. But I sucked it up and made it through..and alive. I just feel like this terrible day shouldn't have happened like this...my preceptor should be the one training me and teaching me the ropes. I have no idea how things are run and what the routine is because no one has showed me. I understand, I'm in my last semester and show know a lot, which I did well in my last three clinicals (all adult patients though) but I'm just struggling getting use to children again. Then to take everyone but me to the school hurt made me feel horrible.

Am I just being a being a baby? What would you do in this situation? I just feel so stressed and upset over this, I'm trying to suck it up but it's hard.

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BostonFNP works as a Primary Care NP.

19 Likes; 1 Follower; 3 Articles; 54,191 Visitors; 5,223 Posts

A few things to think about.

1. You got drilled like a medicine fellow and survived. This should mean you are nearing the point of being able to practice.

2. You realize you should have done the exam and backed out. Soon that isn't an option. No matter what the circumstance you need to be able to get in there and get the exam done. You realize this from your post.

3. In practice there will be bad days. You survived your first. No matter what your RN experience you will have days as a novice NP that will push you to the break. You survived.

4. Yea you might be "being a baby" but that's ok right now. You are a baby NP. This is your time to push your boundaries and ask questions and make mistakes and learn.

Sent from my iPhone.

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1 Like; 8,798 Visitors; 452 Posts

No one can tell you not to drive to the hospital. I would have driven.

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studentnursemon86 has 8+ years experience and works as a Emergency Room Tech.

3,900 Visitors; 245 Posts

I think it was wrong of her to tell you to walk. Especially that far in an unsafe area with books in tow.

I would've just driven on my own and if she asked, explain the safety concern.

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ChristineN works as a RN.

1 Like; 28,203 Visitors; 3,464 Posts

I think it was wrong of her to tell you to walk. Especially that far in an unsafe area with books in tow.

I would've just driven on my own and if she asked, explain the safety concern.

I would have definitely driven myself.

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traumaRUs has 25 years experience as a MSN, APRN and works as a Asst Community Manager @ allnurses.

518 Likes; 14 Followers; 127 Articles; 185,064 Visitors; 20,523 Posts

Ugh, I live downstate and even I, country bumpkin know of Washington Park...sorry you had to thru this.

boston FNP gave excellent advice and to sum it up, you survived and did fine. Congrats on your upcoming graduation.

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sadiemae1123 has 16 years experience.

3,169 Visitors; 214 Posts

When I was in school we always did a preceptor and site evaluation at the end of clinicals. If I were you I would make sure my evaluation reflects how you were treated that day. Your school needs to be aware of this so other students don't get placed with her.

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lhflanurseNP has 40 years experience as a APRN and works as a adult/geriatric functional medicine nurse practiti.

17,432 Visitors; 737 Posts

When I was in school we always did a preceptor and site evaluation at the end of clinicals. If I were you I would make sure my evaluation reflects how you were treated that day. Your school needs to be aware of this so other students don't get placed with her.

Having the student do a preceptor and site evaluation is really important as you say. It is often times the only way the school gets "real time" feedback. A preceptor and/or site can look great on paper and upon the initial interview with the school, but may not really provide the appropriate needs for students. Well said!

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travelcrazyRN has 12 years experience.

3,227 Visitors; 86 Posts

You are not being a baby. We have all had the frozen/awkward/uncomfortable/ready to say I quit moments during clinical. I think you are doing well in that you realized your mistakes and will know to handle the situation next time. Don't be afraid of not knowing the answers- I think you would learn a lot from a fellow that grills you like a med student. You shouldn't be expected to know it all, just be willing to learn as much as you can.

You know next time that you have to just get in there and assess the patient. I had a difficult time last week in clinical. I saw a patient who was a middle aged man with a know-it-all, cranky attitude, who also happened to be a NP with a lot of experience. Made me nervous to exam him and I did a worse job than I normally do. My years of tough ED experience went out the window.

About the parking- If it was me- I would have laughed like she was joking when the preceptor said don't take her spot (even if she was not kidding) and said something like "Thanks for suggesting that I walk, however I am going to drive my car in this neighborhood with this bag full of books."

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Riburn3 has 10 years experience and works as a FNP-C, AGACNP-BC.

3 Likes; 3 Articles; 13,709 Visitors; 533 Posts

I read most of your post and thought "we've all been there" in terms of feeling frustrated or stupid in clinical. Your one mistake not examining the ears wasn't a big deal, and you even called yourself on it. I respect people that can critically assess themselves. The only strange thing to me was having to walk to your clinical. I would just drive no matter what based on the circumstances you mentioned.

Overall, it sounds like a rough experience. While it might not be ideal, you're almost done. Hang in there!

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