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What exactly is EXPECTED?

Specializes in Trauma, Pain Managaement. Has 5 years experience.

I'm confused, and I'm far from the only one in my class that is in the same situation!

I am a first semester nursing student, and we just had our first clinical experience on Friday. We were literally told "Your patient is in room... Go meet them." And that was it! While other students got patients that had a lot that needed to be done, and ran around like mad men and women the whole day, a few of us had patients with little or no actual needs. I am NOT complaining. The problem is, I KNOW there is something I'm supposed to do. But What is it? Our instructor asked near the end of the day "Have you assessed each of her pulse sites? If not, you're going to get failed." WHAT? Why didn't you tell me this? YOu've been helping all the students that were overwhelmed and didn't really give us instructions to begin with, so how was I supposed to know that my assessments needed to be that detailed? On top of that, I did try and complete an assessment, but we were told in class that if the patient is tired, come back later. my patient had not slept the night before, so she was falling asleep. She even fell asleep as I was inflating the BP cuff. My instructors assumption was that she was trying to manipulate me, and to get back in there and finish the assessment.

SO, I'm confused. Of course, I know the basics of how to assess and etcetera, but we didn't go into the day knowing what was expected.

So, let me know, what all is/was expected of you during a first semester clinical?


Specializes in Home Care.

During clinicals I had plenty of patients who really didn't need much care. So I did my assessments then asked the CNA or PCT and the nurse what I could do to help them. I also helped my classmates.

I learned a lot by helping the aids and nurses, doing this also made my time go by faster.


Specializes in Trauma, Pain Managaement. Has 5 years experience.

Thank you. I did do that some, but I've been reflecting a bit, and I could be utilizing that more. I feel that the next clinical will be a bit less stressful for me. However, I'm just a bit irritated that our expectations were not laid out for us. We had no goals or direction. I want to be the best nurse I can be!

At my first clinical, the entire group felt lost. I promise that the second time will go MUCH better than the first, and the third time will be a little bit better than the second. It's normal for patients to be sleepy due to the meds. Practice will help with the head to toe, use your S.O., dog, cat, stuffed animal, to have some practice. Perhaps the clinical group could ask the CI for a head to toe demo assessment. Good luck.

What I do is get report from the nurse (or listen in to their reports to each other), go in to meet my patient with the Dynamap with me, take their vitals, do a quick assessment, chart all the info, then grab a change of linens, wash basin, gown, soap, toothbrush, deodorant, etc, and help the patient wash up (teeth and face). If they are on glucose monitoring, do that first before the breakfast tray gets there. Also check to see if they need any meds before breakfast (insulin, thyroid, etc). After breakfast, you can give them a full bedbath if they want one, then change their linens. After all this, when they know you, you can do the big assessment question and answer session.

When you start to pass oral meds, you will give those between breakfast and the bath, and you will look them up, get them all together, and bring them and the MAR to your instructor to check. Hope this helps.


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