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Your clinical experience

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by angel75 angel75 (New Member) New Member

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I will be starting my last semester of nursing this fall. I can't believe how fast nursing school has went! I was just wandering if you feel clinicals prepared you for the real world of nursing. To tell you the truth, I feel more comfortable in my books than I do during clinicals. Don't get me wrong, I have had some great clinical instructors, but I have had a few that just sit in the break room and read magazines! I think part of the problem is that I haven't had a lot of experience. I have only started and d/c one foley, given alot of meds and injections, but I have not had the opportunity to start an IV or NG. I have always let my instructors know that I need more experience, but the opportunities never seem to come up. Sometimes I feel like I am not ready to graduate. Sometimes I feel really dumb on the floor because I am always asking a million questions. Am I worrying for nothing?

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WDWpixieRN is a RN and specializes in Med/Surg <1; Epic Certified <1.

11,109 Visitors; 2,237 Posts

Jeepers...that sounds scary!! I think you should keep on asking for the experiences when you get a chance, but I honestly don't what else you can do while in school.

I took a summer internship which I started a little over a week ago and have already started 10 IVs!! I'm not terrific, but also not terrified at the notion anymore!! I haven't ever started a foley, but have watched 2 go in so far (pretty quickly which is why *I* didn't start them, lol); attempted one NG (which 2 experienced nurses also couldn't get in), so it's been a great learning experience for skills so far.

Hopefully if you don't get more skills experience, you will get a great preceptor somewhere. I'm sure others with more experience will have other suggestions and encouragement for you!!

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WDWpixieRN is a RN and specializes in Med/Surg <1; Epic Certified <1.

11,109 Visitors; 2,237 Posts

Here's a thread with a similar question.....you're obviously not the Lone Ranger here, lol.....

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528 Visitors; 4 Posts

I finished nursing school 9 years ago and I hate to say it but my clinical experience was the WORST!!!!! I went to a good school that had an awful nursing program (but the nursing students were not informed of this until the month before graduation when the dean told us that their program had a 60% failure rate on the NCLEX and that it was OUR responsibility to make sure we passed because they were at risk of losing their accreditation!!! Anyway.....needless to say, by the time I graduated I felt like I knew NOTHING...B/C I KNEW NOTHING (and YES, I failed my boards)! I was extremely fortunate that my first job had an awesome orientation program for new nurses and they even paid to send me to a KAPLAN review course. I was paired up with some of the most wonderful nurses (well, with the exception of a couple of hags...) who treated me like an RN even though I hadn't passed the boards yet and I got the BEST training I could've ever asked for. I had requested to be trained on a very busy adult-general surgery ward (which was a freakin' zoo!!!! 24/7) where I had hundreds of learning opportunities and experiences. In the end I passed my boards with flying colors and I really turned out to be a pretty darn good nurse after all and was even charge within the year!

So, long story short...request a preceptor who is willing to work with you and if you feel that your needs aren't being met...SAY SOMETHING! And just remember 'NO ONE IS BORN AN RN' and 'NURSING IS A CONSTANT LEARNING GAME'. Take care.

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528 Visitors; 4 Posts

BTW....that first job I had believe it or not was the Navy Nurse Corps. No kidding.

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1,403 Visitors; 75 Posts

Thanks so much for all of the replies. You all made me feel better, especially after reading the other threads. I should be starting a nurse tech position in the next few weeks. Hopefully I will see and experience more. Thanks again!

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Daytonite has 40 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in med/surg, telemetry, IV therapy, mgmt.

2 Followers; 4 Articles; 100,733 Visitors; 14,602 Posts

angel75. . .How is it that you know that your clinical instructors have been sitting in the break rooms reading magazines? I get really aggravated with people who misunderstand and then misreport the things they see. Everyone is entitled to take a break every once in a while without having their subordinates unjustly reporting that all they do is sit around on their butts reading. That is so incredibly unfair!

In nursing school clinicals it is quite typical that opportunities to do nursing procedures don't come up all the time. A lot depends on the kinds of units you are on and the flow of patient types when you are there. When we hired new grads we never expected them to have much experience doing any clinical procedures. We did expect you to know nursing fundamentals and to have been exposed to how the procedures were done even if you never had the chance to do them. I was always concerned with their attitudes toward their fellow students and instructors as well as a tendency to engage in gossip because nothing causes more disharmony among workers than gossip. Nothing is going to completely prepare you for the real world of nursing. Even in a job as a nurse tech your experiences will be limited. Most of your learning is going to be on the job after you graduate.

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1,403 Visitors; 75 Posts

Daytonite

Sorry if you misunderstood what I was trying to say. Yes I have had 3 clinical instructors who have stayed in the breakroom while we were out on the floor. All were wonderful instructors and very eager to help when you asked for it, but we relied on the floor nurses the most. I completely agree with you about gossip in the workplace, I hate it. I have never once complained about an instructor to any nursing student. I just have a concern about the experience that I am receiving from my school. I posted this thread to see if I was not the only one out there who shared this concern. I am glad to hear that you do not expect new nurses to perform every skill right out of school. That is reassuring to know. Thank you for your concern and I appreciate your reply on this matter.

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Daytonite has 40 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in med/surg, telemetry, IV therapy, mgmt.

2 Followers; 4 Articles; 100,733 Visitors; 14,602 Posts

I was a manager in a huge city hospital and worked with a nurse recruiter who hired the new grads. I learned a great deal from her. She never expected the new grads to come in with much experience doing procedures. She was lucky to find a new grad who had done one trach dressing and cleaning and suctioned a patient once. Most had put at least one foley catheter in. Many never get to start their first IVs until they are employed as RNs. So, don't worry about this. As long as you studied the procedure and demo'd it in your nursing lab, you're good to go. The fact is that depending on where you end up working you may never get to ever do some procedures because of the kind of patients you'll be working with.

What employers are looking for is someone who is going to make a good, loyal employee as well as a good nurse. Keep that in mind. They will ask your nursing school about your attendance record and attitude. They're going to try to expose any behavior problems before they hire someone. Did you stand or sit in the back of the class or were you the first to volunteer to do things? Did you show an inquisitiveness? Did you want to find the answer to questions? Did you accept or fight authority? I have a list of about 12 or 14 behavior traits that employers look for in professionals. Our nurse recruiter also knew most of the instructors at the nursing schools around the area. She picked up the phone a few months before graduation and called them to ask which students they thought were the cream of the crop. Then, she waited for these students to apply for jobs to see how they interviewed. Our hospital invested a lot of money in training and orienting new grads and she made sure she got worthy candidates.

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