03.01 What to Expect In Clinical

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Hey guys, in this video we're going to talk about what to expect during a clinical rotation. So let's get started. So every nursing student must undergo some type of clinical. It is inevitable. Every nurse that's that's out there has been a student at one point in their life. So knowing what to expect can make you feel more prepared. So when clinicals arrive, you know what to do. So again, clinicals are inevitable. Every single one of us has done it. You can't escape it, no matter how much you would like to try. It is important to have the right clinical supplies because this will make you feel a lot more prepared when you get there, knowing what to expect. So knowing what you know what you're supposed to do, what is expected of you will help you increase your confidence during your clinical rotation. And it'll decrease in society so that you know exactly what you need to do when you show up. 

So let's talk about what you need and a little further. So the essential clinical supplies that you need when you go to clinical are a stethoscope and a pen light. These are just nursing one-on-one. Every nurse needs this. Every student needs this. Hey, I'll see you get to assess your patient without these essential supplies. Got to have a drug book. I know most people have an app now on their phone, where you can look up your medications but sometimes your phones are not allowed at clinical. So have your drug book available, a calculator. So when you give medications, you can calculate your, your dosages, scissors. Every student, every nurse should have a pair of scissors always. You never know. Trust me, you never know when you're going to need it. A pen is important and a notepad. This is helpful when you assess your patients so that you can write down little details,about your assessment. 

Always remember to do a head to toe assessment because that way as you're going down in the body systems that you can start writing everything down from are they alert and oriented when you check that. And so again, that's why you need a penlight care plan. Most facilities, most schools have you do a care plan over the patient. That's been assigned to you. And usually you can take your care plan with you to clinicals to start filling out some stuff usually in assessment and their diagnosis. So have that with you. A clipboard. There's actually some clipboards nowadays. They're pretty nice. I've seen some students at the hospital with them and it gives them lab values, ranges for some important labs or ABGs. And it's actually pretty cool because if, when, when in doubt they just look at it and it comes in very handy. 

And then, of course, you always need a watch when you assess that pool, especially that April pools, you gotta have a watch, don't rely on the ones on the wall or anything, have a watch. It really makes you,it also makes it easier for time management and a bag. What else are you gonna stick your stuff in? It will not fit in your pockets. So these are just some supplies that are very essential when you go to clinicals so that it makes you feel more prepared when you get there so that you're ready to go. You're ready to grab your patient, assess them. And take care of them. So let's talk about clinical expectations. Well, actually these will vary depending on the location that you go to. If you do clinicals in a simulation setting, usually you have about a 15 to 20 minutes scenario. 

So your expectations might be a little differently there compared to an inpatient acute care hospital. If you do a clinical rotation at a clinic, we'll of course that's going to be different as well because patients come in, see the ho the doctor and go home. If you get to go to a rehab facility, especially if it's an inpatient, it could be similar to an acute care setting. If you go to the nursing home, well your expectations, they're a little different leap just because nursing homes, that's a whole other ball game. And if you go to a psychiatric hospital, again, expectations will be different there. Compared to an acute care facility, usually you end up just talking to the patient. You worry about therapeutic communication. You don't tend to do much skills with these inpatient high psychiatric hospitals. So again, expectations depend on where your clinical rotation is at. 

But for the most part, here are some of the most common things that you can expect during a clinical rotation. You will actually take care of a patient, believe it or not. Yes, you're going to clinical. So guess what you're going to do. Take care of a patient. Usually the nurses will assign you a patient or two and you do take care of the patient. You need to assess them. You need to, learn therapeutic communications with the patient and with their family. So this is where you start learning how to build that trust, how to communicate. Another thing that you unfortunately will do a lot as a student, you're going to do the dirty work. So if your patient has to go to the bathroom, you got to have a bowel movement or has to have their linens changed because they had a bowel movement in the bed and they're bedridden. 

More than likely it's going to be you doing everything. So get ready to do the dirty work. And quick story. When I first started nursing and I was my first day of clinical they, we were in a nursing home because most people start out in a nursing home and their very first, do clinicals. So we went to, clinical. So we went to a nursing home and the nurse said, can you guys please help me with this patient? She needs to go to the bathroom. And so I had never done nursing before. This is was all new to me. So we take her to the bathroom, we sit her on one of those, uh, shower commodes and she, we start bathing her and as we're bathing her with the shower, she starts having a bowel movement. And it was huge. It felt like it was just a big pile of poop and I was so traumatized. 

I just stood there for a minute and I was like, wow, this is what nurses do. I don't want to do this, but you know what? It really is okay. We take care of these people who do that because these people need us. And it's not all we do that just, that's just happens. It's part of it anyways. So you will take care of a patient, you will do the dirty work. That's just, you can't do anything about that. You are going to be expected to administer medications. So whether it's a PO medication, Ivy, Ivy piggybacks, whatever it is, you are expected to note to be able to know what you're giving, why you're giving it, any side effects of whatever medication you administer and make sure that you have your calculations downright. Because as nurses, when I have students with me, I expect them to know this. 

Your instructors expect you to know this as well. You will also be expected to perform any learn skills. That's usually like any IVs, any urinary catheters, vital signs, NG tubes, any injections. So if you've already been taught on how to do an IM sub Q, intradermal, anything that you've already been taught in school, in lab, you are expected to do that during your clinical rotation. Now, the good thing is most of the time, either your instructor will be right by your side or nurses. We tend to not leave students, you know, especially when they're performing certain skills. Cause when we want to make sure they do them correctly so somebody will be there with you. And other things to expect is you're going to write a care plan. You have to know the disease process of what's wrong with your patient. This is where you will apply what you've learned in the classroom setting to a clinical setting. 

So most facilities again expect their students to write a care plan over whatever patient they're taking care of. And you will also learn healthcare collaboration. You're going to learn when you go to clinical and it is expected of you also to know if we have a respiratory therapist, if we have physical therapy, occupational therapy, radiology, you are expected to collaborate with them. Remember, yes, nursing, it's not just about nursing. There's so many other healthcare professions that help take care of the patient to have good outcomes. And lastly, one thing that you need to expect to see that unfortunately it does happen is the good and the bad of nursing. Expecting clinicals to see some nurses that just make you wonder, Oh my gosh, what happened here and why are you here? And this happens. And unfortunately there's nothing we can do about that. I mean you can report it, but this happens. 

But usually you get to see a lot of the good aspects of nursing and really good nurses and nurses that know how to communicate well with their patients and know how to provide that holistic care and you get to learn really cool things from these amazing nurses on how to properly take care of patients. So be prepared for that as well. So just a little recap on your clinical expectations. Having the essential supplies will make you feel more prepared. So when you go to clinical, you know what's expected and you have everything there with you. Again, your expectations will vary depending on where you're at. If you're doing clinics or nursing home, hospital simulation, your expectations, Kim, just vary a little bit. However, knowing what is expected of you will increase your confidence because you know what you are supposed to do. You don't just show up to clinical blindly. You know what is expected of you. So I hope this little lesson clears up some questions that you may have about your clinical expectations. And if any of y'all are going out there for the first time, don't be scared. Don't be scared. Be proactive. Be assertive. Go find patients. Go do everything you can and make sure that you guys go out and be your best selves today. And as always, happy nursing.

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