I am a day late here but that’s ok. I was contemplating this post yesterday and then realized I had a bunch of things that needed to get done before my own clinical tomorrow. So, yeah. A little late. But here, none the less!
Also, yes, the title looks odd. I don’t know how else to write that though that doesn’t sound pretentious! So without further ado, my thoughts on clinical do’s and do not’s (see, that sounds kind of uppity…)
- Don’t say no to an experience. When someone asks if you want to put in an IV, a foley, watch this patient get their MRI, help clean the patient up… your answer should be yes. Even if you’ve done it before. Even if it sounds gross. Even if you don’t really want to. Get your butt in there and get experiences. That’s what clinical is for, after all. Also, it lets your instructor know that you’re willing to jump in and try things.
- Nothing is beneath you. Yes, you are there to learn to be a nurse but the patient still needs things. It doesn’t matter if those tasks are typically delegated to a CNA, you can and, more importantly, should do them. Keep in mind that nobody likes the nurse who never does anything dirty and tries to hand those things off to the CNA all the time. Also, karma. Just saying. Most importantly, you are there to take care of your patient. Those tasks, though they may be gross, are part of that job. If you don’t like it, get a different degree.
- Don’t be afraid to say you don’t know something. It is much better for you to tell your instructor that you don’t know what to do than to do something wrong and possibly cause harm. And you’re they’re to learn. Nobody expects you to know everything. Heck, even nurses that I see that have been working for years still learn things sometimes (less often than students but you get what I’m saying here).
- Check your meds. Seriously. Check them before you pull them. Check them as you pull them. Check them again before you go in the room. Check them as you scan them. It’s not just about you. Things get put into the wrong slot in the med cart. You accidentally grab the wrong thing. Mistakes happen. They’re a problem when you don’t check what you’re doing. You can’t check to much, I promise you.
- Ask questions. Again, learning. You don’t learn if you never ask questions.
Five simple steps to a happy clinical day. Well, if I’m honest, you can’t make a clinical day happy or sad but your experience will be more valuable if you put your heart into it.
Until next time lovely people.