Clinical Exposure Tips for Nursing Students
You’ve been dreaming of this moment to come, and now it’s finally here. You’re finally getting the chance to be exposed in the clinical area as a nursing student. Yup, one step closer to your dream of becoming a nurse. However, despite all the excitement, you also couldn’t help but feel a bit anxious. It’s going to be your first time to go on clinical duty. And yeah, you might have had lectures about nursing concepts, but then you also know that reality is sometimes different from those scenarios you read in nursing books. What should you expect? What if you commit a mistake? What are you going to do?
Below are some clinical exposure tips that could be of help to nursing students who are about to dive into the world of nursing for the first time.
Never underestimate the power of making lists
Yes, you might think it’s a bit absurd and/or time consuming at first, but in the end you would be glad you took time to pay attention to details. As nurses, we tend to have a lot of things that need to be accomplished. So many that sometimes you tend to overlook the others. Making lists will spare you from forgetting a lot of things, especially those that really need to be done. It’s also important that you make lists based on priority and urgency. Place the most important tasks and those that need to be done immediately at the top of the list. This will also come in handy in school, but in the clinical area, it will save you a lot of trouble. Take for example, saving you from forgetting things that you need to bring to the area to making sure that the nursing tasks assigned to you are done on time.
Familiarize the place
Time is of utmost importance in the clinical area. It is very important that one does not waste time when dealing with life and death situations that is why you need to be familiar with the area you’re assigned in. Know where the supplies and equipment are located. Know everything there is to know about the area. Of course you wouldn’t want to scramble around trying to find where the e-cart is in emergency cases, right?
Review your nursing concepts
Yes, you know that not everything in books is applicable when it comes to the clinical setting. But it wouldn’t hurt to know about different intravenous solutions, needle sizes, infection control protocols, medical abbreviations, and laboratory values. That way, you will have an idea on what to do and what to anticipate. Never go to the clinical area unarmed (with knowledge in this case).
Know standard abbreviations and write fast
Everything in the clinical area is fast paced, even endorsements during the end of the shift. Learn to write fast, learn proper use of abbreviations. That won’t only save you time, but also will make sure that you get all the important endorsements written. And oh, always keep a little notebook with you.
Be open to learn
You will be surprised on how much there is to learn when exposed in the clinical area. Suddenly, those concepts you’ve been taught can now be seen applied in real life scenarios (though not all theories are applicable at all times). For some, absorbing nursing topics becomes easier when they experience/see it firsthand.