Welcome to the section of the playlist where
I just spout off random advice
about clinical. In no particular order.
But these are the things that I wish every
student knew before heading into clinical.
Like I said, just a compilation.
Ready, set, go.
At some point during the day, preferably on
one of the first days of your clinical
experience on that particular unit, I want
you to ask your nurse if they can
walk you through how they go through the
chart to gain information on the patient.
If they literally just talk out loud while
they are actually looking up their patient in
the computer, that is perfect.
Electronic records are...
They're really immense and confusing, and
there's a million buttons.
But there is usually a method to the madness
of sorting through the details that every
unit has and every nurse will have.
And this is going to be different.
Everyone does it their own way, but ask them
to help you or talk you through the process
that they go through when they are reviewing
This will make it so much quicker for you
when you go to actually look up the patients
that you have that day or the next day
because you kind of know what you're looking
for based on that flow.
Tip number two.
Group your questions.
Or at least ask your nurse if that would.
.. That is something that would make life
easier for them.
I often found that it was easiest to give my
students a really
good, thorough response if we were sitting
down together later having a chat
versus in the moment.
Because usually in the moment I have a
running list of things that I need to go in
my head and it's like 12 things long and I'm
already thinking three steps ahead.
So I was rushing through explanations just so
that I can kind of get to my next task.
So when you have questions, just jot them
down on a piece of paper and save it for
later so that if it's, I mean, if it's
something super small, you can just kind of
like... If you're like, "Hey, how do I tell
this IV went bad?" Then, for sure, just ask
that then, it's in the moment.
But for more complicated questions, like
"What is TPN and why does this patient
even need it?" Those are going to be likely
better saved for a less chaotic moment
when you'll get a much more robust thought
Ask why your nurse chooses to do things in
the order that they're doing
them. Why did they go to this patient first
when they came on their shift versus
another? Learn about how they prioritize and
ask them how they
make those decisions.
Learning the internal process of how to
choose what takes place next
is so, so important and is something that
you cannot learn in school.
It is something that only comes through
experience and clinical judgment, and this is
going to be the exact same thing for
Even if you are having a day that is, like,
mostly shadowing, you can learn
a ton from how nurses communicate with each
other and how they are prioritizing
Communication and communicating things to
other members of the team.
Pay attention to that.
Pay attention to how they're giving report?
What information do they prioritize when
talking to other people?
What order are they going in?
What do they include? What do they not
What do you like about their presentation
when they're giving report?
And what would you maybe do differently as
you develop your own style?
Soak it all up!
You will be introduced to so many different
ways of prioritizing and communicating in
clinical, which will help you hone in on how
you want to do it with your
And the sooner you start paying attention to
this, the better.
Do not get bullied into being the tech.
Now, do not get me wrong.
I have learned some of the most helpful
things in the world from techs and CNAS, and
I am very firmly in the opinion that you can
learn something from absolutely
everyone in the healthcare system, probably
in life in general.
But I have often seen nursing students on
some units become like
a nurse's personal tech, right?
Cleaning the patient, emptying the drains,
helping feed and bathe them.
But doing absolutely, like, no med passes or
other skills that they should
be learning as a nursing student in
All of those skills, all of those skills
that you're learning as a tech, are crazy
important. But if you find yourself only
doing those tasks, it's a good time to speak
up and revisit wanting to learn those one or
two things that you prioritized in the
beginning of the day.
You are your advocate here.
Advocate for that well-rounded experience.
I know that's kind of hard to wrap your mind
around, and it can be hard to do, but I
promise you can do the hard things.