Nursing School — First Day of Clinical [First Semester]

Hello all! For this post, I will be reflecting on my first day of “real” clinical. Before last Thursday, our clinical days were in the Simulation lab from 0900 (9 a.m.) to 1600 (4 p.m.). Now that we are in the hospital, our day begins at 0600 (6 a.m.) to 1300 (1 p.m.).

Nursing School_ First Day of Clinical (First Semester Edition) (1)

I was extremely nervous for our first day of clinical. I did manage to get in bed at 8:00 p.m., but my mind was racing. I ended up waking up at 0430 (4:30 a.m.) and arriving to my clinical site around 0600 (6:00 a.m.). I live on campus, which is only about ten minutes away from my clinical site this semester.

Our clinical group meets at 0645 (6:45 a.m.) in the lobby of our assigned floor, where our instructor briefly goes over our patient assignments (that we receive the night before). Afterwards, we walk onto the floor and will find our nurse and receive report alongside him/her! Once we finish our day, we head to the cafeteria in case anyone wants a snack and then we head to one of the hospital classrooms for post-conference. I decided to give you all a list of everything I did during that time…


Vitals/Health Assessment

As nursing students, we are responsible for morning and afternoon vital signs, as well as a health assessment. I did feel really stupid though, because the vitals machine was not recording a blood pressure for me. My instructor came in and tried and it took a really long time due to an elevated blood pressure. After taking vitals, we report them to our instructor to chart.

SubQ Injection

I gave my patient their first dose of heparin! I felt very comfortable giving the shot and just touching patients in general. I really do believe volunteering int he hospital helped me out with that!

*Quick tip for SubQ injections: Don’t bother pinching the adipose tissue, like ATI teaches it actually causes more pain. One patient I observed receiving one actually tensed up!


nursing_student_first_day_of_clinicalInput and Output! I had the opportunity to empty and measure JP drains as well as observe foley care! I loved it! After emptying out all drains, my partner and I reported values to our instructor to document.

Blood Sugars Galore!

I am so bad at blood sugar sticks you all! A nurse taught me a trick, but I am just not the best at it. My partner was a lot better at it, so it was good to see someone else do it. We also had to report our findings to our instructors to chart. I will say, so many of the patients on that floor were diabetic. I was becoming a little frustrated with myself, but I am trying to reassure myself that I will have the chance to try again.

Bed Bath

I also performed a full bed bath and linen change alongside my lab partner and a Patient Care Tech. I was fairly surprised with myself, because I felt like I really knew what I was doing. The PCT asked if we wanted to help and for some reason my mind kicked into action and I knew what to do! That really just proves to my people out there who also are not CNAs that you can do it! Make sure you pick a good program that prepares you well! I will say if you are in clinical and have nothing to do the PCTs are awesome teachers and are more than willing to teach you something or even delegate blood sugars to you! I love the PCTs and they all work so hard!

Do you remember your first clinical experience?



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