Monday, November 19, 2012

Calling All Sophomores Nursing Students

Tell me how I can help you. I would like to know what you want to know before you have your second clinical in the hospital.

Feel free to post any question as a comment to this post, and I will do my best to address it. 


  1. Today was actually our first clinical (if we have clinical lab on Monday). I felt pretty unprepared. Like what exactly did we need to make sure we had on the report and how to you use the automatic blood pressure machine to properly take a temperature. (I still don't really know- I just did my best. I couldn't even get the cover to snap on.) I'm not a big fan of the "throw them into the water and let's see if they'll swim" school of learning. Any suggestions?

  2. I remember feeling unprepared for my first clinical too. One suggestion I have is ask the instructor or one of the nurses or CNAs to show you how to use the thermometer. Putting the cover on can be tricky the first few times you do it.

    At the end of your clinical, what you need to remember to tell your nurse are any significant findings from your physical assessment. In other words, you need to tell her anything you found that was abnormal. You also need to tell her the patient's vital signs. If the patient reports having pain, specify to your nurse where the patient is feeling pain and how s/he describes his/her pain such as sharp, achy, or squeezing.

    Use the SBAR (Situation, Background, Assessment, and Recommendation) to guide your report. In other words, be sure to specify the patient you are reporting on (room number), what he/she came into the hospital for, your assessment findings, and what you think needs to be done (such as give pain medicine)(Velji, et al., 2008).

    Remember that this is a learning experience. No one expects you to know everything yet. Get the most you can out of your clinicals. Be proactive in seeking out opportunities to see procedures (when possible), perform skills, and talk with your nurses.

    Talk to your patient; they are a wealth of information. You will learn a lot about how disease processes work together to cause a specific clinical presentation by discussing with your patients their history of present illness related to their past medical history.

    Velji, K., Baker, G. R., Fancott, C., Andreoli, A., Boaro, N., Tardif, G., . . . Sinclair, L. (2008). Effectiveness of an adapted SBAR communication tool for a rehabilitation setting. Healthcare Quarterly, 11, 72-79. Retrieved from