It’s official, you have made it through your first set of nursing courses and now you are ready to begin your first clinical rotation. At this point, you’re probably feeling a mixture of excitement and anxiety as you head into your first patient interactions.
But before you let yourself worry, here are a few suggestions to help prepare you for your first clinical rotation.
- You’re not alone When you enter into the healthcare space for your clinical, you’ll be surrounded by support -- support from your instructors, your clinical preceptors and your fellow classmates. Every step of the way, someone will be there to help answer questions, offer guidance and share their own experiences alongside yours. Remember, the nurses working with you are there to help. They are taking part in a healthcare partnership with Chamberlain and, most importantly, they’ve been there before on their first day of clinicals too.
- Get some rest Try to get eight hours of sleep the night before your clinical rotation. Arriving to the clinical site unrested could be interpreted as uninterested. Your first impression is foundational to your instructor, the staff and ultimately, your patient. So it’s in your best interest to be well rested.
- You know this You worked hard to get this far. Don’t forget that you’ve already proven yourself many times before and accomplished so much. The same nursing concepts you’ll use in clinicals are the ones you’ve already been practicing. These concepts have not changed just because of your first day of the clinical rotation. The only difference is that now you are performing these skills on an actual patient and not a SIMCARE CENTER™ mannequin or your classmate. You can do this.
- Use your technology Consider using free nursing student apps such as Medscape, Epocrates, MedCalc, ME EZ labs, QX Calculate and Eponyms. If you have a smartphone or tablet, you can reference these before and after your time in the clinical setting. Remember to always follow the healthcare organization’s rules about cell/smartphone use during a rotation.
- You have a clinical instructor Remember, you are not alone in this journey. Your clinical instructor is there to answer questions, provide guidance and offer support. As a result, don’t run away from your clinical instructor, run to your clinical instructor. Trust this suggestion -- clinical instructors want to interact with you and provide effective guidance.
Remember, you have proven through your coursework and your skills labs that you are prepared for your clinical experience. You have the knowledge and skills to do this.
By Sharon Jones
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