A few weeks ago, I had my first day of clinicals at the nursing home. The first six weeks of the semester, I was in lab learning how to perform certain procedures.Now that I know how to perform these procedures, I am able to use and apply what I have learned in the clinical setting. Here is a short synopsis of my first day at clinicals!
Just breathe, just breathe, I kept assuring myself. Things are going to be fine. Sure this is your first time working on a patient as a student nurse, but everything will go well. With tons of adrenaline in store I paced my way all the way to the van where we were going to load up and get ready to start our first day of clinicals.
When I first walked into the nursing home, my heart felt like it was pounding through my chest. From all the questions I had learned to ask for a cardiac assessment, I was sure that I was going to have a heart attack because I was having a lot of chest pressure. Although I knew it was all mostly in my head. 🙂
After the instructors finished giving us instructions on what to do and let us know what patient we had, I dashed off to go look at my patient’s chart and meet her for the first time. It was amazing how hard it was to knock on that door. I mean, it’s a simple task really. Just take your fist and knock. Right? Well at the time, it seemed like the hardest task in the world. As I am standing trying to muster up the courage to knock on the door, my instructor came by with a breeze and just knocked and walked right in. Feeling like a complete chicken, I forced myself to fake confidence and followed her into the room to go meet my patient. Wow! What a relief. After the initial fright, I was slightly more at ease and was happy to find that my patient was a very pleasant person!
The first thing that I did was vital signs. Most of the vital signs were taken the normal way; however, my patient had a problem to where I had to take her blood pressure on her foot instead of her arm. Because this is not something that is normally done, I had my instructor help me. It was really hard to hear, and I didn’t quite get it all the way, but it was a great experience to be able to practice something new. 🙂
After I completed vital signs, I finished off the day by completing a physical assessment, and giving a patient a bed bath. When the day was done, I reported off to my instructor and prepared to head back to campus. Right before we headed back to campus, we had a quick in service training there at the facility to teach us how to use the lifts. It was a neat time to be able to learn about the advances that nursing has made to be able to help nurses with the care of patients!
Over all, the first day went very well, and I am excited to see what is going to happen in the days to come! 🙂