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Old 08-29-2013, 05:29 PM
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Default Tips for Nursing School Freshman?

Hey everyone, so I just started my first week of the nursing program (yay!!). In a few weeks, we'll be heading to a nursing home for our clinicals. I'm so nervous considering this will be someone's LIFE, though at least our instructor will be there every step of the way. Any tips for surviving nursing school as well as clinicals??!?!? Also, any other nursing students here? (This is the ONLY reason why I'm glad my fiance is away, so I can't be distracted and wanting to be with him all the time, lol)
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Old 08-29-2013, 08:50 PM
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Hi- I wish u the best of luck- I am in nursing school as well- you can DM if you want
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Old 08-31-2013, 11:39 AM
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Thanks for your response! Is this your first year as well?
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Old 08-31-2013, 12:18 PM
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I have been a nurse for many years. I would advise you to study everything about each patient before your clinicals.

There will be a huge focus on care plans which mirrors standard of care. So you need to know the diagnosis as well as the nursing diagnosis, have a plan and a back up plan. Yes a back up plan.

You need to learn how to think on your feet since patients change moment to moment. Be professional no matter what! No gossip at all ever in uniform, and never ever talk about a patient unless behind closed doors.

Make sure your uniform is clean, ironed, hair out of the face and no long fingernails.
Compassion cannot be taught yet it is one of those priceless assets. If you have it, use it.

Remember that patients in a nursing home were once working productive individuals. They have a great deal of wisdom. Engage them in conversations that are relevant to them. Embrace learning about phones that dial, hand written letters and so much more.

Be a good listener. You will go far if you listen well. Your best source of information is the patient. Always remember that and you will do fine. Oh, and even the elderly like their hair fixed and a bit of make up, especially a lip stick. Most of them have some in their purse.
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Old 08-31-2013, 05:28 PM
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Congratulations and welcome to the profession . Advice for freshman,,,,,well....listen to only1love first of all. She's right, always remember the care plan and standards of care....always update your care plan......always stop and evaluate what you've done....did it work? If not, change the plan. This is important.....don't ever be afraid to ask a question, the only dumb question is the one that wasn't asked! If you don't know how to do it, seek out someone who does. There's nothing wrong with asking another nurse's advise on a patient, we all do it one time or another (and I don't care how long you've been a nurse!). Get all the experience you can out of your clinical rotations, say if your patient is sleeping, ask the nurse that's assigned to her if any of her other patients have "anything going on"...usually the nurses on the floor will tell the instructor is something is "going on" with one of her patients and see if a student wants to watch. Don't wear perfume either!!!!!!! Just try not to be too nervous, I know, easier said than done right? Keep us posted on how you're doing.......any thoughts on what are you might to work in? (like maternity, pedi, surg, etc)
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Old 08-31-2013, 07:09 PM
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Never, ever leave the house without 2 high-quality protein bars (I like Cliff bars for this even though I think they taste nasty), a water and a few crisp dollar bills for vending machines.
You *will* forget to eat, you *will* become dehydrated and your well being and your grades will both be greatly enhanced by maintaining the ability to remedy the oversight at any given moment.

Ask your patients what they prefer to be called- there's no telling who prefers "Mrs. Black" over being first named by a stranger or who, although his chart says "Daniel Adams", has been called "Jake" his whole life.... this may seem like a minor matter but part of establishing trust with a patient is letting them know that you think of them as people, not charts or numbers, and asking for and honoring a personal preference is a good way to begin.
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Old 08-31-2013, 07:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blah8705 View Post
Hey everyone, so I just started my first week of the nursing program (yay!!). In a few weeks, we'll be heading to a nursing home for our clinicals. I'm so nervous considering this will be someone's LIFE, though at least our instructor will be there every step of the way. Any tips for surviving nursing school as well as clinicals??!?!? Also, any other nursing students here? (This is the ONLY reason why I'm glad my fiance is away, so I can't be distracted and wanting to be with him all the time, lol)
Blah, keep these things in mind: 1)Tests: if you study well, then 80% of your first thought for an answer will be correct, 2) Let it be known that you are willing to learn as much as you can, 3) Ask questions and 4) Remember your experiences and apply them to what you are learning. Word or phrase associations are good for helping you remember information. Use it whenever you can.

Hope this helps!

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Old 09-01-2013, 10:01 PM
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All of you who have answered so far: Thanks SOOOOOOO MUCH!! Lord knows, I'll have to read this over and over right before I get into that nursing home.

D's baby, to answer your question specifically on what I want to get into..I'm not quite sure. All I know is that over the next 4 semesters, our clinicals will be in different areas. So this semester is the nursing home, but next semester will be maybe in a hospital in maternity wing or something. I like that our programs gives us all a taste of working in each area so it'll help us shape our opinions and figure out what part we'd want to be in. I'm thinking I'd like to go into pediatrics, maybe...of course, that could change!!

I hope I can come to you all as this program continues for some more much needed advice!
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Old 10-10-2013, 08:22 PM
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So I had my FIRST real clinical yesterday and kept everyone's tips in mind as I was going throughout my day! It was hard, because I've NEVER EVER EVER been in a nursing-home type setting nor any other medical facility as an employee. The only job I've had is at a restaurant for 7.5 years so yeah..two totally different things lol. My instructor was barely around, but luckily one of my fellow student nurses actually works at the retirement home we were at, so she knew where everything was and kind of helped me a bit. Most of the day was kinda sitting around and such. We have a process paper to do, and our instructor first told us that the patients we first had would NOT be our process paper patients. Then yesterday she told us they were! And we just have one more week with these patients before we change. Eek! So now I gotta get my brain together to figure out a care plan.

Anyways, it felt like everything I learned went out the window...I freaked and froze. I can do a head-to-toe assessment on a mannequin just fine, but almost forgot how to do one on a human being lol. Plus when I was doing it, she was still sleepy...I had to wake her up, but she's a sweetie LUCKILY! And I had to take her vital signs and stuff..I felt like I was kinda half doing stuff. But I guess it got my feet wet, so I kinda know how things will go for next week, but I'm the kinda person that will second-guess, then triple-guess, then quadruple-guess every little action I do. My pt is in a wheelchair so my first thought was I didn't want to do ANYTHING that would hurt her though luckily she can kinda stand for like little bits at a time. Oy...but we had a good discussion about pets, and she kept telling ME to sit down, have some coffee (though I couldn't), and to relax. lol, it just felt like we were thrown to the wolves...my instructor goes "Okay go take care of your patients" at the beginning of our shifts. I like NEED a set plan that says "At such-and-such time, do this..at such-and-such time do that".

Hopefully I'll survive everyone!! Thanks once again for all your tips!! =)
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Old 10-12-2013, 12:58 PM
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Well.....I think the first day is always the worst. And give yourself some credit, by working in the restaurant business for all those years did give you some experience.... people experience!!!! Just like in a restaurant you will deal with all kinds of personalities. There's nothing wrong with questioning yourself...a "little", don't let it let it consume you though. Some suggestions for a care plan for this little dear maybe skin assessment every shift (being that she is not very mobile) as well as hygiene, nutrition, making sure that she is having regular bowel movements (another thing affected by immobility), that she's drinking and voiding enough, as well as her respiratory status (pneumonia is another problem with decreased mobility). Also the elderly esp are prone to urinary tract infections, watch for changes in mentality (sudden confusion, agitation, lethargy) can all be symptoms of a UTI, as well as urgency, frequency, discomfort or foul smelling urine. Just thought I give you a few thoughts.....wishing you luck.........keep us old girls posted! The more you experience the more confident you'll become. Have you given any thought to applying for a job at a nursing home or hospital as a nursing assistant (clinical assistant), I know a lot of places love to hire nursing students....great way to get experience.
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Old 04-28-2014, 06:52 AM
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So how is Nursing school going? How did the clinicals go over the fall and spring too now even? I welcome you to the fold!! I love it too-still after all these years! What does the next year look like for you? Good luck! I am proud of you. Keep in mind. It will get worse and it will get lots better. Hang in there. You can do it!
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Old 04-28-2014, 05:43 PM
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I'm an NP and I can tell you that it does get easier! Just take your time, ask if you have questions and introduce yourself!

Hope NS is going well.
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Old 09-19-2014, 01:17 PM
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*deeeeep sigh*

First 4 weeks are behind, only almost 4 years to go... Lol! I just finished my 2 of my anatomy homework that had deadline in two hours...

So yes, I need a system. I am falling behind, because our school didn't start slowly, little by little... I seriously need to get myself a study schedule program or something. We have multiple different e-learning platforms like moodle, some information about upcoming homework, classes and exams are given there, some via emails, some at school and so on... I feel overwhelmed and I don't wanna leave everything till last minute again, so I need a system where I can store all the information I need.

The problem is that I suck on organizing things... I am not an organized person, I really am not. So I need to learn, but don't really know where to start... Any tips?
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Old 09-19-2014, 06:01 PM
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It like how you budget your money for paying bills. You know how much you need and when it is due. The same principal goes with studying. Just like you go to work every day and your work day is filled with a bunch of little tasks, the same principal is true in school.
I keep everything on a hanging calendar in my home office where I can see the whole month. I schedule everything a week earlier than when it is actually due, that way I have some lag time to fine tune. Write down what is due when (Including the reading assignments) and the date and prioritize from there. Keep a list written down and put it on the refrig or on the bathroom mirror, That way you won't lose it. And just go little by little on each subject. Ultimately you are learning how to handle more than one patient at a time. Spend a little time with each subject every day Don't let yourself get overwhelmed with all the options. If you know what works for you, stick with that one method until you have the success you want! PM me if you need some help. I love to teach.

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Old 09-20-2014, 09:54 PM
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I love you and your advice, jadah!! I have long since quit the nursing program, but I'm doing 3 online classes. Just like sunflow, I'm disorganized, but my issue is always time management. This semester, I took 3 online courses on purpose to help challenge me and so far I'm actually doing okay. Tomorrow though, I need to put in work lol, but I've been doing well so far. If only you can come up with a magical formula to stop procrastination, I'd owe you my life lol.
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Old 09-29-2014, 06:55 PM
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Procrastination tips..In the business world, we call it "Time boxing" . From a little's kids perspective it's known as "Awww mom..only 5 more minutes!" So there you have it. Spend "5 more minutes on it" or start with "only 5 more minutes" and you are on your way. In the meantime, it will take you at least 5 to find your place, remember what you read, redo what you left off on... then it is only five more minutes. Set a times for a total of twenty minutes and at least you got started. Then just like one last chocolate chip cookie on the plate-who can really leave just one- finish the assignment you're almost done. Or at least until the dryer buzzes and you have to get up and switch the clothes over. Think small so you can accomplish big thing. Hang in there.
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