Adult health provides students with training in the general care of adult patients. Instructors will have lecture about primary care, pathophysiology, medication, patient education, and all of the body functions.
During this clinical rotation, you should already be comfortable with communicating with patients. So students can get used to a nurses schedule, usually the clinical rotation days will be 12 hours long from 7am-7pm. The particular school I went to scheduled our clinical days either on the weekend or 1-2 days a week when we did not have lecture.
Hospitals may have you sign a waiver and come to orientation in order to ensure students are aware of the rules and regulations of that particular facility. This orientation includes information on safety, security, HIPPPA regulations, patient privacy, and that particular hospitals charting system. Sometimes students are given hospital badges just like the employees are given.
The day before your clinical day, you are assigned a patient and will have to obtain information before showing up that next day. My particular school had a few different ways for us to get patient information. One semester, we were to get the patient information by driving to the hospital the day before. We were told what floor to go to, then a list would be at the nurse’s station or in the break room telling each student what room numbers they are assigned to and that nurses name. Once we had all the room numbers, we were to find the patients chart and get demographic information, age, race, history, diagnosis, lab values and any other information you think your instructor may quiz you on that next morning. This was very time consuming because the charts are not always available. Some facilities don’t have electronic charting and hunting the chart down can be tasking. Doctors come and take the charts to review and write orders, nurses and nurse assistants have to write in the chart also.
You should only be assigned about 2-3 patients when you first start clinicals. Until you master time management, you won’t be able to handle even one patient. In my case, I had two patients to look information up on. We were only allowed to get the patient information after 6pm. I remind you that this is the day before clinicals and we had to meet our instructor at the hospital at 6:30am the next day. Once you have the patient’s diagnosis, medications and lab values, you will have to do some research.
Do know what the diagnosis means and why the patient is in the hospital because of it. Example: If the patient is admitted for hypertension. Know what hypertension means, why does the patient have it, how is it being treated, what you can teach the patient about how to monitor blood pressure and that a low sodium diet would be best to consume in order to keep blood pressure down. Your instructor may ask you how hypertension affects other body systems.
Try to get as much sleep as you can the day before clinicals. Bring cash for lunch or try not to pack a large meal. Students share the break room with hospital staff and there is not much room in the refrigerator for you lunch bag. Put on your best smile because you will not click with every nurse you instructor puts you with, so try to learn as much as you can, be very helpful and ask questions.