There is a point during your nursing education where you get to take your skills from the classroom to patients. This is your clinical placement. It is an extremely valuable part of your training. It's a time to practice the skills you have newly acquired, sharpen skills you already have, and learn new skills.
During your clinical experience, you will rotate through a variety of different healthcare areas and specialties to gain experiences. Each will have unique opportunities for learning and growth. This can be an extremely stressful part of your education. This is why it's important to keep in mind that your clinical experience will only be as successful as you make it. Keep reading for useful tips on how to get the most out of your clinical placement.
Check in with your placement ahead of your start date to find out any crucial aspects of your role. That will give you time to review anything you need to know. You also want to make sure you know where your placement is. You might want to do a dry run by driving to the location to see exactly where you are going and how long it will take you to get there. You don't want to be late on your first day! Consider arriving 15 minutes early.
Your clinical placement is about learning. You are not expected to know everything. You will only learn by asking questions. Let your supervisor know when you aren't comfortable or don’t know something. Chances are someone else needed a little clarity on the same areas, as well.
Always carry a pen and notebook. Write down new tips or techniques as soon as you learn them. Jot down things you need to brush up on so you can look them up later. You will also want to keep a list of medical abbreviations used in various departments so you can learn and understand them.
Be Flexible & Volunteer
There is nothing busy nurses like more than a willing and able student ready to watch, learn, and lend a hand. If you know something needs to be done, volunteer to do it. Have an open mind, try different things, and be flexible. These extra opportunities will expand your learning.
Spend Time with Staff
The people surrounding you during your clinical placement have a wealth of experience. Why not tap into it? Join your supervisors and other staff for lunch. It's a less formal environment that will lend to getting to know each other. These professionals have years of practical and valuable knowledge. Learn about their experiences, worries, and cares about their own careers. This will also help you practice your communication skills that are so important to have as a successful nurse.
It is your responsibility to make the most of your clinical placement opportunity.
Becoming an expert in the nursing field can only be done with hands-on experience and your clinical placement gives that to you.
Of course, you will need to find a suitable nursing program before you need to be concerned about clinical placement. Athena Career Academy can get you started.
Contact us today at 419-329-4075 to learn more about our nursing program options.