Clinical experience is a requirement to become a nurse. The experience will help you to put the knowledge you acquire to use. It will also teach you life lessons that will help you steer your nursing career in the direction you prefer.
If you’re a nurse looking for ways to enhance your clinical experience, pay attention to the following tips.
- Be nice to everyone:
The clinical days can be pretty hectic. You may find yourself lost in thoughts or may feel depressed to treat people. Greeting your fellow healthcare workers first thing in the morning or remembering their names may seem like a small gesture, but it can make a great first impression. We all know the first impression is the last. So why not make a great one?
Being nice to everyone will not only help you to get comfortable and make your experience memorable. It will also help you to get a job. During a clinical, you surround yourself with potential employers. So you want to make sure that they remember you the next time you meet. You also want to ensure that you are pleasant to your patients as they are your topmost priority.
- Expand your knowledge base
Education does not stop after obtaining your license. A clinical experience is a prerequisite for a master’s degree. A postgraduate degree can help you expand your knowledge and progress in your career further. If you are a registered nurse, and your goal is to secure a top-tier management job, you can enroll yourself in an online MHA program. It will equip you with administration skills better suited for managerial and leadership roles. Positions of power can significantly enhance your clinical learning as you become more aware of how healthcare systems function from a holistic perspective.
The clinical experience is also beneficial for the students of Bachelor of Science in nursing. It helps them to decide on their specializations. For example, you may realize you want to be a family nurse practitioner. Suppose you are a graduate of science in nursing, and you want to pursue your master’s virtually. In that case, a BSN to masters in nursing online can help you specialize while simultaneously working on gaining clinical experience. It will provide you with diverse skill sets. Research also shows that a postgraduate degree reduces the risk of medication errors.
- Be prepared
It is always a good idea to familiarize yourself with the area where you will be working. We recommend that you know your assigned unit and the common diseases of that unit. It will help you to prepare for anything and will not throw you off when questioned. When you start preparing for the next day, it will become an excellent habit.
Another tip for being prepared is to show up with a bag with all the medical essentials such as gadgets and whatnot. It will not only save time but also present you as a professional. You can also keep a calculator in your bag. Although it may sound unlikely, you may never know when you need to do a quick calculation of how much dosage a patient needs.
- Be punctual
Although an obvious tip, but an important one. If you are not punctual, your nurse manager may feel that you have a laid-back attitude. It may also give the impression that you are not serious about your clinical rotation.
There are a lot of tips and tricks that will help you to be punctual. One of our supervisors told us to prep the night before. You can also consider traveling before peak time. You may have to wake up a little early, but you will be able to commute without stress.
- Asking Questions Is Never A Bad Idea:
A lot of people avoid asking questions. They may feel that their question is obvious, and they feel ashamed. However, that is not the case. One should never feel embarrassed to ask questions, no matter how obvious it may sound. It helps you to understand and learn efficiently. Your clinical instructor will be more than happy to answer your questions and play their part in making you a professional nurse in the future.
If you feel anxious about asking questions, you can say positive affirmations about yourself. It will help you to feel confident. Before asking the question, try telling yourself that you matter and your question matter. We are our biggest critiques, and affirmations can help us to gain confidence in our abilities.
- Understand yourself
Everybody has weaknesses and strengths. It is necessary to understand yourself. It helps you to identify the areas where you may need to improve yourself. You may need more practice with a task, for example, administering an IV drip. It is also a good practice to set a goal for a week. In this way, you can learn the most during your time. We recommend you keep a record of all the skills and protocols that you learn in a week.
- Be eager and enthusiastic:
It is always fun to work with someone who has a passion for their work. It can make the experience for you and others around you pleasant. When you are enthusiastic, your aura can influence people positively. For example, you can motivate patients and bring them back to health quickly.
- Complete your day with a smile
It is always a good idea to complete your day with a smile. We recommend that before leaving the clinic, report your instructor about your day. You may also say goodbye to the patients and pat yourself on the back for completing your day no matter how hard it was.
Clinical experiences will help you prepare for your future. It is an opportunity to challenge yourself and prove that you are cut out to become a nurse. You will be surprised at how much you will learn about yourself and your profession. You must show up prepared and ready to tackle every problem that you face. We hope that with our tips, you will be able to gain the most from your rotation.