Archive for May 8, 2019

Tips for Surviving your First 12-hour Clinical

By Anna Beth Daley

Speaking from experience, here are a couple tips to help you survive your first 12-hour clinical, whether it be on a GI, Cardiac, Oncology or other floor!

This may seem like common-sense, but trust me, it’s harder than it sounds. It is so easy to get caught up in the busy work on the unit and forget to drink water. Bring a reusable water bottle and try to drink 2-3 bottles full of water throughout your shift. Trust me, your kidneys and bladder will thank you.
Many of you may be thinking, “I don’t need to eat breakfast, I never do and I’m fine.” Trust me, you’ll regret thinking that when you’ve been in a contact droplet room for the past hour and it feels like its 1,000 degrees inside and you’re about to pass out. It doesn’t need to be a gourmet meal, but putting something substantial in your stomach, like a breakfast or protein bar, will help you stay awake and alert during the first hours of your shift.
You will lose one, period. No matter how hard you may try to keep your favorite pen, it will inevitably be borrowed by someone, or dropped or completely lost.
This may seem like another common-sense tip; however, it is a serious one. Being on your feet and moving around for 12 hours is no easy feat. Try to give yourself at least 8 hours of sleep before a clinical, it will really make a difference.
There is no worse feeling than not packing lunch, running up to the cafeteria and then realizing they are serving some food you really don’t like. Not only will packing your lunch save you some time and money, it will save you some heartbreak. Try to pack it the night before so it saves you time in the morning.
Pack a few snacks in your clinical bag, you will get occasional breaks and a good snack can help replenish your energy and mood.
I don’t mean just the nurses, get to know the techs and the support staff. As you get to know them, you might find yourself learning even more about nursing and working in a hospital than you think. Many will give advice from when they were in nursing school, or the techs may share tips and tricks for moving a patient or taking their vitals.
This is easily one of the most important tips on this list. As a student, you will have a smaller patient load, giving you the opportunity to spend more time with patients than a staff nurse may be able to. Sit down with them and talk, many patients may not have any visitors coming that day or their nurse may have a heavy patient load and won’t have time to have a sit-down conversation. The patients will love having someone to talk to and you can learn a lot from having a good conversation with them, whether it be life advice or tips and tricks for caring for them and their specific ailment.
Finally, take it all in. You only get a few semesters of clinical in nursing school, then you’re off in the real world. Take your time during clinical and ask questions, you may not have the opportunity later on. Enjoy yourself, clinical is an exciting time, it can help you realize what kind of area you want to work in and can help you visualize your future as a nurse!

The latitude of a nursing education

Pele Solell (17Ox 19BSN) poses with the donor of her Seavey Murphy Adopt-A-Scholar scholarship, Cheryl Murphy 77BSN.

By Pele Solell

I came to Emory unexpectedly, after visiting Oxford College and knowing that the unique place, people and environment would help me develop a liberal arts background for the next two years. I knew that nursing school would hand me my schedule, but I wanted to explore a diverse course curriculum before following a standard. My experiences at Oxford, from taking a course in conjunction with incarcerated women to teaching English as a Second Language, unknowingly altered the path of my nursing education and future career.

I thought I would be a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, but am now embarking on a path to move away from the clinical side. Instead, I aspire to use my Doctor of Nursing Practice degree to best prepare myself as a leader in health care, through multidisciplinary collaboration at the intersection of human rights and global health.

It is a bit daunting to diverge from the ‘norm’ of being a clinically-focused nurse while many of my peers are applying for residencies, but my mentors and experiences at the School of Nursing have paved the way for my passions. Being able to engage with students from all paths as an Ambassador and work-study student for the Admissions office demonstrates the varying backgrounds people bring to nursing. My Nursing for Social Change class presents theory as a tool for addressing systems and structures in health care. And the faculty in the Lillian Carter Center support innovative tracks at multiple crossroads of global health and nursing.

I wish I had realized earlier that the beginning of one’s nursing career could be more than clinical: the wonderful nurse researchers, leaders, advocates, policy makers and other professionals at the School of Nursing prove nursing’s latitude and forefront in social change. I hope prospective, current and future students find a path that invigorates them to advance what it means to be a nurse.