The first day of clinical was basically a tour of the hospital, how to use the computer system to chart, getting our student ID badges, and a unit specific tour. Talk about nerves though! Nervous that I was going to be late (even though I lived 5 minutes away), nervous I wasn't going to get along with my clinical group, nervous that my instructor was going to think I was an idiot, nervous about using the computer system and wondering if I'd ever learn how to use it.
I think I slept for about two hours the night before (and for about 3-4 hours every other night before a morning clinical rotation) but I was bright eyed and bushy tailed for our student orientation. Things went smoothly and it helped that I was familiar with the hospital. That made me feel more comfortable but my group still hadn't met our instructor because she was sick that day.
Fast forward to the following week and our first day on the unit. My clinical group met at 6:15am and none of us were sure where to go or what to do other than find our instructor. She met up with us at 6:15 (most of us had been there since 6:05) and I realized she went to my church! All I could think then was that she would be harder on me and expect more out of me because she had known me outside of school. I learned quickly she was all about giving all of us the same opportunities (if possible) and helping us in any way she could. After meeting us and giving us our patient assignment for the day she explained that most of our patients would be going to various therapy sessions throughout the day and most had their first session at 8 am. We had to get all of our am care done in about an hour in between the patients eating breakfast! Being brand spanking new to all of this I had no idea how that was ever going to work- doing a head-to-toe assessment, bathing, medication administration on one patient before and after they ate breakfast and definitely before their first therapy session. Honestly worse than that was the fact that none of us wanted to wake our patients up to start one by one we got to our patient's room and found our patients asleep, a few of us had early bird patients who were already awake (we collectively sighed with relief whenever that happened). My patient appeared to be sleeping as I gingerly knocked on the door and began to introduce myself. Turned out my patient was awake! Whew, one thing out of the way.
The rest of the day went well, I don't think a single one of us felt comfortable and for me that didn't come for a while (and I still am not totally comfortable but I am excited to continue learning and better care for my patients). At the end of the day I knew I still wanted to be a nurse and I was excited to take the next steps in that journey with the help of a great instructor who helped teach us in anyway she could. I couldn't wait until my next time at clinical!