1. SLEEP - Get at least 5 to 7 hours of sleep. Not only are you putting your patient in danger, clinicals with little to no sleep is not fun at all. Trust me, it’s just not a good idea.
2. Prepare the night before - Even for 30 minutes or an hour. Before you go to bed, review your skills briefly. Watching youtube videos help too! This way, you’ll be prepared when an opportunity pops up. The more experience you get NOW, the better. This also includes setting up your stuff for the morning. That way you can hop out of bed, shower, eat and head out the door without the shuffle of getting all your stuff ready for the day.
3. Put your name on everything - In the midst of trying to get everything done, it’s easy to lose things. Put your name in your drug reference book, your report sheet and keep your pens/pencils with you at all times.
4. It’s okay to NOT know everything - Asking for help is the best thing you can do. Just think of it this way, it’s better you make mistakes while in school rather than working while balancing 3 other patients. So go ahead, ask those questions!
5. Take advantage of every opportunity you are given - You don’t always get the chance to experience the things you learn in lab. So when the opportunity comes along, be prepared to do it.
6. Build a relationship with the hospital staff - Including doctors, your preceptor, other nurses on the unit, etc… Not only will it make your day more enjoyable, building connections can lead to a multitude of things such as unique opportunities or even a potential job in the long run.
7. Be compassionate - Along with building that therapeutic relationship with our patients, showing compassion is key to keeping that rapport.
8. Take care of yourself - Make sure you get exercise and eat well. I can guarantee you 100% you will feel more energized throughout the day. Feeling more energized will help you get through the day more easily.
9. Vent out those frustrations! - Sometimes, you might get a shift that can be extremely stressful. Whether it be through friends or even a blog, get those feelings out. It’ll clear your head.
10. Most importantly……SMILE! - Don’t be a Debbie Downer. Nobody likes those people.
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