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Clinical Reflections
As a Student Nurse. . .

By Heather Fredricks RN

I had some of the best learning experience as a nursing student and some of the worst!!
The most important thing I can say is hands on is so important. When I was in Nursing school I went to my advisor to ask about being a PCA (Patient care assistant) somewhere and I was told I didn't need to be. That I would learn everything I needed to when I graduated. I think that was the worst advise you can give a nursing student. I was behind the eight ball before I even started my career as a nurse. Experience and hands on is the best advise I could give a nursing student. Working with patients is not something you can learn in a text book. Providing care like rolling a patient, ambulating and just fulfilling someone's basic needs is something you can learn as a PCA and something you do everyday as a nurse. I didn't even know what a Medical chart was when I went to my first clinical I had no PCA experience at all. I learned a lot from PCA's my first year as a nurse.
Also don't be surprised if you break down and cry. Some older Nurses and clinical instructors get pleasure with trying to break nursing students!!! I still don't understand "why" but they do. I remember it as a student and as I work now as a nurse at BWH. Just take it as a learning experience and you will be a stronger person because of it. You always remember the good and bad experiences as a student but mostly the bad. Believe it or not it makes you stronger. Just don't by any means stop asking questions!!!!
I was told as a new Nurse that the first 6 months you would feel like a pain in the neck. Well its true!! Everyone does because you are learning and encounter many, many questions....just ask. I think you feel out where ever you are who is approachable and who is not. Find out who is and just keep asking. And when you feel like a pain just remember they were once a new nurse too!


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