Tips for starting clinicals

August 16, 2015

Hello friends,

[This has been a very busy, stressful day so sorry for posting this later than what my schedule has been. On that note, I will be decreasing the number of postings I make during the week because of classes. I am thinking between two to three times a week. Thank you for being understanding and supportive.]

So you are about to start clinicals! Yay. That is so exciting. Here are some things you may want to know:

  • Remember that you are not alone. There are plenty of staff at the hospital and classmates that are a resource for you. Be sure to ask someone for help. Classmates are also good for tag teaming a bed bath!

  • Research your patient and know pathophysiology behind the disease. It is critical that you know what your patient has and what medications they are on. This can help you realize any abnormalities or explain why some things are out of the ordinary (such as blue urine). No matter what unit you are on you should always focus on patient-centered care.

  • Get rest the night before. Arriving to a clinical site and being tired is just unprofessional. It can also show that you do not care. Present yourself properly. 

  • Make use of your resources. If you have a pocket clinical guide, then bring it with you. Refer to it for your assessment or how to chart. There is also no shame in looking up medications in a drug book. A lot of hospitals have a drug data base on the computers.
  • Be confident. Having confidence and displaying that can sometimes make your patients more comfortable with you providing them care. 
I hope y'all have amazing clinical rotations. Let me know if you want some more helpful hints.


  1. This pocket clinical guide you talk about? ???lol is it just notes that you jot down in a little notebook or there is such thing available to buy?

    1. Hi Shanelle,

      great question! I usually bring my Jarvis book with me. I think I mentioned it on my nursing school books post. Otherwise you can always make your own notes in a small notebook. This would include vital sign ranges, steps for a certain skill, or even side effects for frequently used medications.

      hope this helps!

  2. Great tips! I'm looking forward to my first clinical in October! It's a long ways away but I know it will creep up so fast!

    1. Do you have any skill training or mock clinical on school grounds before October ? My school gave us 4 weeks of on campus labs to teach us skills before we went to the hospital.


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