Typical Clinical Day

August 29, 2015

Hey friends,

I wanted to share with you what my typical clinical day looks like. This post will be followed by what I bring with me to clinical.  A lot of readers have shown interest in more clinical type posts so I hope these two will help address this.

For clinical, my group is assigned a home unit and 3 floats to different floors depending on what class it is for. For example, my critical care rotation's home unit was a trauma floor. I then had floats to the OR, Trauma bay, and ER. We typically go 12 times for eight hour shifts. We are not assigned a nurse to follow, but rather our nurse is based on a patient. As we move up in years we increase the patient load. Majority of our clinical patient assignments are chosen the night before. Going the night before allows us to write down important information and research about the admitting diagnosis. 

Here is my clinical day:

6:45 arrive at unit. look in computer for any new orders, medications, or treatment changes. find out who my nurse is for the day and the aides.
7:00-7:30 listen to report with nurse. most of the time it is bedside reports.
7:30 grab vitals and complete a head to toe assessment. Administer any medications at this time with my nurse.
8:00 round on other patients with my nurse.
8:30/9 chart.
9:30 check in with patient after breakfast. offer a bed bath or change of sheets. administer any medications, if nothing, then I follow my nurse and help her chart on other patients. 
11:30 lunch.
12:00 return  to floor. take vitals. administer any medications. 
12:00-2:00 help my nurse with any new admits, other patients, charting, anything really.
2:00 off the floor for post conference.
3:30 end of post conference. 

Not everything is exact. I make sure I really focus on my patient and do everything for him/her. I also ask my nurse if I can chart and administer medications (after I have been checked off for that skill). If everything is done for my patient, then I will help with the others. 

In the beginning of clinicals, I spent a lot of time just completing head to toes and figuring out how to chart. Thus, my day looked very different. I was not really able to round on my nurse's other patients and instead used that time to complete my head to toe. Then we sat down and charted together. Following that I would do a bed bath, change sheets, talk with my patient, and complete any skills I needed to be checked off. By that time it would be lunch. 

Clinical are nerve racking in the beginning, but also a lot of fun. I hope you really do play the "student card" and get to try as much skills as possible (safely, of course). 

I wish you all the best with clinicals,


  1. As you have gone through nursing school what has been your largest patient load? Is it more in a nursing home or a med surge floor versus a critical care setting? Thanks for sharing!!

    1. Hi friend, so far my largest patient load was 3 pts. When I was a CNA in a rehabilitation facility I had 8 pts. But throughout nursing school the most amount of patients I had was 3 or 4 on a Med Surg floor. My critical rotation on a trauma floor was 2-3 patients, OB rotation was 2 couplets (mom +baby), and peds was 2-3 patients. My current clinical rotation is an ICU floor so I only have 1-2. I hope this helps!


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