What are Nursing Clinical?

What are Nursing Clinical?

Mar 20, 2015 | 8:00 am

Anyone who has looked into nursing school has read about “nursing clinical” somewhere along the line. So what are they, and why are they important?

First, let’s start by defining what a nursing clinical is: It’s the time spent by a student directly observing or working with patients in a healthcare setting under supervision. Clinical allow nursing students to take what they have learned in the classroom and put it into practice. In other words, it’s a bit of real-world, hands-on experience for nursing students to practice their new skills while being supervised and helped.

What Happens in Nursing Clinical

Depending on the level of education being pursued and where, nursing students can begin practicing in clinical settings as early as their first semester. Some early clinical practice could involve the following:

•Checking and recording vital signs
•Conducting basic physical assessment
•Bathing patients and assisting them with daily living activities
•Practicing skills learned in practice labs, such as caring for wounds

Moving through nursing school, students encounter more labs, clinical placements and simulations in a variety of medical specialties. For example, students could gain experience in nursing clinical on the general psychiatry floor, in a detox unit or in labor and delivery. John Hopkins University School of Nursing Career Center notes that during nursing clinical, students are guided toward mastering nursing skills and improving patient service while exploring different fields of nursing.

For students entering junior- and senior-year programs, nursing clinical can involve more hands-on experience and practice with patients, including:

•Providing basic care and developing treatment plans for one or two patients
•Administering medications under supervision
•Observing surgeries and other medical procedures
•Assisting nurses as instructed

One of the best reasons to participate in nursing clinical (besides the fact that they’re required) is the wonderful experience gained helping patients—after all, that’s the whole reason you want to become a nurse! From practicing what you’ve learned in class to having experiences you could never have prepared yourself for, nursing clinical are among the best learning tools available for becoming a nurse. Take advantage of the experience, keep a positive outlook and help out as much as you can. All that you learn will help you in your future nursing career. Good luck!