I started clinical integration today! Clinical integration at Columbia is a 6 week hands- on experience in the hospital with a nurse preceptor. For the next 6 weeks, I will be one-on-one with my preceptor working her exact shifts. A preceptor is someone who has their RN license and either signed up to help teach a nursing student or was reached out to by the school to precept. So if someone was assigned to a nurse who works 12 hour night shifts for 3 days in a row, then that nursing student has to work those shifts as well. Anyway, I was placed in the PACU (post-anesthesia care unit). These patients are those who underwent anesthesia (major surgeries, minor surgeries, endoscopies, colonoscopies, etc) and get transferred to PACU before either being discharged or heading up to a step-down or general med-surge floor for further monitoring.
Anyway, first day was pretty neat! The pace of the PACU is definitely slower and now as fast paced as something as the emergency room. Heck, it was even slower than your typical med-surge patient floor. But, it was nice because my preceptor had time to talk to me more and teach me skills. She also "quizzed" me on various things about nursing interventions, diagnoses, medications, procedures, etc. She is the type who also doesn't make you feel ashamed or dumb for not knowing something, so that was great.
One of my nursing friend's peer mentor gave some tips on preparing for integration and suggested always keeping alcohol swabs and saline flushes in your pocket because nurses constantly need them. It was a pretty great tip. I was handing my preceptor alcohol swabs and flushes throughout the day. The saline flushes are used to flush peripheral IVs and ensure they are working properly.
Alright... time to watch some Netflix and chill for a bit. This girl is TIRED!