Nursing students are required to complete practicums or clinicals after the majority of their classroom training has been completed. Clinicals and practicums involve the student practicing the required duties of a nurse under the supervision of trained and certified nurses to prepare for working independently in the field. In order to pass the clinicals or practicums, students must demonstrate that they have reached each of the objectives.
Practice Safe and Effective Care
Nursing students learn basic nursing principles and techniques during their classroom instruction. They apply these skills during clinicals. Nursing students administer medications and insert intravenous lines, and demonstrate their ability to use, and teach others to use, assistive devices such as crutches. Students are expected to encourage and assist patients to increase their mobility. Students are also responsible for ensuring that their patients are well taken care of in the areas of nutrition, hydration, personal hygiene and elimination. Students are expected to utilize non-prescription methods to provide comfort and reduce pain level of patients.
Support Health Promotion and Maintenance
The health promotion and maintenance objectives for nursing students involved in clinicals include how to handle a number of life changes and outside influences. Students deal with how the aging process, sexuality, family systems and lifestyle choices affect patients and their health conditions. The evaluation of these effects can be conducted through health screenings, physical assessments and health promotion programs. Immunizations, disease prevention and care of pregnant mothers and their newborns are all areas that students explore.
Promote Psychosocial Integrity
Nursing students in a practicum must be able to objectively determine the most effective course of treatment they can provide to their patients. In addition to observing hospital and care regulations, nurses must be able to discern how they can best interact with patients and their support systems to improve care. Considerations to care can include ethical, moral and legal issues. Students will employ skills learned about stress management, chemical dependency, crisis intervention, grief and loss, among others.
Promote Physiological integrity
Another objective for nursing students involves maintaining the physiological integrity of their patients. This deals with how students can best honor the wishes of patients in ordinary and extraordinary medical situations, to include advanced directives, client rights, confidentiality, continuity of care and informed consent.
Students will be expected to understand their responsibilities to themselves, their patients and management in order to handle issues of ethics, resources and care incidents. Some of the resources at their disposal include accident prevention, error prevention, disaster planning and precautions instituted by the hospital and national organizations.