Going through nursing school, each student has the opportunity to practice many different types of nursing, ranging from elderly patient care in a nursing home to obstetrics in a hospital. As a sophomore, my first clinical rotation is at Martha T. Berry Nursing Home in Mount Clemens. The purpose of this clinical is to learn basic nursing skills such as bed baths, bed making, taking vital signs and providing ADLs (activities of daily living) to patients. Some students may even have the opportunity to administer insulin injections or provide sterile wound care.
After meeting for the first time at the facility, being in the nursing environment was very different from any hospital I have been in. Martha T. Berry has only 217 beds and the rooms are much more personalized than that of a hospital. There are Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs), LPNs and RNs. CNAs are responsible for the daily hygiene of each patient (baths, dressing, brushing teeth and hair), feeding, and ambulation of patients. RNs and LPNs administer medications, assess the health of patients, and collaborate with each patient’s doctor.
During each clinical day, I am assigned one or two patients and responsible for any daily care they need and required to complete a modified health assessment on the patient. Throughout the semester, after being assigned one patient more than once, I have had the ability to get to know patients well and form a relationship with them. Since this is my first direct patient care experience, this is very rewarding. The work of the CNAs at Martha T. Berry is challenging, tiring, and time consuming. Yet, they manage to complete this with the upmost care and a positive attitude. Not only do I get to learn basic nursing skills and appreciate the work of the CNA, but also I am able to create my own nursing care plan and implement interventions through a student nurse-client relationship.
This clinical rotation at a nursing home is a great way for nursing students to begin to put their nursing skills learned in the classroom to use on patients. Also, you learn how to socially interact with patients on a daily basis. Most students find that walking into a stranger’s room and creating conversation or obtaining vital signs doesn’t come naturally. This clinical allows students to master these skills. A good number of patients enjoy the nursing students’ presence, and they are sure to put a smile on your face throughout the day. Beginning my education to be a nurse would not be complete without my nursing home experience.