Rating Clinical Experiences During the Pandemic

11 Jan, 2024

With the current challenges facing healthcare and the world, we want to shine a light on the students and new nurses who are coming into the field during this unprecedented time.

We hope to raise awareness of their situations and help to amplify what needs to be done to ensure that nurses feel comfortable and supported in the healthcare field.

Situations cannot change with truth. We hope their stories will resonate with you and can create change within the field of nursing.

In the fifth video of our series, we ask the students, on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best), how would you rate your nursing student clinical or preceptor learning experiences?


It was a 10. I had a great clinical experience. My preceptor was wonderful. I was doing community health and she took me out on visits. It was great. And then as soon as the pandemic hit, naturally, they had to sort of eliminate the home visits or more people coming into the homes. They said, we actually have to kind of wrap up.

And we did. We ended up wrapping everything up to save, you know, time and get me through this semester. So it was definitely a 10 for both before and after the pandemic.

On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d rate my nursing clinical experience with my instructor and my clinical site as an eight. I think that my instructors that I have this semester and this past semester in the spring have been really qualified, and they definitely want us to dig deeper and start to develop critical thinking skills that are really necessary in nursing.

And they definitely take time throughout the day when we are there to pull us aside to talk to us about like, what’s the pathophysiology behind your patient’s disease? Like, how does everything they have going on, like kind of correlate and like, why are you seeing the things that you’re seeing? Like, what assessment findings did you find? And what are the interventions that you’d consider doing? Like, did you follow up with those interventions?

And then we do have like pre work and post work that’s pretty extensive, I’d say. That’s the reason why I didn’t necessarily rate it a 10, because I think that sometimes it’s a little bit like overkill. It just gets to be kind a lot at the time. Like the time that we are in the hospital is also like significant So I do think it’s a really important part of learning because like the hands on approach is something I really appreciate and you learn a lot more.

I feel like when you’re actually doing something rather than just sitting in the classroom but it’s been a lot this semester. I’m not going to lie. I think transitioning from online to in-person as well as like the hour increase has just been something that’s more difficult to manage, but it’s definitely beneficial and I see how it’s helping our learning.

I think if I had to rate my experience on a scale of 1 to 10, I’d probably give it a 6. Part of it was in a pandemic, so that changes things a little bit. I think overall it was just kind of frustrating. A lot of my clinical experience was surrounded by clinical paperwork, which I don’t know if that’s something that’s common in every program, but we would sometimes have like 12 pages of clinical paperwork to do.

Before the pandemic, that was something that needed to be completed before the end of clinical. And then when COVID happened and we were, you know, getting back into the hospital, they didn’t want paper copies of anything. So everything needed to be typed up, which was nice because then it didn’t have to be completed during clinical obviously or is still taking notes.

Now we’re, you know, have more time with our patients, which is great. But now we have on top of all the other work we have to do, we’re completing clinical paperwork outside of clinical. And again, it was taking 3 hours of our time to complete. We would only have 12 hours after clinical to finish that. I was a night clinical person, so it needed to be done by 11:00 in the morning the next day.

So it was just frustrating to accomplish that, which I think in the end kind of made the clinical experience less enjoyable because you just dreaded having to do that. And experience as we had with nurses wasn’t always the greatest. I think there were clinical instructors that really stuck up for us and we really tried to make the experience the best that they could.

But then there were others that were kind of, Okay, tough luck. This is what it is. These are the people that you’re going to be dealing with on a regular basis, which, you know, yeah, of course we have to learn how to deal with different people, but at the same time, it’s like we’re students. You’re supposed to kind of look out for us and try to make this experience better.

I think there’s obviously work that needs to be done to continue to make the program better, but those are just the two areas that kind of made it more of a negative experience for me.

So on a scale of 1 to 10, reading my clinical experience, I would probably rate it about an 8 and only docking those points because ideally being in person for all clinicals is what I would want and what most other nursing students would want. Because of the pandemic, we do have a lot of those virtual clinicals. And I think that the professors and nursing staff really do put in a lot of effort and try to make it as real as they can and I really do appreciate that.

And I think that you can take a lot from the virtual simulations, virtual clinicals to help better prepare you for your future clinicals and being a nurse in the field. So I do appreciate their efforts and things because it is again, hard on their part. And I think understanding that’s important.

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