Tomorrow I start my new position as affiliate faculty for one of the college of nursing programs.  That’s a fancy name for a clinical instructor.  I am pretty excited about it, but at the same time I am pretty nervous.  How the heck do I monitor seven students on two floors and ensure they don’t hurt or kill somebody?  What do I do when they ask me a question and I don’t know the answer (that will probably happen more than anything else)?  When will I have time to eat and pee?
I am sure that things will run very smoothly, I have basically been handling this like I would with a new group of employees.  I set out my expectations and my rules before we even start and then hold them to those.  I think if they know what they can and can’t do with me while in the clinical setting then they will behave appropriately.  They are all adults, so I am confident things will go smooth.

The biggest thing I worry about is when they ask me something I don’t know.  I have been practicing saying “Well, why don’t you go look it up, then come back and tell me about it”, and then I will run, hide and look it up myself.

One thing I have learned over my years of nursing and as a manager is to just say “I don’t know.”  I usually follow that up with an explanation of how I will go look it up, get the information and then come back with that information.  I really want my students to learn to say that, instead of trying to do something that will put patient safety in jeopardy.  I have seen many good nurses just give a medication or do a procedure that they didn’t know about and caused harm to a patient, and sometimes have caused them to lose their jobs. 

I guess if I can get that lesson through to them, I will be doing pretty well.

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