Information for Students
Post-Degree BSN Option
Clinical Experience Guidelines
Clinical and lab experiences are a very important part of the program. The University of Saskatchewan has contracts with the major agencies in which you will have experience. All of your clinical experiences, regardless of where they are, will be arranged by the program. During your experiences, you will be supervised by either a College of Nursing facilitator or agency staff. Students are not counted as "staff" during clinical experiences.
NOTE: Many policies in Section 6 apply to clinical experience. Please be familiar with them.
The program will assign you to clinical placements according to your educational needs and the availability of experiences. Experiences may take place at sites other than Saskatoon.
In order to facilitate learning experiences, lab/clinical experiences may be scheduled at a variety of times. Twelve-hour shifts and weekends will be included in some rotations.
You are expected to be prepared for your clinical experiences. Often this preparation will include chart research or other activities prior to actual client care. For chart research and other activities in the clinical area other than your actual experience, you are expected to wear appropriate street clothes and your picture identification tag. Some areas may require lab coats. In addition, you should identify yourself and your purpose to staff in the area. When doing chart research you should not take charts out of the charting area.
Clinical experience is an integral part of the program. It is expected that you will participate in all clinical experiences in your courses. It is recognized that absence may be unavoidable (e.g., illness), and policies [see policies under 6.1] are in place to deal with this. Students who have been absent from clinical due to health problems may be required to produce a medical certificate stating they may return to clinical.
Avoidable or repeated absence is not acceptable. You should be aware that employers often ask about attendance when seeking references.
In cooperation with agency staff, your client assignments will generally be selected prior to the clinical experience. Agency staff take these assignments into consideration when organizing their own workloads. Therefore, if illness or other unavoidable circumstances prevent you from being present for clinical experience, it is important for you to let people know as soon as you can before you are scheduled to begin your clinical experience. Unless your facilitator otherwise informs you, you should notify both the facilitator and the clinical practice area that you will be absent.
If a facilitator is in the area with you, you should report to him/her when you arrive in the area. You should also report to the appropriate staff before beginning your assignment, and continue to collaborate with both the facilitator and appropriate staff during your experience.
If you are in an institutional setting, you must report to the appropriate RN/RPN regarding your assigned clients before you leave the clinical area for any reason (e.g., coffee, end of experience, going out of the area with a client). In community settings, the facilitator (if on site) or appropriate staff must be advised of your whereabouts.
In your role as a student, you may NOT act as a witness for legal documents such as wills, surgical consents, or release of hospital responsibility.
Agency Manuals And Policies
Most agencies have manuals dealing with policies, procedures, and charting specific to that particular agency. You should familiarize yourself with the manuals in the area of your clinical experience, and follow policies and procedures of the agency in which you are having experience. If in doubt, refer to your facilitator.
Through your classes you will become familiar with the principles of documentation. During your clinical experience, you must follow charting policies of that specific agency (you will find them in the charting manual). This documentation includes use of agency specific abbreviations. When charting, use the letters NS (Nursing Student) after your name when it is necessary to identify your designation.
Performance Of Technical Skills
Clinical experience provides an opportunity for you to develop your nursing skills and knowledge. While you are encouraged to seek learning experiences, you must not perform any procedure for which you do not have adequate preparation.
You may perform certain special nursing procedures under direct supervision of a facilitator or RN/RPN who is certified for the procedure if you have been provided with theoretical background. You may not perform procedures which are a transfer of medical function. Designation of procedures as special nursing procedures or transfer of medical function vary from area to area. Consult with your facilitator.