How to Succeed in Clinical Rotations for Medical Students
This is a 2-part series. Please click the link below to read part 1.
10 Mistakes Med Students Make During Clinical Rotations – Part 2
6. Disrespecting Nurses
One of the biggest mistakes many med school students make during clinical rotations is being disrespectful or rude to nurses. Being cordial to the women and men who assist physicians and care for patients most makes your job simpler, now and in the future.
This is especially true for the nurses you work with, as they will be your lifeline someday. Nurses put in a lot of physical work to help care for patients. They are not only your future colleagues but your future partners in medicine.
If you want to enjoy your time at the hospital, try getting to know every nurse you meet. This will help you later on in your medical school training. These awesome medical professionals will also help you learn how to succeed in clinical rotations if you pay attention and learn from them.
7. Poor Time Management
When you show up late to your clinical rotation, people take notice immediately. This can be very disruptive for the rest of your group. And it’s deemed unprofessional and disrespectful.
Understandably, between classes, clinical rotations, studying and exams, internships, etc… you will most definitely have your hands full. However, that does excuse you for being late.
Practice good time management skills to avoid being tardy. This is one of the most practical skills you can acquire while learning how to prepare for clinical rotations.
8. Performing Unauthorized Procedures
Some hospitals do not allow medical students to handle or touch patients, especially during obstetrics rotations. It may seem hard to learn some procedures when you’re not allowed to touch an actual live patient. But it is possible.
Routine physical exams and drawing blood may fall under this category. Be sure you know your boundaries ahead of time. And make sure not to perform any procedure that’s above your experience or comfort level during rotation training.
Watch and learn from those above you. Soon, you will get your chance to shine. If an emergency arises, let your senior colleagues and attendings handle it. Just watch and learn.
Unless you’ve received authorization from an attending physician, do not perform procedures of any kind on patients that could get you or the facility involved in a lawsuit or any other type of trouble.
Being too eager to help may cause you to end your future career as a physician before it starts.
9. Behaving Inappropriately in a Hospital Setting
The hospital is full of people who feel sick, scared, worried, and helpless. It’s imperative that you always remember this and treat patients with compassion and empathy.
Act and behave in a manner that is appropriate for your healthcare profession and environment. Just remember to treat patients and healthcare professionals, in the same manner, you want to be treated.
10. Slacking Off or Constantly Whining
Everyone at the hospital is busy, including yourself. At times, you may even be busier than your fellow med students, leaving you more worn or frustrated. However, it’s important to make sure you never complain about it, as this is all part of your training to become a doctor.
You may become tired due to the long hours you must put in as a medical student. But that comes with the territory. Never complain about being too tired, bored, or too busy, as this will earn you a negative reputation.
If you have any issues you’d like to discuss with senior doctors, it’s a good idea to wait until they check in with you to see how you’re doing. Remember, you have many things to deal with during your rotations, such as:
- Patient care
- Resume strengthening
- Residency applications
- Shelf exam preparation
- Letters of recommendation
How to Prepare for Clinical Rotations in the US
Mistakes are going to happen during clinical rotations for medical students. It’s how you handle them that will determine the outcome and your future as a medical professional.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel. All your hard work will pay off in the end. Just keep your eyes on the prize… becoming a doctor after med school. And if you experience any anxiety or worries, make sure to ask for help when needed.
One of the best ways to prepare for clinical rotations as a medical student is with clinical placement training. Learn every aspect of the clinical placement application process, including core and elective rotations. Get letters of recommendation and clinical performance evaluations from medical professionals to help you thrive.
MedSmarter’s Clinical Placement Course helps med students studying in the Atlanta, Georgia area prepare for clinical rotations. Get the help you need to continue your journey toward becoming a doctor. Click the link below to learn more today.