My Last Clinical Day: I Swore She Was Going to Tear Me a New One

I was almost certain my clinical instructor was going to tear me a new a**hole. I was sometimes late to clinical, I didn’t necessarily jump to a case, and my trudge down the hallways was significantly noticeable. You could spot that I didn’t want to be there a mile away. But don’t get it twisted, my subpar insubordination and lack of interest was well compensated by my brilliance in the classroom. It certainly gave my butt breathing room, throughout the curriculum. And it kept me under the radar from all the professors. Lol. My last clinical rotation of nursing school: Hospice Care.

I remembered it like it was yesterday. I wasn’t necessarily excited that it was my last day, nor was I unhappy. It was more of a shoulder shrug feeling of indifference. My classmates and I were all waiting for our exit review, from our clinical instructor. We each had a turn, and I was second to last.

I went into the family rest area and sat down at the table, right in front of my instructor. We exchanged the normal pleasantries, as she flipped through her stock pile of care plans, and evaluations, etc.

Professor: “So, what do you think about hospice care?”

I told her that I didn’t mind it. The experience was more liberating, in that the clinical location was much more willing to let us have our freedom and do whatever we wanted. Hell, after all, we were technically seniors. I also enjoyed the timing of this clinical rotation. Being that hospice care focused heavily on the comfort and free will of a dying client, in a way it resonated with me. When I started the curriculum, I was just a premature baby to the game. And for my last day, I took care of a dying patient, knowing that a new graduate nurse was soon to be born.

Professor: “You didn’t seem very interested this quarter? Have you decided what specialty you want to do? What has been going on in your mind?”  

So, there it was. The golden question that I have been pondering about all quarter. For short, “What the hell are you doing with your life?” She sounded like my mother. I have to tell you now, I really didn’t know how to respond. This is mainly because I didn’t know the answer for myself yet. In retrospect, I’m happy with the answer that I gave her, because I still feel the same way today. I’m indifferent to the field. Don’t get me wrong, nursing is something else. Thank your nurses people! You really have to have a knack for dealing and caring for patients. I guess somewhere along the lines, I lost touch of that. And to be honest, I don’t see myself just being your average floor nurse for the rest of my life. Nevertheless, I’m happy for the indifference. I’m happy because I know that I don’t want to stop my education here. I knew at that very moment, I have not yet peaked in my life. I wanted more. Much more.

I’m greatly convinced that if I, in anyway, were content with my current state and well being, I wouldn’t be so inclined to pursue a higher field. I knew at that very moment there is still so much more for me to accomplish in my lifetime. And I’m already 28. Regardless, with nursing, I do feel a sense of security now. I feel that I have the world at my feet and I can no longer be brought down. I will forever be a trained nurse. On paper for sure. But it’s already in my head and no one can take that away from me.

What was your last clinical day like? What were your thoughts? Or if you haven’t gotten there yet, what do you imagine/hope it would be like?

All the best,


Author: nursesarereal

My nursing professor once said that keeping a journal, over time, will allow me to see growth. In myself? I’m not sure yet. I’m hoping. I like to believe that nursing school saved my life. Maybe I’ll have some fun doing this. Cheers.

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