Sep 21, 2023

7 Mistakes Made in Clinical Rotations and How to Avoid Them


You've invested a lot of time and money in your education, and clinical rotations are an important step in your career in medicine. You want to get everything you can out of this experience and also make a good impression. Here are seven common mistakes you'll want to avoid.

7 Mistakes People Make in Clinical Rotations (And How to Avoid Them)

1. Disrespecting Nurses

Despite what many people think, nurses aren't lower on the chain of command. They simply fill a different roll. If you want to make things harder on yourself, talk down to nurses.

If you want rotations to be a positive experience, treat nurses with the utmost respect — along with the rest of the hospital staff. Their jobs are as hard as everyone else's.

2. Arguing With a Patient

It might feel easy to get defensive of your decisions, especially when you worked so hard to get where you are. But arguing with a patient is not only unprofessional but it's a lose-lose situation.

Instead, you need to learn how to work with the patient in collaborative decision-making so that you can arrive at the right choice together. They are part of the process.

3. Making Excuses for Your Mistakes

It's going to happen, and that's okay. After all, you're only human. The key is to take ownership of everything you do — good and bad.

If you make a mistake, own up to it. Don't try to come up with excuses, lie about it, or shift the blame to someone else. This is a reflection of your character, and it won't give people the best impression of you.

4. Acting Like You Know Everything

True, you know quite a bit, but no one knows everything — not even the greatest doctors in the world.

Confidence is great, but avoid being cocky. Remain humble and open to always learning new things, even from your peers.

5. Trying to Outdo Your Peers

There's a difference between trying to do your very best and trying to look better by making other looks worse. Always go with the former, not the latter.

Engaging in any sneaky behavior will backfire. Focus on being the best you can be, and that'll be more than enough.

6. Forgetting Your Surroundings

You're going to spend so much time at the hospital that you might forget where you are. It's especially challenging considering you'll probably become very close with some of your colleagues.

Here's a gentle reminder: You're surrounded by people who are sick, in pain, worried, and scared. Try to maintain that awareness and sensitivity, no matter how many hours you spend there.

7. Performing Procedures Without Authorization

This is a big no-no. Not only can you get in serious trouble with your superiors, but you might even face major legal trouble. Always get permission.

If you need help managing your residency interview or another part of your clinical experience fill out the form below to begin your new life adventure!

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