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  • Writer's pictureCaryssa Barrett

How to Manage Stress and Make the Most of Your Clinical Rotations

If you're a studying NP, PA, or medical student, chances are you've experienced some stress in your clinical rotations. Whether it's the pressure of performing well in front of attendings, the anxiety of making a mistake, or simply the fatigue that comes with long hours on your feet, it's totally normal to feel overwhelmed at times.

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to manage stress and make the most of your clinical rotations.

Here are three tips to ace your clinical rotations:

  1. Get organized

  2. Plan for meals and snacks

  3. Be yourself

Get organized

Getting organized is one of the best ways to minimize stress during your clinical rotations. Create a schedule for each day, including when you'll study and when you'll have free time. If you can, try to get your studying done before you go to the hospital or clinic so that you're not trying to cram in between patients.

Plan for meals and snacks

Planning ahead for meals and snacks is another way to make sure you're taking care of yourself so that you can take better care of your patients. It's all too possible to go your entire shift without eating, especially on potentially busy rotations like the Emergency Department or OB. Prepare with balanced snacks that don't need to be refrigerated like trail mix, jerky, or a protein bar for when (if) you get a break.

Be yourself

One of the best pieces of advice for managing stress during your clinical rotations is to be yourself. It can be tempting to try to be someone you think your attendings or preceptors want you to be, but it's important to remember that they're looking for someone who is a good fit for their team. Be confident in your abilities and don't be afraid to ask questions if you're unsure about something.

BONUS TIP: Have a Second Brain

What? Yeah, I said it. dotScribe is like a second brain. The cognitive load that you are under as a student is overwhelming, and utilizing even a small percentage of dotScribe's features is a great way to study and learn while on your toes. dotScribe can truly help you access accurate and up to date information faster than you can recall it.

dotScribe is a revolutionary new platform that was originally created to be a documentation assistant that crosses EHR and Hospital System boundaries but has since evolved into a multifaceted resource that you can search while typing.

Say that you are on a sports med rotation and your attending asks you to get the HPI on a patient with shoulder pain.

So you type: ",hpishoulderpain" and this instantly pops up:

Now you know exactly what you need to ask your patient. You have a complete SOCRATES note with all the disease-specific pertinent information.

But what if you really, really wanted to impress your preceptor?

You could, just hypothetically, type ",ddshoulderpain" to instantly get the full differential for shoulder pain (yes, it even includes special exams to confirm your diagnosis).

How are you possibly supposed to know how to perform these tests, you ask? ",procedu" is the prefix for any special exams or procedures you might need.

If you have trouble remembering the prefixes, you can always access the dotScribe prefix legend by clicking on the dotScribe icon on the pop-up window.


That’s it! Follow these simple tips and you should be well on your way to a successful clinical rotation. And if you find yourself struggling with stress or feeling overwhelmed, don’t forget that dotScribe is here to help. With our cloud-based medical documentation software, you can have all the resources you need right at your fingertips. So sign up for a free trial today and see how dotScribe can make your rotations easier and less stressful. Good luck out there!



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