How to get back basic nursing skills and knowledge?

  1. 0
    Hi guys,

    I've been recently hired as an RN Med/Surg Intern for an observation unit. It's been a long time since I've had my clinicals. I graduated in 2011 and passed the nclex last year. I've forgotten most of my studies and skills. Although, I'm very excited to finally work in my dream job (as an RN! !) and I'd like to feel very confident but I'm afraid that I'm gonna be let go on my first few weeks. What can I do guys? What could I study or practice? I have 1 month before my life starts!
  2. 14 Comments so far...

  3. 1
    Quote from dsingson5
    Hi guys, I've been recently hired as an RN Med/Surg Intern for an observation unit. It's been a long time since I've had my clinicals. I graduated in 2011 and passed the nclex last year. I've forgotten most of my studies and skills. Although, I'm very excited to finally work in my dream job (as an RN! !) and I'd like to feel very confident but I'm afraid that I'm gonna be let go on my first few weeks. What can I do guys? What could I study or practice? I have 1 month before my life starts!
    To be honest there's probably not much you can review/ study..

    You'll learn so much, no one will expect you to know it all right away. How long is your orientation? Make sure you let people know it's been awhile since your last clinical.

    Good luck!
    dsingson5 likes this.
  4. 1
    Quote from Bringonthenight

    To be honest there's probably not much you can review/ study..

    You'll learn so much, no one will expect you to know it all right away. How long is your orientation? Make sure you let people know it's been awhile since your last clinical.

    Good luck!
    THIS...

    You can also watch YouTube to look over procedures, etc.; as well as there are resources on line to look up rhythm strips, etc; if monitors are on the unit you are working in.
    dsingson5 likes this.
  5. 1
    You could practice at home. Take a continue ed class for skills, simulation, or clinicals. My schools continuing ed school has these classes that we can take. Some nursing co's that give BLS,EKG classes may offer them. Let me know what you decide to do, I am going to refresh my skills also.
    dsingson5 likes this.
  6. 2
    Are you on good terms with the instructors at your school? You could ask if they would let you attend an open lab session so you could get some practice in before your first day.

    Congrats on your job by the way!
    VegasPrincess and dsingson5 like this.
  7. 0
    Thank you Bringonthenight, LadyFree28, swansonplace, and Jenngirl34 for the pretty smart ideas!

    Yeah, I've been watching Youtube videos on skills and other new RNs experiences and they are awesome with refreshing my studies and keeping my anxiety a little lower *whew*

    I have my BLS, ACLS certification and I'd love to do the EKG class and others but sadly my funds are getting pretty thin for them. I've got something saved for my relocation(Yes, I'm moving to another state. The Lone Star State! Howdy partner!) but I don't think I have enough for more than $200 per class.

    I'm pretty good with my instructors but my nursing school is outside the country. Does anybody have a private jet I could borrow?

    My soon to be preceptor said that the observation unit has a lot of assessments and documentation particularly for "Dx Chest pain, TIA/Stoke, hypertensive emergency, ETOH abuse, s/p angiogram, Afib with RVR, CHF and a lot more" so I got 3 of the F.A. Davis' notes(RNotes, Docu Notes, IV Med Notes). Most of the new RN's here and on Youtube said that it helped them during their internship.

    What other resources do you think would prepare me most the observation unit?
  8. 0
    Quote from dsingson5
    Thank you Bringonthenight, LadyFree28, swansonplace, and Jenngirl34 for the pretty smart ideas! Yeah, I've been watching Youtube videos on skills and other new RNs experiences and they are awesome with refreshing my studies and keeping my anxiety a little lower *whew* I have my BLS, ACLS certification and I'd love to do the EKG class and others but sadly my funds are getting pretty thin for them. I've got something saved for my relocation(Yes, I'm moving to another state. The Lone Star State! Howdy partner!) but I don't think I have enough for more than $200 per class. I'm pretty good with my instructors but my nursing school is outside the country. Does anybody have a private jet I could borrow? My soon to be preceptor said that the observation unit has a lot of assessments and documentation particularly for "Dx Chest pain, TIA/Stoke, hypertensive emergency, ETOH abuse, s/p angiogram, Afib with RVR, CHF and a lot more" so I got 3 of the F.A. Davis' notes(RNotes, Docu Notes, IV Med Notes). Most of the new RN's here and on Youtube said that it helped them during their internship. What other resources do you think would prepare me most the observation unit?
    Well I would practice my assessment skills including vital signs, neurological and cardiovascular assessments.

    I would try to get ahold of the facilities "chest pain protocol" as you'll be seeing a lot of chest pain patients and should have that policy memorized.

    I would study on placement position for EKG dots. Perhaps do an EKG course?

    ALS and PALS should also be something to work on after your orientation.

  9. 2
    Also will you be hanging IV antibiotics? Ask your preceptor what the most common ones that are administered in your unit then look up the administration methods and duration of administration for them and write them all down for quick reference while your new.
    VegasPrincess and dsingson5 like this.
  10. 5
    NCLEX and hiring are just the first of many hurdles to your future as a nurse.

    Do you have any of your textbooks, school notes, etc? As one who was "let go" at end of orientation, I urge you to review, review, review. Figure out the most efficient way and just do it. I have a fundamentals of nursing text that comes with a DVD including videos of all the basic nursing skills (trach care, cath insertion, hanging IV's, etc, etc). The DVD also has pages to print out with all the steps of each procedure. It's Fundamentals of Nursing by Wilkinson and Van Leuven, but there must be many similar. Go to any online textbook dealers to find the best low prices on used texts, or scour the used bookstores. Also review your Med/Surg text. You can keep referring to these during your orientation. Also google searches for nursing skills videos and DVDs as mentioned above. Follow up on others' suggestions here, too. Then when you get on board at the unit, study the unit protocols and the policy and procedures you'll be given...These will tell you how your employer prefers things to be done. Once on the unit, review each day's learning when you get home after your shift. Look up anything you're not sure of. Take notes on what you need to ask for clarification. A pocket notebook to jot down a word or topic to look up later is helpful.

    Get ahold of NCLEX preparation texts like Saunders' or Kaplan. Saunders has a DVD with test banks to assess your learning needs and focus your study. These are designed to give a complete nursing review in 4 to 6 weeks or so and are good to have around for quick reference.

    Drill on your meds, lab values, math conversions, Fluids and Electrolytes, ABG analysis, and all the info you'll be expected to have at your fingertips and were supposed to have learned in nursing school. Find texts or continuing ed offerings (again look online) dealing with nursing time management,organization and delegation skills. Review assessment skills, general and focused.

    You will have so much NEW stuff to learn that you won't want to be grasping for what should already be fairly familiar.

    When you hit the floor, take your time. No matter the pressure, don't be tempted to rush and don't lose your professional cool. Try to appear calm and in control at all times. (Be sure your patients see you as skilled and competent!) Be respectful and bite your tongue before making that off-the-cuff comment. Trust me, you are being evaluated and scrutinized throughout your orientation and will be judged "in or out" by both colleagues and managers.

    You have a month to prepare for your "new life" and another two or three to prove yourself. It will go fast. Consider your daily priorities carefully, work and study hard, and GOOD LUCK!
    Last edit by Flatlander on Sep 29, '13
  11. 1
    Do some CEUs that pertain to your specialty. As far as skills, agree with the poster who suggested youtube. What have you been doing all this time to keep your knowledge current. Even without a job, you can still read to keep your knowledge up to date.
    dsingson5 likes this.


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