Clinical Disaster!

  1. I am a confident nursing student who is a wife and a mother. Not having much exposure to the nursing profession as a child, I didn't think of it as a career. Having got a job a local hospital emergency room, it did not take me long to decide that this was the career path I would like to follow. I feel comfortable talking and being around sick people. The academic side of nursing school is amazing to me. I love learning all the new information. There is only one problem, I am nervous about the clinical side. I fear it may take me a lot longer to get used to that aspect. Please share you thoughts and memories of this time in your life.
    Thanks,
    Melissa
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  2. 20 Comments

  3. by   panda_181
    Originally posted by miaka:
    I am a confident nursing student who is a wife and a mother. Not having much exposure to the nursing profession as a child, I didn't think of it as a career. Having got a job a local hospital emergency room, it did not take me long to decide that this was the career path I would like to follow. I feel comfortable talking and being around sick people. The academic side of nursing school is amazing to me. I love learning all the new information. There is only one problem, I am nervous about the clinical side. I fear it may take me a lot longer to get used to that aspect. Please share you thoughts and memories of this time in your life.
    Thanks,
    Melissa
    Melissa:

    Well, I'm also a nursing student, and I will be finishing my third year in April (only one more year left! )). Now, first off, every single person is nervous when they go into clinical. It's not something that I have gotten over. But I found that the more I practiced my skills, the more confident I got. If you're nervous, let the instructor know. They will talk you through it if need be (mine did anyway).

    And also...if you don't know how to do something or if someone asks you a question and you don't know...don't pretend like you know. You probably already know this, but it just makes you look even sillier. We have some great nurses here who are always willing to answer questions.

    But I hope this helped! Medicine and Surgery are 2 awesome places to build your confidence...

    Amanda
  4. by   mustangsheba
    Miaka: You don't say what it is about clinicals that you're uncomfortable with - examining patients, asking personal questions - what part bothers you?
  5. by   miaka
    I guess what bothers me the most is the insertion of catheters, Iv's, and anything else that could result in bodily harm due to a mistake that I make.
  6. by   miaka
    Can anyone share their memories of the first time they put in an IV or catheter. Or any of the other hundred things that I am frightened to do.
  7. by   hollykate
    Don't worry so much about those things! From my experience and what I hear, that won't be the first thing you are asked to do in clinicals. During my entire school experience I think I put one foley catheter in and 4-5 iv catheters. All of which was heavily heavily supervised. The instructor is allowing you to work under her liscense, they are going to be very careful about that-so have no fear, you won't be put in a position to harm a patient.
  8. by   traumaRUs
    I've been an RN for 7 yrs and know first hand, it's always nerve-wracking to do something for the first time. As another poster said, let your instructor know you're nervous.

    I work in a busy level I trauma center and we have students of all kinds - LPNs, RNs, EMTs, etc.. I always tell them, let's try some easy IV's first and then progress to the more difficlut ones. You have to build your confidence first and also get the mechanics down.

    I also try to let them go in with me for the more challenging sticks/procedures and try to tell them what I look/feel for before I stick. And, sometimes, I don't stick, because there isn't anything to stick. Good luck...judi
  9. by   mustangsheba
    Miaka: You're describing skills that just take practice. As the previous posts stated, you will have an instructor by your side, talking you through these procedures until you feel comfortable. Your comfort level will increase a hundredfold after your first successful attempt. Remember the old Elvis tune "My hands are shaky and my knees are weak; I can't seem to stand on my own two feet"? That could have been written for a nursing student doing practically anything for the first time. The key is focus. Go through your procedure in your mind, take a few deep breaths. Take those few extra seconds to feel centered. Tell yourself there are millions of us out here who have stood exactly where you're standing right now and lived to tell the tale - and so did their patient. What you bring to nursing that can't be taught are sensitivity and caring. You can learn to do everything else.
  10. by   3651bht
    Miaka,
    This may sound silly but IV's are not that hard to insert, remember drug addicts do it to themselves all the time. Many parapelegics cath themselves. I get pleasure from patients who tell me that no one can get an IV in them and I have no problem. Start with the anticubital space first as it is a large vein. Get used to using a 20 gauge as it is sort of a universal size. You can transfuse blood through it and the patient can go to the OR with it. Also, it's a little easier to hold and manipulate..... Good luck If you weren't worried a little I'd be worried.... TTFN
  11. by   3651bht
    Miaka,
    This may sound silly but IV's are not that hard to insert, remember drug addicts do it to themselves all the time. Many parapelegics cath themselves. I get pleasure from patients who tell me that no one can get an IV in them and I have no problem. Start with the anticubital space first as it is a large vein. Get used to using a 20 gauge as it is sort of a universal size. You can transfuse blood through it and the patient can go to the OR with it. Also, it's a little easier to hold and manipulate..... Good luck If you weren't worried a little I'd be worried.... TTFN
  12. by   bubblymom
    Oh my,yep, I remember those days!!! Knees shake just going on the floor to give meds to 2 patients! First I time I had to cath someone the tubing was shaking so bad I had to take some deep breaths to calm down. Don't even get me started on IV sticks. It is normal to be nervous and worried when doing these procedures for the first time and many times after that until you are comfortable doing them. Just remember before they let you do things to patients you practice in the class first. When you are going to do procedures on a patient the instructor is usually right there to help. You will not be the first nurse who couldn't get an IV started or had problems inserting a catheter, it happens to all of us. Learn from mistakes yours and others, grab any opportunities while in clinicals to do procedures it will help boost your confidence. Hope this helped. Good Luck!
  13. by   Zee_RN
    I remember the thing that worried me the most in nursing school was the thought of having to insert a foley catheter. To this day I don't know why that was my biggest hangup but it was! When it finally came to be my first time, I almost nauseated with worry. And it was an 88-year-old, alert & oriented woman who had never been catherized in her life. She had the stiffest legs!! Biggest problem was getting her to spread those legs! My instructor was RIGHT THERE, 3 other nursing students holding her legs, and it went in. Sweat was poring off me. Took 2 attempts. It becomes easier as you become more accustomed to being around naked people . I was nervous in those beginning days about being around people's nakedness. Heh. Believe me, you get over that.

    My first IM injection my hands were shaking so bad, my instructor to had to keep her hands on my hands to steady them. Got over this one rather quickly. (Injections are easy.)

    First time I saw a difficult IV insertion (IV nurse inserting on a screaming old lady), I nearly passed out. I still don't like attempting IV insertions on those with no veins and I have great admiration for those of you who get those IVs in those impossible starts. We all have our strengths and weaknesses.

    Bottomline: you'll get over it. Everyone is nervous at first, some of us more than others. Those who say they aren't nervous are liars or psychotics.
  14. by   ktwlpn
    Originally posted by miaka:
    I am a confident nursing student who is a wife and a mother. Not having much exposure to the nursing profession as a child, I didn't think of it as a career. Having got a job a local hospital emergency room, it did not take me long to decide that this was the career path I would like to follow. I feel comfortable talking and being around sick people. The academic side of nursing school is amazing to me. I love learning all the new information. There is only one problem, I am nervous about the clinical side. I fear it may take me a lot longer to get used to that aspect. Please share you thoughts and memories of this time in your life.
    Thanks,
    Melissa
    My first Foley cath-insertion...a 98 yr old blind and senile NUN!
    It took 5 to hold her down-she kept picking hher head up and aiming spit missiles at us,,,cursed like a sailor-in French.It took me 5 tries-I was sweating more then I ever have in my life...I remember my instructor saying after the first insertion did not strike gold" just leave the catheter in there-it is plugging up some hole" I'll never forget that day...thru the years you do learn a lot of great tricks...like always have extra supplies with you-saves alot of time...

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