Anxiety during clinicals, Plz help???

  1. 0
    I'm in 4th semister,

    I'm having anxiety during clincals, everytime my instructor comes watch my skills or ask me questions, I get really nervous. My anxiety level has an impact on my performance, Sometimes I can't continue performing a skill in presence of my insturctor (i.e my hands gets shaky and I start to sweat)

    I'm very concerned and afraid of failing.


    I don't how to overcome my anxiety, I'm considering geting prescription for anti-anxiety meds. has anyone used antianxiety meds? Or anyother effective strategies?


    appreciate any input
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  4. 1
    I think one of the most helpful self-help maneuvers I ever learned was to look around at every nurse you see, including your faculty members, and know that every single one of them was in exactly the same place that you are right now. Seriously. I told myself I wasn't so dang special that I needed extraordinary reassurance and hand-holding, not such a special snowflake, really. That served as my very own internal wake-up call, and it really helped.

    That said, if you really think you need professional help to get over this hurdle, go to the student health center and ask for a referral to a counselor. They have heard it all before and can really help you. Reflex asking for meds is not a good idea IMHO.
    Hygiene Queen likes this.
  5. 1
    agree with GrnTea - meds is a last resort as they affect your whole brain, not just the anxiety-ridden part. I remember being so anxious about clinicals that I started dreading it a day or two in advance. I got thru it by pretending I was already a nurse and was just waiting for others to notice. In other words, I faked it. Asking for help, seeking out experiences and having conversations with the instructor will all help you get more at ease with the job and with the process. This too shall pass.
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  6. 0
    I would definitely try non-pharmeceutical methods of relieving anxiety first. I have a Xanax script, but only used it when I had to take Public Speaking. Anti-anxiety meds also affect your cognition and memory, so I consider it a last resort if you truly can't function. If it's skills that make you nervous, practice, practice, practice until you are confident. I spend hours in open Nursing Lab. Then just do some deep breathing and visualization to calm down in the actual situation. I always feel disorganized when I'm skill tested in clinical. So I try to make sure I have everything I need. Sometimes you still mess up. That's OK, it will come with practice. That's what I write on the clinical experience paper when it asks what do I think I need to work on. On my last skills test which was simply vital signs, my glasses kept falling off when I bent down (the facility was HOT), I couldn't get the blood pressure cuff on, and I didn't realize I was reading the portable pulse oximeter upside down! But I expressed confidence in my experience paper that even though I felt disorganized, I'd do better with more practice.
  7. 0
    Our school recognized the anxiety as a major issue for most students. Nether have implemented EFT therapy for any student that wants to learn and I have to say, it has helped tremendously,
  8. 0
    Think of your patient and how the anxiety will make them feel. If you walk into a room and are not confident then your patient will not feel confident about you taking care of them. Every time you do procedures with your nurse/instructor have faith in yourself and don't let negativity or fear enter your mind. Keep remembering that you are there for the patient and must show professionalism and confidence in your knowledge and skills. Good luck!
  9. 0
    I've heard other students mention the possibility of taking meds for anxiety during labs/clinicals. For me, I would be way too afraid that I would make a cognitive error.

    I'm not the greatest skills person. And when I say that, I'm talking gross motor skills in general. I'm physically clumsy half the time, and I'm kind of up in my head a lot as opposed to being present in my body. So the thought of people watching me was making me experience this mind-numbing terror. I would just freeze if I dropped something or did something wrong while being assessed on skills. I would lose all rational thought and just wish that there was a nearby hole in the ground so I could sink into it.

    It took an instructor to show me that I was focusing so much on me that I wasn't focusing on the patient (even if the pt was a dummy). After that, i started to focus on the patient and what would work best for them/make them most comfortable, etc, given whatever procedure it was, and even if it wasn't a live person, I talked to them like they were, touched them like they were, pretended as though I was caring for someone and really wanted to just make things as easy as possible for them. It's made such difference in the way I approach everything, and I'm a little chagrined that someone else had to tell me to focus on what this is all about anyway -the patients and their care.
  10. 0
    I graduated this past may. Take a deep breath it's going to be alright. Tell your nurse, instructor and everyone else about your nerves ( except the patient). Then before you enter the room talk over your game plan with your nurse/instructor. "okay so I'm going to do central line dressing change and I will do this by first..." this will help clam your nerves tremendously. Let me know if this helps.

    Deb
  11. 0
    Quote from Minas
    I'm in 4th semister,

    I'm having anxiety during clincals, everytime my instructor comes watch my skills or ask me questions, I get really nervous. My anxiety level has an impact on my performance, Sometimes I can't continue performing a skill in presence of my insturctor (i.e my hands gets shaky and I start to sweat)

    I'm very concerned and afraid of failing.

    I don't how to overcome my anxiety, I'm considering geting prescription for anti-anxiety meds. has anyone used antianxiety meds? Or anyother effective strategies?

    appreciate any input
    Have you worked in healthcare prior to this. By 4th block you should be way more comfortable. Be very very careful using any medication that alters your mind. Most hospitals have polices that prohibit healthcare workers from working under the influence of these meds even if prescribed. I would try other methods like... Practice practice practice. The more you do something the more comfortable you are and the less anxiety you will have.


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