Anxiety for tests!

  1. I am currently enrolled in a CNA course and our finals were this past weekend. We had two separate tests, oral and written. I got a 92% on written but failed the skills test. For the skills test, you are given your scenario and then you have 5 min to write down planned skills, 5 min to grab materials, and 20 min to perform skills. Meanwhile, all three instructors are watching you with their notepads in hand. I did fine with the writing and materials and everything, but after I brushed the manequins teeth I just quit. This sounds kind of dumb because I know how to do oral care, bed baths, etc. and am very familiar with the information but I couldn't stop shaking and breathing really fast and was getting kind of light headed. The good thing is that we are allowed 2 chances to pass the test but I'm really nervous. I know I will have to get over this because I'll have to do this same thing in nursing school. Does anyone have any suggestions to help with nervousness? Thanks in advance. :kiss

    Keely
    Last edit by Keely-FutureRN on Feb 10, '03
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  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   Ortho_RN
    As hard as this is to do.. Try to ignore the fact that the instructor is in the room.... They were a student once, so they SHOULD remember what the anxiety is like... Do you get to try the skills part again??
  4. by   Keely-FutureRN
    Yes, I just called a while ago to make an appointment to do it. If I don't pass, I need to retake the whole class. It wasen't a bad class, but I will have to pay and wake up early (on the weekends 8am-5pm sat. and sun.) all over again.

    Keely
  5. by   Jennerizer
    No, no, no.......THINK POSITIVE! You know this stuff, now you just need to gain the confidence. Pretend like the instructors are family members or friends. They expect you to be nervous & shaky.....so don't worry about that.

    Practice, practice, practice & tell yourself you are going to do this. Pretend you're an actress playing a part if you have to or block the instructors out of your mind.....whatever it takes, but you can do this!

    I have two skill evaluations over the next two days so I know what the nervousness feels like. Better to get it out of your system in front of the instructor instead of your future patients.

    Come on Keely...............you can do this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  6. by   webbiedebbie
    Keely...you could also pretend that the instructors are your students. This has helped me in the past. You'll do fine.
  7. by   essarge
    Explain to the mannequin what you are doing as you do it. You will be so busy concentrating on that you will forget about the instructor's in the room. It's helped me through many times.
  8. by   silvermoon
    Just remember Keely they do want you to pass the skills. Talk to the mannequin as essarge says. We have to give our mannequin a name. Ours is called Madonna! You feel a fool to start with but if you use the name of a friend it really helps too as it's like having them in there with you.

    92% for your written proves you know your stuff so get out there and show them.
  9. by   Keely-FutureRN
    Thanks for all the great ideas! We have to give our mannequin's names also, ours is Mrs. Mary Lou. I will try all of these new strategies. I was in drama in high school so I should be able to handle this! :chuckle Thanks for all the support and I'll keep you updated on what happens. :kiss

    Keely
  10. by   Jenn_RN
    :chuckle Ours is named "Pat", since the top half is male, but s/he has a vagina.

    Good luck with your retest, I always find it comforting to admit being terrified when I am, there is nothing wrong with being nervous and it helps me to calm down when I voice it for some reason. I also like talking aloud, last time I did a skill checkoff I "walked" the instructor through what I was doing, and that helped me to calm down and I think she liked that I was doing that (she was very receptive). Good luck!
  11. by   Keely-FutureRN
    Thanks RNwannabeJEN,
    We are supposed to do that too (talk our way through) so I will need to work on it a little more. I'm kind of shy in the first place but I believe that with practice I'll get better. Thanks for you advice!

    Keely
  12. by   dianacs
    Another thing I like to do on a skills checkoff is to ask the instructors a question related to the subject matter you are demonstrating while you're doing it (if you're at a point in the demo where you don't have to think about it too much). Sometimes I ask about their personal experiences with the particular situation you are being tested on. Like if you're demonstrating oral care, you could ask, "Did you ever have anyone bite you when you were cleaning their teeth?'' I personally enjoy the one-on-one time with the instructors, but I don't like the pressure of the checkoffs either (who does?), so I find that asking questions while I'm doing it deflects at least part of the laser beam off of me and I find out something interesting from the instructor.
  13. by   renerian
    Be positive and talk to the model just like it is a real person. Pretend the instructor is not there.

    Good luck

    renerian
  14. by   Keely-FutureRN
    thanks dianacs for your interesting suggestion. I haden't thought of that before. And you too renerian for your support. It is much appreciated. :kiss

    Keely

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