Book Smart or Common Sense?

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    This question is for nursing students who are in their second Semester and up. How do you think a person who is more technically inept and has a lot of common sense will do in clinicals? Do you think it's better to have Common Sense or book smarts. I recently had a baby and when I was in the hospital there was a nursing student who came into my room and we started to talk anout nursing school and she was telling me that she was book smart but was having trouble because she really couldn't get the hang of anything hands on. Is there any nursing students out there who are in the same boat as me and are not really that book smart but can kick but with hands on stuff. Please let me know how you are fairing. Looking through all of these posts makes me nervous because all i keep hearing is how horrible nursing school is. I am really excited. I love hands on stuff. THANKS
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    Well...I'm not in my 2nd+ semester, but we do clinicals starting our 1st semester and I've seen it go all different directions with my fellow students. I think it's important to be well rounded and know right away how you learn best. Nursing is a lot of common sense with some book stuff thrown in. What I've noticed, if you are able to use common sense and think a problem through, the book stuff seems to fit in when necessary.

    Good luck!!!!
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    I've seen both kinds in the past two years. I have seen excellent nursing from students that have struggled through lecture and not so much content but passing the lecture exams (referring to myself) yet when in hosp setting where their common sense comes into play and they see the material in action and do fine. Then I have seen the ones who are booksmart struggle in clinicals. The ones that I am most generally referring to are the one's that don't have either a) good people skills or b) lack life experiences to compliment the lecture content. I think that alot of time common sense comes from living, making mistakes, and learning. To me, the booksmart people that can't apply information in clinical setting (some but not all) also seem to be in nursing for what I would say are for the wrong reasons too!!

    Just my observations and opinions only.
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    This post hit home with me. I'm on the other side so to say. I guess no matter which side of the fence you're on, insecurity is part of the game while you build self confidence in your nursing capabilities and skills. I'm at the end of my 2nd semester. I consider myself to be one of the "booksmart" ones. I love lecture and grasp the concepts well. But when I get to clinical, I kinda freeze up. I'm a shy person by nature and to just to lay it out there, not the best people person. I watch some of the other girls and admire how at ease they feel about themselves with their patients and the tasks. I have noticed though, as the semster progresses, that I'm getting more comfortable in the clinical setting. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. I have no doubt that if we really want this, we'll strengthen ourselves all around. Good luck to you and to all of us.
    ...Jennifer...
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    I think that if you have little book sense and a lot of common sense, you can do well with the skills and getting things done. But I think you need to develop the background knowledge to really be good. That said, I think a lot of the theory is actually common sense. Some people just don't do well with theory, even if they actually could.

    Vice versa, most good theory students can be good at skills. It's fear that holds you back b/c you think "I'm not good at hands on things." The people that can't get over it are the ones with A's on all the tests and crying every day at clinical.
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    You need to have a basic understanding of A&P and pathophysiology. Then, you take life experience, add common sense, season it with more advanced patient care skills and voila - out pops a great nurse! Good luck to all of you soon-to-graduating nurses!
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    Well I think you need to have the book knowledge in order to suceed in clinicals too. I mean you have to be able to recognize s/s of your pt. and what to do. That is not to say however that just because you are an A student you will do super or that you are a C student that you will stink. You just need some knowledge about what your pt. is dealing with.
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    I think in the beginning I struggled in clinicals but did well in class because I didn't have any experience in the hospital. I got a job at a hospital last summer and I think it has helped me a lot. Once you begin to feel comfortable in the environment, it helps you relax a bit and not freeze up!
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    I think the most important thing to remember here, is that everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. I started nursing school with no relevant experience and was pretty concerned about how I would do in clinicals. I'm also older than most of my fellow students and was worried that I wouldn't fit in. I soon found out that it didn't matter too much, not the age or inexperience.

    We have to identify our weaknesses and then focus on them and build ourselves up. I've also found out that being older, I have more confidence and more perspective than many of my classmates. For example, in regards to testing, sure I might get a little nervous, but I don't allow myself to get too worked up. It won't be the end of the world if I don't pass. ok, I'm getting off subject here.

    Also, I have a few friends at school who like the OP are good with their hands. They've been doing fine. They struggle with the theory more than I do, but they're doing fine, and have no problems with their clinicals.

    les
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    You need a bit of both to be successful.


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