My mother is a nurse, and she says her experience with students is that she prefers a student, who is strong in clinicals yet may be average in class. Right now, I'm doing really well in class and comprehending concepts, and I'm doing ok, in lab. I haven't gotten to clinicals yet, so I can't really predict how I'll perform. For now, I'm not satisfied with my skills. Although, we haven't really gotten in depth, with skills, I always feel like I'm over thinking even the small things: bed making, bathing, etc. I'm always concerned with how the instructor sees my performance, so that, too, hinders my ability to just do things. I feel like I'd perform much better, if I didn't have to follow every little instruction and was just able to think and do for myself, but I'm so wrapped up on getting it all right, according to the books or videos that we watch.
All this makes me wonder how I'll really be, as a nurse. My dream is to be the best nurse that I can be, and because of my little mistakes, I feel like I'm going to have a heck of a time getting used to hands on activities. It's not that I'm doing horribly, but I don't think I'm doing as well as I should. I want to be a bit more confident and comfortable, once I get to clinicals, so any advice, reassurance, or shared experiences are very much appreciated!
Jan 31, '13
by Stephalump, RN
First of all, I wouldn't worry too much about nurses preferences for students. Floor nurses especially would prefer a naturally skillful student because it makes their teaching job easier. Slow students slow things down. That's fine, but you can only do what you can, at the pace that you can. You're there to learn
. Eventually new skills will become routine and it won't affect your ability to be an awesome nurse at all.
I'm a fantastic knowledge base student, and a bit lame on the skills side. I read all the material on skills beforehand, ace the pretests, etc, but in the end I learn how to do something by doing it. Not by watching someone else do it (in person or on video). Not by listening to lectures. Not by reading. But by actually doing it. So while some people come to lab and perform skills the first time flawlessly, I'm kind of starting from ground zero. I passed meds in the hospital yesterday for the first time in maybe 3 months. You'd think I'd never seen and MDM the way I was fumbling around. Oh well.
I've found (as with everything else in nursing school) knowing the why cuts out the need for memorization. The steps are there in order for a reason - an IMPORTANT reason - and wrapping your head around that can reduce the feeling like your trying to remember a list of 10,000 steps.
So I started practicing skills in my mind before lab always thinking "I do this now because..." and things go much easier when it's time to actually do it. If I forget a step, I look at why skipping that step could have caused harm and I'll probably never forget it again. I don't know why, but I have way more confidence that way, versus obsessing over a checklist.
Last edit by Stephalump on Jan 31, '13