Cannot seem to pass skilled portion of BLS

  1. I have went back three times now and I just can seem to do good chest compressions. My program starts in a month and I have three months to get certified but I am beginning to think that I won't ever be able to do it. I'm not sure if it's my size (I'm 5'2" and 100lbs on a good day) or if it's my upper body strength.

    Has anyone been through something similar? Were you ever able to finally pass?

    I realize that some might say that nursing may not be for me... but I've wanted to be a nurse since I was 9 years and visited my first nursing home so I'd really appreciate not receiving those comments
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    About thatgirl37

    Joined: Dec '17; Posts: 5; Likes: 5

    26 Comments

  3. by   JKL33
    Are you using a step-stool/are you in a proper position in relation to the mannequin? If you (so far) have been struggling flat-footed or worse, having to stand on your tip-toes, then you need a step-stool.

    ETA: Step-stools are use all the time, as in very frequently, in real-life code situations.
  4. by   WanderingWilder
    Make sure you are leaning over the mannequin so you are using your whole upper body to push down and not just your arms. Your shoulders should line up with your hands. I don't think it is your size that is the problem. I'm not sure why your instructors aren't helping you with learning how to do them properly its their job. Maybe take a class somewhere else with different teachers.
  5. by   medicmom26
    Size and strength have nothing to do with good chest compressions. I'm nearly your size (plus a few pounds). I'm a paramedic and a nursing student. When I work codes, I watch the firemen on scene performing chest compressions and becoming fatigued quickly- while I'm able to do several rounds of compressions myself with no problem. The difference is they are using their arms, shoulders and back entirely too much.

    Find your position- If performing compressions in a hospital-style bed you must use a sturdy stool. Get close to the mannequin. Make sure your arms are straight and shoulders back. Your arms shouldn't bend while you are compressing. Push with your palm and not your whole hand or balled fist as some people do. Use your hips. Compressions on the floor are much easier (I'm not sure how you're testing). In this position, the work should be almost entirely on your hips as you rock forward.

    Ask for help! Why are they not helping you? Don't give up. Nobody is going to tell you that you shouldn't be a nurse because you are struggling with chest compressions. Good luck!
  6. by   emmjayy
    I'm the same size as you and I passed BLS with no issue. You've tried three times - have the instructors given you feedback/demonstrations/coaching to help you achieve good chest compressions? In my class, they had a mannequin with a little button inside it and the button made a click when you compressed to the correct depth with the right amount of force, so that was very helpful! Have you been told explicitly why you've failed the skills portion? Is it just because of your compressions or are you forgetting/not doing some other component of the procedure?
  7. by   FuturePsychNP21
    Other people have said it, but make sure your entire arm is in line over your hands, then you can kinda just drop your body weight into the compressions and it will be much easier. A lot of people make the mistake of trying to use their upper body strength for compressions when really you can let gravity do most of the work.
  8. by   dyonkerrion
    If you are using the same person you may want to try a new instructor.
  9. by   meanmaryjean
    Shoulders DIRECTLY over hands and think about lifting your knees up. Your body weight is sufficient to compress the chest as much as needed. I taught BLS for 30+ years and never did I EVER 'fail' someone three times. I worked with them until they passed.

    You need a new instructor- what a jerk!
  10. by   ItsThatJenGirl
    I concur with new instructor. Mine was super helpful, and guided those that were having trouble.
  11. by   thatgirl37
    I appreciate all the advice!! I keep failing because they say my chest compressions aren't deep enough. I'll ask about using a stool because I do have to be on my toes. Once again, I really appreciate the advice!!!
  12. by   caliotter3
    Have never attended a CPR class where the instructor(s) did not work with people until they could pass.
  13. by   Workitinurfava
    Could be the instructor if you are not passing. I have never been in a class with anyone who hasn't pass, not saying it is easy but it can be learned.
  14. by   AjayNurseBae
    If your chest compressions aren't deep enough try using the heel of your hand with the weight coming from your shoulders. Hope it helps..

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