Getting checked off on skills, how does your school do it?(m)

  1. Hi all, I am in an LVN program and recently we started getting checked off on skills as our clinical does not start till Dec 12th. WE started the program on June 13th with A&P and then Fundamentals started Sept. 1st. Last week we got checked off on Blood pressure, Temp, Pulse and resps. These were supposed to be VN levels vitals, but the only thing we got checked off on different from my CNA vitals was apical pulse and all the peripheral pulse points. WE did the check offs in the CNA skills lab. Our VN class doesn't have a skills lab, we share with the CNA's. So this week we started getting checked off on handwashing, setting up a sterile field and donning sterile gloves and doing a sterile dry dressing change. Ok so this program has made a HUGE deal all along about how there is "oh a million of you and only 2 of us" meaning there are still 29 students and only like 2-4 instructors. So getting checked off is a huge deal for them. Well yesterday there was 2 instructors and the usual 29 of us. I got through hand washing and donning sterile gloves and I passed. Phew. WEll the place where I had to demonstrate my setting up of the sterile field and changing of the sterile dressing was in the nursing directors office, at a counter! Like if you were to walk into a botique or something and have the sales girl BEHIND the counter. Ok so I walk in with all my supplies. tell her I have checked the order, ID the patient, wash my hands, explain procedure and provide privacy....set up the sterile field, then realizing that the instructor, who was also my patient was across the counter from me and so when I went to take off her old dressing I would have had to to reach across the sterile field, but then I said, Oh this is a problem, I don't have a straight shot, so I will just be careful and not reach across the sterile field, so I reached to the side of it, took the old dressing off and she was fine with that. Then I took off my clean gloves, stated that I would wash my hands and then don the sterile gloves. I messed up on donning the sterile gloves after I had already passed this morning. The teacher said that I let the first gloves hit my other arm, but I did not feel that at all. She said I did it twice (After she asked me to repeat it) UGH!!! First of all, I was set up on a counter and there was a huge plant in the way! I was trying to avoid hitting the plant with my gloved hand. Sheesh!!!!!!!! Now I have to repeat the skill! Apparent;y I wasn't the only one because they stopped return demos and made us all remediate! Grrrrrrr! What do they expect when they give us an hour of instruction and then say It's time to test?! I'm starting to get really frustrated with this program...REALLY!!!!!

    How are all of you checked off on skills???
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   S.N. Visit
    I'm very happy with my schools labs/skill check offs. We have a split lab room (that is set up like a make-shift hospital) that has 6 beds, 6 lab manequins , and all the equipment we need. We also only have 2 instructors, but we sign up for appointments/ sign off times to be checked off on our lab skills. This works out well. 4 students can sign up for a 15 minute time slot at a time. We always do our skills then we write out our assesments/nurses notes, and hand them in.

    * added.....I forgot to mention that we have lecture the day before, explaining what we will be doing, then during class time we are shown, then the next class day is our check-off. We haven't much time to perfect our skill's but our instuctor's are helpful. I haven't had to repeat a skill yet but our instructor's want you to pass so they will be in lab anytime you need.
    Last edit by S.N. Visit on Oct 15, '05
  4. by   Catys_With_Me
    Well, all I can say is that you were in an incredibly outrageous situation and I'd be ticked myself.

    Now watch someone come along and say "When you're in the hospital you'll be in tight situations all the time, what are you crying about?! When I was a student I had to walk up hill both ways to school in the snow and then we had to do our skills in the janitor's broom closet in the DARK without even being allowed to practice them first and if you weren't perfect on all 391 steps you were failed. You've got it easy, quit whining!"

    Seriously, it's gonna happen. The experienced nurses are circling and I do believe it's feeding time...
  5. by   pink2blue1
    Quote from Catys_With_Me
    Well, all I can say is that you were in an incredibly outrageous situation and I'd be ticked myself.

    Now watch someone come along and say "When you're in the hospital you'll be in tight situations all the time, what are you crying about?! When I was a student I had to walk up hill both ways to school in the snow and then we had to do our skills in the janitor's broom closet in the DARK without even being allowed to practice them first and if you weren't perfect on all 391 steps you were failed. You've got it easy, quit whining!"

    Seriously, it's gonna happen. The experienced nurses are circling and I do believe it's feeding time...

    LOL You are probably right, and I did make a totally stupid mistake, but I am more whining about the WAY we were checked off, not the fact that I made a stupid mistake. I have worked in acute care for 3 years as a CNA and I see so many thiings and so many experienced nurses do right and wrong. I am sure I have witnessed RN's make mistakes before.

    Thanks for the reply :-)
  6. by   truern
    Quote from Catys_With_Me
    Now watch someone come along and say "When you're in the hospital you'll be in tight situations all the time, what are you crying about?! When I was a student I had to walk up hill both ways to school in the snow and then we had to do our skills in the janitor's broom closet in the DARK without even being allowed to practice them first and if you weren't perfect on all 391 steps you were failed. You've got it easy, quit whining!"

    Seriously, it's gonna happen. The experienced nurses are circling and I do believe it's feeding time...


    Yeah, but there's a HUGE difference when you're doing it for the first time and getting GRADED on it vs being experienced and could do it in your sleep

    OP, you performed against unrealistic odds....I think you made the best of a bad situation, imo
  7. by   speedykicks
    we video tape our skills in the lab, then do a self critique and turn it in to our instructor to review and either pass or fail us. I like the method. There are a few we have to do in person, like pulse, temp. and bp checks.
  8. by   mitchsmom
    Except for very minimal practice on a couple of things in the lab we do most of ours "on the job" in the hospital (shots & sterile gloving; we did pretty much just assessment in lab & not other skills). If our patient needs something on our skill checklist that we haven't done yet, we just find the instructor and do it together.

    Even though it's on a real patient, our version sounds pretty mellow compared to the big production that it sounds like most of you have to go through. And it seems to be effective, we are all moving right along.

    I'd be so nervous the other way that I'd mess up all the time just because of the "testing" / "make it or break it" atmosphere!
  9. by   AuntieRN
    Except for our first semester we pretty much do it like mitchsmom. We learn our skills out in clinicals on realy patients. If we have not already done it and been checked off we have to have our instructor with us...after that we get to do most things on our own. Not things like IV push meds though...those we still need our instructor with us for....good luck everyone!!
  10. by   klone
    Ours was similar to Tanzanite's (we don't have a skills lab/checkoff in second year, only first). One week we had a demonstration and time to practice from 9-1pm. The following week we scheduled slots where we would each go in to be tested. They tested two students at a time (two instructors) and each slot lasted 15-60 minutes, depending on what the skill was.

    Second year we had three skills we needed to check off on, and those were done in the clinical setting (IVP, IVPB, and blood administration).
  11. by   Daytonite
    Sounds like things are progressing as they should. I wouldn't get too upset about the changing of the sterile dressing in the nursing director's office. :chuckle Just to give you a head's up, as a nurse you will probably do some of your nursing procedures in very odd places or unusual positions. Nurses in some of the third world countries have very little equipment to work with and probably feel very lucky if they had a mayo stand to help them do a sterile dressing change. Home health nurses have to work within a patient's home, and god knows what they are going to find when they step into a patient's residence. :chuckle The main thing is that you understand the principals of sterility. As for breaking sterility--it happens. It can be so quick that you don't know it. This is why if you are working with a partner and they notice an accidental contamination they say something immediately. This happens in the OR often--it is the job of all the staff in the OR to always be on the alert for an accidental contamination of any sterile equipment. Don't beat yourself up about this. You didn't do it deliberately. You just need to be more aware of your actions is all. Even the most experienced of us contaminate a sterile field on occassion.
  12. by   mariedoreen
    Quote from Daytonite
    Just to give you a head's up, as a nurse you will probably do some of your nursing procedures in very odd places or unusual positions.
    You're right and I think we do all understand this. As a student what we're usually trying to get across though is that we need to be allowed to learn to walk before being expected to run. Let the learning take root before you start shaking it around... She should have had ample space for that skill the first time out.

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