How do nurses practice giving shots?

  1. I once read that dental hygiene students practice on each other when learning how to give injections and I admit, this worried me a bit because I'm assuming nursing students do the same thing. If not, how do you practice giving injections? How was your first time giving someone a shot? Details, details. Thank you
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  2. 38 Comments

  3. by   RNCEN
    My program does not allow us to practice on each other. We learned by reading about the skill, then performing it in the skills lab, then on the clinical floor on our patients...supervised by our instructor until we were signed off, of course. After you've done a bunch, it's really no big deal.
  4. by   ashleyisawesome
    we had the option to practice on each other with saline, but you didnt have to. we had fake "skin" to practice on as well, and to practice TB tests we used a hotdog! lol
  5. by   OB-nurse2013
    We had fake skin injection pads but really I guess the best practice is exactly that practice. It's not that hard although I've seen some people that seem so awkward that I feel bad for the patient but I also watched nurses before my first time too just to kinda get an idea of how they did it and you cna always learn little extra tips this way. Good Luck!!!!! That will be the easiest part of nursing.
  6. by   pockunit
    We did flu clinics at school and our first jabs were on each other. Then we could say we had given shots before.
  7. by   Jennifer0512
    Fake skin and/or some sort of fruit (an orange maybe?! I'm blanking about what fruit it was) to practice in lab and then supervised by our instructors in clinical on patients. Definitely no practicing on each other!
  8. by   RN/Mom
    Fake plastic skin in the skills lab. Neither the LVN program or RN program I attended allowed us to practice on each other. Strangely, medical assistant students at the same school where I went for my LVN did practice on each other with saline.
  9. by   tokyoROSE
    Fake skin in skills lab. I volunteered for a couple of flu clinics and became a pro at it. I highly recommend doing this because nothing beats practice on a real arm.
  10. by   Rebecca929
    We didn't practice on each other -- we had fake skin in our simulation lab. The first shot I gave was a Lovenox injection in my patient's abdomen. My instructor was right next to me and it went just fine!
  11. by   Merlyn
    we practiced on oranges for some reason. I was good at darts, so giving injection was no problem. But the site was a problem for me. I was always afraid of hitting the sciatic nerve so an RN told me to mentally to draw a cross. I did it with a cotton ball on there butt. I still do it today.
  12. by   LadyinScrubs
    Practice, practice, practice. During flu season, if your school takes part in a flu clinic, make sure you sign up. Nothing like doing 50+ shots a day to get you up to speed.
  13. by   PghRN30
    We used the fake skin in lab....and only injected air to extend the life of the skin...described everything we were doing. No practising on each other.

    Then on pts with instructors. First time instructor had us run back through the steps really quick before going in the room. Like ok....first time giving flu shot, where does it go, what landmarks do you use to find correct location. What is the max volume you can give there. What needle size is appropriate. Class that starts doing injections in fall usually does a flu shot clinic so lots of IM experience there. And you will give hundreds of subQs between insulin and heparin so those will become second nature pretty quick. But really, heparin and insulin are the only common injections to give in hospital. Occasional vaccination unless you get experience with a clinic.....and a few other rarer ones.

    You have to remember what you are comparing to is dental school.....they have to place that novicane just right to numb the mouth. They do not know if it numbed if it is just a fake mouth. And you can't wait til pts to find out if you are numbing it or you will hurt them.

    With OUR injections, as long as you review with your instructor, and do things as practised in simulation ( like aspirate IMs, give in right place, dart to go in) you are not going to hurt (more then any injection is going to hurt) the pt.
  14. by   locolorenzo22
    we used the fake skin, and that helped, but the biggest thing is to just be confident, if you willy nilly it, you'll hurt the patient. heparin and insulin are the only shots i give routinely. after that everything else is easy.

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