I am FREAKING out and need HELP!!!

  1. I can NOT pass Surgical Asepsis!! I have one more chance [next Tuesday]. If I fail to pass I am out of the nursing program until NEXT Spring!!!

    I went to the lab on Friday and practiced in front of a senior nursing student and PASSED with flying colors. Fast forward to today. In front of the instructor I SCREWED up!

    This is what I did wrong:

    1.] No wash cloth to clean the wound. She got it for me. I started the clean techique removing the dressing, washing the incision, using iodine. She stopped me there because there wasn't a drain in the pt. Of course, that threw mw off. Continued to iodine the drain.

    2.] Here is where I really screwed up. I put on my sterile gloves and then opened the packages!!! :uhoh21:

    THEN I proceeded to put the sterile bandage on the incision and on the drain. BIG oops. Should have advanced the drain BEFORE putting on the sterile drain bandage. I advanced the drain then I grabbed the cover dressing and explained that I could only touch the outside of the dressing. I FORGOT to take off my gloves!!! So the dressing had junk from the drain on it because I didn't take off the D*%$# gloves!!

    Then at clinical, I was once again TEAM LEADER and had NOTHING to do. I was standing behind my student watching her look at the chart. The instructor asked me what I was doing and I told her I was watching my student. She accused me of being SARCASTIC!!! :imbar

    I told her I wasn't being sarcastic that I LITERALLY did NOT know what to do!! She must have believed me because she kindly explained that I could read the chart with my student or own my own.

    In lab today, I got a note from her and my papers were sealed in a plastic bag!! I'm thinking WTH? Turns out She is allergic to the SMELL of smoke and she doesn't want me to smoke and do the paperwork or smoke before clinical or in uniform. After I read the note, I explained that I was quitting on April 1. She asked me why I was telling her that, and that she didn't ask me to quit smoking!! I am taking wellbuteral and WILL quit, but d*&$ I hear crap like this all the time.

    We also took our first test in M/S 1 today. I got a C!!! I studied my butt off. I know A/B balance. I studied the numbers what I didn't study was the senarios. I missed 12 out of 63. That is the WORST grade I have gotten so far in nursing!!


    Sorry this is so long but I really needed to VENT!!
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   ManEnough
    There is only one answer to passing your test.. practice, practice, practice! And when you're done, practice again. Soon it will become second nature to do it right. Have fellow students watch you and tell them to be as critical and anal as possible. I've always found it's helpful to talk through the steps outloud. I think your worst enemy on a skills test is anxiety. Do whatever you have to to ease your nerves before the test. Get a prescription for Xanex if you have to!

    I almost got kicked out of my program for failing bedmaking. Twice. Two years later I can laugh at it. You're gonna do fine.
  4. by   wonderbee
    I had similar problems when I checked off on inserting a foley. In fact, I let the "F" word accidentally fly during a practice session in the lab. Thank God my instructor has a sense of humor.

    At home, in the privacy of your own home, think it through before you begin gloving. Once you fully glove, you're committed. Practice and when you demonstrate your skill for check off, do not rush. Take your time. It's ok to take a pause between steps than mess it up.
  5. by   gij1
    I can feel your anxiety through the computer. You need to stop, breath, and begin to believe in yourself. You can and will get through this. Number one practice, practice, practice, and you will do fine in the clinical portion. I had high anxiety during clinicals so can relate.
    As far as your test with a "C", so what! There is another test right around the corner for you to study for and prove yourself with an "A." You are taking life way too seriously if you are going to worry about a grade. Think of the poor suckers that did not pass the test.
    As far as the smoking, have one at home and NOT AGAIN until home again for the day from school/clinicals. Good luck on your quit date. It is hard but you can do it.
  6. by   orrnlori
    I work in the OR. Working with sterile scenarios can make you crazy but you can do it. Visualize what it is you need to do in your head first. What are the steps? Be sure you understand each step and why you are doing it. Do you need to open packages, bottles, do you need to arrange things first? Think. See each step in your head first.

    I've worked in the OR for nearly 6 years and I still have to stop and think sometimes about how I'm going to accomplish something and keep everything sterile. Get out your gardening gloves at home, paper towels, arrange catsup bottles, practice on your significant other, whatever it takes to work through your scenario at home. Physically go thru the steps. Repeat, repeat, repeat. And BREATH. You can do this. Believe me, a light will suddenly come on and you'll see it.
  7. by   canoehead
    When you change a dressing bring an extra pair of sterile gloves so that if you miss a step you can rip off the one pair and start fresh. Just don't say f___, in front of your instructor, that'll cause you big problems.

    Tell them an experienced nurse told you that if you are ready for mistakes (with the extra gloves) you are less likely to make any.
  8. by   Teacher Sue
    Quote from orrnlori
    I work in the OR. Working with sterile scenarios can make you crazy but you can do it. Visualize what it is you need to do in your head first. What are the steps? Be sure you understand each step and why you are doing it. Do you need to open packages, bottles, do you need to arrange things first? Think. See each step in your head first.
    This is what I tell my students. You need to think about what you are doing and plan ahead. After a while it will become second nature, and remember "Dirty to dirty, clean to clean." And if you touch anything outside of the sterile field, you are considered contaminated, and must change your gloves.

    I have had students use the "F" word, as well as other descriptive phrases when they are frustrated. I understand how things can slip out, and I don't mind. But don't ever say it in front of a patient.
    Last edit by Teacher Sue on Mar 31, '04
  9. by   mitchsmom
    I let the "F" word accidentally fly during a practice session in the lab.
    LOLOL! I could see myself doing that (I hope not tho!)

    Karen, good luck! You *know* you can do it because you did it in practice before. I'm not into that stuff yet, but I'm with the others... do it a million times until it's imprinted in your brain. That should make you more at ease, it sounds like nervousness may have been the culprit more than your abilities. Let us know how it goes!
  10. by   FutureNurse2005
    You can do it!

    Keep practicing! It will click!

    Good luck!
  11. by   RN 2005
    I think the most important thing you can do to help yourself right now is focus on your checkoff. I know the pressure you are feeling trust me.....I checked off on Foleys last month. A group of us went in to practice whenever we could during open lab. The more you do it the more confident you will feel. This will reduce your anxiety. I also tried not to get rattled during checkoff. I paused before every step I took and that always helps me to avoid a possible error. The pressure is awful I know but you have to try to find some way to deal with the anxiety. I saw first hand how broken hearted some students were who did not pass. That was enough to motivate me to not be one of them. Good luck to you......I really wish you the best. We had many in our class not pass the first time but fly through their recheck fine. Focus, relax, practice, take deep breaths, the more you do the steps the better. I had my foley out constantly and went through the motions over and over. It really helps to have other students watch you and critique you. We always save our comments until afterwards though. Wish you luck!!!
  12. by   shyne
    I think that you just need to relax just like the other poster said. I used to be nervous when doing my checkoffs in front of the instructor, but she taught me to relax, take my time, pay attention, and pretend that it's a real patient in front of me. Good luck and practice.
  13. by   kwagner_51
    Quote from shyne
    I think that you just need to relax just like the other poster said. I used to be nervous when doing my checkoffs in front of the instructor, but she taught me to relax, take my time, pay attention, and pretend that it's a real patient in front of me. Good luck and practice.

    I think the key here is "pretend it is a real person". I haven't been doing that. When I check off Next Tuesday, it will be in front of TWO instructors. I have written the instructions down and will practice in lab on Thursday and Friday. However that leaves two days when the lab is closed. I have a meeting w my instructor to watch me put on a sterile dressing on Monday at 9AM.

    So I will be practicing in front of my husband all weekend. You all are right, I CAN do this and I WILL!!


    Thanks for your support!! :kiss
  14. by   shyne
    That's a great idea to practice on your husband. You'll do just fine next week

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