I think I'm one of *those* kinds of students

  1. 0
    I'm half way through my first semester and I'm doing very well academically. Nothing so far has been very challenging. Time consuming? Yes... Academically challenging? No. But I am just not comfortable around the patients at the LTC facility I'm doing clinicals in. And I failed the written portion of my PO med checkoff (A tiny error, I memorized digoxin as having three hold parameters and they split apical pulse into two separate answers for a matching section) and then I failed the injectables checkoff because I forgot to aspirate. I did pass the written potion of the PO med checkoff the next time it was offered. But, I'm scared I'm one of those 'book smart' nursing students that won't make a good *actual* nurse.

    Any advice for me? I know nursing school does not equate to being a nurse, but still. I feel like I fail at all the clinical aspects of nursing and excel at the didactic stuff.

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  3. 13 Comments...

  4. 1
    I don't know girl because I have the opposite problem! I do great at the hands on nursing skills stuff but when it comes to the book knowledge I have to study 10x more than anyone else just to pull a B. wish we could rub off on each other a bit!
    procrastinator911 likes this.
  5. 1
    just keep practicing your nursing skills and you'll get better at it.
    charli_appleRN likes this.
  6. 0
    I am kind of like you as well. I do great in lecture and if I do not study at all, I will still end up with a B. When I get to clinical, I freak out sort of. I hide it very well, but I have bad anxiety and I always have to take a deep breath. I am going into my 3rd clinical, and it has gotten a little bit better. I feel like the more experience you have, the better it gets. Just pretend like it is your mom or dad in the bed when with you are with a patient. That has been helping me tremendously. And I agree, keep practicing the skills. I just finished my psychiatric rotation and we did not use our skills for the whole quarter which really sucks because it is back to having to know everything again in a couple weeks. Regarding failing the check offs, I think it is just your nerves getting to you. Just tell yourself before you do skills that you can do it. And if you have faith, it really helps to pray. Good luck, you CAN do it!
  7. 1
    I have the same problem. I am "book smart", but not necessarily so hot at the clinical portion. I get shaky sometimes when I do a new procedure.

    The more you practice and just do it, the better off you will become. Practice in your head over and over again, watch YouTube videos, do whatever you have to do to "get" it. That's what I do! Book learning does have its advantages. You just need to be able to apply it when you get nervous and have to do it for real! :P

    I think you're fine, though. Just keep practicing and practice calming your nerves.
    ShaynaSmart likes this.
  8. 2
    Things like that my not click until your last semester. In clinicals, everything has multiple step that you have to do in specific order. You won't be able to do them correctly until you've performed it over and over. When you can do multiple things without having to actively think about it, that's when things get better. Second nature only comes with repetition. I kept messing up on blood draws and my instructor made me do blood draws every clinical day. She would go find people that needed blood drawn and she drag me into the room. I did it so much that I got good at it.

    Clinicals is about applying what you learned in class. In your last semester, you are going to get your preceptor and that's really when you really start applying what you've learned each day. You'll look back and laugh that you once forgot to aspirate on that occasion b/c it will be so second nature to you by that point. After graduating, it took me at least a year before I felt comfortable taking any assignment. The repetition will improve your skills as you go a long.
    ShaynaSmart and gummi bear like this.
  9. 0
    Try to find another student that seems to be doing well in clinical and see if you can team up with them. See what they are doing that works or doesn't work. This may help start you in the right direction.
  10. 0
    Your injection technique without aspiration was likely correct, unless you were "giving" one of a few certain meds in your test-off. I PM'd you a link to some evidence-based practice.
  11. 1
    Dude I felt the same way until I finished my preceptorship. Skills takes a lot of practice. It will all come together...
    Skips likes this.
  12. 3
    Sad that you failed for not aspirating since that's not even current evidence-based technique.
    JRDeeRN, OB-nurse2013, and Skips like this.

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