Messed up in Clinical

  1. I am hoping to find some guidance. I made a major error at my first clinical semester and have been obsessing since. The pt room (my 3rd day) had contact precautions, the 3 individuals I had seen going in and out of the room were not donned appropriately, the nurse I shadowed was not wearing even gloves...I went in without a gown on and only gloves but did not make contact as a fellow student caught me and yelled at me, in front of the patients rooms and nurses then promptly ran to our instructor before I could even doff and get to her. As soon as I had completed talking to my patient and doffed, I went straight to her for clarification. Apparently the pt room was "at will" contact as it was a VRE concern..regardless, I should have used my head and appropriately donned. For the life of me, I cannot believe I did not think this through and don correctly.
    I am terrified I am not doing well enough at clinical now and wont get through now. Is this error going to be the end for me? I am a 4.0 student and have only weeks left of this first semester. I am not up to par with the timeliness of my charting just yet either, as I am trying to work out the balance of time management with assessing, caring, vital taking, errand running, and helping in any way I can.
    I am just so distraught I have worked so hard to get to this point and seemingly stumble so bad and am holding back tears constantly. The other student degraded me in front of the instructor so badly and said I placed other patients in danger.. She follows me every where trying to catch me in errors and im just terrified of clinical now. The kicker is she made the exact same error the week before and a nurse told her to put a gown on, she never reported it to our instructor! She also went into the room without a gown on again after she tried to get me in trouble! I am just beside myself and am doubting I can get through this after these mistakes..the charting and missing placing a gown on before going into the contact precaution room, which I take full responsibility for..despite what I had seen others do just have be petrified I am not meeting expectations and am a liability and not up to standard. I am learning but do not understand how I could make such an error..I am usually immensely cautious.

    Any guidance would be so very appreciated, thank you.

    To add, I have approached my instructor to discuss my concerns..she told me she thinks I am placing too much pressure on myself..I am trying to be everywhere and do every thing perfectly, but that is just how I operate. She has not told me I have things that are detrimentally concerning but I fear with being the only one in the group she is aware of making errors..I fear I am in a compromised spot for passing. The fear I have is indescribable and I know it is effecting my clinical experience. I want so badly to do well.
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    About BSN89

    Joined: Apr '18; Posts: 5; Likes: 7
    from IN , US

    26 Comments

  3. by   EllaBella1
    I also think you are placing too much pressure on yourself and are way overthinking this. Sure, you probably should have gowned up, especially since you're at the point in your training where you're supposed to be doing things by the book. But nothing bad happened.

    I think that the other student sounds like a pretty crappy person for throwing you under the bus. If they act like that once they start their job they will not be received well by their co-workers, I can promise you that.

    And for what it's worth my hospital no longer tests for VRE on admission, nor do we place patients with a history of VRE on contact.
  4. by   K+MgSO4
    Ok first of all the whole point of clinical placement is to learn. If you make a mistake and learn from it then sucess.
    It is not a major error, what you need to learn is that you don't follow people doing the incorrect thing just because they got away with it. You are a student therefore you follow contact precautions to the letter. This other student should not of yelled at you that is not professional on her behalf. The nurses may of contacted you facilitator because of you or because of her obnoxious behaviour.
    This other students behaviour is out of your control. 3 options ignore, retaliate or engage with her.
    You are not going to fail based on this. In my years I have seen this happen with 4.0 students. The transition from book smart to clinical smart is hard. Patients don't "do" what you want i.e. B does not always come after A with some patients and academically gifted students struggle with that instead of filing it in the "interesting " file.
    You are absolutely placing way too much pressure on yourself. Balance your studies with a social life, sports or family. School and placement cannot be the only things in your life.
    You also have no idea how other people are going on their placement. How would you?
  5. by   DextersDisciple
    This post is even making me anxious! Take a breath- you are definitely being way too hard on yourself. I know because I was always hard on myself as well. There isn't much you can do in clinical that will ellicit a grave error. Even with giving meds you have someone with you at all times, there is always a risk for mistake- but this is besides my point. It is only your first semester.

    Don't let the other student push you around. Be confident, people prey on any insecurities that you may demonstrate. Id pull her aside and use an "I feel like..." statement. It will catch her off guard and most likely embarrass her. Also killing with kindness is great too. Offer to help her with her clinical tasks with a smile.
  6. by   Quota
    Your clinical instructor is the one giving you a grade. If she says you're doing okay and to stop putting so much pressure on yourself listen to her. The other student who yelled at you and is constantly trying to catch you in a mistake sounds like a big B who needs to focus on herself. I've caught classmates making mistakes in clinical (minor stuff) and will quietly say something to them when I get the chance. Just to make sure they are aware and so they won't make the mistake again. Trying to get your classmates in trouble is pretty messed up.

    Breathe and relax. Yes it was a mistake but it wasn't a big one, you learned from it, it's going to be okay.
  7. by   Crystal-Wings
    Good god, reading this post made me anxious! You made a mistake, but it's not a big one and you're only in your first semester. You have many opportunities to learn and improve. I made some big mistakes in school, and I was given a second chance. The dean of my school was of the belief that one must make mistakes in order to learn anything, and it was better to make them while in school and learn from it than while on the job. She was very wise, and I'll never forget her.

    You will get through this! Going through nursing school is like traveling through hell and back, and getting there is like crawling on your hands and knees through broken glass. It's painful (at least for me it was anyway). I hated every minute of it (and you couldn't pay me a million bucks to go back and get my RN either). But when you're finished, it will be worth it! Just keep going! Go and listen to the song "The Show Must Go On" by Queen.

    I wish you the best of luck OP!
  8. by   Guy in Babyland
    Quote from BSN89
    I am hoping to find some guidance. I made a major error at my first clinical semester and have been obsessing since. The pt room (my 3rd day) had contact precautions, the 3 individuals I had seen going in and out of the room were not donned appropriately, the nurse I shadowed was not wearing even gloves...I went in without a gown on and only gloves but did not make contact as a fellow student caught me and yelled at me, in front of the patients rooms and nurses then promptly ran to our instructor before I could even doff and get to her. As soon as I had completed talking to my patient and doffed, I went straight to her for clarification. Apparently the pt room was "at will" contact as it was a VRE concern..regardless, I should have used my head and appropriately donned. For the life of me, I cannot believe I did not think this through and don correctly.
    I am terrified I am not doing well enough at clinical now and wont get through now. Is this error going to be the end for me? I am a 4.0 student and have only weeks left of this first semester. I am not up to par with the timeliness of my charting just yet either, as I am trying to work out the balance of time management with assessing, caring, vital taking, errand running, and helping in any way I can.
    I am just so distraught I have worked so hard to get to this point and seemingly stumble so bad and am holding back tears constantly. The other student degraded me in front of the instructor so badly and said I placed other patients in danger.. She follows me every where trying to catch me in errors and im just terrified of clinical now. The kicker is she made the exact same error the week before and a nurse told her to put a gown on, she never reported it to our instructor! She also went into the room without a gown on again after she tried to get me in trouble! I am just beside myself and am doubting I can get through this after these mistakes..the charting and missing placing a gown on before going into the contact precaution room, which I take full responsibility for..despite what I had seen others do just have be petrified I am not meeting expectations and am a liability and not up to standard. I am learning but do not understand how I could make such an error..I am usually immensely cautious.

    Any guidance would be so very appreciated, thank you.

    To add, I have approached my instructor to discuss my concerns..she told me she thinks I am placing too much pressure on myself.I am trying to be everywhere and do every thing perfectly, but that is just how I operate. She has not told me I have things that are detrimentally concerning but I fear with being the only one in the group she is aware of making errors..I fear I am in a compromised spot for passing. The fear I have is indescribable and I know it is effecting my clinical experience. I want so badly to do well.
    You really need to calm down and stop thinking that every minuscule mistake will lead to failing clinical. I had a classmate that was exactly like you. Before class on a test day I would stay as far away from her as possible. She would be so anxious. In her mind, she needed to memorize every word of every chapter on the test. She made the rest of us anxious. The problem for you is that you are a control freak. Everything must be done to perfection. Clinical evaluations are subjective and you have no control over it which drives you crazy because you have no tangible way of gauging your performance.
  9. by   KelRN215
    Not wearing a gown into a patient on contact precaution's room is not a "major error." For what it's worth, the rules at my last hospital for contact precautions were gloves to enter the room and gown for contact with the patient so you were actually fine. And those of us who have been around for a while I'm sure have a few stories about Attending MDs who don't understand/don't follow contact precautions. The other student needs to mind her own business. Don't concern yourself with her.
  10. by   ItsThatJenGirl
    Not a major error at all! I tried to bring food to store in the fridge out of a MRSA/VRE room without wiping it down. I forgot the proper procedure to recap a needle after drawing up heparin, and I told the patient I was nervous before doing my first blood draw. All of these things were mistakes, but they were also learning opportunities. I'm also a first semester. It's going to happen, the best thing you can do is learn how to roll with them and learn from them.

    You also might want to consider talking to someone about managing your expectations and anxiety.

    Best of luck to you.
  11. by   ThePsychWhisperer
    While it is important to do as your instructor says during clinical, this is probably not going to be the biggest faux pas you'll make during your nursing career, and perhaps not even during nursing clinical. Slow down, take a breath, and zen for a bit. It will be okay, I promise. For what it's worth, for contact isolation, I wear gown and gloves during potential full body contact, just gloves if I'm just going to be moving things about in the room, and *gasp* nothing at all if I'm just going to look in on/speak to the patient.
  12. by   m1lkofamnesia
    Sounds like your classmate has MAJOR issues. Don't worry, you didn't make a major error.
  13. by   BSN89
    Thank you all so very much for your words of reassurance and encouragement. You all make fantastic points...I guess what terrified me was my classmate stating I placed other patients in danger and my instructor did say if I were an employee at this hospital, I could have been terminated. So the fear of losing my place in this program devoured me for days..worried if I truly do have the ability to work as a nurse in a hospital setting, I wish so fiercely to work in psychiatric nursing.
    The fellow student does indeed have an overly concerning obsession with my every move and attempts to catch any potential lapse. She has attitude issues with most of our cohort and I have heard a great deal of her negativity and poor performance in lab from many others. So perhaps the opportunity to place herself above another is something that she thrives on, I'm not sure but intend to attempt to talk with her. I usually am no where near the passive type, just the thought of having any association with drama or confrontation worries me...I would never be able to handle losing this opportunity I have waited years and years for. The other girls in our group even approached her and asked why she behaved such a way with me, as everyone in the cohort knows how much I value this opportunity and will drive myself into the ground to accomplish.

    Many of you touch in on the appearance of my anxiousness in my post, as many of my peers do in class and clinical as well. I am high strung, it is a family trait and one that I struggle with. I am trying to get a handle on it ASAP, I know it is not a quality I would want a nurse caring for me to have...and as a few of you point out..is truly infectious to those around me. My husband has tried to talk sense into me as well about relaxing, I take every little error and obsessive over it..which is unhealthy, I know. This is something I am actively working to manage.

    I guess my fear stemmed from this blip with the gown, to the discrepancies in my time management and slight errors here and there in charting, which given that I have had only 4 clinical days...I know will not be perfect just yet. My fear is that I know that there is a point where an instructor feels that there is just too much for a student to be lacking in competence before they say, perhaps this is just not for you...so it is now to the point that I feel I can not have a single moment of falter in my performance as a student nurse or error from here on out in clinical..which is nerve-wracking. She is a fantastic instructor but certainly no nonsense. I do not want to teeter the line of passing to not passing by an accumulation of things..

    I agree with the poster who mentions the 4.0 student doing well until transitioning into the clinical setting, then being a complete duck out of water. I feel among my entire clinical group, I am a crumbling mess who needs constant direction at clinical...which is a very difficult and unsettling position for me to be in, as I thrive in the classroom setting and every other en-devour I have set out prior to prenursing and nursing school.
    Everyone keeps asking if my charting is done, if I need help, I have been told our instructor asks them to make sure I am on to my charting..I do not see the others requiring as much guidance or talking with our instructor so just assume I am the only one having problems. I know the other student made the exact same error with the gown but again, she did not report herself..despite reporting me promptly before I could even exit the room. And I know she has told the entire cohort, in addition to my group peers knowing. I now feel like I will be the talk of the entire cohort as the only student to do something stupid, which is difficult to walk into this upcoming week.

    Well, it seems as though I have gone off again on a tangent of worry. I greatly appreciate everyone's advice and words of real life wisdom, I know I will find my way but the journey ahead truly feels arduous and insurmountable..I am sure some can mirror this state of apprehension and concern. I just wish there was a way to study clinical culture and logistics, though I know it is a real life, hands on experience. I am intending to seek CNA work this summer, if possible.

    Thank you again everyone.
    I will be sure to update the end of my rotation with a HOPEFULLY positive outcome.
  14. by   KelRN215
    Quote from BSN89
    You all make fantastic points...I guess what terrified me was my classmate stating I placed other patients in danger and my instructor did say if I were an employee at this hospital, I could have been terminated.
    Oh for crying out loud. I've been a nurse for 11 years and I have never, once, heard of any employee being terminated- or even being disciplined- for forgetting to don PPE in a contact patient's room. And, as I mentioned previously, contact precautions are gloves for entering the patient's room and gown/gloves for patient contact. Since you were just talking to the patient, gloves is fine.

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