starting 2nd semester..need help

  1. Hello Everyone...
    I started nursing school in August. Next week I will start my 2nd semester which is OB and Pediatrics. Althougth we did do clinicals our 1st semester I still feel very nervous about them. Last semester we had clinicals 2 days a week every other week but from this point on I will have clinical 2 days a week every week. Once I get on the hospital floor I am fine, but the entire night before I am a wreck, praying I will not mess up.

    I did very well in my classes but I feel that clinicals in my first semester were kind of rushed. I never even got to due an injection (I was supposed to do and IM but my patient refused it). I guess I am just looking for some advice, tips, etc. It is just nice to correspond with people who have been there...

    Also, any advice for OB and Pediatrics...did you find that you studied the same way you did for Fundamentals??

    Again, thanks for your help!

    Kate
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  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   MIA-RN1
    Hi Kate! I didn't take maternal/newborn until 3rd semester but I found it to be much easier than fundamentals and med-surg. I think this had a lot to do with the fact that I had all the basics under my belt and felt more free to just learn the specifics of maternal/newborn nursing.
    I also relate very much to the not sleeping and being very nervy the night before clinical. For the first half of last semester, I had to catch a shuttle bus all the way across town at 6 am!! I was up with nerves the night before until at least midnight and I came to be good friends with benadryl
    maternal/.newborn is a whole different ballgame than fundamentals and like I said, its easier. Its also much more fun. I haven't done peds yet, I have that component next semester, so I can't advise on that. I worry about doing peds tho, for the sad stuff.
    good luck!
  4. by   3kidsmom
    Thanks, Coopergrrl. Good luck in Peds. When do you graduate?
  5. by   MIA-RN1
    I finish in May and our graduation is June 1 @ 7pm
  6. by   Daytonite
    For a number of years, as a student and as an RN as well, I was scared as the dickens to set foot in the hospital. I've talked with many, many students over the years and this is a universal fear. So, you are not alone in your concern, nor are you in any way abnormal. This fear will generate a caution in you that will be most useful as you go through your clinical experiences. Also, most students don't get a lot of experience doing injections and nursing procedures. This is also typical and normal. When you go to look for your first nursing job out of school, potential employers are aware of this. You are not alone. We RNs have all been through this.

    Have you tried meditation or physical relaxation techniques to help you the night before your clinicals? I promise that as time goes on and you become more confident in your abilities (it took me about 3 or 4 years) that panic and fear will go away.
  7. by   3kidsmom
    Daytonite,
    Thanks..I can not wait to feel confident in the hospital. Once I get in the hospital I am okay, it is just before getting there that I am a wreck. I guess with time and experience my confidence will increase.

    Thanks for your reply!
    Kate
  8. by   Montessori Mommy
    I'm starting my second semester in January, also, but we have med-surg rather than peds :uhoh21:

    Last semester, I was a nervous wreck about clinicals. The first few weeks were hell for me. I finally decided that I could let my nerves get the best of me, or I could decide to be confident. It worked!! My nerves calmed and I was able to look forward to clinical rather than stay awake the night before.

    I also have to give credit to my wonderful instructor who overheard a group of us talking one morning. She joined right in and told us how nervous she always felt before clinicals when she was a student. We all laughed together, and felt much bettter!

    This semester I'm more nervous about our instructor. I've only met her briefly, but she's obviously very well organized, structured and has high expectations. (Think "military school....) She mailed us a list of assignments to complete over our Christmas vacation... and we only have three weeks off. While I've heard you learn a lot from her, I can tell she's going to keep us on our toes.

    Best of luck to you!
    Beth
  9. by   3kidsmom
    Beth,
    I have a clinical instructor this coming semester similar to the one you described. I am excited to learn from her, that is what we are here for. My friend, who had this instructor last year, told me if she asks you a question and you do not know the answer do not try to fluff it. It is best to tell her that you do not know but you will find out for her. Then do so asap!

    Best of luck this semester..I think we will be learning tons!

    Kate
  10. by   RegisteredNurse06
    Quote from 3kidsmom
    from this point on I will have clinical 2 days a week every week. Once I get on the hospital floor I am fine, but the entire night before I am a wreck, praying I will not mess up.

    Also, any advice for OB and Pediatrics...did you find that you studied the same way you did for Fundamentals??
    Reading your post took me back to exactly where I was at this time last year. I was very nervous about starting second semester clinicals. I always felt like a clumsy fool because I was so nervous. My biggest fear was that I would get in the clinical setting and totally screw something up. My best advice to you is this: RELAX :spin: The more nervous you are, the worse it is. Your instructor is there with you and she knows you don't know everything. You are there to learn and she is there to teach you. One of the biggest lessons I've learned in clinicals is that nobody knows all there is to know about nursing. I often see nurses who've been there for years asking other nurses for help. My instructor even commented to our class one day that if you ever get to the point that you feel like you know it all, that's the time to leave the nursing field, whether you're a student, a new grad nurse, or a veteran nurse. A nurse who thinks she knows it all is a dangerous nurse because as long as you know that you don't know it all, you're more cautious and more likely to seek help from someone who knows more, and there will always be someone else who knows more than we do. You should also know that, as you spend more time in the clinical setting, you will grow more comfortable in that setting. Sometimes it just takes time. Like I said, I was very nervous at this time last year. 2 semesters later, I have finally reached a point where I'm not so nervous anymore. I still get nervous when doing new procedures but I have a lot more confidence in my ability to perform well in the clinical setting. I used to toss and turn all night the night before clinicals. Now I am excited about the clinical day ahead and I can go to sleep knowing that it'll be ok and that I'm going to learn a lot of new things. You will be fine. Just relax and go into the clinical setting prepared to learn. That's what it is all about.

    As for studying, I have always studied the same way for all of my classes. Some classes require more study time but I still use the same method for studying. I always spend time just reading and studying the material and making sure that I truly understand it. There's a huge difference between understanding something and memorizing it. I've seen people who just memorize material so that they can regurgitate it on an exam and that doesn't work. You have to truly understand it so that you will remember it. Nursing classes all build on each other. The classes you're about to take will build on the ones you've already taken. We lost people this semester simply because their study method involved memorizing stuff so they could regurg it on an exam. They've done that all along and it finally caught up with them this semester because they couldn't remember the things we'd covered in 2nd semester. I don't generally do any reading before class. I'm sure it would help but they cover so much each time that I really find it difficult to find time to do all of the reading. I never miss class though and I make sure I get good notes from the lecture. Sometimes they give handouts, which are helpful. I record the lectures and listen to them again, taking more notes. I like to type my notes out the same day of class. That way I'm doing it when the lecture is still fresh in my mind and I can organize it all for further studying. I use my notes and go back in the book and find all the material that was covered in class and then I read and expand on what was covered in class. I find that to be the most effective for me. I also spend a lot of time asking myself "Why?" because if I know "why?" then I know I'm understanding the material. We also have an NCLEX book that we were required to buy for the course and they require us to do and turn in the questions related to each unit before the unit exams. Some people just write down the answers but I always make sure that I take the time to do the questions on my own because it helps me determine if there are areas that I need to go back and review more. I also have another NCLEX book that I bought just for extra practice and I use it plus any NCLEX style questions that I can find in the study guide that came with my books and the CD's that came with the books. Just make sure you use all the resources available to you and don't wait until the night before an exam to study :spin: Surviving nursing school is more about commitment and determination than anything else. If you're commited enough to spend the time studying and determined enough to get through it, you'll be fine. Congrats on making it through your first semester and good luck to you as you go into your second semester!
  11. by   3kidsmom
    Thank you Wannabeanurse for taking the time to write your reply. I do find that Nclex books are really helpful. I also use them while studying for the test. Nursing tests are so different from any other I have taken, it is not about repeating what you have studied, it is definitely about applying it. Those famous "critical thinking" skills.

    I am glad you are doing so well in clinicals. I do think in time I will be less nervous, but it is kind of hard in the mean time. I did really well in my classes first semester, so now unfortunately I think I will put more pressure on myself to do well, since I did it once. I think I am a bit obsessive when it comes to my grades, but I find it hard not to be. I am no longer working so I can attend school, I have 3 children, 6 and under, and we are living on my husband's income. My family is making a ton of sacrifices for me to go to school so it is the least I can do to succeed. I definitely think it will be worth it...I love nursing school. After being out of school for 15 years it feels great to be learning about something that you love.

    Good luck in school and thanks for the advice!

    Kate
  12. by   mrod
    Hello,

    Do you go to Brockton Hospital School of Nursing??? The schedule sounds all too famaliar...

    Missy
  13. by   3kidsmom
    Hello MRod,
    I do go to BH School of Nursing. I take it you do to? I am starting back tomorrow for my first year 2nd semester. The time off went by so fast but I am actually looking forward to going back..scary!!
  14. by   Redeemed98
    [FONT="Comic Sans MS"]I also enjoyed your post wannabeanurse. It's good to read an encouraging post from someone who's been there. I will be starting my second semester on Monday. We have Med-Surg I w/ clinicals on Tues. & Thurs. Any advice there? I'm a little nervous, just not knowing what to expect. In first semester, we had mutliple choice quizzes, but I hear that the quizzes in second, will be multiple choice, matching, fill in the blank, etc.. I'm just going to have to feel it out on my own, but any advice would be helpful.

    Good luck and God Bless! :wink2:

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