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!