What is general skills lab etiquette?

  1. 0
    So, my school has a pretty nice simulation lab. Students are allowed to schedule time in there or just practice when there isn't a class using the lab.

    My concern is: I'm afraid to utilize the skills lab. I'm afraid I'm going to use something to practice that I'm not supposed to or be accused of "wasting" things or "fooling around".

    For example: even though I'm FAR away from learning this skill, I'd like to practice ET intubation. Our skills lab has laryngoscopes and intubation dummies. However, since I'm not in a class that's even DISCUSSED intubation, I'm all paranoid that someone would say something about me like accusing me (again), of "playing around". Furthermore, I'd like to just take a look at all the equipment in the lab and learn how everything works so I'm not dumbfounded the first time It's introduced.

    Essentially, this entire LINE of thinking prevents me from wanting to do ANYTHING in the skills lab, even anything related to class.

    Does anyone else feel like this in regards to their skills lab?

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  2. 30 Comments...

  3. 0
    Why don't you talk to your lab instructor (or whoever is in charge or your sim lab) and find out what the policies are?
  4. 15
    If you are going to use the lab I would suggest you be using the time to practice the skills you are currently supposed to be learning. there is no point in practicing stuff you haven't been introduced to yet.
    Fearless_leader, GrnTea, juniper583, and 12 others like this.
  5. 1
    Lori: You're asking me why someone should practice and learn skills they haven't been formally taught yet (but will certainly be taught eventually) on their own? I'd say the reason is because if a person is enthusiastic about learning new skills and is WANTING to enrich their education in a practical way outside of class time because the practice of nursing is their passion, that they're likely bound to be a great nurse, and that beating that enthusiasm out of them is not a very good way to advance the profession. That sounds like a type of "if it's not on the test, it's not worth learning about" mentality to me.
    Practicing blood pressures is fine and all, but that can be done at home. Many essential nursing skills require the use of equipment that you can't just pick up for $15 at CVS (blood pressure cuffs are pretty damn cheap).
    Last edit by Axmann on Sep 26, '13
    veggie530 likes this.
  6. 2
    I would ask about the policy for your sim lab. Nursing school is a very complex learning experience, because you aren't simply just learning skills. You are simultaneously learning the knowledge that you will then apply when performing a skill. It is great that you are so enthusiastic about learning, but you will be getting the cart before the horse if you jump right into intubation. I would stick to practicing skills that you will be learning this semester of nursing school. You must learn to crawl before you walk. Good luck!
    CLoGreenEyes and RunnerRN2b2014 like this.
  7. 17
    Quote from Axmann
    Lori: You're asking me why someone should practice and learn skills they haven't been formally taught yet (but will certainly be taught eventually) on their own? I'd say the reason is because if a person is enthusiastic about learning new skills and is WANTING to enrich their education in a practical way outside of class time because the practice of nursing is their passion, that they're likely bound to be a great nurse, and that beating that enthusiasm out of them is not a very good way to advance the profession. That sounds like a type of "if it's not on the test, it's not worth learning about" mentality to me.
    Practicing blood pressures is fine and all, but that can be done at home. Many essential nursing skills require the use of equipment that you can't just pick up for $15 at CVS (blood pressure cuffs are pretty damn cheap).
    Wouldn't you be better off practicing the skills that you are supposed to be learning right now? How are you going to practice something that you haven't been taught how to do properly? There is no point in getting ahead of yourself. Are you perfect at the skills currently being taught? There is nothing wrong with being enthusiastic but you also should be paying attention to what is being taught right now.
    Fearless_leader, GrnTea, Everline, and 14 others like this.
  8. 0
    What semester are you in? I agree with everyone else, work on perfecting the skills you will be tested out on soon. You need to know the basics before jumping into something else. In my area, RNs very very rarely do intubations. So for me, learning that skill would have been a waste of time because it's not something I use every day (or ever.)

    I would suggest, if you want to make your ample free time to enrich your education useful, check out youtube videos. There are some great RTs on there that can explain what to look for and where to position your blades and how to apply cricoid pressure, etc.

    Also, communicate with your lab director! S/he is in academia for a reason and he or she would surely love to talk about all of the equipment. Ask for some ground rules and schedule some time to check things out on your own.
  9. 0
    Practice what you're learning this second. If you master that, then read what you're supposed to read in your books and master that information.

    If you know you will learn intubation later on, just wait and do with your class when it's time.
    That way you'll learn the safe and proper techniques.
  10. 1
    I wouldn't practice things I haven't been taught yet. What is the point of practicing something in an incorrect way? You can't do it in the correct way until you are taught. And, each school does things a little differently, so youtube or something like that may not necessarily help you.
    psu_213 likes this.
  11. 7
    Quote from Axmann
    So, my school has a pretty nice simulation lab. Students are allowed to schedule time in there or just practice when there isn't a class using the lab. My concern is: I'm afraid to utilize the skills lab. I'm afraid I'm going to use something to practice that I'm not supposed to or be accused of "wasting" things or "fooling around". For example: even though I'm FAR away from learning this skill, I'd like to practice ET intubation. Our skills lab has laryngoscopes and intubation dummies. However, since I'm not in a class that's even DISCUSSED intubation, I'm all paranoid that someone would say something about me like accusing me (again), of "playing around". Furthermore, I'd like to just take a look at all the equipment in the lab and learn how everything works so I'm not dumbfounded the first time It's introduced. Essentially, this entire LINE of thinking prevents me from wanting to do ANYTHING in the skills lab, even anything related to class. Does anyone else feel like this in regards to their skills lab?
    You are likely putting the cart well in front of the horse. Make sure you practice the basic skills you are taught and both understand and execute them flawlessly.

    As for "practicing" intubation, this is not a standard nursing skill and is not within the RN scope of practice unless they are ACLS certified, and even then it would only be in specialized positions or advanced practice. It's great that you want to learn advanced skills but you need to learn the basics first.
    Fearless_leader, GrnTea, psu_213, and 4 others like this.


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