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).
While I appreciate your enthusiasm...and I am sure you nursing instructor do as well....showing that you are focused...and anxious to master the lowly task of nursing for they can actually yield a ton of information....for example...pulsus paradoxus
Systemic arterial pressure normally falls by less than 10 mmHg during inspiration, but this decline is not palpable at the peripheral pulse.
Moderate to severe cardiac tamponade, and occasionally constrictive pericarditis, induce hemodynamic changes that enhance the inspiratory fall in systolic blood pressure. This exaggerated drop in systemic blood pressure during inspiration is termed pulsus paradoxus.
Severe pulsus paradoxus can be palpated in the radial, brachial, or femoral pulses as a weakening or disappearance of the pulse during inspiration (which is best observed by watching or palpating the rise and fall of the chest). However, in most patients pulsus paradoxus is most readily identified while measuring the blood pressure. It may be necessary to have the patient breathe slowly and deeply to elucidate this finding when pulsus paradoxus is not severe.
To measure pulsus paradoxus, a manually-operated sphygmomanometer is employed for blood pressure measurement in the standard fashion except that the cuff is deflated more slowly than usual. During deflation, the first Korotkoff sounds are audible only during expiration, but with further deflation, Korotkoff sounds are heard throughout the respiratory cycle.
The difference between the systolic pressure at which the first Korotkoff sounds are heard during expiration and the pressure at which they are heard throughout the respiratory cycle quantifies pulsus paradoxus. Pulsus paradoxus can be more sensitively quantified by an invasive arterial measurement, and may also be observed by respirophasic variation of the pulse oximetry waveform
and learning about the Kortikoff sounds....
- the first korotkoff sound is the snapping sound first heard at the systolic pressure. a clear tapping sound; onset of the sound for two consecutive beats is considered systolic.
- the second sounds are the murmurs heard for most of the area between the systolic and diastolic pressures.
- the third = a loud, crisp tapping sound.
- the fourth sound, at pressures within 10 mmhg above the diastolic blood pressure, were described as "thumping" and "muting".
- the fifth korotkoff sound is silence as the cuff pressure drops below the diastolic blood pressure. the disappearance of sound is considered diastolic blood pressure- two points below the last sound heard.
or heart tones...http://www.wilkes.med.ucla.edu/intro.html
Before moving on to advanced airway procedures a mastery of the basics is usually required. You will not usually encounter opportunities to intubate patients as a bedside nurse.....as the goal is to intervene prior to the patients arrest.
I am not sure how your lab is set up but I am sure there are many skills that you could be focused on to master. Wanting to run, full speed, to the edge of the cliff....doesn't make you brave or safe.
Nursing is rather like that....... running full tilt to get to the "good stuff" because it is your "passion" doesn't give a sense of control....maturity and caution. Nursing is all about control....knowing what to do and proceeding with confidence based on experience, knowledge, practice and expertise.....not running full speed ahead, skidding to a halt and falling over a haphazard solution.
It is about the journey and learning how to get there.....it's not about getting there and coming to a screeching halt almost missing the destination.
Walk before you run. Look before you leap...You have already been described as immature, playing around, reckless.....nurses are not reckless.