Quote from clcstudent22307
Anyone have any insight, good, bad or otherwise, into the practical exam that CLC nursing students endure?Thanks in advance.
That's a heck of a question.
First, let me describe the PE. The performance exam is a practical test administered by a faculty member at the end of each nursing semester. It involves a hypothetical situation in which a nursing student must perform certain tasks. In the case of the first PE, those tasks include checking vital signs, administering medication, and performing an area of care (bed bath, TED hose or elastic bandage change, or ambulation/transfer). CLC provides a packet of information to each student that details the "critical elements" that must be performed for the student to pass. This is what you must follow to pass the exam. For example, when giving medications, the student must secure the right drug, prepare the right dose, identify the patient before administration, administer the drug correctly, and document correctly in the chart. You get two chances to pass.
In theory, it's an excellent idea. Who wants a nurse who gives you the wrong drug or can't take vital signs?
In practice, it's a bit of a nightmare. You will be told time and time again that the pass/fail is based solely on the critical elements, but the exact definition of some of those elements is left up to your grader, and there is a lot of room for interpretation by the grader. I saw a fellow student failed for forgetting to put soap on the washcloth during a bedbath. Is that specifically stated in the critical elements? No. Is that going to harm your patient? No. Is that likely to be forgotten in an actual clinical setting? No. Did we use soap on the washcloth at any other point during the semester? No. We were expressly told to simulate it. So... yeah. (Incidentally, said student did fine on her second exam). There are many more absurd examples, but I'm trying not to scare you too much here.
Try to be calm about it. Practice. Practice. Practice. I would practice a full run-through of a practice scenario at least three times. Practice your documentation. Practice some more. And last, but not least, practice.
The two things most students fail on? ID'ing the patient (you just forget, trust me) and improper documentation (check it before you turn it in).
It's silly, but one of the things we did was, when our partner came into the room to perform care and introduced him/herself (you as the patient aren't technically allowed to give hints), we would say a very exaggerated HI for "hands" and "identification").