Shaky hands

  1. This might be a silly question but I'm concerned about it. I naturally have shaky hands--all my life really. It's not that I'm nervous but just a natural thing for me. Would this really be a set back in a nursing career? What patient would want to see a nurse start an IV line with their hands trembling??? This really bothers me! Thanks for any input.
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  2. 18 Comments

  3. by   ChainedChaosRN
    Hi Suzy,
    I have always had shaky hands, it seems to be a heriditary thing. It did make my patients nervous, and i would give the "heriditary speech"..it would ease their fears some. Would go on to put in an IV without problems.
    Over the years the skakiness has gotten worse, especially in the morning. It is much more difficult for me to insert an IV, so I usually defer it to someone else if possible. If not....I just do it.
    I also no longer thread needles Now my biggest concern is signing meds out on the MAR...those squares are getting smaller and smaller I swear.
    Don't let it become an obstable to you...in the overall scheme of things in nursing, starting IV's is a very small thing.

    Dawn
  4. by   suzy253
    Thanks Dawn for your reply. Mine is a hereditary thingy as well. It has hindered me from getting an earlier start in nursing but now I'm willing to give it a try!
  5. by   nakitamoon
    Hi,,, Suzy,,,, I too have shaky hands,,,, before any,,, any! procedure,,, they start to shake worse,, I try to ease,,, my patients,, and in the past,,, my preceptors,,, It is normal and I will have no problem,,,,, & I don't,,,, I am very good at IV's,,, pleb,,,

    Just don't watch me!,,, lol,,,,, ~kitamoon
  6. by   widow2RN
    Quote from ChainedChaosRN
    Hi Suzy,
    I have always had shaky hands, it seems to be a heriditary thing. It did make my patients nervous, and i would give the "heriditary speech"..it would ease their fears some. Would go on to put in an IV without problems.
    Over the years the skakiness has gotten worse, especially in the morning. It is much more difficult for me to insert an IV, so I usually defer it to someone else if possible. If not....I just do it.
    I also no longer thread needles Now my biggest concern is signing meds out on the MAR...those squares are getting smaller and smaller I swear.
    Don't let it become an obstable to you...in the overall scheme of things in nursing, starting IV's is a very small thing.

    Dawn

    I appreciate reading threads like this. I'm in 3rd semester of the nursing program (almost over), but I was written up this semester to appear before faculty because of a) observation by my clinical instructor of my shakiness and b) telling my clinical instructor that I did not know that it was only merely nerves but that I might have a bit of a shake normally. (Don't EVER say that when in school!!) When they wrote me up for it they took other problems that happened that night (like the problem with the Bridge on computer before being able to complete my med administration) and mispresenented those facts as having to do with my shaking. Absolutely not true! I actually came very close to dropping the program at that time, but my wonderful class instructor/advisor talked me out of it and told me to write a rebuttal instead (which I did). Even though I passed initial IV start check-offs, that write up caused me to have to go before the worst member of faculty to show her again. After a bout of instructor intimidation (IMHO was an example of what I've already read on previous posts about "hazing" in nursing school), was told by her that she was "satisfied" and for me to practice a lot in the future on using "techniques" to stabalize my shaking.

    All that said... I just want to point out that my "shakiness" was minimal... enough to see with the eye, but nothing like parkinson's tremor or something like that. I was even told that I was treating this like it wasn't a "problem" to which I responded that though you can see a slight tremor of my hands.... still... if a) sterile technique is not broken and nothing contaminated and b) the job gets done... then what IS the problem???? I was told it could be a "potential future problem."

    I'm just glad to read it here and see for myself that even people with a slight shakiness are still able to become good nurses. Cause after seeing this totally "blown out of the water" with faculty in my nursing program... I just about gave up. My advisor told me that I was doing great on my test scores... and I told her at the time "So what? What good does that do when I feel my PHYSICAL ABILITY of being suited to nursing is being questioned by my instructors? How can I fight against that??" But... so far... I guess I've done just that. Fought and stood and still standing so far...

    Now... on to 4th semester and the challenge of getting through management (time managment and delegation)! God help me for 5 more months!
  7. by   suzy253
    Good for you!!! I managed to make it thru all my clinical rotations, shakey hands or not. I too have only 5 months to go until graduation (God willing!).
  8. by   widow2RN
    Quote from suzy253
    Good for you!!! I managed to make it thru all my clinical rotations, shakey hands or not. I too have only 5 months to go until graduation (God willing!).
    5 more months... sometimes seems like FOREVER, doesn't it? (Actually, about this time, I feel like I've been in the program forever already!) Cheers to you for making it this far! And, may the next 5 months go by for you quickly and may it be NOTHING like 3rd semester (hopefully!)
  9. by   Miss Ludie
    Ya I got the twitchy hands too. Hereditary or genetic or whatever, I found that if I tap my foot while I'm doing something the shake goes away a bit. If you are starting a IV hole the neele in your hand and the other hand can hold the arm with 3 fingers and tap the pinky in the air. I don't know hwy but it works for me.

    Still I hadda stop painting the front door trim. Ya cant really tap your foot when on a laddar can you.
  10. by   tnvolmom
    Hi, I've never posted to this coard before, but I saw your posting about shaky hands. I have an essential tremor and so not only my hands shake but so does my head. I had to work a little harder in nursing school to figure out the best way to prop my arm so I could start IV's, and explaining the shaking to instructors and fellow students, but no one ever told me I couldn't be a nurse.

    I get comments from patients sometimes, but I either explain it to them, or make a joke about drinking too much caffeine. I've never had a negative response from a patient and when I worked on the open heart unit, I did better starting IVs than any of the other nurses.

    Now I am Charge in a PACU and have the respect of my fellow nurses for continuing to do hands-on patient care even though the tremor has worsened some. I have good days and bad days when the tremor is better or worse than usual, but it doesn't stop me from doing my job.
  11. by   widow2RN
    Quote from tnvolmom
    Hi, I've never posted to this coard before, but I saw your posting about shaky hands. I have an essential tremor and so not only my hands shake but so does my head. I had to work a little harder in nursing school to figure out the best way to prop my arm so I could start IV's, and explaining the shaking to instructors and fellow students, but no one ever told me I couldn't be a nurse.

    I get comments from patients sometimes, but I either explain it to them, or make a joke about drinking too much caffeine. I've never had a negative response from a patient and when I worked on the open heart unit, I did better starting IVs than any of the other nurses.

    Now I am Charge in a PACU and have the respect of my fellow nurses for continuing to do hands-on patient care even though the tremor has worsened some. I have good days and bad days when the tremor is better or worse than usual, but it doesn't stop me from doing my job.

    Hi Tnvolmom,

    I am really happy that you decided to post on here. You have a great testimony on going on to be a great nurse despite the problem with the tremor. I, too, have never yet received a negative reponse or even concern from a patient, and after this was first written up on me, I went back to clinical rotation that week and was finally given my first opportunity (on someone else's patient) to do my very first blood draw. I was very nervous, too, cause it was a very pleasant elderly woman and I had already heard stories on how fragile their veins can be and how easily they sometimes roll or blow. But, with my clinical instructor looking on, I picked my vein in the antecubital area with her agreement of it looking like a good spot, got my butterfly needle ready and in hand and went for it. Wow... imagine my thrill when I got flashback on the very first stick! I really needed that boost at that point, too! She told me later that even though she still noticed me shaking just slightly, that I still did it! I think we were both proud at that moment cause she was already bothered with the surprise of not ever realizing the faculty would make such an issue out of this as well as how they misrepresented the facts to warrant their concern.

    I have to say that since then, my best buddy in the program and I (dedicated students that we are :biere: ) decided to meet at the lab on campus the day after our final exam was over (our Christmas break has just started, so you can bet none of the other students were going to be back there on campus), but they we were... me wanted to practice IV sticks on the rubber arm again, her wanting to get more experience with the IV pump that gave her such fits in clinicals constantly beeping and both of us agreeing to do one ONC IV start (stick) on each other for the "real life" practice. Well... during the initial time in lab at the beginning of this semester, she was one of the students that I had tried 3 DIFFERENT TIMES to hit her vein and never could... and this day, I got her also on my first stick!

    So, I have no doubt that if I can get past the scrutinizing judgments of the nursing instructors and just get out there one day as an RN and start getting some REAL experience in doing these skills over and over till I can do them in my sleep... well, I know I can be a good nurse! I truly believe that. I just got to get over these hurdles first in the meantime.

    So, thank you, and thank all who has posted here about their own personal experiences with shaky hands. You wonderful people make such a big difference to those of us still in school and having this viewed as a "potential problem" in building our confidence that... Yes, Virginia... there ARE good nurses despite shaky hands! :Santa2:

    Merry Christmas to all... and to all a good night! :icon_wink
  12. by   cdietrich404
    Have any of you tried any meds for the shaky hands? My hands too shake and i looked on this website and there were a couple meds mentioned you can take that are suppose to help.

    http://www.essentialtremor.org/

    Cheryl
    mommy to 4
  13. by   Miss Ludie
    OK Pun Intended.....
    Where there's a WILL or a WIGGLE there's a way.

    Congrats to all my co-shakers on achievements above and beyond.
  14. by   oreo14
    Hey guys... Do you know a support group for people having congenital essential tremors? I have tremors too and i was diagnosed by a neurologist... Please Reply!!

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