Pre-nursing student...beginning clinicals. Very nervous!!

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    I was accepted to an associates degree nursing program at Clatsop Community College in Oregon. It's a great honor because, at least according to the instructors, the school has had the highest NCLEX pass rates in Oregon for several years, and I'm very happy to be going to school on the coast. I was born on the Oregon coast and really love it here. It brings me joy.

    I started down this path because I feel quite strongly that I have a purpose to help people in one way or another. In fact, my initial career goal was to become a licensed professional counselor...but then I started taking biology classes and fell in love with them. The result was an RN career path.

    Academically, I'm not that nervous at all. I've maintained a 4.0 for a long time and my writing skills are among the best. Intellectually, I know I have what it takes to become an RN and beyond.

    What makes me nervous is patient care... I 'm currently taking NUR-50, which is a basic skills course for students accepted to the nursing program but who have not had any CNA training. In short, I'm very much a novice with the hands-on stuff!! We will be performing vitals and bathing patients in the hospital among other things. I just don't want to turn into a statue while helping a patient!!! I just keep feeling like I shouldn't feel this way or that a prepared student would feel differently. Or that, god forbid, I'm not "cut out" for it. I'm a male too...which probably makes it more difficult as a nurse. I do know that if I quit...I would regret it. And I'd always wonder...

    There have been other things going on in my life for the past several years that are impacting my outlook. I'm seeing a counselor this week to talk about things. I guess I'm just looking for some individuals to relate to and tell me that I'm not alone!!!
    priorities2 likes this.
  2. 19 Comments so far...

  3. 3
    They will teach you what you need to know, just be assertive without being bossy, you will be fine! Just imagine that this is a loved one and give them the same care you would someone you love.
    umbdude, vintagemother, and priorities2 like this.
  4. 1
    Don't be afraid to stand back and watch at first. Don't talk too much. Listen twice, speak once. Don't hide behind the curtain. All of clinicals are awkward because you are yet another person listening and poking at the patient. Just embrace the awkwardness!
    vintagemother likes this.
  5. 1
    My cousin is in her last 2 semesters and I had asked her about this. She said she was nervous but most nurses really helped her fit right in. She said they really led her in the right direction so she didnt need to feel lost! I think that really helped ease my mind. You have to know when to step back and listen and watch and when to join in.
    vintagemother likes this.
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    I agree with what the other posters have said. As a nursing student, I'd also add the advice "fake it till you make it". This doesn't mean to be a braggart, but you don't need to tell everyone you are clueless, even if you are.

    This applies to instructors, who sometimes favor confident, though incompetent students, as long as no one is hurt. This also applies to the nurses you meet in clinicals, because the saying is true that nurses do eat their young on occasion. And this also applied to students, who can be vicious toward the weak.

    At the same time, I am not saying not to ask questions, rather I'm saying to watch, be quiet and wait for the right time and place to ask the right person questions.

    HTH!
    nae312213 likes this.
  7. 1
    You're not alone! Everyone feels that at some point or another! You go into your first day of clinical and you're just like "I don't know anything!" and then someone might as you something you don't know! Keep it simple, act confident and say "Ill find out for you". You soon start to get into the rhythm of things and you smile when you look back at how nervous you were! I think at one point everyone asks themselves "Can I do this?" or maybe even "I cant do this!" might run through your mind, but that its completely normal! We all have to start somewhere. Channel your fear into excitement, your time to shine is here! Welcome to nursing One more thing.... if you really don't know something, or don't know how to do something, ASK! the patients, faculty, and nursing staff will appreciate it and you'll learn so much more that way.
    nae312213 likes this.
  8. 0
    I am a male too. The hands on stuff has been what makes me the most nervous, I think I'm book smart and lack common sense sometimes.

    However, I've noticed that its all about practice. You have your professors, your classmates, and a team of nurses by your side. I have never ever felt alone thus far, when I need help.

    Practice. Practice. Practice. In reality skills can be learned by anyone! (; Some people have an aptitude for skills, some for books... But we eventually have to overcome our weaknesses.

    Best of wishes & luck. You got this.
  9. 1
    you will be fine. nurses are there to help you and explain what you have to do. once you get to the patient think about your mom or dad and imaging like you are helping them not a stranger. it always helped me not to freeze.good luck
    loriangel14 likes this.
  10. 0
    *sigh....thank you everyone. That is all music to my ears. It does make a heck of a lot of difference having support and seeing very clearly that I'm not the first (or the second...or the third) nursing student to feel this way. I just look forward to the day when the learning curve is behind me and I can spend those couple extra minutes joking with patients and in the process letting them know that they're in good hands.
  11. 0
    I'm a Clatsop CC grad! So exciting! I love the Oregon coast and Astoria! I worked at Clatsop Care for 5 years and we did all of our clinicals at CMH. Is that where NUR 50 is happening? Many congrats to you.


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