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Failed my first attempt at Foley competency :(


We have two attempts to pass certain skills. I've done good up until yesterday. I had my first attempt at inserting a Foley (on the mannequin)

I got the skills perfect, no problem, and thought I had done very well! Turns out I broke the sterile field several times, but didn't even realize it! I've watched videos, and I knew the steps by heart, but obviously didn't pay enough attention to the whole "sterile field" thing. I'm so disappointed :(

I have to get two more validations before I can try again, and plan to have our lab teacher watch me the entire time!

Any advice? Thanks!


Specializes in Community Health.

First of all dont beat yourself up because it happens to everyone!

The thing that works for me as far as sterile field is just imagining my "dirty" hand as being literally filthy, covered in BM (lovely, isn't it?) Sounds crazy but it works!

That Guy, BSN, RN, EMT-B

Specializes in Emergency/Cath Lab. Has 6 years experience.

Have a friend watch you and have them blow a whistle or something really annoying when you break sterile field to see where you are in fact breaking it and might not notice it. I did this once with my friend who was having a hard time with dressing changes and always breaking sterile field. Well one air horn fixed that problem. She got the highest grade on the skill checkoff

Awesome ideas!! Thanks!


Has 1 years experience.

The sterile field always got me too!!! The saying "practice makes perfect" rings true to nursing skills. Like the other poster, having a friend watch you is a great way to fix your mistakes. Also, at my school we have a skills lab with a special instructor that helps us with anything we need help with. If you have anything like that, I would definetly utilize it...Dont beat yourself up, you will get it!! :nurse:

dont stress out...you know i failed the pulse test (2 years ago, im an rn now)! hahaha..that was embarrassing. brush it off and practice again but try not to be nervous. what helped allay my anxiety was talking while performing the procedure. it reassures you that you do know what you're doing...Also, try to get the "quiet" mind state during the test.

Good luck and keep going!!!


Specializes in LTC and Acute. Has 5 years experience.

I'm having the same problem with my foley check off. We practiced and then friday we will get checked off. I flubbed the sterile field completely. I never touched with my dirty hand but I accidently touched my uniform and crossed the sterile field many times! I just really nervous infront of everyone using the mannequin.

My prof said, think about how the patient feels. they're more nervous than you are...you need to be confident for them...

whichone'spink, BSN, RN

Has 3 years experience.

If open lab is offered, go in and practice several times. Practice really does make perfect.