Failed my first baseline assessment...advice?

Nursing Students General Students


Specializes in PICU/NICU/ER.

Ugh, I'm so disappointed in myself. I had my first acute care clinical and totally BOMBED my first baseline assessment with my clinical instructor watching me! I was so nervous I couldn't even think straight. I passed this the FIRST time in lab, but in the clinical setting, it is so different. I know I need to get a handle on my anxiety but here is my major issue. My patient was fairly Ill and I was so nervous about hurting her that I slacked on my assessment so I wouldn't have to sit her up, etc. I know this will make me fail as a nurse and isn't fair to the patient either.

How do you go in there and do what you need to get done, even if it means causing your patient a lot of discomfort?

And how do you get past the anxiety and think like a nurse instead of a nervous student?

Thanks in advance for ANY advice!

sarah -

First you need to stop beating yourself up.

Even if this hadn't been your first or one hundredth assessment, you need to think of what went positive, instead of the negative.

I get super nervous during my observations too. And you know what a great secret to success is....

Never let the instructor know you are nervous or unsure. Promote yourself as confident, even if you are scared sh*tless on the inside!

Raise you headup, shoulders back and take a deep breath. Instructors like to see confident students, it is a better situation. It also is reasuring to the patient as well.

You are a student and you are in school to learn. So learn from everything.

Even this instance, there are things you will not forget, isn't there.

Another idea is write a gameplan down before you do the assessment.

Look at the chart and have a good idea of what you important focuses are "ie. Resp, cardio, nereu, pain...etc." this way you can't miss it when you do your head to toe or your focused assessment.

So Sarah, next week when you go back to clinical, stand tall and proud, smile and breathe.

It is going to be okay, and although you feel yucky right now, it will pass!


Specializes in PICU/NICU/ER.

Thank you SO much!! You're advice is so encouraging. I'm going to do JUST THAT!! I have a very tough instructor and I know that I can learn so much from her if I just relax. I've always been very book smart but this clinical aspect is so unnerving! I appreciate all your kind words and would hug you back right now if I could!! :)

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