assessment skills

  1. Okay I am getting reaady to take the NCLEX soon. I graduated from an ADN program and feel that I did not get enough of an assessment class. Especially when it comes to heart and lung sounds. After my class complained alot about not having enough asseesment , they changed the curriculum for the following first year students but they did not offer anything to us. Anyway, is anyone real comfortable doing full assessments as a new grad? we were told that we will learn in the field after graduation. I am just worried. I can't start my pediatric position until I pass the NCLEx so now I am not practicing anywhere. HELP!!! Any suggestions?
  2. Visit lindagio profile page

    About lindagio

    Joined: Mar '02; Posts: 40


  3. by   Joan_RN_CO
    Take a deep breath and don't panic.

    Giving advice on how to get ready for NCLEX is not always easy because what worked for one person might not work for another.

    What I did was sign-up for a review course and when I couldn't make the on campus course I got the books and the tapes. I played the tapes in my care working at home when ever I could. I sat with the tapes and the NCLEX book about two hours aday. They rest of the time I listened and if I heard something that stood out I made a quick note.

    Remember NCLEX is not going to give you sounds to hear but questions with information. Read the questions, read all the responses re-read the question. Then respond but try not to over asses the question.

    I am told rule of thumb is that if you take NCLEX review and get 70% or better you will do well on the NCLEX. Any area you score below 70% you need more review.

    I dont' think anyone feels ready right after school but it comes in time.

    Good luck
  4. by   huggietoes
    I did not have one question on NCLEX as far as adventitious heart/lung sounds. It does take a 'trained' ear, meaning I believe it does take time, however, I purchased a great set of cassettes from Springhouse that have normal/abnormal sounds of heart and lungs and I review them when I am in my car, also, there is a book titled, Assessment Made Incredibly Easy that you may want to look into. Good Luck on NCLEX.
  5. by   shygirl
    I was just going to suggest the Springhouse cassette also. It helped me 4 years ago!
    P.S. I did not have any lung/heart sound questions on my boards!
  6. by   Heather333
    I can sympathize with you; I don't feel that our program provide enough practice with assessment either. I just took the NCLEX on the 8th of August. I had 2 questions regarding lung sounds....the weren't hard though. I believe it was something like: "You have an 80-year-old patient and are doing a resp. assessment, which of the following would be a normal age-related finding for this patient....". You just had to know the rationale behind the choices. I think that is as specific as you can get on a written test.
    Don't panic is best to stay calm. Assessment is one of those skills that take time to acquire. I still don't feel comfortable with my assessment skills.

    Good Luck to you!

  7. by   BrandyBSN
    When I got my scope from littman, it came with a CD that had heart and lung sounds on it to listen and practice. Try contacting littman and see if this CD is still available. It also comes with a small workbook to help.

    it helped me a lot!
  8. by   tex
    When I took my boards 10yrs ago, I bought a computor testing disk, along w/tapes and review course and the exam books. I graduated top in my class, but that isn't a promise that I was going to pass the NY nursing board exam. You will have more knowledge going into your exam than you ever will again at one time covering so to speak "all of nursing". When you start practicing you will develope a speciality, of what you like, sometimes it takes a while just to find what your nich is. I started in pre op ped. surgical day, then went to med surg., then went into Hospice, which I did for 4 years and dearly loved. I did home care as an admission nurse/liasion and I am currently happily doing MDS cord at a LTC. So I guess you could say i love the older crowd. Anyway back to the exam, We had a case's to read and a series of questions to answer on my boards. If you understand the problem and the case that is being presented, then the wrong answers will stand out and you will have to decide from the remaining two ?'s which one is more right than the other. I don't know how the computor exams are. I don't know if you can go back on your computor exam testing. I just know we had about 1 min per question, no different that 50 min for each nursing exam in school. Your first gut feeling of a correct answer is most likely correct. What ever you not go back and change your answer. Trust your gut and your hard working efforts to graduate from nursing school................I did have a scenero r/t an OB/GYN case. When I read the case I started answering the questions, only to realize that I was on the wrong trend of thought. So I did go back. I was lucky, I did answer them correctly per visiting with my peers taking the test at the time. I was in the last class that had the two day written exam, and there was some students picked to do the testing on the computor. Luck would have it my close friends took the 2 day written. Good Luck to you Tex
  9. by   meownsmile
    My school has changed some of their curriculum too. We were told that NCLEX is planning to add some basic audio questions to the test within the next few years(and it sounds reasonable with audio available on computers now). So the next classes are going to get more cardiac and lung assessment.
    My kids got sick of me listening to them all the time. My hubby, and anyone else that let me listen. I figured if i learned the normal sounds it would help to identify a deviation. I'm not real skilled at it yet either, and i think it does come with time, but when i do assessments if it doesnt sound right and im not sure i always have someone else with experience listen too and either confirm or let me know i was way off.
    Last edit by meownsmile on Aug 14, '02
  10. by   lindagio
    Thank-you. I feel better about improving my assessment skills on the job. I have faith I will pass the big exam. I plan to purchase the springhouse tapes to listen while I'm in the car. I am getting tired of listening to my Sylvia Rayfield tapes everyday. Can you believe we only got an hour lecture for assessment. I think this is the most important part of the job. thanks again.
  11. by   emily_mom
    Check out (

    They supposedly have assesment reviews.