Do any of you seasoned pros remember feeling this way as a student?

  1. I have wanted to go to nursing school for soooo long and now that I am actually a bona fide nursing student, I am worrying ahead to clinicals. Do y'all remember being nervous about clinicals and wondering if you'd be completely incompetent? I am assuming that is probably a normal fear but I'd love some reassurance.

    I have always been an excellent student, book smart. (I already have a degree in another field.) But I hear the stereotype (please tell me it is a stereotype!) about book smart people failing miserably at clinicals. What has been your experience with this?
  2. Visit ashse profile page

    About ashse

    Joined: Aug '02; Posts: 42


    Its the jitters Dont worry about them, you should do fine, If you place your heart and mind just for that patients care you will have no trouble at all. Its good to have book smarts but its even better if you can apply the book smarts and also adapt to the situation at hand , you need to be quick at mind and on the feet
    Good Luck
  4. by   babynursewannab

    I'm not a pro, but a student like yourself. I start clinicals next week and feel EXACTLY the same.....fabulous report card, zero experience in hands-on medical.

    It's common.
    Hang in there.

  5. by   Rottie1
    Yes, the jitters and being nervous are common feelings especially before clinicals start. I was really nervous before my very first clinical, and it really didn't go away because just when you get comfortable in one particular area, it is time to move on to another. My worst fears was starting psych clinicals. But it turned out fine. Good luck! And remember deep breathing exercises will help!
  6. by   adrienurse
    I'm not yet a seasoned veteran. Remember nursing school really well. It's a tough world. There is no law that says that if one is booksmart -- you can't be good at the bedside. As long as you are sensible, down do earth and actually care about what you are doing -- you should do fine. The key, I think is to believe in yourself and to have patience with yourself. Remind yourself that there is a learning curve, and that it's impossible for you to step up on your first day of clinicals and know how to do everything perfectly. That is what learning is about. As long as you constantly challenge yourself to improve, you should do fine. I have been a nurse for 4 years and I still work to improve on certain skills.

    Good luck, nurse to be!
  7. by   greycurrent
    I have been in nursing for 30+ years and have been an LPN student and an RN student. I remember the lost nervous feeling, but what I want to tell you is how to impress the nurses you are working with. I get so tired of students who act like they want to be anywhere but where we are. DON"T WASTE MY TIME. If a student acts interested and willing to learn, we will teach and support and be excited with them. I work in OR, and believe it or not, one student didn't want to come to a procedure because she already knew about it; she had seen it on the Discover channel. Other students stand in the back of the room and visit about their latest date or beer bust or whatever. Gag me. Some little personal story is fun and lets us know you, but you are there to learn, not socialize. I may sound hard, but it really takes very little interest to impress me. Step forward, ask questions. If you see a part of the anatomy you recognize, say "Is that the liver?" and the Dr. or the nurse will probably give you a tour of the belly you wouldn't have gotten otherwise. So don't be shy, and you'll learn alot.
  8. by   SmilingBluEyes
    yes i remember. all i can say, is learn as much as you can in clinicals...ask groups of questions; try to do all the skills you can while there and while you have your instructors as your "safety net"...cause you will need all this when you get out and practice on your own. don't be afraid to step and up take all the opportunities you can to LEARN! and enjoy it; you will do fine.
  9. by   sjoe
    Well, none of us is born with bedside nursing experience. We all start about at the same place, whether it is as a CNA, LVN, or RN student. Just like skydiving (only it lasts a LOT longer), it just takes diving in there and doing it, over and over and over again.

    Do you think less able students who have very little book learnin' are at an advantage? Nope.
  10. by   RNFROG3
    I'm with greycurrent. I had the opposite problem the army taught me the skills I wasn't at all sure I could cut the books. I've been a nurse since 96! Believe in yourself, ask many questions the only dumb question is the one you didn't ask, and try to do and experience as much as humanly possible. You'll be great!
  11. by   lever5

    No "book smart does not=bad nurse." God forbid that only those that did not get A's make good nurses. Nursing has long sought only the best and the brightest to train in nursing. In recent years they have lowered the admission standard to increase the graduating nurse number, but those that got B's and C's in the past had to be smart to survive in nursing. This is not a field for dummy's. Restate: If you graduated from a nursing class in the past, you were not academically challenged. The nurses that got A's were very smart and the B and C student's were above average. Past nursing programs screened students out that would not be sucessful.
  12. by   Anaclaire
    Yes, I remember being nervous too. I graduated in 1991 but I still remember having butterflies. I think it was because of fear.... fear of not knowing exactly what to expect and fear of not doing well.

    Don't let the fear paralyze you!!! Just remind yourself of how many other people survived and did well in their clinicals over the years... they are no better than you are! You must believe that in your heart!

    You are only nervous because you care about doing well.

    I agree with the other people here who say to enjoy the experience and take advantage by learning and doing as much as you can. Believe me, this is the best chance you will have to learn well from people who care. Throw yourself into it and think of it as what it is... some of the best learning experiences you will be exposed to before graduating and being out there for real... By the way, our school instructors really do want our students to do well!!! They grade themselves on how well their students do.

    Take deep breaths, smile, and choose a positive affirmation for yourself. Something like, "I am calm and will learn well today."

    By the way, I graduated with two of the three awards given to our nursing class... and I never had any problems in clinicals whether it was learning and demonstrating skills in the classroom setting or in the actual clinical setting. There is no truth to the "saying" you've heard. You'll do fine!
  13. by   Lacey
    Students can often sink their own boat. Learn everything you can. Even if you've seen it before, ask if you can watch it again. We had a know-it-all on the unit with the last class. He figured if he had seen it once or read about it, he was an expert and could spend his time talking to the residents about cars. Well guess what, the first time he actually had to do something, he didn't know how to work the bed controls. Remember, no chit-chat, listen,listen, listen and volunteer, The other RN's will notice and find you when something interesting is going on. Good Luck! Lacey
  14. by   Love-A-Nurse
    all the best to you!