Confidence with assessments

  1. When did you become "confident" in doing your physical assessments on your patients?

    I am a second year nursing student and will grad in May. Sometimes I still don't feel confident with my assessments. Some things I forget to assess and others I assess but don't really know what my findings are (mainly heart and lungs...I don't know that I can recognize a murmur and I have difficulty with lung sounds).

    Is this normal? I don't have a problem with theory or with doing "procedures" in clinical, but this assessment stuff really makes me feel inadequate.
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    About RazorbackRN

    Joined: Oct '05; Posts: 405; Likes: 170
    Specialty: Pediatrics (Burn ICU, CVICU)


  3. by   GPatty
    You will learn...don't hesitate to ask someone else if you need verification on something....
    Shoot, I've been a LPN now for 4 yrs and still have to occasionally ask a co worker to listen to something I'm not sure I'm hearing correctly...
    Give yourself some time! It'll come!
  4. by   INFJ
    Hey! I, too, will graduate in May and can really relate to what you are saying. I am fine with procedures - even new ones, but assessment still isn't coming easy to me. I have a really hard time hearing lung sounds - unless they are totally awful and it's obvious.

    While I'm sad that we're both having this makes me feel better to know that others are going through this, too.

    I really believe that it's "normal" at this point...

    Hang in there!
  5. by   thatoneguy
    i am new too. i find i am getting good at assessments. i went straight to CCU out of school. the nurses here have been great always getting me to listen to this or feel that when they find something. if you really want to get good try to go into the ICU units, any of them except nero. ask one of the nurses there if they would help you. "most nurses love to show off, so finding one to help should not be a problem" just tell them your haveing issues and want help. nurses on the floor really dont have the time to do real good assessments. so ask the ICU nurses, well its an idea anyway. if your in a teaching hospital find a day to go on rounds with the residents, you really get some good tips on assessing your patients for this or that. dont be shy if you go on rounds. if they say this patient has a mur mur ask where it can be best heard and then listen. remember rounds are all about teaching.
  6. by   ICRN2008
    Have you considered making yourself a note card book or buying a pocket assessment book? I have the Bates one, and I am finding it very useful. It's a lot of information to keep track of, so a memory jog really helps me.
  7. by   PedsRN03
    Assessments take a long time to have complete confidence with and comes easier for some people than others. I've been an RN for 2 1/2 years and although I feel I've made some improvement, I still don't feel very confident with my physical assessment skills. If you are ever unsure of your findings, you can always ask your preceptor, charge nurse, etc. to take a look or listen.
  8. by   hrtprncss
    Here's a site with video and audio... But I think it's a pay site....
  9. by   ncbeachgrl
    To be honest, it may be well into your first year as a nurse before you become comfortable with assessments. I wasn't comfortable for a good six months in the NICU, in part because there so many things to learn. One nurse may hear a murmur, another one may not. That doesn't mean one nurse is less competent, but maybe that the murmur is intermittent (this is more in premies, but you get my point). Any time you're not sure about something, ask another nurse to go behind you. It's better to ask for a second opinion than to be unsure and not say anything. As much as you don't want to hear this, it really comes down to practice and time. As nurses, we learn something new everyday. Hope this helps!