We had our final skills simulation for my nursing skills class yesterday. We had to go into a room and write down at least five safety violations; test vitals on dummies; and draw two skills out of a cup. They were to be any of the more advanced skills we learned this semester, like catheter, enema, sterile dressing change, etc. Everybody joked about how they hoped they would not draw central line dressing change and catheter because those were our two most complicated techniques since they require sterile procedure.
Well, just guess which two skills I drew!! iIt wasn't any big deal to me because I have practiced those things so much I can do them in my sleep. I did the sterile dressing change and passed, no problem. Then I get to the catheter. We were testing off in front of instructors that were not our usual care group leaders, which is a little intimidating, anyway. Luckily, mine was really nice. I was going along and doing everything right, and when I went to test the inflate on the catheter before insertion, the syringe wouldn't stay in the hub, and I shot a bunch of water out. I asked the instructor if she wanted me to start over and she said that she couldn't really tell me anything - I had to make the decision. I decided to start over. Again, everything is fine until I get to the inflate, and the rest of the water shoots out because the syringe wouldn't stay in the hub. The instructor goes and gets me more water, and I start over again. This time I held it in place, and everything was cool until I got the catheter into the dummy. I was holding the catheter in with one had while I tried to use the other hand to fill the inflate. Again, the syringe comes off, water everywhere, cath falls out of place. I was starting to think maybe I'm not going to pass this skill, and started to get really nervous.
This time, she tells me to go fill the syringe again, and just fill the inflate with both hands. The ladies working in the lab even gave me a new syringe to use. I go back and start over AGAIN. By this time, I'm shaking and about to cry. The instructor is saying "You're doing good. Just take a deep breath." I start to fill the inflate again, and it still won't stay on, so the hub is the problem. I just used both hands and managed to keep from squirting the water out again, and finished the procedure. Before I was even done, the instructor says "You did it! You passed", and gives me my check-off sheet.
I asked how many times she has seen that kind of disaster with a skill and she said that some other people had problems with the caths earlier that day. Of course, all our equipment is donated and gets used alot, so I know it gets some wear and tear. But I have 60+ hours logged in at the lab this semester and I have never had that many issues with a piece of equipment.
I rewarded myself with a beer when I got home, and I don't drink when I'm in school. I would have been mad if I didn't pass, when it was the equipment and not me! Anyway, just had to vent. It was a close call, and I'm just glad it's over and I passed