Practical Skills Test Issues

  1. Hello all, okay so currently I am studying Nursing and am loving it! I do well on all my tests/exams and assignments and always try to put in my best effort. I acknowledge I am weak in some areas (mainly in clinical) but I feel that I have improved & nobody is perfect.

    I tend to spend too much time with pts. and have a lot of trouble saying no. One time I spent a good hour and a half just talking with my patient. Honestly, I have had patients confide in me about things that were pretty personal and I feel that this can both be bad and good but it really made me feel good that they were able to trust me with such personal information (they willingly told me things - I did not in any way shape of form force the info out I also tend to be a bit "too nice" and even my fellow classmates have told me that I need to not get so involved with the patients. They are constantly reminding me that it is a job and I should not feel obligated to go out of my way and make more work for myself. I truly feel that it doesn't make any extra work for me and being a student, I tend to have some time to shoot the breeze with my patient(s) while working rns don't always have the time to do that.

    I had a really rough clinical experience followed by an amazing one. But I will only discuss for bad experience because that is what I feel has caused my nerves to get so bad. My clinical instructor was abusive - verbally. She called me stupid in front of my patients and lied to me to make me feel bad about myself. I used to dread getting up every morning for clinical, especially knowing that I was going to be stuck with her for 12 hours. She never missed an opportunity to make me feel like crap and long story short, I ended up dropping it and retaking it with an amazing instructor

    But after this experience I became a nervous wreck when it came to practicals. I just cannot seem to get my head on straight for these because I am so worried about messing up. When I go to do a practical skill I just freeze up and I miss a lot of important stuff that I know but its like, I cant even think when someone is sitting there, judging my every move and the clock is just ticking, its awful. I have set up IVs in clinical and have given meds on numerous occasions but its just practical evaluations that seem to get me every time. I shake a lot too and imagine having to perform an IM injection while shaking? Awful

    Any advice for me would be greatly appreciated - I have a practical this Tuesday for NG intubation, feeding, suctioning, etc, Oxygen therapy, Trache suction/care and catheter insertion. I feel like I know this stuff like the back of my hand but I wont lie, I am nervous!!
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    About ashesxo

    Joined: Oct '12; Posts: 2


  3. by   Esme12
    Be confident....focus. Watch some you tube videos. I am sure you mean NGT insertion.....intubation, at least to an experienced nurse, means something totally different.

    Take a deep breath and blow it out......and keep breathing....remember even your instructor was where you are in the beginning of their careers.
  4. by   nursek17
    My hands shake reallllly bad during these because of nerves and someone told me that wiggling your toes and concentrating on wiggling your toes will help your hands to stop shaking. I haven't tried it yet because I am finished clinical simulation/clinicals for the semester but it might!
  5. by   futurenurseya33
    I have that problem too. My instructor told me i have the worst stage fright. She was very nice about it. She just told me to take a few deep breaths and just do it. I usually have to to the skills test twice because of my nervousness.
  6. by   LevophedUp
    I find that going through a checklist in my mind while I'm doing my practical skills evaluation helps me to zone into my actions and zone out of any mental anxieties I might be experiencing. And of course focusing on my breathing if I do get a little stressed out. Just be confident in yourself, you'll do great!
  7. by   Compassion_x

    Just kidding. Kind of. I have a lot of anxiety in a million different situations so I have PRN clonazepam that helps somewhat.

    You just gotta do a lot of studying beforehand, watching videos, etc. But try not to over think either, or you'll miss basic stuff sometimes. Take deep breaths, and think about everything you are doing and if there's anything you are doing wrong.
  8. by   Racer15
    Just relax. Maybe sign up to be in the first group to test so you don't have time to really think about it.

    Funny thing about comps with me. I would work myself up so badly that I was SHAKING, even when I was confident with the skill. When doing it for real, on a real patient, for the very first time, a year after practicing it? BAM, no problem. I unexpectedly got the chance to drop an NG tube on my very first night of my preceptorship, hadn't even PRACTICED the skill in a year. Did it with no problems, whereas during my comp, I was shaking and nauseous! Same with accessing a port, easy peasy when I did it for the first time on a real patient, nerve wracking when I did my comps.