What should I know already?

  1. I am starting my first NS semester in the fall and so far this summer I've been going over the cranial nerves, looking at drug lists, and basically just reviewing every aspect of A&P. I don't want to get myself all worked up and panicked, but I'm feeling really nervous since I have zero experience in the health care field. I've hear about how hard NS is and I know I probably shouldn't be getting so stressed about it already, but I have all these fears that I'll be one of the worst in the class because of my lack of experience. A lot of my fellow students that I met at orientation work at hospitals or are medical assistants and have have some basic skills under their belts. I've never even taken blood pressure!
    I know the instructors will teach me all I need to know, but is there anything I should focus on and have an idea of before I even start school? Any basic information I should have under my belt before I start classes?
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    About checkmarks0725

    Joined: Feb '09; Posts: 32; Likes: 5
    Behavioral Health; from US
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    8 Comments

  3. by   truern
    Believe it or not they start with the basics and build on those...unless it's a requirement that you have your CNA before being accepted into the program they ASSUME you know nada, zip, zilch.

    Think of it this way: you won't have any "bad" habits to unlearn
  4. by   lunden
    thats true. i don't think instructors will like students saying well i used to do it this way. go in with a open mind. i have 14 years as a dialysis tech and when i start the nursing program i am not going to be mentioning that, rather i am going 2 soak up any new knowledge and maybe compare some things that i have learned over the years, but i'm basically going n with a clean slate.
  5. by   NursingRocks1998
    I also started out with no experience in the health care field, and I was super nervous too- I hadn't taken a blood pressure either-- DON'T worry, like the other poster said, they will all assume you know nothing, so its okay! I'm now in my 3rd quarter and got to see babies being born!! (Very cool by the way!) You've already done a lot of preparing, so don't stress already- you will stress enough when nursing school actually starts! One thing I would recommend if you want to get a jump start is start reading the discussion boards about assessment skills- we had to take an assessment class, and we do head-to-toes in clinicals starting on day one. I still miss stuff- it's one of those things that will get better with practice but if you read an re-read the steps at least you'll know what to do, even though it will take experience to know what you're hearing and feeling and what it all means. At least you will know WHAT to feel and hear!! Good luck to you as you start this journey!
  6. by   beth66335
    Quote from checkmarks0725
    I've hear about how hard NS is and I know I probably shouldn't be getting so stressed about it already, but I have all these fears that I'll be one of the worst in the class because of my lack of experience. A lot of my fellow students that I met at orientation work at hospitals or are medical assistants and have have some basic skills under their belts. I've never even taken blood pressure!
    You won't be the only one with no experience I'm sure, and the one's that have it will probably be bored at first...but you won't! Even the people with experience haven't experienced nursing school or nursing tests, and after 1st semester you will all be on the same level. What you are reviewing sounds great, the only other suggestion would be looking over a medical math book. They have them at lots of bookstores and you can thumb through them and see if you find them helpful. Otherwise relax, enjoy your Summer, you will do great I'm sure!
  7. by   lilo2010
    Congrats on getting in! Just enjoy your summer & relax! nbch: They will teach you the basics! You will have plenty time to stress later!
  8. by   Spidey's mom
    That is EXACTLY the advice my mentor, a Master's prepared nurse, gave me.

    Enjoy your summer, spend time with your family, don't worry about school.

    I had NO experience either. They do start with the basics.

    When you come to think of it . .. just about everyone who majors in anything starts with no experience.

    You'll do fine.

    steph
  9. by   domal02
    I just finished my first year of NS and I tell you, it does not matter if you've had previous experience in healthcare or not. Some people that have had experienced fail out and some of the people that have never worked in healthcare are heading to their second year. I've had some experience in the healthcare field...see CNA...and it doesn't help all that much, trust me! I earned my way into the 2nd year...previous experience or no. All that matters is how hard you work at your studies. Work hard and you'll get through.
  10. by   Daytonite
    quit worrying. many people start nursing school with no experience. and those that work at hospitals or are medical assistants and have some basic skills under their belts, well, that helps them for about 2 minutes. rns are managers of patient care and decision makers. working at hospitals, being a medical assistant and already having have some basic skills doesn't make anyone a manager or good decision maker. you may struggle a bit because you will not be as dexterous, efficient or as experienced at the skills you will be learning as those who have already worked around patients, but you will catch up over time. that should allow the instructors to spend less time with them and more time with you. of course, they could have picked up bad habits which now have to be unlearned and the instructors just may need to supervise them like hawks. intelligence and rationalizing out the answers to patient problems is quite another thing which all of you will be in the same boat together with very quickly, i promise.

    you can practice taking virtual blood pressures on this website:
    • the virtual blood pressure cuff: http://medicine.osu.edu/exam/ - from ohio state university college of medicine, an interactive guide to physical examination for 8 body systems that includes sounds. scroll down the page and click on the "take a blood pressure" link near the bottom of the page. you will be able to hear and watch a blood pressure manometer and tell the program what the final blood pressure is. it re-cycles to give you lots of practice!
    how to take blood pressure:

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