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Need Words of advice/encouragement


Hi Everyone-

I am transferring into a nursing program, hopefully this Fall. I attended a year of nursing school about a 1 1/2 yrs. ago and had to drop the 2nd semester of my first year about 2 weeks before the finals due to a family emergency. I decided not to go back until my little girl started kindergarten and just enjoy my last year home with her full time. Well, that time is here! We have subsequently moved, so I'm transferring into a program near our new home. All of my first semester credits have transferred in so I'll be starting 2nd semester of the ADN program. I have to go this Wednesday to check off on some skills in front of an instructor. I am so nervous. The skills are primarily just basic skills but it is the fear of not knowing their expectations that is making me so anxious. At my old school I knew exactly what the instructors were looking for, etc.. Has anyone else had to do something like this as far as going into a completely new program? I've already passed the dosage calculations test and this is the last step in the approval process to make me eligible to start this Fall. If all goes as planned I'll be attending one of the Dallas County Community College locations, either El Centro or Brookhaven. Any words of advice and all your prayers would be greatly appreciated. I want to finish this time and reach my goals of being an RN! P.S. the skills are vitals, Nasogastric Medication Administration, Wet/Dry Dressing Change, Male/Female Catheterization and Researching 3 meds and demonstrating various routes of administration. There will also be a 30 minute question/answer session after the skills. I only have 2 times to pass the skills!

Thanks everyone!

Dee :)

First of all, congrats on returning to school to fulfill your dream of becoming an RN. I wish you the best of luck. We had to do skills check-offs during our first and second semesters. The first semester was the worst because I didn't know the instructors and I was a nervous wreck. They became easier once I settled in. I actually thought I was going to flunk out of nursing school in the first week because I couldn't feel a classmate's pulse--I was so nervous and my heart was beating so hard, I couldn't tell which was her pulse and which was my heart beat! My suggestion to you is to find a relatively current "nursing fundamentals" book. Ours was great--it had step by step instructions on how to do certain basic nursing stuff. If you don't have one and don't have to buy one to get back in school, I'd see about borrowing one from another student or going to the school library. Also, a kind teacher might let you borrow one. Just remember, stay cool during the check-off, and if you forget something during the check off, be honest when you remember it and tell the instructor--chances are, she knew you missed it and was waiting for you to tell her. And practice on people you know, even simple things like vitals--it will help. Good luck.

My experience was similar, I had to retake dosage calc so I had to sit out one yr. When I started i jumped into 2nd quarter of the next yr. They will not expect you to know all. Your school prob has a lab where you can practice skills. We have a lab instructor who is terrific. We would sign up for a time to meet with her and she would help us. This coming yr right off the bat we have skills check off which could be any 2 of what we learned. Another thing i would go over and over skills in my head. Also keep in mind why you are doing it a certain way. I am practicing this summer, the lab is open for that purpose. They gave us a trach care kit, foley kit ect so we can practice at home( but not on your family :)) I have been going to the lab every week since school ended to practice my skills, It is going to be stressful enough so I thought i would try to stay ahead of the game. hope this helps,

Well, I go to Baylor and knew a girl who went to Brookhaven. And, she is doing great. Don't worry about the new program, I just try to learn the quirks and demands of my professors and work on what they really think is important. As far as this skills test, you need to practice before you take it. See if that school has a practice lab and try to go up there and run through all the skills. Also, read about them over and over again. And go through in your mind how you would do each step. I HATE skills tests, and I always mess up. My instructors give you a couple of chances if you screw up, unless you are a last sememster senior going into your internship. By then, you better know it, or you will fail. But, thats reasonable. You sound like an intelligent person, just practice and review these skills. I think the hardest part is setting yourself/your supplies up and ready. Then, doing the skill isn't so bad. Just think it through and relax. I'm sure you will be fine! :cool:

Thanks everyone for your wise words. I tested off today. All went pretty well. I"ve been going up there on and off for about a month now to review videos, etc.. but I didn't get to have alot of hands on in the skills lab since their hours are restrictive and you can't get in unless an instructor is there to let you in. Anyway, I breezed through most everything until I got to the sterile dressing change. I have read and read about it a thousand times and watched the video for it too. To make a long story short, I contaminated the sterile field, so I'll be re-doing that skill on Friday. I aced the indwelling and quick cath part with no problem. I had to do NG tube feedings, med adminstration and flushing and that was easy. I had to practice adminstering all sorts of medications, and they sprung oropharyngeal suctioning on me, but I did fine..ha.. Anyway, I guess having to re-do one skill after being out of all of this for almost 2 years now is ok. I was just so hoping I wouldn't have to redo anything, but at least it's only one skill. I know what I did wrong now and it was mainly just nerves, I had so much anxiety! I swear, when I left there today I couldn't even remember where I parked for a second there and then half way home I happened to think "am I even going the right way home?" Now that is FRAZZLED! For Tattoochick, I'd love to be filled in on what all your friend from Brookhaven experienced. Are the instructors "somewhat" reasonable? I had someone tell me there is an instructor at El Centro that will cuss you out and tell you how stupid you are. I have to say that isn't too far off from what I witnessed before in nursing school, minus the cussing out part! Anything you can think of that she might have mentioned about their program I would really appreciate being filled in on. Thanks again everyone for your support. I'll let you all know how it goes on Friday.

Dee :)

I passed the sterile dressing change today! Thank goodness that is over with. I should know in a few weeks whether or not they are going to have space available in the program for this Fall. I spoke with the advisor today and she said she was very hopeful that there would be since I'm going into the 2nd semester! Thanks to everyone for your support!


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