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Nervous about Clincals

Nurses   (2,163 Views 21 Comments)
by Ms Kylee Ms Kylee (Member) Member

Ms Kylee has 4 years experience and specializes in Med Surg, Hospice.

4 Articles; 14,248 Profile Views; 782 Posts

My clinicals start on June 16. We have no more clinical practice before we start, and I don't really feel I'm ready for this. For example, we had 1 night of blood pressure training, which was taking a total of 1 blood pressure. I've tried to practice because I've been told that practice will make you better, but, I can't seem to hear the blood running through the arteries. Granted, I'm practicing on a friend who has a history of running low, and even experienced nurses have a hard time getting a pressure from her, but I should be at least hearing something. We've also not practiced giving baths, etc, just reviewing them in our Fundamentals book. Last night, we had catheter lab, and I got to insert a straight one. We weren't even given more than a 5 minute chance to practice, and certainly didn't get to attempt a Foley. A lot of my classmates are CNA's and they are all bragging about how easy clinicals will be and how they can do this stuff iwth their eyes closed, etc. Does anyone have any advice about how I can get over this clincal fear? Thanks! K45

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ShayRN has 18 years experience and specializes in Corrections, Cardiac, Hospice.

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As anyone who was an aide prior to becoming a nurse can tell you, your classmates are in for a BIG surprise, but we will just let them think that they know it all, ok

As for your nervousness, I completely understand. We have all been there. I will never forget my first patient, she was a young woman who had been in for possible small bowel obstruction. She was going home the next day and wanted to get cleaned up. I helped her to the bathroom and darn near fell on the floor when she started undressing in front of me:lol2: I then figured, well, if she don't care why should I? LOL, Now I have seen more boobs and naked butts than anyone I know;) Oh, BTW, I couldn't hear blood pressures for awhile either. I finally got the courage up to speak to my clinical instructor. She asked to see my stethoscope, smiled and turned the bell around:rolleyes: Never had any trouble after that, LMAO.

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TruDivaRN is a BSN, RN and specializes in Long Term Care.

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I'm in my third semester in the ADN program:monkeydance: . Just relax:smilecoffeecup: , it will all come to you in time. I have been a CNA for 10 years, and I myself was nervous:chair: when we first started clinicals. Just think of clinicals as a way to practice what you have read in your Fudamentals book, and you will be just fine:flowersfo .

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I can relate as a student with no clinical experience prior to going to school. i just graduated and it all worked out fine. Those who go in knowing it all will soon find out it's not always the same as an RN! So try to relax and know I made so can you!

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Kylee, I would rather have you for a nursing student rather than the nursing students that think they already know everything because they have CNA experience! It might give them a bit of an edge in the beginning in knowing how to interact with pts but, there is lots more to being a nurse than CNA duties.

It is good that you are nervous, that means that you are concerned about doing a good job. Get all the practice you can and try practicing BP's on people that are easier to get a BP on.

Honestly, don't expect to be perfect the first day out. Do the best you can and dive in and get as much experience as possible. You wouldn't be in nursing SCHOOL if you already knew how to do everything, right? Don't be too hard on yourself.

Good luck

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Ms Kylee has 4 years experience and specializes in Med Surg, Hospice.

4 Articles; 782 Posts; 14,248 Profile Views

Thanks, everyone! Let me say first off that I'm in a 2 year part time LPN program because I couldn't get a BSN or a diploma school to fit with my work schedule, so I have to go the LPN route first. Then I got hired at UPMC (and I start as a nursing assistant on Tuesday) and they told me in my interview that they will keep me on when I pass my LPN boards, but they also strongly encouraged me to go on in their RN program, which I will do, since that was the ultimate goal. Ok, the real goal is to be a flight nurse, but that's many years and pounds away right now. (But it does give me something to shoot for). I really am concerned about doing a good job, and doing things well and right. I don't want to lose that license that I'm working so hard to get right now. We watched a movie on catheters the other night, and it stressed the high cause of UTI"s, and my first thought was OMG, can I lose my license for that if I screw up??? But yes, I want to do a good job, be a good nurse, and hopefully help in patient's getting well.

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futurecnm specializes in ED.

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My clinicals start on June 16. We have no more clinical practice before we start, and I don't really feel I'm ready for this. For example, we had 1 night of blood pressure training, which was taking a total of 1 blood pressure. I've tried to practice because I've been told that practice will make you better, but, I can't seem to hear the blood running through the arteries. Granted, I'm practicing on a friend who has a history of running low, and even experienced nurses have a hard time getting a pressure from her, but I should be at least hearing something. We've also not practiced giving baths, etc, just reviewing them in our Fundamentals book. Last night, we had catheter lab, and I got to insert a straight one. We weren't even given more than a 5 minute chance to practice, and certainly didn't get to attempt a Foley. A lot of my classmates are CNA's and they are all bragging about how easy clinicals will be and how they can do this stuff iwth their eyes closed, etc. Does anyone have any advice about how I can get over this clincal fear? Thanks! K45

I didn't have any experience before clinicals either, and I got through my first year last week! It sounds as though we had a bit more practice than you did on doing vitals, we had to test out with the instructor listening in on a double steth to make sure our BP was correct. We also practiced a LOT on each other and on our families. I like to do the BP manually then do it with the machine (at the hospital) and see if the 2 are close. I have never done a cath, but we also had to test out on that one in class. You instructor will be with you when you do these skills and take you through them. But when you are given a pt make sure to review the skills you may need for that particular pt. I had a pt with a NG so I reviewed how to remove it and that next day that is what i got to do. It will be easier as you go and you will get thru it.

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Definitely start shopping for a stethescope that YOU can hear out of. I never go anywhere without mine, half the ones we have hanging around the unit I cannot hear well out of, but I know I can hear anything with mine.

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lovingtheunloved has 12 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in LTC, home health, critical care.

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A lot of my classmates are CNA's and they are all bragging about how easy clinicals will be and how they can do this stuff iwth their eyes closed, etc.

Heh heh...they'll make themselves look like asses at clinicals, I promise.

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bandas specializes in Pulmonary.

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Oh, BTW, I couldn't hear blood pressures for awhile either. I finally got the courage up to speak to my clinical instructor. She asked to see my stethoscope, smiled and turned the bell around:rolleyes: Never had any trouble after that, LMAO.

LOL, I had a friend in clinicals who spent 20 min listening for bowels sounds- 5 min in each quadrant- because she couldn't hear any. Turns out her steth was turned to the bell side. I laughed sooo hard when she told me.

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bandas specializes in Pulmonary.

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I still remember my first clinical, being scared to even knock and go into the room. My first patient was an extremely large woman, over 400 lbs. I had to give her a bed bath and the whole time in my head I just kept repeating "this is so not like the dummies at school". But I got through it and it was a learning experience. It's nice to practice in class and get the theories and principles down, but it really is so different in the clinical setting.

A piece of advice that my CI gave me was "we don't expect you to be perfect and know everything...if you did you wouldn't need to be here." It made me feel so much better because I felt the need to be perfect. I was having panic attacks before each clinical and I wouldn't sleep at all the night before clinical or the night after. Every night after clinical I would just sit and go over all of the things that I could have done better. It was awful. Now I analyze, say yes I could have done that better, I will do better next time, and leave it at that.

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rnlately has 6 years experience and specializes in LTC, Acute Care.

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I was nervous when I first started my clinicals. The key is to stay focused and be willing to learn as much as possible. Also remember the guidelines that your instructor has set forth. When nurses see that you are really interested in what's going on, they will bend over backwards to allow you to assist/perform procedures and they will also show you many tricks of the trade. Remember, you can do this.

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