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Poor physical assessment skills

First Year   (593 Views | 1 Replies)

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I'm starting at a large acute care peds hospital in a few weeks. I've been out of school for about 7 months now and when I went to practice my physical assessment skills I was rubbish at them. The problem is especially on Peds at my school we didn't get enough practice as we often had only 1 pt per week of clinical. My physical assessment class was fine but again it didn't super prepare me. I'm freaking out now as I don't want to bomb with my first patient. Am I overstressing? Will my preceptor work with me on this? I'm quite nervous as I want to be the awesome nurse that the kids deserve. 

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22 Posts; 1,858 Profile Views


i can empathize with you.

Accept that for the short term, your eyes are not going to pick up on subtleties an nuances.  Therefore, I would do your assessment as near you can, report what you think you seeing, and then ask your preceptor what they’re thinking and seeing.

when you’re first starting out, it will be difficult to hone in on the cluster of signs that are really important.

the fear of ‘missing something’ may cause you to OVER-assess inconsequential details.  

Keep it simple, keep it safe.


best of luck!!


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