Scared to death of clinicals

Nursing Students LPN/LVN Students


We take our final exam for Fundamentals tomorrow. I am feeling pretty good about it because I have a 87 and we are only required to have an 80 as our final grade. Next week we start our first clinicals and I am scared to death. My instructor tells us that first semester clinicals are really fun and she doesn't expect us to know everything, but I can't help but wonder if I know ANYTHING. So far I love nursing school and have done really well on all of my skills check offs. I am just afraid that I will get to clinicals and forget everything. Any advice from someone that has been in my shoes?:uhoh3:

Specializes in Telemetry, Med Surg.

You usually start out slow - with you and another student caring for one pt. In the beginning you won't be giving any meds or anything crazy, just doing a.m. care (feeding, bathing, getting up & ready for the day... at least that's what we did!). It is definitely scary at first but once you get into it, it's like riding a bike! You know way more than you think you do. Deep breaths!!!

Having a bit of anxiety helps because it keeps you on your toes. I've had classmates who were literally laid back and did not know ANYTHING because they didn't care. The fact that you are a bit concerned about knowing your info should be used to your advantage.

My biggest advice is to NEVER HESITATE to volunteer to try something. Not every student will have the same opportunities because not every student will have a chance to insert an ng tube, work on the foley cath and wound vac or perform trach care etc. My teacher always said that this is the time to make mistakes. Do anything and everything you can get your hands on!

Specializes in Telemetry, Med Surg.

I agree with vincere, just check with your school about giving care within your scope of practice! I know at my clinicals the nurses asked me to do certain things, even take blood pressure, that I had not tested out on yet, and my instructors strictly prohibited it. Ask your instructors before doing anything, even dressing changes, that you have not learned in class or tested out on! But if you have, by all means DO IT!!!!! It's definitely a great opportunity to learn by doing!

I would advise you to relax. Your instructor will not send you to do anything that she isn't confident about your performance since you are practicing under her supervision. Don't be afraid to jump in and if you are going to make mistakes, its best to make them now since someone will watch out for you and correct you. Better now than when you're alone with a med cart and 12 patients waiting for meds right

Thanks so much for all of the advice. I just got home from taking my final. :yeah:It was a sad day for some of us. We lost 6 of our classmates today and some I was already really attached to. I wish all of them the best of luck. I spoke to my instructor after the exam and she reassured me that I will be fine in clinicals. I have worked so hard to get to this point so I am going to take all of the advice given and make sure this is a learning experience. I will volunteer as much as I can even if I am not exactly sure how to do the procedure because I know my instructor will walk me through it. Thanks again for all of the great advice.

Congrats on Passing the final, how was your clincals? I also started clinicals this week... we did basic care, breakfast, bed bath, ready for the day, and lunch... and it took the entire time for my lil old lady. She was a total care with dementia and total incontinence. I was elbow up in poop twice, and one was in the middle of the lift from the bed to the chair. Poor thing. Loved her to death though.

Specializes in Medical Assisting.

I don't know you, but congrats to you on your test! I can only compare how you feel to how I felt during my medical assisting training just before our clinical finals. I couldn't eat for a whole day! I'm sure that you will do just fine on your clinicals if you've made it this far. I have that to look forward to in a few months after I start LVN school! I am totally psyched and nervous too! Keep the good advice coming y'all! By the way, what are some other good things to keep in mind during nursing school?:rolleyes:

Well I finished my first week of clinicals. It went just fine. I was so nervous the first day, but once the second day rolled around I was just fine. We spent the first week in a nursing home where we were assigned 2 residents each. We were responsible for all CNA and LPN care for those 2 residents and helping any classmates that needed it in our free time ( like we had any). I will return to the same nursing home next week, but will be on a different hall with different residents and a different clinical instructor. My third week will be in a hospital. Some of the things we did were colostomy care, tube feeding, meds, shots and accu checks. We also gave baths, changed diapers, served breakfast and lunch, and any other care they required. I loved it and I think we all did pretty well for our first week. The only real problem we had were the CNAs being so nasty to us. I really expected them to enjoy us being there since we were doing their jobs too, but that was not the case. Anyway, I will post again at the end of next week and let you know if it gets easier.:nurse:

Specializes in Medical Assisting.

Awesome! Glad that you did well.

Well, I made it through the second week with ease. I was still at the nursing home, but on a new hall with new residents. This week was challenging at times, but I felt more confident. My next week will be in a hospital setting. The nerves start all over again, but I know I will be fine.

It is so funny for me to go back and read this now that I am a month away from graduation. Just thought I would check in and say thanks again to all of you that helped me control my nerves. Now all I have to worry about is finding a job and controlling my nerves on the first day of work. Good luck to all that are starting their journey into nursing school. Truly cherish every moment because your classmates will be friends for life and your patients during clinicals you will never forget.

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