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Shaky hands while doing skills

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by Danielle_Nelson Danielle_Nelson (New Member) New Member

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Hi there. I am new to nursing. I have been in an LPN program for about a month. I am having a hard time with shaky hands while preforming skills. Today while doing injections I had to stop because of my hands. Any tips or meds I can take to mellow this feeling out?

Thank you sooo much!

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ashleyisawesome has 5 years experience and works as a RN.

3 Likes; 19,780 Visitors; 803 Posts

we cant give medical advice here.. maybe go to your doctor and express your concerns and see if he/she thinks you need medication.

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Sanuk has 8 years experience and works as a nurse?.

5,010 Visitors; 191 Posts

Danielle,

For about 2 years after graduating, I would have horrible shaking hands with one particular skill - pediatric IV sticks. There were a couple of incidents where I had to step out for "supplies" and deep breathe. I found that taking thirty seconds before going in the room to deep breathe and calm myself helped. Then, I would go in the room, focused on my task, and get it done. Over the years, it became less necessary to do this and now I don't have a problem at all. I don't know if this will help you, but I wanted you to know that others have the same anxieties and shaking issues - and they will get better with experience.

Good luck in school. :)

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Music in My Heart works as a manifesting Philippeans 4:8.

4 Likes; 50,081 Visitors; 5,682 Posts

There are times during stressful events that I find my hands shaking. I try to implement conscious relaxation techniques, focus on my breathing, and then simply proceed while bracing my hands.

It's gotten better but it still happens on occasion.

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vegasmomma has 3 years experience.

3 Likes; 4,321 Visitors; 138 Posts

Hahaa! This post is perfect timing for me! I just got home from class where I passed vitals skills but was trembling like an earthquake was going on the whole time! I think that the more we practice the calmer and more confident we will be...it will take time and repetition.

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1,045 Visitors; 11 Posts

I have the same problem. I get really nervous around fine motor skills and unfortunately it manifests in my hands and they shake pretty obviously. After a few times of this happening, it was really starting to effect my confidence and self-esteem and I was afraid to even go to skills lab where I thought people would notice and gossip about me. I went to my instructor and she advised me to see my doctor since it was sort of a big deal and effecting my performance in the program. She told me she wasn't afraid of me hurting a patient and that it sometimes happens to people. My NP prescribed a beta-blocker to take 1-2 hours before I needed it. Since then, I have been a whole different person. They will shake ever so slightly sometimes, but it has been a huge improvement. I feel so much better about myself and my skills. If this is something that is really bothering you and possibly holding you back mentally, then go see your doc. Over time with practice, it may go away on it's own as well. Good Luck!

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Double-Helix has 6 years experience and works as a Nurse, Children's Hospital.

5 Likes; 40,992 Visitors; 3,375 Posts

Practice definately helps, but the other thing to consider is what you are eating before/during your shift. Are you eating breakfast before clinical? Are you eating lunch or a snack regularly? Are you staying hydrated? All could be important factors here.

If I don't eat breakfast before work in the morning, I get shaky about two hours into my shift. If I have to do anything that requires fine motor skills, I shake. But as soon as I drink some juice or eat a snack it goes away. On mornings that I eat breakfast- even if it's just yogurt and fruit- I don't have a problem with the trembling. The shaking is worse if I drink coffee or something else with caffeine and don't eat anything.

So my advice would be to make sure you eat a good breakfast in the morning. Bring some juice and healthy snacks with you and eat a little something before it's time to perform skills. Make sure you're staying hydrated too. See if that will help with the shaking. :)

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2 Likes; 17 Articles; 31,005 Visitors; 4,167 Posts

Eat something with protein a couple of hours before your skills checks.

Absolutely avoid caffeine.

A minute or two before being tested purposely give your hands a good shaking for about thirty seconds.

If it wouldn't look too odd, jog in place to get your whole body shaking.

When you are actually doing the skill, brace your hands or fingers to steady them while you work. Practice this ahead of time so you are familiar with what works best.

Try to keep your mind on the task or the patient. Refuse to concentrate on the shaking and occupy your brain with positive things.

You can do this. :up:

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4,876 Visitors; 224 Posts

Im just going to say that, like phlebitis, Beta Blockers saved me with this exact problem. Although, you should try exercise and avoiding caffeine!! Just talk to your doc. My own doc admitted to having the same problem in school. I know how you feel, and I want you to know it can get better!

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THELIVINGWORST has 4 years experience and works as a RN-Family Services.

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this is so funny because my hands shake ALLLLL the time although mine is related to an essential tremor disorder that apparently runs in my family. I actually spilled spaghetti on a resident because my hands were shaking although i wasn't hungry, tired, thirsty, or nervous....lol just embarassing. I AM interested to see how nursing school labs go lol

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