Skills Testing

Updated | Posted

Specializes in CNA. Has 13 years experience.

Do you think skills testing is a waste of time?

  1. 1. IS skills testing a waste of time?

    • 5
      yes
    • 13
      no
    • 3
      depends

21 members have participated

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Is skills testing a waste of time?

0.9%NormalSarah, ADN, RN

Specializes in ICU. Has 3 years experience. 232 Posts

LOL no. How on earth is someone supposed to unleash you on unsuspecting patients without verifying that you know how to perform a skill safely? 

I loathe the way nursing does skills testing.

For EMS, there are specific check sheets with measurable objectives, and most importantly “critical criteria” - if you do or don’t do specific actions, it is an immediate failure.  There is zero subjectivity to EMT and paramedic skills testing and everyone knows upfront exactly what is expected of them in order to pass a skill.

Nursing skills on the other hand are subjective.  Sure they have these “checklists”, but they are very long and about 75% fluff and not even utilized while the instructor is checking you off.  I tried in two different classes to establish “what exactly do I need to do or avoid to pass this skill” and have never been given an actual answer, essentially dismissed as “we’ll know it when we see it”.

Skills check offs are essential to creating competent providers, but I desperately wish nursing educators would take a lesson from EMS educators on how to make this a better process. 

full disclosure, I’ve only ever been asked to repeat a single skill which was my very first skill check off in nursing school.  I’ve passed every single one since..

Honyebee, CNA

Specializes in Customer service. Has 1 years experience. 378 Posts

No.

Honyebee, CNA

Specializes in Customer service. Has 1 years experience. 378 Posts

5 hours ago, oldie said:

Is skills testing a waste of time ?

For people who know how to do the procedures, yes, they feel that the "skills testing is a waste of time."  Are you integrated with students who aren't LVN/LPN?

For us students who have no idea what's going on, no, it's an invaluable idea to practice and to be  checked-off. This lessen or prevent medical error or injury.

Edited by Honyebee

summertx

Has 7 years experience. 139 Posts

On 1/9/2022 at 10:12 PM, FiremedicMike said:

I loathe the way nursing does skills testing.

For EMS, there are specific check sheets with measurable objectives, and most importantly “critical criteria” - if you do or don’t do specific actions, it is an immediate failure.  There is zero subjectivity to EMT and paramedic skills testing and everyone knows upfront exactly what is expected of them in order to pass a skill.

Nursing skills on the other hand are subjective.  Sure they have these “checklists”, but they are very long and about 75% fluff and not even utilized while the instructor is checking you off.  I tried in two different classes to establish “what exactly do I need to do or avoid to pass this skill” and have never been given an actual answer, essentially dismissed as “we’ll know it when we see it”.

Skills check offs are essential to creating competent providers, but I desperately wish nursing educators would take a lesson from EMS educators on how to make this a better process. 

full disclosure, I’ve only ever been asked to repeat a single skill which was my very first skill check off in nursing school.  I’ve passed every single one since..

The skills checkoffs are a waste of time, better idea is to familiarize yourself with the devices, setting up O2, pumps, suction, needles, etc. This is all what is going to be needed when taking care of a patient.

42 minutes ago, summertx said:

The skills checkoffs are a waste of time, better idea is to familiarize yourself with the devices, setting up O2, pumps, suction, needles, etc. This is all what is going to be needed when taking care of a patient.

Until they fail you for nitpicky crap.. There are failing criteria, but “you’ll know them when you see them”.  No how about we start on the same page so I know ahead of time what to do and not do, LOL

PollywogNP, ADN, BSN, MSN, LPN, NP

Specializes in Med-Surg/Tele/ER/Urgent Care. Has 45 years experience. 229 Posts

On 1/9/2022 at 10:12 PM, FiremedicMike said:

I loathe the way nursing does skills testing.

For EMS, there are specific check sheets with measurable objectives, and most importantly “critical criteria” - if you do or don’t do specific actions, it is an immediate failure.  There is zero subjectivity to EMT and paramedic skills testing and everyone knows upfront exactly what is expected of them in order to pass a skill.

Nursing skills on the other hand are subjective.  Sure they have these “checklists”, but they are very long and about 75% fluff and not even utilized while the instructor is checking you off.  I tried in two different classes to establish “what exactly do I need to do or avoid to pass this skill” and have never been given an actual answer, essentially dismissed as “we’ll know it when we see it”.

Skills check offs are essential to creating competent providers, but I desperately wish nursing educators would take a lesson from EMS educators on how to make this a better process. 

full disclosure, I’ve only ever been asked to repeat a single skill which was my very first skill check off in nursing school.  I’ve passed every single one since..

It might be your school. I taught in 3 different programs and skills checklists certain procedures must be performed or it was a failure.

Tegridy

Specializes in Former NP now Internal medicine PGY-2. 364 Posts

No since its the only way to determine competence. Maybe if you have a terrible instructor who grades using subjective criteria.

LTC Advocate

Specializes in LTC Geriatrics. Has 6 years experience. 38 Posts

No. However seems to be when who ever is testing you would do something different than you although you may not break any procedure rule will say you did it wrong anyway. 

Or it is a waste if the tester is only looking to find what you did wrong then yes. 

If you have a good instructor that supports your learning by identifying strengths not just weakness,it is a very good way to spend time! 

Oh ad most of the stuff you do in the job is done completely different anyway,so there os that too! 

LTC Advocate

Specializes in LTC Geriatrics. Has 6 years experience. 38 Posts

I think scrutinizing sterile fields is necessary though! Cannot tell you how many times I saw a nurse contaminate a sterile field while setting up a catheter as a new grad! I had to call them out and they didn't like it. But not  putting a specific item in the sterile field when the skill tester would ,but not breaking sterility is silly. Got failed for that once.