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want to be a nurse but afraid of mechanical abilities

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There are several reasons why I think I'd make a good nurse, but one issue is keeping me somewhat hesitant to move forward. I am taking A&P now. I do well on the written exams, but I have struggled with the labs. I struggle sometimes with "spatial relations" and using my hands to assemble things. A friend told me that "I need to be comfortable in science labs in order to be comfortable as a nurse." I'm curious to hear from nurses as to the importance of a mechanical aptitude as a nurse. Do you consider this a major part of nursing? Do you receive training when working with new machines, equipment, etc. How does nursing school prepare or not prepare you? Are science labs any type of barometer as to the ability of a potential nurse?

CT Pixie, BSN, RN

Has 10 years experience.

There are several reasons why I think I'd make a good nurse, but one issue is keeping me somewhat hesitant to move forward. I am taking A&P now. I do well on the written exams, but I have struggled with the labs. I struggle sometimes with "spatial relations" and using my hands to assemble things. A friend told me that "I need to be comfortable in science labs in order to be comfortable as a nurse." I'm curious to hear from nurses as to the importance of a mechanical aptitude as a nurse. Do you consider this a major part of nursing? Do you receive training when working with new machines, equipment, etc. How does nursing school prepare or not prepare you? Are science labs any type of barometer as to the ability of a potential nurse?

I have zero mechanical abilities, trust me when I tell you! My hubby often laughs about my lack of "skills" with putting things together. In my defense, in all honesty, usually if its the first time I am ever doing it, I fumble my way through, but if given the chance to do it again, my skill greatly improves.

You don't need any special ability in those terms to be a nurse. If you did, I'd never be one..

We had "skill labs" while I was in LPN school, and yes, I fumbled my way through many a skill, but soon after practice was able to get through it, maybe not to perfection but good enough to get it done. I don't think there was one person in my class that didn't fumble a little with at least one of the skills we had to do. And we all got through it and we are all LPN's now :)

The old saying is true, practice makes perfect. I had the hardest time learning how to hold a syringe and draw up meds. Didn't know where my hands should go, etc. But after having to draw up literally hundreds of meds, I can almost do it with one hand. Some of the machines, again, I wasn't perfect but repetition of using the machine over and over lead to mastering that "skill"

Don't worry Gentle Giant, as I said, practice makes perfect and doing something over and over leads to mastery :)

Thanks for your encouragement. I am going to keep moving forward and see what happens.

Perpetual Student

Specializes in PACU. Has 4+ years experience.

Don't sweat it, I'm pretty bad at such things, too. I'm clumsy, too. I've been an LPN for a couple of years now and am about 60% done with my LPN to RN program and these weaknesses really haven't harmed me. If anything, I've improved considerably in terms of both spatial reasoning and manual dexterity. If you can feed yourself, walk without running into things every 3 feet, drive a car, etc. you should be able to handle the physical part of nursing.

Hey man it takes practice, and not to worry, if they don't teach you in nursing school (which they should). you will learn it when your out in the field. Don't let something like this hold you back. :up:

nursemike, ASN, RN

Specializes in Rodeo Nursing (Neuro). Has 12 years experience.

Another concern I occassionally hear is, "I'd like to be a nurse, but I'm not very good at math..."

When I was a kid, my Dad asked me a riddle: If a fish-and-a-half costs a dollar-and-a-half, how much do three-and-a-half fish cost?

If you can solve that, you can do all the math I ever see in nursing (school did require slightly more, but not a ton.)

(The rest of the riddle went: Then how much do a dozen-and-a-half fish cost? If you answer $12.50, he'd say, "No, $18." Or if you answered 18, he'd say 12.50. So you can't win. Which, admittedly, sometimes seems like good preparation for nursing, but not so much for nursing math.)

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