Will I get the hang of it?


I feel overwhelmed sometimes....

background info: I am a 2nd semester student. I have not been able to practice many skills d/t timing and opportunity being present. I will be rotating at a large hospital next quarter and my clinical professor will be the Director of clinicals!!!!! I am scared but more excited. is that normal? I hears she's tough. I heard the will go up to the floors and make sure you learn.

However so for with my past clinical experiences ....

it seems like I feel I will not catch on or learn managing my time and understanding everything. I fear not mastering the dexterity.

I fear not managing time wisely.

I fear being bad at some skills.

I fear being incompetent.

I realise the first realizing how little I know is the first step.

I see the nurses do so much. I'm in pure awe... How will I be able to manage that craziness???

Enough whining.

any tips?


81 Posts

If you have access to open lab hours at school I'd recommend utilizing that to work on your skills. You can go as fast or slow as you need to, and get familiar with the equipment. It's easier to practice on a dummy, but remember nothing beats real world experience. Don't let fear stop you.

You have to seek out opportunities to practice skills. If you hear or see something about to happen, ask if you can tag along and participate. Pay attention to what all of the nurses are doing, not just the one you're assigned to. Sometimes it's as easy as asking if there's anything you can help with, but you have to speak up. Don't wait passively for anyone to seek you out of a group of students for skills. If I hear someone mention needing to start an IV (or whatever) I ask if I can do it. What's the worst they can say? No. Oh well, on to the next task. At least they know I'm reading and willing to do things, and usually the next time something comes up they'll include me.

Don't beat yourself up with thoughts of being incompetent because you aren't keeping up with the nurse with 5,10,15+ years of experience. Know your theory and rationales, practice your skills and just do the best you can.


92 Posts

Specializes in RN-BC, ONC, CEN... I've been around. Has 12 years experience.

I fear not managing time wisely.

This will come with time, and you will likely not get a really good grasp of this until you are actually hired on at your first job. Part of it comes with knowing the routine of the floor that you are working on, and part of it comes with getting knowing your own routine. When you master both of these things you'll be able to manage your time.

I fear being bad at some skills.

You're a student, it's expected. ASK QUESTIONS and expose yourself to new situations. If you're able to practice a skill, do it. Start IVs, place foleys, do assessments, and get feedback on those skills that you attempt. You're not going to be perfect the first time, and maybe not even the second. Given enough experience though you will get better. Also, don't think that this is going to stop when you get out of school. You will be expected to use new equipment and learn new skills... get used to it and have fun. Don't be intimidated by new knowledge, look at it as a new skill that you can bring to the table when it comes time for an evaluation or for you to move on to another job.

I fear being incompetent.

Hmmmm, I think this is the hardest thing to address. What I'll say is that those who GENERALLY fear being incompetent rarely are in my experience (just like the patient/family member who says they don't mean to be a bother rarely are). Refer back to the first two points that I made. Put the patient first, put yourself in their shoes and treat them accordingly. I think if you do this you really don't have to worry too much.

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

4 Articles; 20,908 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma. Has 43 years experience.

We have all been there done that......you have entered into the realm of....Oh Crap! :eek: I could really hurt someone!!!!! :facepalm: Can I really be a nurse????:banghead:......the answer is yes you can. It takes time an a willingness to learn.

I like what Jason....above said. ((HUGS))

nurseprnRN, BSN, RN

2 Articles; 5,114 Posts

Try to carry yourself back to being 16 and learning to drive a car. All those questions on the state DMV test, coordinating mirrors and lights and pedals, it looks so easy when other people do it but then you slide into the driver's seat and almost take out the tree backing down the driveway and you almost go out into traffic without seeing that truck and your dad yells at you and you panic and think I could have killed somebody and ...

Stop. Stop it right now.

This is like that. It takes more than you thought it would, but it is something that people learn, people of all kinds, and you can learn it too. ;)

Eventually...When you get to your last semester you will be amazed at what you know! I have done quite a bit in my 3 previous semesters, but I'm still nervous every Friday when I wake for clinical. And then I get there and get into my nurse mode and it takes over. There's still things I have problems with (starting IV's, figuring out the stinking IV pumps) but I ask for help when needed and the nurses are great at teaching me! There are 6 of us at clinical, and 1 teacher. She doesn't hover over us like the ones in previous semesters, and it's relaxing to be on your own (kind of) and doing your thing. She floats from area to area wherever we are, and she watches us, but most times we don't know it because we are busy. We have even been on codes without her being around, or so we think. She's probably there, in the background, watching. It's a great feeling to go out on your own, knowing you know this stuff, but also know when to ask for help!

Music in My Heart

2 Articles; 4,102 Posts

Specializes in being a Credible Source. Has 13 years experience.

Don't ~FEAR~

Fear yields nothing positive.

Instead, PREPARE, ANALYZE, and ADAPT as needed.

Disengage your emotional circuits and energize your cognitive circuits.

classicdame, MSN, EdD

2 Articles; 7,255 Posts

Specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

concentrate on doing whatever it takes to keep the instructor happy. You will probably NOT be proficient in any skill till after you have done it many times and that will come after you are working. The best skill to develop now is watching and repeating.