Good at theory; bad at hands on

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of JustinJJackson JustinJJackson 2 years, 1 month ago.

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    Are there any nursing students here that are good when it comes to academics but when it comes to hands on training, you’re clueless? I’m one of those. I am good when it comes to theory but I’m bad at hands on due to lack of experience.

    Profile photo of EASLPNBSN

    An ED physician recently coined a phrase..situational awareness. It is equivalent to critical thinking. It means you must be able to survey any situation and be prepared to react. Thankfully as a student I was blessed with the ability to attain excellent scores on exams. I, however, recognized I had to go over in my head scenarios that I might need to act upon. As an instructor I frequently see academically gifted students struggle in the clinical field. For example, this year one of our more gifted students is fearful of being called upon to insert a foley catheter because we did not have kits available to practice with. While less gifted students were able to in vision in their minds how to do this and have successfully in clinical performed the skill we are hesitant to call upon this student to perform the task on a patient. Bottom line. You have to take on the task of visualizing what you might need to perform. While in clinical observe what nurses are doing and ask yourself “could I do it?” If not go back over the steps provided by your instructor and in the text. Luckily nearly any skill can be viewed on Youtube. My impression is that you might be fearful of hurting a patient or doing something wrong that will make you and the patient uncomfortable. Good news. If you are academically gifted you can go through the steps by visualization and perform. Good Luck and Best Wishes and kudos for recognizing and acknowledging weaknesses. You will surely be a great nurse!

    Profile photo of Dawnatello

    I am in the same boat as you are. Unfortunately our program is extremely unorganized, so opportunities to practice skills are often missed because an instructor is spread too thin between students. We aren’t allowed to practice skills without instructors present, so lots of learning opportunities are lost. I appreciate the advice from Estingo. I’ve been worried about this situation myself.

    Profile photo of Elly Ruelas
    Elly Ruelas

    I am also a nursing student and if I learned anything from clinicals it’s to just jump at any opportunity you can come across. I would go around looking for things to do, shadowed nurses (if they let me) they showed me more in a week than any other time. My instructor did not have a problem with that because she knew I was learning. Now I’m at a different site. It’s a bit slow but the wound nurse I was shadowing also showed me a lot and at the end of the day I felt like a pro when it came to cleaning up wounds and dressing changes. Everyone has a different way to dive into it but as long as it’s ok with instructors, nurses, etc why not do it. Good luck!

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