Let me just come right out and say that I
have failed skills labs.
Yes, plural: Skills labs.
And I still became a nurse.
I graduated. And you know what?
It was okay. And if you fail a skills lab,
even plural, skills labs, you will be okay.
No matter how much they try to scare you into
thinking that your life depends on this skill
lab, it doesn't.
Many nursing students will actually fail SIM
labs and skills labs and go on to
become amazing nurses that do just fine in
school and in their career as a
nurse. So what if you fail?
Well, the next thing I would recommend is
to, first, just go slower next time.
I found the most common reason I failed
skills lab because I was so flustered and
nervous that I just flew.
I was focused on trying to get it done.
I messed up stupid things like checking a
pulse with my thumb instead of with my four
fingers and my middle finger because I was
just trying to get the thing done.
Also, talk with your instructor.
If you are at all unsure about why you
failed or how exactly something
works, what the process is, or why you do it
this way, go back and nail down
exactly what the process is for the skill
and practice, practice, practice until you
can do that process again in your sleep,
incorporating their feedback.
And I really want you to just give yourself
a little bit of a break.
I need you to understand that despite what
your school or the Internet may
think, failing a skills lab or, heck,
failing anything in life at
all, it is not a moral failure.
It does not mean that you are a bad nursing
student, that you won't be a great nurse or
that you are not smart.
It means that in a really weird high-pressure
where you are performing a completely new
and quite odd task while someone is
staring at you intensely, you messed up.
That's all. And that is okay.
If that happens, you mess up in the really
weird situation, I want you to go home, I
want you to mope about it. That's fine.
And then regroup and make your plan of
Practice... Say your mantra that you picked
out way back in the preparing for nursing
school section. You are enough.
You are not alone.
And you can do hard things.
Or whatever yours is.
Remember, it's going to be different for all
of us because you...
You really can do this.
Let's talk technical for a minute.
Usually if you do fail, your school will let
you take a skills lab, like, three times.
If you didn't pass on your second attempt,
go and have a serious conversation with the
instructor because you have one left.
See what they can do to help you.
Will they come and help you with the
practice and give you pointers as you are
there together, practicing in skill labs?
Can they explain the steps to you in a way
that maybe you would understand it a little
bit more with some more rationale?
Can they use just a different testing
environment, so you can, like,
maybe test out with you explaining it, but
not in an official testing capacity?
Most professors will be willing to work with
you if you show that you are also
putting the work in.
You can do this.