How to Practice Clinical Skills (RN)

by Elizabeth Russ, FNP

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    00:01 I want to be real with you.

    00:02 Skills Lab is more terrifying than it has any right to be.

    00:07 Actually, it's not the Skills Lab itself that is terrifying.

    00:11 It's just the skills check-off part.

    00:13 Just that part. And so how can you tackle those with a little bit less fear? The best way I found to practice this whole thing is you want to practice the skills so much that they literally happen on autopilot, and you can talk your way through them so that you have a routine you are using and following every single time.

    00:31 And it'll give you something to help keep track of where you are in the process with the goal being that you're so familiar with the tasks at hand, that even if you are terrified and feeling like you are actively fighting that bear on the inside, your body still, like, knows what to do kind of on its own without too much instructions. And, honestly, you have a huge advantage that I didn't have when it comes to practicing skills because I had to go to nursing school uphill barefoot both ways.

    00:59 Lecturio has an amazing course on clinical skills, where Professor Rhea goes through explaining how and why things are done, and then she goes back, and she shows you a video explaining how to do it again, but this time on, like, a real human or on a mannequin. And you can watch it as many times as you want, download the slides that give you the step-by-step process, snag a cheat sheet on the topic, or do whatever helps you learn the easiest.

    01:23 Whatever your learning mode is for these topics, I want you to practice alongside the video on your imaginary patient until you are saying the steps first and then double checking that they're right.

    01:33 Eventually you won't need to rely on the video or the checklist at all.

    01:37 And that's where, you know, like, okay, we might be ready here.

    01:40 As you're going through, I also want you to explain the steps and the movements you are making with your hands.

    01:46 This will tie the two pieces together.

    01:48 So, like, I'm now going to untie the trach ties, I'm now going to swab it, I'm going to do this and this and this. And the key here is practice, practice, practice.

    01:56 Also, if your school has office hours for skills lab where you can just drop in and practice on the mannequin, please use them.

    02:04 It's not uncool, I promise.

    02:06 This is the best and the lowest stress environment to learn and practice these skills. And it's the exact setting of where you're testing, which is awesome for preparing your brain. So you could literally set up your thing where you're watching on Lecturio, and then you're doing it on the mannequin next to you.

    02:21 And right before you test out of it, it's a good idea to probably record yourself with your phone or have a friend watch you do these tasks so that they can spot any mistakes you might make and improve on anything that you may need, just some last minute tweaking on.

    02:36 Remember, you can do this.

    02:38 You can do hard things.

    02:39 You can do things like preparing for SIM lab and skill lab.

    02:43 Preparing this is honestly kind of boring and it can be, like, not fun, but I promise it is worth it when it comes time for check-off and you've done it so many times that it just happens magically while inside you're maybe panicking a little.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture How to Practice Clinical Skills (RN) by Elizabeth Russ, FNP is from the course Build Confidence for Skills Lab (RN).

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Practice
    2. Be able to talk through skills.
    3. Understand the "why" behind the skills.
    4. Only practice skills in skills lab.
    5. Only utilize office hours if you are passing.

    Author of lecture How to Practice Clinical Skills (RN)

     Elizabeth Russ, FNP

    Elizabeth Russ, FNP

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