It's OK If You Don't Feel Ready For Clinical (RN)

by Elizabeth Russ, FNP

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    00:01 So, fun fact: nobody feels ready for clinical.

    00:04 It is not just you, I promise.

    00:06 I thought I was going to die of fright the first time I went into a patient's room by myself to get vitals as a nursing student.

    00:13 And I could tell you a whole lot about, like, at that point, how mitochondria might work in this person's body.

    00:20 But when it came to, like, practical nursing skills, I had none.

    00:24 I was so overwhelmed, and I felt like I should not be there.

    00:27 And I was, all I was doing was going to get, like, some blood pressures.

    00:30 And I felt like in that moment that letting me into nursing school had obviously been the world's biggest mistake.

    00:35 And then I became a nurse one day.

    00:38 Yes, it happened.

    00:40 And I had nursing students.

    00:41 And guess what? I expected them to know absolutely nothing.

    00:46 When my nursing students didn't feel comfortable going into a room by themselves to get something like a blood pressure, it did not disappoint me.

    00:53 It did not shock me because by that point I realized that students are there, in clinical, to learn.

    01:00 And you might be sitting there saying, "but I prepared so much.

    01:03 I felt so confident before walking into the hospital.

    01:06 And then I walked through the doors.

    01:07 I got in there and I blanked.

    01:09 That's so embarrassing." And, my friends, the nurse who is working with you, your clinical instructors, all of the people, heck, the patients.

    01:17 They understand that anything you do know, you will immediately forget when you are in the clinical setting because it is just terrifying at first.

    01:27 You will slowly - good news - you will slowly get used to it.

    01:30 You will start to have some things happen on autopilot and you will incorporate things into your actual long term memory when you do them over and over again. But no one expects that to happen while you are actually in school, to be totally honest.

    01:45 So if you are beating yourself up thinking that you are not ready to be in clinical and this was all a mistake, and it's scary to interact with patients, that's okay. That is totally normal.

    01:57 That fear is actually, honestly, pretty good because it keeps you on your toes, and it will hopefully help you keep wanting to see and do more things because, then, the more you see and do, the more confident you'll get.

    02:08 I promise. You just need a lot of practicing to get you there, and that is literally what clinical is for.

    02:14 So please, please do not worry if you are sitting there, and you feel really unready. I promise, all of your peers who are confidently posting bathroom pictures in their scrubs with hashtag like first day of clinical, they look confident and put together, but they are feeling unprepared too.

    02:33 Maybe they went into the bathroom to literally regroup and take a couple of big breaths.

    02:37 And all of that, all of that fear, it's all expected of you.

    02:41 And all that we want at clinical is for you to show up.

    02:46 You can be scared, but you need to have a willingness to learn.

    02:48 And if you go in with a "I want to learn from you" attitude with literally everyone you encounter, you will honestly be just fine.

    02:55 Oh, and you should eat breakfast before you go, too, because some of the things you are about to see are a wild, and you never know when you're going to go and be able to grab another snack.

    03:04 And from experience, do not be the person feeling like they are going to faint because you did not eat at breakfast, and now you are helping to clean out a sacral wound ulcer and you think you might end up throwing up or passing out on the floor.

    03:17 Breakfast does help with that.

    03:18 Be willing to learn and try something, and be enthusiastic about it.

    03:25 Being there, if you show enthusiasm and happiness and just a willingness to learn, it will be okay, I promise.

    03:34 Next, let's look at what to do when you, in your very motivated eagerness to help, end up getting asked to do something that you have no idea how to do, but you don't want to be that person to say no because Liz already told you to say yes to your opportunities when they are there.

    03:51 So let's talk about what to do in those situations.

    03:53 I'll see you there.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture It's OK If You Don't Feel Ready For Clinical (RN) by Elizabeth Russ, FNP is from the course Succeed in Clinical (RN).

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Clinical is your time to learn and practice.
    2. Feeling unprepared for a clinical is normal.
    3. Feeling fearful during the first day of clinical is normal.
    4. A lack of excitement is common during the first clinical shift.
    5. Student nurses must feel prepared on their first day of clinical.

    Author of lecture It's OK If You Don't Feel Ready For Clinical (RN)

     Elizabeth Russ, FNP

    Elizabeth Russ, FNP

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