Student Nurse Laura

Orem – "creative effort of one human being to help another human being."


Posted by Laura on August 3, 2010

I’m helping with student orientation for incoming nursing students this week and was thinking about what I would say to help them know what is expected during their 1st semester.

Thinking back, I believe I thought it was to be perfect at everything I was taught and to know everything I read and was lectured to me, within a timed reference and with critical eyes watching my every move. Pretty high expectations. Most student nurses probably already have high expectations of themselves and when they don’t meet those levels, become very anxious and stressed.

I realized now, after it is all said and done, what was expected in 1st semester is to have a general overall idea of some of the basic understandings of nursing and how all the pieces will eventually fit together. It is to gain confidence, knowledge, passing grades and maybe some charting abilities.

When we are taught to place a Foley in check-offs, we are not expected then to complete this task by ourselves on the clinical floor without an instructor. They will be there guiding us with the first real person.

So, a few things I thought of – hopefully relieve some of the stress are:

For Check-offs:

  • See one (have your instructor show you, or you may learn wrong)
  • Show one (to your instructor in case you leave out a step)
  • Teach one (to your study-buddy and have them teach you)

For Math tests:

  • Relax!
  • One week prior to math exam, do some math problems every day prior to test.

For Patients:

  • Treat them as you would your father, mother, child, sister or brother and you will get along fine with them. You will respect them and won’t hurt them.

For You:

  • Stay healthy
  • Walk
  • Talk, Talk, and talk some more. Your instructors, your peers, your family. Talk it all out. Don’t hold back. Getting rid of anxiety, stress and questions will clear your mind for all the new things you need to learn.
  • Understand who you are. What do you do when you procrastinate? What are your highest priorities?

What most 1st semester students have said is “I don’t know where to start, what is the right way to study, am I studying the right things?”

My answer:  A D P I E

  • Assess: what do you need to know for school this week (break it down), for Family, for work?
  • Diagnose: What is the highest priority? What is your goal? Then stay with it.
  • Plan: Make a schedule and stick to it. Having a plan will keep you on tract.
  • Interventions: Read before lecture (done), Take notes during class – make up questions as teacher lectures (done) Review notes after lecture and write up outlines, tests, flash cards – whatever works for you to study for your exam. If something was gone over in lecture you didn’t understand, look it up! Ask your teacher.
  • Evaluate: did you pass your exam? If not change your plan / Get help / Don’t wait!

Think of it like this. If you can tell your patient isn’t breathing and you found if you give him oxygen and his O2 saturation goes up to 95% and they are breathing…. Then this is good. A good plan. If they fail to continue to breathe, well….then you need to change the plan. It isn’t working and you can’t wait to see if it will work later. Attack your school work the same. Make it work and work at it.

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