47. Nervous about clinicals? Listen to this…

I think it’s important for experienced nurses who seem so competent to share stories about when they messed up or did something embarrassing…that way you can feel more confident as a student nursing when you do something silly while still learning.

After all, nobody starts out as an expert nurse 💜

In that spirit, I want to tell you about a time that I made myself look kinda like a fool in front of a doctor during my OB clinical rotation. 

Listen Now!

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Links from Episode 47:

LIVE Tutoring Membership (www.YourNursingTutor.com/vip): Get the affordable tutoring support you need to finally transform all your hard work into grades that you can be proud of.

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Transcript for Episode 47

This is a story about a time where I made a fool of myself in front of a doctor during my OB rotation when I was in nursing school. 

My name is Nicole Whitworth, and I am a professional nursing tutor. I created Your Nursing Tutor to help nursing students just like you get through nursing school by studying in a way that will automatically train your brain to think like a nurse. So you don’t have to rely on that bad advice of just keep doing what you’re doing and someday it’ll click. Let’s make it click today. And that’s what I will help you do. 

Today, I’m going to tell you about the time that I made myself look kind of like a fool in front of a doctor during my OB rotation, because I was taking advantage of an opportunity to practice one of my skills. It turned out okay, it really did, but I was pretty embarrassed at the time. And as a redhead with fair skin, when I’m embarrassed, everybody knows it. There’s no way to hide it. My face turns beet red. 

So, what happened was this. I was assigned with a nurse who was working with a laboring patient, who was going to be doing a vaginal delivery. She had a Foley catheter and an epidural. And it was almost time for her to start pushing. This particular doctor preferred that the Foley catheter be removed when it was time to push. So, the nurse asked if I, the nursing student, would like to remove the Foley catheter. 

Now I make it a habit, and I recommend you make it a habit too, that when a nurse asks you if you would like to practice a hands-on skill, you say yes. And then you figure out how later okay? Even if that means asking all the questions. So, I followed my advice, and I said yes. And then in my head, I’m like, Oh, crap, I’ve never done this on a real person before! 

So I thought, I just need a minute, I know how to do this, I’ve read about it, I’ve practiced it in sim lab, I just need to kind of center myself and figure out step by step what I’m going to do. So, I thought, What’s the first thing to do? Wash your hands, always the first thing to do, that’ll be great. So, I go over in the room to the sink, and I start washing my hands. And trust me, I am taking the full two happy birthdays, 30 seconds, however you want to do it, to wash my hands. And while I’m doing this, I’m just thinking in my head about the steps to take to remove the Foley catheter. 

Apparently, I must have been on my third Happy Birthday song because the nurse that I was working with just kind of quietly crept up next to me and kind of leaned over to me. And she’s like, Nicole, excuse me, the doctor’s waiting to wash her hands. 

And I just froze. 

I turned around, and sure enough, the doctor was right there behind me just waiting patiently with a smile on her face. I think she was wise to me and what I was doing, and she was very patient. I was very appreciative of her, and was just like, “Oh, I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry.” And I stepped out of the way and dried my hands. As she washed her hands, I went over and was able to remove the Foley catheter from the patient with no problems in time for the doctor to commence, you know, suit and help the patient. 

So it was a little embarrassing, but the thing is, with clinicals, you can’t be afraid to be embarrassed. The only way you’re going to get a chance to practice your skills is by trying. And that means you are going to make mistakes. You’re going to look a little foolish sometimes. Honestly, I’ve heard it’s like learning a new language. The people who learn new languages the quickest are the ones that are not afraid to speak them, even though they know they’re going to sound foolish and make mistakes. This is how little kids learn language. 

And this is how you have to do it, you have to learn by trying. And it’s the same way when you’re studying, although it’s not as obvious. Because when you’re studying, you don’t think about using that information that you’re studying. 

But there are very easy to implement strategies for how to study in a way that lets you use that information as you’re studying it so that you don’t waste time and you can be very effective, very efficient. And you will never forget that information that you study, either, for your next exam or for your finals at the end of the semester, or for NCLEX. 

In fact, I tell students that if you study the way I teach, you won’t even have to take an NCLEX review course if you don’t want to because all of it is just going to become common sense.

Nursing school will get easier instead of getting harder when you study this way because you’re building a good foundation of knowledge, critical thinking, and learning to think like a nurse. If you would like some help to do that for yourself; if you would like some guidance on how to get there so that nursing school stops being hard and starts becoming just that new skill that you’ve developed, then I would love to help you through my VIP tutoring membership. You can find more information about it at www.yournursingtutor.com/vip

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