I am the deputy practice editor at Nursing Times and I am interested in which clinical skills that cause you anxiety and sleepless nights. When I was a student I worried about the ones where we were formally assessed; administration of drugs and aseptic technique. Are there procedures you want to master before you qualify? It would be great to hear your views.
I hope none of you students mind me as a qualified Nurse giving an opinion too?
When I was a student catheterisation was a huge worry for me, particularly female catheterisation as I am a male and had serious problems in getting experience in this. It wasn't so much the fact of being formally assessed, it was knowing I was going to qualify and not feeling confident in my own skills.
I have to say though these worries do not always go away even when you qualify. You do get more experienced as time goes on, obviously, and you become very proficient in certain skills dependent on the specialty you end up in, but deskilling does not take long, and I still think even now that I haven't practiced this or that particular skill in a while and I need to brush up on it. The support to do this is not always there however.
The things that most worry me regarding clinical skills is basic life support and what to do in an arrest situation. In fact, any emergency situation. I'm about to start my first third year placement and still haven't witnessed an arrest situation.
With regards to other emergency situations, I went to visit a patient on my delegated care section of community nursing and she had a BM of 1.8 and she was unresponsive, clammy, pale etc and I felt useless as apart from comforting her and trying to get her to drink some orange juice I felt there was nothing I could do. I also worry about IM injections, dreadful fear of it going wrong, and drug calculations and administration.
I would agree with you little one as emergency situations always worry me. I was on a ward recently were I was the only one noticed a patient had taken anaphylaxic shock to a medication he received. I was stunned that as a student I was the one to pick up on this and not the trained staff. The patient had to be tranferred to an acute ward hospital in an emergency. I was proud of myself for my observations and I surprised myself as to how my skills were developing because there are times when you thing I'll never be able to do this and how will I cope if a b and c happen. I think for me my biggest fear about skills is in observation and knowing when a patient requires critical care.
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