Table of contents
- First Clinical Skills Lab
- Personal Strength
- Nursing Practice
First Clinical Skills Lab
I woke up at six in the morning on the day of my very first clinical skills lab with feelings of anxiousness and, oddly enough, a little excitement. Maybe it didn’t show in the first few hours, but I knew my first day would be meaningful. After getting through the first two hours, I was able to wake up and function, eager to listen to what our instructor had to say in our discussions. I felt the anxiousness wear off as I listened to the other members share their thoughts and added my own in-put. Whatever fears of looking dumb or inferior washed away the longer our discussions went on and I came to realize the group shared my feelings of worry and anxiousness about the next two years. I was glad I wasn’t alone, as I’m sure they did as well. From the patient scenarios to our first check-off, I felt myself absorbing so much and I knew this was what I was looking forward to since I was twelve. I was finally able to not only think critically but actively apply it in practice in the skills lab, and later on in the near future. I knew this is what I wanted to do.
I’m grateful my clinical group got along so well despite knowing each other for such a short time. In the few days I’ve been with them, I’ve already learned something about each and every one of them. Much like how I would assess a patient, I found myself assessing my members as well. If one hesitated or seemed nervous, I would try to encourage them quietly with a smile or a nod. If one expressed their worries, I would try to be empathetic and give words of support. I feel this is my personal strength – spirit, if not humor. For someone who wears a poker face, I think people are surprised at how playful and laidback I can be. I hope this is something that will benefit my clinical group. While I know when to be serious, I find moving through life with light steps and a positive perspective is the best way to go. Of course, I will have my bad days, but I never let that stop me from lifting someone up. The nursing program won’t be easy, and I have no doubts there will be many moments of stress and self-doubt, but I feel my spirit will help lift up my members and remind them to take everything one at a time. And if that isn’t enough, I’ll crack a joke or two. Laughter is the best medicine I hear. I want my group to know that I can be someone who’s serious and reliable, but also supportive of them; someone they can look for in the crowd and know I’ll be there for them. We’re in this together and it doesn’t have to be hard. If we move forward together, knowing we can make it, then I truly believe we will.
Looking back on my first day in the clinical skills lab, I learned to trust myself. I gained more scientific knowledge but I was mainly building on that confidence I didn’t know I had and that’s vital to my nursing practice. I say this because it’s important to have confidence in myself, what I do, the choices I make, etc. I don’t want to be a nurse who isn’t sure of herself, because it wouldn’t be good for me or the patient. As the hours went on, I realized sitting back and staying quiet wouldn’t benefit me – I had to speak up and share my thoughts. Even if what I thought wasn’t correct, I still learned something from it. Whenever they were right, I felt proud I was able to infer and think critically like a nurse, and I knew this was only the beginning. Having a strong ability to articulate oneself is crucial in a field where I’ll encounter so many different people. Nurses and nursing instructors alike are “responsible for modeling professionalism and positive communication skills” (Taylor & University of New Hampshire, 2017). This was something I was determined to learn from my instructor and build on in addition the practical applications with my hands-on learning in the lab. Ultimately, I feel learning to trust myself led me to allowing myself to speak up with answers and ask questions on topics I wanted to know more about. I realized nurses, no matter how long they’ve worked, don’t know everything and that’s okay because they learn something new every day; if you don’t know something, look it up. Even if you aren’t able to look it up, you can still use the people around you as a resource as well. Knowing this made me feel better because I went into the program so anxious, thinking I had to know everything there was to know about nursing when that isn’t the case. I’m learning, and I will continue to learn every day for the rest of my life. For now, I will focus on building that confidence and trust so I can become a good nurse one day.
- Taylor, R., & University of New Hampshire. (2017, January). Stop the Eye Rolling: Supporting Nursing Students in... : AJN The American Journal of Nursing. Retrieved January 24, 2020, from https://journals.lww.com/ajnonline/Fulltext/2017/01000/Stop_the_Eye_Rolling__Supporting_Nursing_Students.5.aspx