As the Practical Nursing semester is soon approaching an end, I have completed yet another lab exam to prepare for nursing in an acute unit. This time we were tested on intravenous therapy (IV) and how to care for a patient in need of an IV. Preparing for this IV Testing exam should have been easy and routine since this program has plenty of lab exams and I studied thoroughly for all of them. However, before every lab exam, I find that my nerves get the best of me. After completing this one though, I found it silly to be so stressed out as the exam went smoothly.
Stenberg instructors are incredibly helpful
It’s really helpful when the instructors and testers are so supportive, especially during the exam. My tester had a smile on her face and told me to take my time to answer the questions and even talk it through out loud if I needed. I appreciate the fact she knew that nerves and anxiety would play a factor when it comes to lab testing. She was patient and her calm energy helped me answer each question with confidence. I felt very lucky to have such great support from the lab staff and instructors when it comes to testing because they are willing to help in a calming and encouraging way.
Open Labs are your best friend
To all future nurses, I would like to give this advice: Make it a priority to go to open labs and ask many questions!
Going to labs to practice helped me to improve my skills and ask questions when I didn’t know the answer. You’ve probably heard the expression “practice makes perfect”, and the open lab is a good example of it. The more you practice, the better you do. The more mistakes you make in the lab, the more you will learn from them. Practicing is the best way to improve your skills and is a valuable lesson, whether you’re a student in school or a nurse in a care setting.
Albert Einstein has a famous quote that I think is relevant to this post. He states, “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.”
I think this is important to remember as nursing students because Stenberg provides a great place to learn and grow as a student and nurse. There are plenty of opportunities to learn, and as a student, it is important to ask many questions and make lots of mistakes to progress into a better nurse with a better understanding of valuable skill sets. I have found this to be the most effective way to learn and would like to pass on my experience to you.
With a month left of class, I will be preparing for finals, projects and case studies the same way as mentioned above. This will help in preparation to continue on to my final practical experience in an acute care setting, where I will be practising with many IVs among other skills I have learned throughout my whole program.
Check out this video of our Practical Nursing Program.