Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Now that my brain has returned to a semi-normal state

I can tell you about my practicum

I went to bed early the night before for the first time in over 2 months. I woke up early that morning, got ready and started looking over my books. I read the steps out loud to my oldest as she was getting ready for school (she loves it when I teach her stuff I am learning). I was feeling ok about everything until my mom got to my house.

That’s when I realized that this was really happening. She comes and I leave as soon as she gets there. (Love her for being there for me and able to watch my kids while I go through NS).

The normally short drive to school seemed even shorter. Before I knew it I was parked and ready to walk inside to get this going. Once inside I see several people there waiting in the hallway, some looking just as nervous as I feel, and others looking calm, cool, and collected. Bitches. The window to the lab is all blacked out which adds to my already growing nervousness. One of the examiners passes by and tries to offer some words of encouragement which I’m sure falls on deaf ears. At least mine.

0900 passes and no one has come out to get us yet.

Cue heart palpitations. I should have gone to the bathroom because I think I might pee my pants.

Finally, at 0910 the door opens and 4 names are read, including mine. It’s time.

As I walk through the doors I have a smile on my face but inside I am crying. I feel my legs getting weaker as I am putting my things away. They ask us to sign a confidentiality agreement saying we wouldn’t talk about the practicum. EVER. I am the slowest so the last to enter into a room to meet my fate. Fortunately, I got one of the instructors I am familiar with as my examiner. I thought this would help ease my nerves but it only made them worse.

I walk inside one of the lab rooms with her. She shuts the door behind us. No turning back now. I glance at her clipboard and see one of the skills she is going to ask me to do.

Thank FSM. That was one of the ones I had hoped for. She hands me a scenario, tells me my time starts at 0915. I have 25 minutes. Ready? Set. Go!

I look at the supplies laying out on the table and my mind goes completely blank. Fuck.

I stare at them for what feels like forever, touching each one of them, finally my mind kicks in and I grab what I need.

Wash hands, shut the curtain, raise the bed, perform the skills, lower the bed, give them the call bell, wash hands.

0930. I passed. Can I go throw up now?

Even though I passed, I know I sucked. I was clumsy, completely awkward and uncoordinated. For one of the skills I felt I knew really well, I didn’t perform it like I know I could have. Like I had been doing in lab and even in my sleep.

Even though I passed, I am really disappointed in my performance. Hopefully next time, I won’t be such a clown when I go through these skills.

Nevertheless, It’s done and over with and now I can move on to my finals next week.

I am still a Nursing Student. For now.


  1. Wooohooo for you!! I'm proud of your girl, look at you! One step closer to your goal of being a nurse!

  2. I remember those days. You are always learning and a good thing you gave them the call bell.

  3. Skills practicum always makes you feel incompetent, no matter how well you prepared. It's an exercise in survival. :-)

    The important part is you passed and you can move forward. The skills will start to feel more natural in your clinical settings and with time.

    You are doing great! :-)

  4. Congrats! Take a deep breath! Moving on!

  5. Darling, practicums [we called them *check offs*] make everyone feel like the stupidest person alive. Even those bitches who look calm, cool, and collected were probably freaking about it on the inside [but they would never let you know that].
    But you did great. Even if you think you sucked; if you passed the practicum, you did great. Take a deep breath, love. You've got this. And you are going to make a great nurse. :)