How to Excel During Nursing School Clinicals

August 21, 2017
Kaplan Test Prep

Learn how to thrive during nursing school clinicals.

In nursing school clinicals, teamwork makes the dream work.

Nursing school can feel overwhelming at times, especially when you get to clinicals. That’s why it really helps to have peers who can relate to your situation and help alleviate some of the pressure. Here are a few ways teamwork makes the dream work in during nursing school clinicals.

Advice from nursing school peers minimizes mistakes  

Rule number one to successful clinicals: make friends. I never would have made it through without a strong support system. For example, the first time we did a medication pass, everyone forgot to identify their patient—a huge no-no in nursing school. My friends had warned me about this ahead of time, so I was one of the few who didn’t make that mistake. Messing up while in nursing school isn’t the end of the world, but being prepared will prevent you from making the same mistake twice.

Practice helps fight performance anxiety

There’s always that one tough teacher that everyone’s afraid to have. As luck would have it, I got that teacher (as if clinical isn’t stressful enough)! Every time she did a blood pressure with me using a dual stethoscope, I’d mess it up. Any other time without her, I’d get it—no problem. So I took my nursing pal to the lab so I could practice over and over. I pumped her arms up so many times she nearly passed out on me. What are friends for? Since I had my nursing buddy, I mastered this skill quickly and eventually overcame my performance anxiety. The power of friendship to the rescue, once again!

Teamwork helps to lighten your load  

Not everything in nursing school will be easy. In fact, most of it is always difficult at first—especially when you get to clinicals. That’s why having a nursing buddy can really come in handy and lighten your load. For instance, when I was trying to get a urinalysis from a patient in one of my clinicals, I had to recall all the supplies I needed before starting the procedure. My patient voided at an unplanned moment, and I was elbows deep in bodily fluids without all the necessary supplies. Voila—buddy to the rescue! Then you can handle anything other surprises that happens because you’re in it together. It’s a never ending process of unexpected events, which is why friends are the key to surviving clinical—both on practical and emotional levels.

When it comes to preparing for the NCLEX, you shouldn’t have to go it alone. Check out Kaplan’s In-Person NCLEX-RN prep course to work with like-minded peers towards your goals.  

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