Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Health Assessment Clinical Final

Here’s my advice to all the Type-A, driven, perfectionist nursing students like me: BREATHE. IN… OUT… There much better. Just relax. Alright, now we’re ready to talk.

Practice is essential to doing well on your clinical final. Practicing well will actually help relieve your stress the day of the test because practice brings confidence and confidence dissipates fears of failing. The day of my test I was able to remain calm because I had spent countless hours practicing on the person who I was going to assess.

Just like a regular check-off, I recommend writing out a full script of what you will say as you perform your full physical assessment. When I wrote my script, I relied heavily on my physical assessment pocket book as well as used my physical assessment textbook.

The day of the test I recommend not practicing at all. You need to go into the nursing lab with a clear mind. I made the mistake of practicing right before I tested with my instructor. This caused me to be confused about what I did when. For this reason, I almost forgot to palpate the lymph nodes and test all twelve cranial nerves.

Once you think that you are done with your assessment, I recommend going back through the major systems to make sure you did not miss anything. For example, palpate all the lymph nodes, palpate all the pulses, and verbally go through what you did to test all the cranial nerves.

After your final, go celebrate! YOU DID IT! When you finish, you will be one step closer to doing what you came here for—taking care of patients. 

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