Let’s Get Physical, Physical

The last two days in lab have been devoted to learning the physical assessment. There is SO much to remember! Our instructor went through each step in detail, then demonstrated the entire exam. It only took him 20 minutes! We have to do an assessment next week on an adult volunteer of our choosing and be evaluated on our approach and our comprehensiveness. We have 30 minutes to do the entire exam. Needless to say, I’m a little nervous about this. A few of us are getting together for dinner on Saturday and then practicing on each other. Yes, we’re “playing nurse”, but it will be a lot better to have run through the process a few times. My volunteer is a friend’s mother who lives in the area. A lot of folks are using a parent or someone they know very well; I would think that would be almost harder, at least for me. I guess I should get over my complex about being watched closely. This is only the beginning.

I do have to admit that it’s fascinating to now know why the doctor tells me to say “Ahh!” or squeeze his fingers. Throughout the assessment you are constantly observing and there is a reason for everything you do. Pretty nifty in my opinion.

Half of our class has already completed their first week of clinicals at a skilled nursing facility. My rotation begins tonight. From what I hear, everyone absolutely loved it! The CNAs on staff are really excited to have us there and apparently the clinical instructors are extremely helpful and encouraging. We’ll be assigned one resident and will perform a physical assessment on them next week, then use their charts to make a comprehensive care plan.

Then the fall semester starts and we’ll have survived our first nursing school class. If I’m this kerfuffled with a one-course load, imagine how I’m going to be with 4 classes and two 8-hour clinical shifts a week!

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