Ever walk into a simulation lab and have mild to moderate panic attack because it was skills test out day?  I have, and it was horrible!

It’s normal for any student to be scared or intimidated to do skills test out in front of their instructors. You can feel like you are on stage in front of thousands of people, playing the main character on Broadway, and you forget your lines.

I spoke to a Medical Student, and he shared a trick I used in nursing school. Instructors teach medical students in three steps: See one, do one, and teach one. If it’s good enough for medical school, it’s good enough for nursing school too!

See One –

Watch your clinical instructor do the skills. I had to watch skills three or four times before I felt comfortable trying them on my own. That wasn’t weird or bad; it was just me.

Here are some of my favorite Youtube channels for clinical skills:

Registered Nurse RN

Simple Nursing

Mometrix NCLEX Study Guide Channel 

Do One-

Practiced on my own. Go to open labs and talked through skills at home. Use the skills checklist you receive from your instructor to guide your learning and speak through the skill to yourself. Practice makes perfect and making mistakes is part of the learning journey. 

Bring Home the Foley Kit!

Funny Story- My school would hand out skills kits from time to time to practice individual skills. When it came time to practice Foley catheter placement, I brought the kit home.

I texted my husband all day about how worried I was about this critical skills test out I had the following week. I told him I needed to practice and was afraid I wouldn’t pass the class. Then, I told him I had to practice placing a foley catheter. After 20 minutes of trying to convince him to let me practice on him, he finally said, “Promise you’ll never tell anyone?!?!”

Teach One

Go home and teach a friend to do the skill. The purpose isn’t to teach them a new party trick but to work on your communication skills. Learn to talk out loud. By speaking out loud and teaching someone else, you will help yourself remember each step.

Here are a few things you’ll need to verbalize for each skill to your instructor:

  • You have an MD/PA/NP order
  • Your Five Rights for Medication Administration
  • Identifies the patient according to agency policy using two identifiers
  • Standard precautions
  • Hand hygiene
  • Safety
  • Privacy
  • Proper body mechanics
  • Documentation