Most performance situations don't rattle my cage, or get me too nervous. I've spoken at church in front of over 100 people, given speeches at school in front of hundreds, been asked to go on stage and entertain 100 girls at camp spur of the moment for 30 minutes... all of these scenarios... no problem
Put me in a room with two people: a "patient" (actor), and a test observer...
and ask me to preform 5 randomly selected basic nursing skills...
and my nerves all but get the better of me.
When I walked into the room I was shaking uncontrollably. My mind went blank. I think I stopped breathing.
My test administrator could not have been sweeter. Seriously, one of the nicest people I have ever met. From my adrenaline reaction though, you would think that she was about to murder me.
She sat me down and read the list of skills I was to preform.
I thought, "Please no bedpan, please no bed pan." (I don't know why, but of the 50 different skills that is the one that I hate the most... and it has a lot of detailed steps)
First skill I have to preform: Assist patient to use a bed pan and measure and record output.
She listed my other 4 skills and more instructions... but at that point I may have blacked out. Because only seconds later we were standing at the "door" to the patients room and she was saying, "Go ahead... when ever you are ready."
So I knocked on the "patient's" door. Something special happened when I walked into the room. It is a gift that I have been given when it comes to stressful situations. My mind all of the sudden came into complete, clear, focus... and I preformed the skill flawlessly.
I magically remembered every step. I preformed my newly learned skill like a practiced, seasoned, professional.
I also had to: clean dentures, assist with lower extremity range of motion exercises, measure and record intake, and demonstrate proper hand washing.
I AM SO GLAD THAT DAY IS DONE!!!!!
It was one of the scariest things I have ever had to do.
But it was just another little indication that (I think) I am going to be a great nurse.
(hey... i get to pat myself on the back a little... THAT WAS HARD)