Wednesday, October 27, 2010


So I failed my friggin' skills check. And it was bullshit.

First, let's start off with what I did right. I interpreted an ABG based on a case study. I selected the probable cause of my tracheostomy patient's respiratory acidosis as an airway obstruction and selected suctioning as my intervention. Passed.

After selecting this intervention, I gathered the required suctioning supplies, established a sterile field, and suctioned the patient with no issues. Passed.

After suctioning, another skill I had to demonstrate was tracheostomy care. Basically just cleaning the neck, cleaning the inner cannula, replacing the gauze, and replacing the ties. I set up and performed tracheostomy care perfectly. Passed.

So where did I go wrong? When I set up my drape, I accidentally covered a pair of scissors. I told the proctor, a new instructor that's approximately my age (28), that I broke sterility and needed the scissors so I needed to restart. I lifted the drape, moved the scissors, and redid everything. Perfectly. So what happened?

The instructor stated that I moved the scissors with my sterile hand, broke sterility, and continued anyway. Really?

I mean when I said I had to restart, I feel that it was implied that I was regloving. I mean, I knew that I touched these damn scissors, but I kinda thought I was like on a "time-out" if you know what I mean. I didn't know she expected me to completely reglove. In the past, calling your sterility break, moving things around the table, and then restarting has been acceptable. I think it's just petty. I mean I did the procedure perfectly.

So what does this mean? Not too much fortunately, but I'm still mad. I need to redo the sterile setup of tracheostomy care; that's all. I also get minus two points from my lab grade, which I'm not too concerned about because I have points to spare. I've gotten an 84% on nearly every test except for one.

I feel like it was just petty. A few students have gone so far as to think that maybe they are trying to weed people out so that the school gets a higher NCLEX-RN pass rate. I've even suggested that the particular instructor who got me on such a stupid technicality needs to get laid; just not by me.

Anyhow, sorry for vent/rant. It's just that when you put in hundreds of hours in a class (since September) you get a little pissy when you think someone takes points off a grade you've worked your ass off to get.

P.S. I'll never be a nursing instructor! I don't care if you are an instructor, or you are a student, why in the hell would you ever want to come back to this nightmare!


nurse XY said...


In my experience there's a few types of instructors.

1. The people who genuinely love teaching. They rock.

2. The people who can't hack real practice. They're just incompetent.

3. The people with power and authority fetishes. They suck.

Rick said...

Normal professor... 1. New one? Definitely a 3!

CeeCee said...

Oh my god. Do we go to the same school? Because I KNOW they are trying to weed people out. In fact, next semester registration starts next week. And there are 8 less spots than there are students in the class. When addressed, the professor said "why don't you all worry about passing this semester. I really don't think there will be a problem with too few spots by the end of this one"

CeeCee said...

And PS.. even on the NCLEX, you can say "I broke sterility, I am beginning again" and continue on. Your professor is flat-out wrong.

Rick said...

I hear you CeeCee! I'm doing pretty decent so I think even with this hurdle I will be ok.