Very nervous about doing paramedic clinical?

Hi guys, I'm currently taking classes to become a paramedic and obviously I have to do clinical in order to gain the hands on skills. I'm really nervous about doing clinical because I've done a few clinical shifts already and I've been having a lot of trouble doing IV's in the hospital. I'm not freaked out by other people's blood or anything like that, I'm just having trouble finding the vein and I often am not good at remembering all the steps when I'm nervous and learning something new. My instructors aren't the most compassionate people, so I don't want to tell them I'm nervous but I could really use some advice.

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  • Jason
    Lv 7
    7 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    There is an adage to live by that is VERY true of all of the technical skills of being a paramedic: Nobody ever got better at anything by not doing it.

    There are a lot of technical skills to being a paramedic; IVs, intubation, advanced airways, needle decompression... Paramedics have a lot of advanced skills right out of school that nurses do not. There is also a strong culture in EMS that being wrong is the worst thing you can be. You have a sense of that from your instructors and it is pervasive in the EMS community. Technical skills are prized and bragged about. Having a reputation as an absolute gunslinger with a needle or laryngoscope is coveted. Being bad at those skills is scorned. That makes for a very intimidating learning environment.

    You get better at IVs the same way you get to Carnegie Hall:

    Practice.

    If you have access to your lab at school, spend time with the IV arm. How many times have you stuck the practice arm? If you're like most students, I bet it hasn't been more than five. Is there anything in the world you would expect to be good at having only done it a handful of times? Could you play guitar after only strumming a chord five times? By practice, I mean PRACTICE. I mean stick that arm every chance you get, as much as you can. It takes HUNDREDS of sticks before you get proficient at it. You can do those hundreds on a practice arm, or you can wait until you have to do it in a human arm. But you won't be good at it until you do it a lot. That means either lots of practice or lots of people.

    Seek out practice opportunities. If you're allowed to bring home materials, sticking needles in fruit is a tried and true method of getting used to the feel of a needle. It's definitely not the same as starting an IV, but developing the kinesthetic sense for how a needle feels and behaves in your hands is important. Last but not least, look for videos of nursing skills on YouTube. There are some excellent, well-made videos for nursing education on the subject.

    Best wishes.

    .

    Source(s): Respiratory therapist (B.S., RRT, RPFT) Former paramedic and USAF flight medic Working on my master's in nursing
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  • RICK
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    As others have said

    Practice

    Practice

    Practice

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  • edward
    Lv 7
    7 months ago

    Don’t give up. I haven’t met many EMS who don’t know how to start an IV but when i do, i automatically start judging them thinking “what are you, stupid?” Then i have to go and start it on my own. Although everyone else is correct. Practice. I did all my nursing clinical hours in the Children’s Hospital so i didn’t learn how to do it on adults, just babies, kids, younger teens. I avoided the babies for a while because i don’t want to be the one person abusing the baby with a needle but with kids it’s a lot easier to find the line even though they move around a lot more. It doesn’t change the location when they get older. Maybe you can find a kid one of these days and see how it’s done

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  • :)
    Lv 5
    7 months ago

    I think any major that involves doing clinical (residency/medical school, PA school, pharmacy school, nursing school) can relate to this struggle. We ALL adjust over time. I remember my first semester of nursing clinical; I was a sophomore in college, just 2 years ago. I remember all the feelings; I felt silly in my scrubs. Like I was playing dress up. I felt like I was in the way in the hospital; like I didn’t belong. I remember being daunted by the most mundane things like taking simple vital signs, let alone catheter insertion, medication administration, injections, etc. Now, I’m a lot better and confident. But it takes time. For some people, it takes longer.

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  • Anonymous
    7 months ago

    Keep it in perspective. The purpose of your clinicals is to practice. You are there to learn. They don't expect you to do it perfectly.

    That being said, some people do have a knack for certain things and others don't. I've worked with veterinarians my whole career. Some of them couldn't hit a vein if their life depended on it. And there are also those patients where even the most skilled nurse can't get it in the vein. Some patients have crappy veins or are challenging in different ways.

    Be thankful your patients aren't trying to bite you. :-)

    I think you SHOULD tell your instructors that you're nervous (not in front of the patient though). They are there to teach you. Part of learning to work in emergency situations is mental, not technical.

    If there are any volunteer opportunities where you can get EXTRA practice, take advantage of them. The more you do the less nervous you will feel.

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  • Anonymous
    7 months ago

    Ask someone to help you get it right.

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