Student Nurse, prn

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Stress and test anxiety

I built up a lot of stress and test anxiety last semester. Most of it came from knowing that if I do not do well I get booted out of the program. I did fantastic in my pre-req's --I got all A's except for my CPR class so I ended up with a 3.96 average. Yeah for me! This was an amazing fact because I was never all that great of a student in HS. Average, very average. I am older and hopefully wiser now. What I do know about myself is that if I ENJOY it and WANT it, I will do well.

My primary instructor informed us on the first day of class that we should NOT expect to get all A's even if we had been an A student.. I knew the effort that I put forth before and just thought I could step it up a notch and no problem. WRONG. This nursing stuff is a whole new ballgame.

I did ok at first, some B's on quizzes. Then some horrific quiz scores that scared the pants off me. To the point that I realized this was going to be rough. I did pass the Pharmacology section with an over all B so I felt a bit more confident. Then came the M/S midterm. That knocked my butt to the curb and shook my confidence badly. We have to get a 70% or higher in each of the 3 sections to be allowed to continue. M/S is all semester long. Pharm is the first 1/2 and OB is the last 1/2 of the semester. My M/S mid-term was just a wee bit over the passing line. The panic set in. I had to do well on the final or (well I can't even type those words) ...

I passed. I am thrilled and at the same time disappointed in myself. I can do better and I know it but I let my fears and mind take over my ability to concentrate. I got the stereotypical sweaty palms during the test and felt like thoughts jumped from my brain cells. Oddly enough during clinical exams I feel alive and confident. I talk myself down and breathed calmly. This same thing happened when I took my CNA clinical exams. Almost like the sky opens up and it's all clear (I know kinda funky but that's the best I can describe it).

Bottom line is the summer has been a nice chance to calm down re-focus but I need to learn some skills to avoid this scenario next semester. Any suggestions?


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