Friday, November 30, 2012

Lab Exam today

I am a jumble of nerves, as I wait for the lab exam waiting for me later today. 

Logically, there is no real need for these nerves to be jangling...I am prepared, I've done several run-throughs of the various body system assessments we need to prepare, I know what I'm doing. And I can talk about it-- yes indeed, I can talk.  Never had a problem in that department!

But, it's just like so many other times when I'm waiting for something - an interview, a piano competition (back in the day!), giving a presentation at work, an exam - the waiting is always the hardest part.  Mentally, I'm counting down the hours and minutes until it's time to perform.

"Perform" is actually a great word to describe today's exam.  Once it starts, I switch from jangled nerve mode, into performance mode.  The adrenalin kick in just enough to give me a energetic edge, and once I start talking, all is well.  The nerves subside and I focus on what I'm actually doing.  That's the phase I love to be in, when I'm "on".  That's a great feeling, as I actually do really enjoy public speaking and presenting. (It's just the build up to doing it, that I could do without!)

Another aspect I realized, that really works for me, when giving presentations or verbal lab exams, is not to over-prepare.  There is a fine line between being confident in knowing the outline of what you're going to say, and actually memorizing too much. 

In my experience, I truly need to know the outline - the topics I wish to present, and a few key points to absolutely mention.  These are the 'hooks' on which I base my presentation.  However, if I try to memorize sentences or phrases, I find that way too stressful, in the off chance I don't remember it exactly the way I wrote it.  So I don't do that!  It's much easier to just talk about the topic, to ad lib, than to try to memorize everything.

At times like today, I almost wish I could just have been content sitting at my desk job, with no exam stress in my system.  But as soon as the exam is over, I'm back to rejoicing that I have this incredible opportunity to create this new career in the medical field.  This is where I belong, without the shadow of any doubt.  Career-wise, this is truly where I'm meant to be.

Off I go, to run through the intro once more...and then find something constructive to occupy my time with, until it's time to go to lab....wish me luck!  I'll be so happy when this is over!

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