Feeling incompetent with this nurse role

  1. Nursing, well it would have to be the most hardest jobs I have ever done. I have done Patient Care Work in hospital and yep that was hard too but I could manage that role. NOw being an RN and being placed in a very advanced ward Cardiac, I am not sure that I can really fulfill the RN role as best i should do. The other night I mentioned to a younger yet experienced nurse that I just feel very fake in this role as nurse. Things we learn in uni are just not what they seem in the real world of nursing. I said I feel helpless and really stupid pretending that I can do this. Look after patients after their post op CABG or thoracic cases and play the role to the patients that I truly have worldly nursing experience and understand 100% what they are going through... I dont. Yah I am learning but even though I get constructive criticism of things that I am not doing well and that adds to my learning, yet I feel so dumb and incompetent and that is how I feel fake as a nurse. I am 3 months in to my Graduate Nurse program and I am not sure if I will stick to the ward after my 12 month period.

    I feel much more comfortable in General Surgical cases rather than Cardiac Nursing. Will consider maternity down the track. Anyone else feeling like a fish out of water
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  2. 18 Comments

  3. by   DolphinRN84
    I so feel the same way!! Except I just started orientation last week. Just started my second week today. I felt so overwhelmed...I still do but I had such a good nurse to work with and she made me feel alittle bit better. I still felt a little overwhelmed today, but not as bad as last week. I'm sure we can do this...I keep telling myself that. WE CAN DO THIS!!! I'm tryin to stay positive...
  4. by   EricJRN
    Kylie,

    I moved your thread to the First Year in Nursing Forum where you may get more responses. Good luck to you!
  5. by   amy0123
    I had switched units from cardiac critical care. Right now I have been working on a general surgery unit with tele's for the last 3 weeks. It's a small unit, very nice too. Not as stress-filled with my new preceptor. She is very good at directing me at all of the things I need to do without putting me down. Trust me, I see I am slow. To hear it would really blow my confidence level through the core of the earth. One day, when I feel competent, I would look back and laugh, I know it.

    Don't worry, I feel incompetent too. I don't know how long it'll be until I feel competent. You are not alone. What I do is try to figure out what the other nurses do in situations that I commonly run into. I have trouble with mainly IVs, and documentation. I'm afraid I might hang a bag the wrong way. I'm afraid of making a medication error. I'm also afraid of not documenting enough, to the point and including everything that needs to be mentioned.

    So I lean on my preceptor and other nurses for questions and ask what they would write, what they would do, or just double check with my preceptor before running ahead with my tasks.

    Hey, if my orientation has to be extended because I still feel like I am not ready, then so be it. I'd rather look dumb than kill a patient and lose my license.

    Also, if I am off orientation, I hope that the other nurses will help answer my questions, and offer self when I need help. It's tough being independent, takes time, eventually my newly learned knowledge will align itself and take flight. I'll take my place as the new nurse and become my very own independently skilled nurse one day.

    Today, I was digging through my stuff and found a paper on bible promises that a friend made me a week ago. The reading was very soothing. The website gives promises to personal questions such as: "What if I'm not smart enough?" or "I'm too tired," etc.

    Here is the website that was on the page:
    Bible Universe -The Ultimate Bible Resource
    Trust me, it's reassuring.
  6. by   DolphinRN84
    Amy0123...thank you so much for those bible promises. Just when I thought I would never make it..now I have something to go by to give me strength. Thank you
  7. by   hica19
    I often feel the same way. However I gained a lot more confidence these past few days at work. First I got a lot of compliments from one of my patients even after he knew full well I was a new nurse. And then the charge nurse during my shift kept saying "if you ever need any help, please let me know". And then after my shift, I talked to the night shift charge nurse about how I don't know all the staff members yet. She was like "it's ok. It will come eventually. Right now you are working really hard on your nursing skills, and it is very stressful. First year is always the hardest. When I was a new nurse, I had wanted to quit several times. But eventually things came together." And I told her I felt I was progressing with my preceptor around to catch my back. However I was nervous about what might happen when I go on my own. She was like "even when you are on your own, you still have people to back you up. The charge nurses are always around to help". It really made me feel much better.
  8. by   RNKay31
    I too feel like am so incompetent and the older nurses, does not make you feel any better
  9. by   jmgrn65
    All Nurses feel incompetent when they are new, that makes you a safer nurse than the ones that come out thinking they know everything. You will be fine. Just don't be afraid to ask questions and to ask for help. No one expects you to know everything nursing school teaches you the basics, the rest comes with experience. Keep your eyes open and try to watch procedures if able. Also I learned alot by going in the room when the docs are talking to patients, besides that is a good idea so you know what the doc told the patient, because they always forget something.
    Good Luck!!! You will do great!
  10. by   AuntieRN
    I feel incompetent too. My preceptor and the nurses I have worked with this far make it a little better though. They have been all awesome even when I ask what seems to me to be a stupid question. I just wish I felt more competent. I know with time right? But it does make me feel better to know others feel the same way. Good luck to us all.
  11. by   reebok
    AMY 0123...

    Thanks for Posting those bible scriptures. I've listed that page under my favorites. It almost put me to tears
  12. by   hica19
    Yikes! I realize I only have 2 more weeks of orientation! I feel like I'm not even close to being ready to take on my own patients.
  13. by   Barb101
    hello Amy0123
    I too have added the website to my favourites. Nurses in OZ need encouragement to.
  14. by   nursebenson
    Awesome bible resource! Thanks:smiletea2:

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