How to have confidence in what you do?

  1. 0
    Hi...

    I've worked as a nurse in a primary hospital for 6 months and I quit because I felt that I'm not that competent enough to be a nurse. I'm petite and I feel patients don't trust me because of my height. I can really feel it. I tried to give it my best shot but I just felt that it's not just enough... :zzzzz And when I'm going to perform procedures, I really doubt what I do most of the time... I tend to ask so many questions in mind that "is this proper" or "is this the proper way that I should execute it...

    I just want to be good in what I do... but I just don't know how...

    How do you have confidence in what you do?.. I doubt doubt what I do most of the time when in fact I have done it several times already...

    Help...
  2. 8 Comments so far...

  3. 3
    Gaining a patient's trust has absolutely nothing to do with one's height, unless you are so insecure about your height that you are projecting it. Then the patient will not be distrustful because of your height, but rather, because they sense your insecurity and lack of confidence.

    It's natural to have a lot of questions and self doubt for the first couple of years of nursing practice. I can honestly say my first six months were my worst.

    Whenever I need to perform a procedure that I don't do all the time, I look up the P&P and read it through thoroughly. I gather all the supplies, and mentally rehearse what I am going to do before I go into the room. Sometimes I ask a more experienced nurse to go in with me in case I need any help.
  4. 6
    I'm a new nurse (6months) and what do I do to have confidence? I fake it.

    I fake it because the patient is looking at ME (yes me! and you!) as a professional who knows what you are doing....even if you feel that you don't know what your doing (some sometimes I don't and have to ask....I ask a LOT of questions, all the new nurses I work with do!). If there is a procedure that I haven't done in awhile, or have never done, and am feeling nervous about it I'll run it by someone else real quick or have someone come with me in the room. But I never let the patient know I'm nervous or anything

    I remember the first IM injection I gave (never did one before) I was scared to death but I took a deep breath, rehearsed things in my head, held me head up high and went in and (though my heart was racing) I wanted the patient to feel secure in my care....and after I gave it that patient said "wow, that shot didn't even hurt! You must have a lot of experience--thanks!".

    Fake it till you make it!

    And being small or short is all in your head. We have some teeny tiny RNs where I work and the patients or family does not question them because of their height! I think you have some self esteem problems. Small, tall, fat, or skinny....nurses come in all shapes and sizes.
    musicluva, green_serenity, Jules A, and 3 others like this.
  5. 1
    Confidence is earned.
    When you handle difficult situations, when you gain skills (not just clinical skills), you gain confidence.
    green_serenity likes this.
  6. 1
    Gaining confidence in your skills on the job does take time but I'm concerned that your story sounds more like low self-esteem and anxiety than a true deficiency in your skills. You have gotten excellent advice in this thread and I'd also suggest you seek counseling to help you as a person as well as a nurse. Wish you well. Jules
    green_serenity likes this.
  7. 1
    I know I spent the first 6 months feeling like I was 30 seconds away from killing someone by making a stupid mistake. Then, and I'm not sure just when, it wasn't like a "ON/OFF" thing, the feeling went away. I think it's just repetition.

    It's like your first code, you watch all these people and you think, "oh, good lord, how am I ever going to be able to do that!?" Now, when I work a code, I'm surprised when newbies to the floor talk about how calm I look, and how I look like I've done it a million times. One of my coworkers said, "one thing about you, you're not scared of anything, you'll jump right in the middle of a code." I laughed and told her the only reason I didn't look scared was I was too busy trying to not pee my pants.

    I still have days when I think, "why am I doing this again?" but they aren't as frequent. And when someone asks me how long I've been a nurse, my stock answer is, "somedays, it seems like forever."
    green_serenity likes this.
  8. 3
    It's all in the attitude.
    My first 6 months or so were the worst! I felt like I knew nothing, could not perform a simple skill competently, and I would always get those questions from patients or family that threw me for a loop, because I felt like I should be able to answer right away.
    When I was new, and especially when I was orienting with a preceptor, I always introduced myself as the patients nurse and also explained that I was a new grad, and that so and so would also be working with the patient and myself. Most of the time, I got a really good reception from the patients/family and they were encouraging and patient with me. This helped me to build my confidence in patient care. The first few times I had to do an IV start (always unsuccessful in school), I was so nervous, but I had my preceptor there, and would explain to the patient that they were there not because I had never started an IV, but to evaluate and guide me in hospital protocol.
    Now, I do not feel uncomfortable answering a question with "I am not sure, but I will get the answer, and let you know." or saying "I have not got alot of experience with this treatment/procedure, etc., so I asked nurse so and so to be here to help."
    In reality, this helpswith both my confidence, and with the patients, because I get constructive feedback on how to improve, and the patient does not feel like they are a guinea pig, and that we are doing everything possible to make sure we don't harm them.
    Now after 19 months as a nurse, I am still new and always learning, but in most areas, I feel confident and can do most skills, and the patients are often surprised to find out that I am a new nurse, they think I have been doing this for years!
    Give it a chance, you will never know everything, and you will gain confidence with experience.
    Good luck.
    Amy
  9. 0
    Quote from al7139
    Now, I do not feel uncomfortable answering a question with "I am not sure, but I will get the answer, and let you know." or saying "I have not got alot of experience with this treatment/procedure, etc., so I asked nurse so and so to be here to help."
    In reality, this helpswith both my confidence, and with the patients, because I get constructive feedback on how to improve, and the patient does not feel like they are a guinea pig, and that we are doing everything possible to make sure we don't harm them.
    Now after 19 months as a nurse, I am still new and always learning, but in most areas, I feel confident and can do most skills, and the patients are often surprised to find out that I am a new nurse, they think I have been doing this for years!
    Give it a chance, you will never know everything, and you will gain confidence with experience.
    Good luck.
    Amy
    I love hearing this kind of feedback. I just graduated and start my first job in February - I can't wait to get the first year under my belt so I can feel competent at nursing!
  10. 1
    Quote from littlebubbles07
    Hi...

    And when I'm going to perform procedures, I really doubt what I do most of the time... I tend to ask so many questions in mind that "is this proper" or "is this the proper way that I should execute it...

    I just want to be good in what I do... but I just don't know how...

    How do you have confidence in what you do?.. I doubt doubt what I do most of the time when in fact I have done it several times already...

    Help...
    I could have written this! I talked to a professional to help me figure ot why I had low self-confidence and developed strategies to help me at work. It sounds as though you know what you're doing, but you're getting in your own way...you have the power to change that. Check out Robert gerzon's website..it helped me.
    I wish you the best!
    green_serenity likes this.


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