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Shy nurses

  1. 1 I am a new graduate nurse I just passed NCLEX-RN a week ago. I am a shy person who is very soft spoken. I am very caring person. However I found that being soft spoken to be a disadvantage. I also suffer from low self esteem as a result of my soft voice. I worked very hard to earn my BSN degree but I feel my shyness will prevent me from being the best nurse. I feel being caring, understanding, empathetic is not enough. I am very nervous that I will soon start working without overcoming my shyness. For this reason I have decided not to seek jobs for two months so I can improve my self esteem and overcome my shyness. Is this enough time? What is the best way to overcome shyness if there is any?
    Last edit by Tesfanurse on Feb 13, '14
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  2. 26 Comments

  3. Visit  xoxJanexoxDoexox profile page
    #1 0
    I felt this way after graduating. I'm more of a type C personality and most of the nurses I came in contact with were type A. I was worried about being too soft and getting bullied (by other staff and/or patients). I was also pretty nervous about losing my compassion...nursing can be so emotionally draining. After putting off the job hunt for almost 4 months after graduation I finally found the nerve (thanks to some encouraging words from other AN users) to start applying. I really wish I had not waited so long!! Find a good GN program that will give you a thorough orientation, that might help increase your confidence.
  4. Visit  RNperdiem profile page
    #2 7
    Will two months really change a lifetime of who you are?
    Don't put it off; apply for a job.
    You want to increase your self esteem? Get a job, manage your shyness and let real success help you.
    You will find a lot of other soft spoken nurses if you pay attention; we are easily overshadowed by our more outgoing peers, but you will have plenty of kindred spirits.
    The kind of relationships you have at work easier than social relationships. You have a defined role of what you need to do.
    Best of luck in your future plans.
  5. Visit  loriangel14 profile page
    #3 6
    I don't think you can just "fix" who you are in 2 months. Being soft spoken isn't always a bad thing. Never waste time wishing you were like someone else. Be yourself and be proud of who you are.I was shy too and I still am sometimes but you can practice being more assertive without changing who you are. it's not necessary to be a loud chatterbox to be a good nurse.In fact, I have found that some patients will open up more if you just be quiet and let them talk. I used to struggle with approaching a patient that I had never met before but I used the "fake it til you make it " approach and it got easier.As you gain more confidence in yourself as a nurse you will find yourself speaking up more than you would expect.
  6. Visit  HappyWife77 profile page
    #4 1
    Shyness really equals self centeredness. It's a defect that can be overcome thru recognizing it and doing the opposite. Instead of thinking about how you are feeling...redirect your thoughts to the task at hand or others. Which you have it in you...you became a nurse. Congrats!

    Also do not be so hard on yourself. I have worked with soft spoken nurses...and really liked them and their style of nursing, they were competent and the patients loved them as well. Step out in faith and get a job You will develop your soft skills when using your learned skills.

    Best wishes! You can do whatever you set your mind to.
  7. Visit  Emergent profile page
    #5 7
    Quote from HappyWife77
    Shyness really equals self centeredness. It's a defect that can be overcome thru recognizing it and doing the opposite. Instead of thinking about how you are feeling...redirect your thoughts to the task at hand or others. Which you have it in you...you became a nurse. Congrats!

    Also do not be so hard on yourself. I have worked with soft spoken nurses...and really liked them and their style of nursing, they were competent and the patients loved them as well. Step out in faith and get a job You will develop your soft skills when using your learned skills.

    Best wishes! You can do whatever you set your mind to.
    OMG! Shyness is less of a defect than being a loud, obnoxious big mouth! I'll take a soft spoken person ANY day over that!
  8. Visit  Tesfanurse profile page
    #6 3
    I have learned that having self pride and walking with my head up high is all that it takes to make things easier.
    i can definitely do this... It is unrealistic to try to change myself. It is actually possible to be soft spoken yet confident.
  9. Visit  Emergent profile page
    #7 4
    You are NOT defective. Learn to manage your personality type. There's a great book out there 'The Highly Sensitive Person'. This an important trait in 15% of the animal kingdom. It's not as highly valued in our brash Western culture, but nevertheless important to society as a whole
  10. Visit  Tesfanurse profile page
    #8 5
    That is exactly what I have decided to do. I struggled so much trying to change because I misunderstood when I was told to be more confident I assumed I had to be like everybody else.
    i now realize I can be confident without changing myself.
  11. Visit  Tesfanurse profile page
    #9 2
    I will read it.. Thanks.
  12. Visit  loriangel14 profile page
    #10 1
    Quote from Tesfanurse
    That is exactly what I have decided to do. I struggled so much trying to change because I misunderstood when I was told to be more confident I assumed I had to be like everybody else.
    i now realize I can be confident without changing myself.
    Good for you!
  13. Visit  HappyWife77 profile page
    #11 0
    The trait itself is what I was addressing. Noone said she was defective.
  14. Visit  TU RN profile page
    #12 3
    I've been shy my whole life, but I feel nursing has forced me into being more extroverted. I really think it's something that you gain over time with repeated exposure. If you asked the people I work with if I was shy they'd probably say no, but I'm not gonna lie, if you looked in my google search history you'd find "decent careers for shy people" or "minimal social interaction jobs" or something right up there :P when I analyze it more closely it's not the interactions themselves I dislike, but the confrontations and disagreements with patients and families. Even with these I am getting better, but they're the main reason I am nervous before work still.

    Working night shift is nice because there are less people around and (some) patients are sleeping, but the other side of that coin is there are sundowners. For better or worse I think full exposure is probably the best way to get over most problems in nursing.

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