Very unsure

  1. Hello everyone,
    I am new on here and am hoping that you may be able to give me a hand with some advice or oppinions. (Sorry to ask for something straight away)...

    I have completed half of my general nursing course, but had to stop due to an awful, unsusspected dose of acute anxiety, which lasted sometime... It was the worst experience in my life and coincided with an appendectomy (hope I've spelt that right)... I am thankfully over the worst, but am now hoping to return to my course..

    but I'm scared - It has left me with lots of hurdles, I'm now very nervous and don't know if I can handle it. I want to be a good nurse - I really want to do it and was loving it when I was training, but still irrational things are bothering me and I feel so far behind. I have been volunteering in my local maternaty ward (just reception stuff) and I am back in some work, but I'm still stuck.

    Help! has anyone experienced anything like this and still managed to carry on with their career? I know I have to be well first so that I can look after people, but I feel afraid I can't be the same again - I've lost all my confidence.

    I would really appreciate some feedback...

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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   fedupnurse
    Truemind,
    If you think you will have panic attacks you will. Try to do things to bolster your confidence in yourself. Find something you are good at and do it. Prove to yourself that you are competent and confident. Try to focus on the task at hand (school) rather than thoughts like "I can't do this". Talk as positively to yourself as possible and soon you will find that you start believeing what you are telling yourself. I don't know why they make nursing school so stressful! You would think they would nurture us and teach us how to be confident and assertive. I finished nursing school 10 years ago. I don't know if it has changed since then, I hope it has, but we were all terrified by the threat of screw up even once and you are out of the program. That is a horrible way to treat people! If your confidence is shaken, this type of environment is a perfect setting for anxiety to develop.
    Best of luck to you. Go for it because you can do it!!!!!
  4. by   P_RN
    Hi True, yes I understand about panic attacks. Sometimes anxiety is good, it keeps us on our toes and makes us sharper observers. Having a panic attack is different. It becomes the controlling part of our life. It's the unreasonable fear of the unknown. Have you ever had this happen before in other circumstances, such as at church, home etc? You may need some "professional help." And I do NOT mean I think you are crazy!! Far from it. You might benefit from having someone to talk with or even medication.

    Nursing school is HORRIBLE sometimes. I don't know why either....I started school 3 times before I finished and I've been a registered nurse for 28 years now!

    Good luck. Keep posting OK?
  5. by   GPatty
    Hey Truemind~
    You can do it! Have faith in yourself! A lot of us go through the attacks when we think we can't do it anymore...I've seen people burst out in tears because of the stress from nursing school. Shoot! I've done it myself! But here I am...still plugging along, and you can too!
    God Bless you!
    Julie
  6. by   SmilingBluEyes
    If you are having panic attacks and anxiety, sweetie, i would address this problem sooner, rather than later. perhaps you could talk it out w/a counselor and behavior health specialist. if you do not, you may find nursing school exceedingly difficult later on. all this is coming from someone who can understand you...i have had panic attacks long ago related to different circumstances, but no less horrible. medication and counseling helped me....and LO! i am now a nurse. DO NOT GIVE UP YOUR dream, lovey. good luck!
  7. by   truemind
    Hello everyone!
    THANK YOU so much for your lovely replies, it is much appreciated, I'm very excited at the fact that I can talk to nurses who have so many different experiences and come from so many different parts of the world. I admire you all so much and do really hope that one day I can aspire to work in the same way you all do.

    I know that what happened was due to some very difficult personal problems which I was trying to work on through therapy and I think it all came to a head. I am still in therapy, and the medication is helpful. I am meditating twice a day and doing my best to see this as a learning experience, which may help me to help others in the future, I guess I have to continue being patient, but I do worry that the later I leave re-joining my course the more it will be harder to get back.

    I'm also scared to do a two week mental health placement that will begin my course. I used to work a lot of agency stuff in the local MHU, but since having the irrational experieces and the real fear of going mad, I now don't feel I can face it...

    I no longer suffer from panic attacks (thank God) but I don't want anything to cause me to become 'unstable' again. Do you think time makes you less wobbly.

    Does it matter if you enter nursing when you are a little older.

    I also know that with nursing you get knowledge that you wouldn't necessarily have as a patient, sometimes ignorance is bliss, because you don't worry so much. How do you get over seeing and hearing scary things without associating it with yourself, or becoming too involved. I was alright with this before, but now my boundaries are a lot less solid - does it get better?

    I do apologise for going on a lot - but I really do value your advice, because I don't feel so isolated with the situation.

    Sending lots of best wishes, happy stars and beautiful days.
  8. by   susanmary
    Hang in there. Nursing school is very stressful ... and so is nursing. You need to take care of yourself (body and mind) before anything. Take a break -- remember WE ARE ALL WORKS IN PROGRESS! Glad that your support and meds are helping right now. There is no quick fix -- continue to be kind to yourself and seek out whatever help you need. You are not alone. You will also find alot of support on this board. The most important thing is YOU -- not whether you become a nurse -- or how long it takes you to become a nurse. Your life experience will make you a better nurse and person -- you sound very compassionate and intuitive -- two great qualities for a nurse. Sue
  9. by   MollyJ
    Nursing and health care confronts all of us with some basic truths:

    People died, even those who don't "deserve" to die.

    We're not in control no matter how hard we try.

    Life's not fair.

    Sometimes people expect more of you than you have to give or are able to give.

    Under duress, people can be incredibly noble or incredibly crass. (this rule applies to patients and your co-workers.)

    No matter how organized I am, I might not be able to get it all done.

    I will miss important data at time.

    Now this litany of "facts" is enough to cause anxiety and despair. The trick is to NOT ALLOW this list to let you fall into doing sub-standard care on a daily basis BUT to allow you to forgive yourself on those days when you did your best and the bad or negative thing still happened.

    Continue with the mental health care. talk with others THAT YOU TRUST. You will see that they have similar anxieties. I don't know how each of us does it, but somehow you have to put them in their proper place or they will rule your life. I use a lot of self-talk. I try to keep my practice knowledge base as current as possible, so that as much as possible, I am practicing state of the art nursing. Ask for help. after you've been around a while, you must listen to your intuition AND then know when to let it go.

    The truth is that clinical nursing involves 100's of decisions a day. BUT, as a student, you don't have to be prepared to do that on day one. That is what education is: a process of knowledge and skill acquisition that will prepare you to do that. (And that is why a good nursing ed program feels you so relentless at times.) Gradually, you will be eased into taking more responsibility. However, nursing school is NOT, to borrow a phrase, "an entirely benign procedure." It involves, at the least, ego bruises and anxiety.

    As a last word to this not very reassuring post, let me say this. Do you know that ditty about "how do you eat an elephant? (if you were so inclined)" The answer is one spoonful at a time. That's also how you attack any endeavor like nursing school or the equivalent. You only have to make it through the day at hand and if, after 6 weeks, you realize it is not for you, don't do it anymore. Quit. You won't be alone. But give it six weeks since EVERYONE feels overwhelmed and frightened at first.
  10. by   truemind
    Thank you so much - I really appreciate the thoughts - I love the elephant analogy - I will definately remember that!

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