Clinical instructor feels I'm not competent? - page 2

So I have always had anxiety. It's followed me my whole life, including ADD and I feel it's possible for some sort of slight autism... long story short I am in my second year of nursing school,... Read More

  1. by   jeddicarn
    I also went through the same thing last semester. My advice to you (how I got through the semester) is tell yourself you got it! Go through each clinical morning on the way there and say I'm going to do great, I'm going to be a great nurse it is just one persons interpretation of me. Know all your drugs, and what they do. Be great with your patients. Study hard. Know exactly what questions she is going to ask before she even asks them from you so you can be right on top of it. (labs, contraindications, what it does), go to the skills lab and practice how to pass medications again or watch videos if you need to! You will get through it. My clinical instructor made me feel so stupid in front of my classmates, my patient, and nurses. I hated going to clinical, I did not want to go anymore at all. We talked about it and I thought she was going to fail me! She told me I was being to rude about it when I was just trying to explain to her how I felt, but once I did she completely changed how she acted toward each of us. Maybe you want to try that. I CAN say after that semester, even though it was awful I now have an amazing clinical instructor who lets us asks questions, is not confrontational, and trusts us. Just put on your happy face and do great.
  2. by   Jen13
    Hi! I get really anxious about doing almost anything in clinical, but especially meds and IVs. I also have ADD, and I'm constantly nervous that I'm missing an important detail. I think practicing the skills as much as possible in the lab and at home first in a relaxed, fun but also focused way can help. I also think watching realnurses do it in a clinical setting at least a couple times also helps me to feel less like I'm taking a practical test I'm going to fail and more like I'm learning a new job skill. Having a clinical instructor who is harsh and yells at you can definitely make it worse. I get why they act like that, it is a big responsibility, but that just means that most of us students are already intrinsically motivated to learn and anxious about making mistakes. The better option is to be present, supportive and to provide clear expectations. Of course, you can't always choose your instructor but hopefully you'll get a better one at some point. Until then it might be a good idea to pair off with a classmate and play off of each others strengths and weaknesses.
    Last advice, fear and anxiety go away with exposure. So even though you might want to avoid administering meds because you feel like you're bad at it or you're going to be criticized. The more you can push through that tendency and seek out experiences administering meds (with help if you don't feel comfortable) the less scary and more natural it will become. (This trick also works for non nursing things like fear of heights or spiders or social anxiety).
    In the meantime, make sure you're making an effort to be nice to yourself. Make hot tea and tell yourself how awesome you are, all the things you've already accomplished that you didn't know you could, and how you're just getting more and more awesome over time.
    Good luck!!
    Another basket case soon to be boss student
  3. by   Workitinurfava
    Listen to your instructor but don't take what she says personal. She is trying to keep you from killing someone.
  4. by   gM_2010
    I am sorry you are having difficulties. I would suggest that you:
    1. Ask for a conference with your clinical faculty and the course lead/director. You deserve an interim performance feedback and a plan for improvement.
    2. The previous posters have offered excellent advice about seeking medical evaluation for anxiety.
    3. Read your undergraduate/student handbook carefully for policies & procedures about handling clinical performance problems. Make sure your faculty are following their own rules. Every program has a handbook but no one ever pulls it out until a problem comes up.
    4. Consider meeting with a counselor/advisor from the student disabilities unit in your school. If there is any possibility of anxiety/ADD/ADHD-you may benefit from extra time or other modalities to help you succeed. Every school typically has such an area and you typically need an evaluation/screening by their counselors.

    Good luck!

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