Feeling low and incompetent

  1. Hi there

    I am about to finish my last placement for the entire degree. I have mixed feelings about the whole placement thing. I have done my best to look after my own patient load. However in saying that I feel so incompetent with a number of issues. I am a novice in this nursing thing, and as a student its expected to be like that. I technically dont have a patient load as I need the RN to do pills with me or supervise any interventions. When it comes to decision making on behalf of a patient I feel that I dont want to give the patient or patients family any wrong answers. So I go forth to my RN and ask her. As there is so much to know about nursing I seriously cannot remember everything. Plus I am inexperienced and will be until I finalise and get out into the nursing world and do it myself.

    Another issue of incompetence that makes me rethink my interest for Nursing. When an RN comes out and asks questions about Drugs, what does this pill do and why?, What is this? blah blah. Sure, I appreciate the RN asking me, however when I try and answer her and it is wrong, I seriously feel INCOMPETENT in which makes me feel low.

    I really hope it gets better once I am out in the real world. So in that way I have much of a better understanding about different pathophysiology and medications.

    Does anyone feel the same as me, or is it just me, myself and I?
  2. Visit AussieKylie profile page

    About AussieKylie

    Joined: Jun '03; Posts: 412; Likes: 14
    Graduate Nurse - RN


  3. by   writrix
    Hi, there

    I am a first year nursing student -- just started -- so I can just imagine how you are feeling. But I do have one suggestion about the medication knowledge, which I got from my clinical instructor.

    If you can afford it, get yourself a Palm Pilot or similar hand-held device. You can load all kinds of reference material onto it, and have it all right there handy.

    For example, I just downloaded a reference manual on medications for free from epocrates.com. You can look up a drug, and it tells you what it's for, whether it's generic, and other brand names for the same thing -- among other stuff.

    I know this isn't all you were asking / talking about, but maybe it will help.
  4. by   K205
    Hang in there!!I'm a brand new LPN in LTC, and I thank GOD, my CI's drilled me on what meds I was giving in clinicals.Patients WILL ask(more often than you think) . It's unnerving, i know. I don't think that quickly on my feet, and more often than not, I'd hafta run to the Mosby's and look it up. We're not expected to know ALL drugs and interactions, but the more you know, the better nurse you'll be. For me, If I was wrong, I NEVER FORGOT AGAIN. It's life's little humbling moments that stick with us. Plus, isn't it great when you do actually know, and can rattle off what it is, what it does, what to look for, etc. You'll be OK. That nurse is just doing for you what was done for her
  5. by   All_Smiles_RN
    I have one semester to go and I have similar feelings. I I lack confidence in myself and can't imagine functioning independently at this point. When I first started nursing school, I remember my teacher telling me that nursing school was not the hard part.. we have clinical instructors to back us. Being on the floor as a new grad is the hard part. I just take a deep breath and realize that we're not expected to know it all. Confidence in my skills will come in time. Being a new grad, we'll probably have some sort of preceptorship at our first job. As long as we remember to use our resources when in doubt, I'm sure we'll be just fine. Hope these feelings pass. Good luck.
  6. by   jmgrn65
    No one expects a student or new nurse to know everything. You can't possibly know all drugs. I have been a nurse for 13 years, I still ask questions, I know nurses that have been around for 25 plus years and they sometimes come to me and ask questions. DO NOT FEEL INCOMPETENT! It takes a year or so to feel comfortable. If you don't know something you just say 'I am not sure let me find out/or look it up and I will get back to you'
    Hope this helps don't feel bad, this is all normal. Actually I respect students and new nurses more when they ask questions. It is nothing to be ashamed of.
  7. by   AussieKylie
    Thanks for your kind replies. In regards to that nurse. I thought she would be helping us out in understanding certain medications etc. Very sincere but then I feel she does it to get off in thinking that newbies intelligence is low. Making me feel so dumb.

    Its weird, I hope I will come out of it more confident and with some great knowledge.