I don't think I want to do nursing anymore...
I absolutely love the academic side of nursing school and learning about disease processes and certain conditions. However, I really dread my clinicals. I feel nauseous and dizzy the night before clinical. This is mainly because I feel as if I do not know ANYTHING. I'm always terrified I'm going to make a mistake that is going to hurt my patient due to my lack of experience. Also, at least once every clinical, I get chewed out by my instructor for a silly mistake I make (totally my fault since I have no idea what I'm doing). Moreover, whenever my instructor asks me a question about a disease or a medication, I don't remember it even though I learned about it in lecture last week!
I struggle with even the simplest tasks just as changing an IV bag or inserting a straight catheter. No matter how many skill videos I watch, I still feel like I don't remember the steps. I perform well on nursing tests but once I enter a hospital, I feel like I don't belong there.
Not only this, but I often feel stressed when I'm on the floor. Just the fact that any mistake could potentially harm patients really terrifies me.
I'm entering my last year (4 yr BSN program) but I really don't feel this is the right avenue for me. However, my parents are dismissive of my feelings and claim that it's just my anxiety. My mom thinks I should go into a different area of nursing where I won't need to work in a hospital. However, I don't even know if I will be confident or proficient in ANY area of nursing.
Part of me wants to stick it out and just get the degree but I don't see how I will ever be a good nurse for my patients.
Stick it out and get the degree; even if you choose not to take the NCLEX and find a nursing job, a bachelors will get you somewhere in life. You could go on to law school, be a teacher, etc.
If you like the academic side of it, you may want to look into a career in Public Health, Microbiology, teaching the sciences, or something along those lines.
While I am hoping to get into a nursing program in the fall, it sounds to me like watching videos is not an effective learning method for you at least for skills. I know I will definitely feel the pressure when I start clinical as this is something entirely new to me. I am sure you're not the only person who feels like they have no idea what is going on; I hear this lasts through your first year of nursing. Perhaps you can reach out to another student and practice with them. I'm someone who does not mind getting things wrong when there is nothing on the line. Hang in there!
Please do not give up!
I finally had to do this...
I considered my clinical days to be my "performances" as if I was an actress putting on a play or in a major movie production. I got my costume on (my uniform) - did my makeup - showed up in the green room (for report) - listened to my director (clinical instructor) - you get the point...but basically WHATEVER IT TOOK to get through those awful clinicals.
How many days of clinical do you have remaining? Start a countdown!
Try to push through, there are plenty of avenues in nursing besides bedside.
Just my 2 cents but I felt very similar during my clinicals and I now feel very confident in a hospital environment (I have been a nurse for 5 years). It is healthy to have some fear when learning how to be a nurse and in my opinion it is better to acknowledge the lack of knowledge and potential for harm than to be over-confident. It takes time to learn pathophysiology as we ll as skills and time management. If you feel the anxiety is more than a healthy amount of fear and has become crippling I definitely recommend talking to your instructor for reassurance about your performance and possibly talking to a therapist (it helps just to express your fears out loud). I also tried to take the focus off of myself and put it onto my patients by thinking of how nervous and scared THEY must be and trying to do my best to make them feel better. As a student nurse the extra time you have to spend with patients just talking and listening can be very therapeutic for them, even if you can't (yet!) be the one to do their IV on the first try or answer all their medical questions. You will get there! And if hospital nursing really is not for you there are tons of other cool areas of nursing that may provide less stress. Good luck!
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