I know nothing!!

  1. Hello all,

    I'm in my third semester in a 2 year program and I'm so worried. My grades are okay (nothing special but okay) but it's clinical I'm worried about. I seem to be doing fine (my evals are good) but I feel like a fraud. I know NOTHING compared to the other students (who all happen to be great and I'm lucky to be with them). Even simple questions that I feel like I should know the answer too leave me dumbfounded. I have no confidence at all in the clinical setting and I'm worried about the "real world"........
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  2. 40 Comments

  3. by   cherokeesummer
    I too have felt the same way at times and always get reminded that most ppl feel nervous. It has also been suggested to try to do some cna work too? Not an option for me right now but it is a good idea!

    I think when doing something new it is normal for us to feel this way but it doesn't make it any easier for sure!
  4. by   JennBoston
    i would love to work as a cna but it's not an option. my company is paying for my tuition on the condition i work for them as a nurse when i’m done with school. it's a good deal but i have to stay in my current job until then. thanks for the encouragement!!
  5. by   LeaRN2008
    I'm glad I am not the only one feeling this way. I too am in third level of a two year program and feel like I know nothing. Someone can ask me a question and I know I should know the answer but I am "dumbfounded" like you said. I am so worried about nclex and the real world. I was a CNA before I started nursing classes and that helped first and second level but this semester I don't believe it has helped at all. My grades are ok and I always get good evals from instructors but it just seems like everyone else knows so much more than I do. Good luck to you and maybe we are worried about nothing, I Hope.
  6. by   WDWpixieRN
    My grades are good so far, decent evaluations for my first semester, but I feel like SUCH an idiot too....it's really hard to imagine getting in to my 3rd and 4th semester and continuing to feel this way and thinking that I'm supposed to be graduating shortly and become a working RN....scary....and really has me doubting myself already....I've considered dropping several times this semester...
  7. by   RNfromMN
    i'm 3rd semester in 2 year program and i hate...i mean, despise going to clinical. i absolutely dread it. bostonjenn, i thought someone had jumped into my body just now while i was studying hematology and posted all my exact thoughts under your name .

    fraud: :yeahthat: totally! i feel like the things i'm doing can be done by...well, a robot , i guess. oooh...i took someone's vitals (it's even more rewarding when a machine or robot does it all for you)...and, oh, wow...i changed somebody's bed while they were in the bathroom (just like a real housekeeper!)...and check it out: i put this funky-looking thing in my ears (just like the one i had when i was a kid) and listened to some funny noises in a couple different places:smiley_aa ...& in a couple hours, i get to cut up somebody's meat and make small talk with them while they eat (just like when i used to babysit!)...and just before bedtime, i get to look at a list of pills, pop them out of their package....all by myself ...put them in somebody's hand & watch them swallow them! i'm a... ? i'm not saying i'm above any of these tasks...i just want to feel the way a nurse is supposed to feel.

    i always feel like i'm doing...okay ...but that if another student was here, she'd/he'd be doing more thorough assessments, or understand my pt's condition better, or know exactly why they're receiving each and every medication they're getting.

    and my grades are fine, too. we're pass/fail for clinical now, but last semester, i even got an a...felt completely undeserving. this year, i finally got the guts to confide in my instructor & tell her how i feel (basically word for word what jenn said) and she told me that a lot of being a nurse is being eyes and ears:redlight: . knowing the hob should be up, knowing if someone's loc is changing, knowing what looks off in an assessment, knowing what vs to check if, say, pt says he's short of breath, etc. it made me feel a little better...this instructor is not known to coddle.

    my biggest hang-up with clinical is initial pt assessments . every day as i'm walking from my car to the hospital, i mentally picture myself running at full speed, screaming, and just charging into my pts room , getting my vitals, doing a quick head to toe, seeing if they need anything, then getting out! it's my most dreaded part of clinical and i just want to get it over with asap. and i don't mind sitting with my pts or talking with them, or giving baths, etc...i just loathe initial assessments . i feel like i don't know what i'm doing. and i always forget at least 2-3 things to check before i leave the room...and i have to go back in, explain to the pt that even though i told them i could leave them alone for awhile to rest, that now i have to "quick" check their pedal pulses, or skin turgor, or lower extremity strength.

    you know what i would :heartbeat ? one or two days to just shadow a nurse. watch everything she/he does...what assessments they do and why, etc.

    i have to believe that once i become a , and am employed at a certain place for awhile, i'll be much more comfortable with these things. if not...god help us all ! this was a bit of a rant...thanks for reading - i'm just so excited that other people feel the same way that i do :icon_hug: (sniff, little tear). everyone i'm in school with just looooves going to clinical. not this girl.
  8. by   Lindsay42
    I'm in my last semester of nursing school (graduate Dec. 18) and I hated clinicals up until the next to last semester. Something just all the sudden CLICKED. I remember the first day that I actually enjoyed clinical...it was on the Renal unit...I thought "wow, I really like this."

    I still feel like I don't know things...it takes YEARS to become experienced. Nurses are constantly learning...you never know everything
  9. by   WDWpixieRN
    Quote from Jessica 392
    You know what I would :heartbeat ? One or two days to just shadow a nurse. Watch everything she/he does...what assessments they do and why, etc.

    Everyone I'm in school with just looooves going to clinical. Not this girl.
    Wow....now you've written what *I* could've written...all of it....but this is something I've said several times to fellow students....if I could just work with a nurse directly for a few days...not just report to her before shift and after clinical shift (when I think they're just relieved we're going and didn't bother them too much), but shadow one for a full shift and watch how they do what they do and have them impart some of their wisdom and rhyme and reason....<sigh>....I'm looking into internships for next summer....hopefully that will help me....
  10. by   augigi
    Can you try writing a list to carry in a notebook with you that has prompts for the initial assessment if you frequently forget stuff? I have been a nurse for 10 years, ICU for 7 of them, but I still use a shift checklist to organize my tasks.
  11. by   RNfromMN
    I did do that for awhile and it definitely helped, then I don't know...I wanted to challenge myself to go in there "cold" and see if I could do a head-to-toe without notes. Clinicals start again for me next month and I think my check-list notebook will be coming back...especially now that I know a 10 yr pro still uses one Thanks Augigi!
  12. by   mrscurtwkids4
    I think most of the student nursing population has felt this way about feeling incompetent. In fact, just a couple weeks ago, a classmate of mine confided with me as to how terrified she feels and that she feels everyone else knows so much more than she does. BTW, she gets wonderful grades. I told her that she isn't the only one feeling that way. I've heard many others stating the same thing. I think that some are just better at not showing their stress than others. I know I was having a hard time for a while and I've finally kicked in to gear as far as the clinical aspect goes. But for how I'm doing on the exams for our lectures, I'm not doing nearly as well as I should be doing. I comprehend the concepts, but when it comes to answering the exam questions, I seem stupified. It's been totally frustrating when I graduated from the community college with honors only to be stuggling at the university level. It doesn't help when I just don't seem to have enough time to study as thoughly as I know I should with having 4 daughters and a hubby and household to maintain. I really envy some of the younger students who don't have some of those added pressures to deal with on top of trying to get their degree. Anyway, that's my vent. I think most everyone feels incompetent during school, some are just more willing to admit it than others.
  13. by   4tnerzwife
    i am in my 3rd year of a 4 year program. i am just finishing up my intermediate med/surg clinical. what i have learned is that confidence and knowledge will come from experience. everyone told me this when i felt the way you do. i felt comfortable with pt interaction and communication because i have been a rehab nurse aide for 12 years. keep your chin up, it gets better. as new nurses , we are not expected to know it all, so don't be hard on yourself. that is what orientation is for! do you have a role transition? i start mine in january, i think that as assessment skills grow and you feel comfortable with your patients, you will be fine. it's the ones that think they know all that usual have the trouble after graduation. your post shows that you care and that is what will get you far in nursing. i would suggest to you to be very prepared for clinicals. if you are on med/surg, review a few common dx (and the nursing care, meds that you will see with them) on those floors (pneumonia, copd, hip fx, gi probs) that way, you are a step ahead. good luck!!!
  14. by   RNfromMN
    That's so nice to hear Especially from someone with experience.

    I would looove to do that role transition thing. I've been saving my questions about it for a class called, Key Concepts and Management, or something that we're taking next semester. I know part of the class is putting together your resume, so I'm assuming we'll be discussing what options are available to us as 1st year nurses.

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