instructor says nursing is not for me.. - Page 3Register Today!
- Feb 3, '12 by RachRN66Why do you have to communicate? To 1) get to know them 2)elicit pertinent information 3) be a NURSE..nurses are treating the whole body HOLISTICALLY, that means the entire person, not just their diagnosis, meds, etc. You need to be able to address their sexual questions, their spiritual problems, their financial problems, their emotional problems etc... You won't find that out by saying, "Mr Jones I'm going to check your temperature and your blood pressure right now," or by saying, "Mrs Smith can you turn over to let me look at your wound." You might find out by talking to them that their blood pressure is elevated because of pain that they were afraid to mention because they didn't want to bother the busy nurse. You might find out that the wound is not healing because Mrs Smith can't afford to pay for her medicaion or her food that she needs in order for the wound to heal properly. You might even find out that that old man with dimentia used to be the CEO of a very big company, just by asking questions. It's important to know this stuff as a nurse. You bond with the patient and you learn to address their needs appropriately.
More than 25 years ago, as a junior in my BSN program (straight out of high school... I didn't even really know what a nurse did) I made pretty good grades. I did well in my clinicals and never had a problem, but ONE instructor pulled me aside and told me she didn't think I would ever make it as a nurse and I should drop out of school right then and persue a career as a CNA. She told me that was all she felt I had potential for. However, when I asked her why, she really didn't have a good answer. I asked her how she thought I could improve and she didn't really have a good answer. I told her that day that I would be a nurse and a damn good nurse..and she should just watch me soar. I put her nonsense out of my head and continued with my studies. If she had told me specifically what I was doing wrong, or specifically how to change it...I would have made an effort to do so. But just because she didn't "like me" was not a reason for her to tell me I could not do something. And everyone that knows me knows that I am just stubborn enough to prove them wrong... I am proud of the nurse that I have become, and she did not influence my life one way or the other...maybe just made me more determined.
Take some communication classes. Go out with your friends and chit chat. Talk to the guy sitting beside you on the subway and find out how his day went. Go out of your way to talk to the person that is limping across the street due to an ailment. If your instructor told you to talk...then you should talk. I understand that your personality may not be the 'chatty kathy' type, but if you work on it you'll be amazed at how easy it will come to you with some practice.
Maybe you are just in the beginning of your nursing career, but maybe your instructors are really afraid that if you don't get it "right" now, that you will be the quiet type of nurse that will never speak up and ask questions about serious stuff... Like your patient has a PICC line and you've never taken care of one of those before. You don't get a chance to just try it by yourself.. this becomes LIFE and DEATH. You have to get it right the first time with NO mistakes and you have to learn to ASK for help until you feel comfortable. So starting to improve your communication skills now by making small talk is a way to build your confidence so that when you get out in the real world you can be as assertive as you need to be to SAFELY care for your patient.
This is your chance to get it right...be proactive and go do it. If you can't do it, you really don't need to be a nurse, and this may be the way your nursing school weeds you out. Good luck!
- Feb 3, '12 by littlekaneRNI am a shy person, also. I'm also very young and I felt, when I was in nursing school, that it was a little awkward in the beginning because it was harder to connect to some older adults on top of being quiet in general. You want to know what I always asked people to "break the ice" if I didn't connect with them? I'd ask them if they had children, grandchildren, about their spouse, their pets, ect. "Small talk" usually helped form an instant connection, even though I couldn't always relate. I felt like inquiring into who they REALLY are made them feel like I saw them as a person and not an illness. After I got over that, that is when I fell in love with nursing, because I felt like I could develop really great, trusting, working relationships with my patients and they were so grateful to feel like someone cared about them.
- Feb 3, '12 by Dumplinssounds like your teacher gave you tough love. given that she didnt seem angry. she definitely went about it in the wrong way though. saying nursing isnt for you is unprofessional. she should be coming up with solutions instead.
anywayyy, i agree with many of the people before me. talking, communicating..etc. very important in nursing. now..do you need small talk such as "how's the weather?". no not quite. but talking to build that rapport and trust are very important.
anything can be learned. so dont let her comments steer you away from your goal. take them into consideration but not to heart. work on your communication skills and do the best you can!
i've seen the shyest people do complete 180's in 1 semester
- Feb 3, '12 by NurseCardI too am a fairly shy, introverted person at heart. I'm also a psych nurse. You mentioned that you might be
interested in psych; know now that with psych, you will definitely need to learn how to make small talk.
Know also that, with practice, it REALLY does get easier.
I currently work mostly in geropsych, and I love making small talk with these patients. I find that they are
the easiest and most fun patients to talk to. I love to sit down next to an elderly man, and usually the first
thing I ask is, "So, where are you from?". Other things I ask "What did you do for a living?" "How many
children do you have?" "What are your hobbies; what do you like to do?" You can learn some very interesting
things, and with psych patients it is very important to make small talk just to be able to assess their mental
In psych you will treat physical problems, but mostly you will treat what you cannot see; only what you can
hear, by talking to the patient. I love psych!!!!
- Feb 3, '12 by benm93i just read a great book on how introverts (me) work, and you say you don't like "small talk", which could mean pointless conversation to pass time.
If you are an introvert, and you are not the life of the party, it is not that you do not like talking to people, but, as an introvert, you value another kind of conversation. Not pointless "small talk" but conversation that goes somewhere, that is about important things in life, and what is important to you and the other person.
While you may view the chatting as pointless small talk, it will often turn into something meaningful, and you will learn more from strangers than you thought you would. Try to view the small talk in this light, and you may be surprised at how small talk with a stranger can be the best part of your day.
- Feb 3, '12 by PsychcnsThis is a really good thread. I think small talk--safe chatting--is a way to build rapport--trust-- and gives the foundation for deeper connection.. Thanks for the discussion..
- Feb 3, '12 by CDEWannaBeLook up "Myers Briggs personality tests" and take a free one online or get a book from your library. It will help you understand yourself better and get tips for dealing with other personality types. It's not bad to be introverted, but you have to be able to do your best in your class and as a nurse.
- Feb 3, '12 by RaviepooWhat school do you go to? Remind me to stay away from it. It sounds like your coordinator is on a power trip and gets her jollies by having an impact (good or otherwise) on other people's lives.
Yes, you do have to get over your shyness to a certain degree to engane with patients. It's a skill it can be learned. You are in school to learn. So why would they put you on a contract because of a personality trait like shyness. They should be helping you learn to overcome your shyness.
This makes me really mad. You are paying these people to teach you. They should be teaching and providing CONSTRUCTIVE criticism, not predicting failure based on your inherent personality traits. They should start from the idea that everyone who choses to learn nursing deserves the tools and support to be able to succeed. If they don't believe that they shouldn't be educators.
The suggestion to read the book is a good one. A little role playing might help, and volunteering to assist with activities at a nursing home might help as well. You need practice talking to people you don't know. The only way you're going to learn to do it is to put yourself in situations where you have to do it. But to put you on a contract because you haven't demonstrated a gregarious personality in clinicals is bordering on abuse IMHO.
- Feb 3, '12 by theantichickI am a screaming introvert, and generally don't like approaching strangers to talk to them, or being forced to make "small talk". There are many people in my life who think I'm insane for going into nursing because I notoriously "don't like people".
However, I actually do very well in interacting with people. I understand that when they interact with nurses, very likely whatever is going on with them is one of the most trying times in their lives. I have a lot of pre-prepared questions that generally get the patient to open up and talk about what's going on with them, and while it took some practice in the beginning, I am getting pretty good at it after 3+ semesters in nursing school.
I am better suited tempermentally to emergency room nursing (where I want to be) than floor nursing, because there's a much shorter window of interaction. But I can "turn on" the "chatty Kathy" when I need to, it just takes more effort.
You definitely are going to need to learn the skill, as well as how to tell when NOT to use it (some people just don't like to chat, they want you to get down to business). It's unfortunate that your instructor and the dean didn't approach this in a way likely to help you get over this. Just know that you CAN, and take some of the great advice that's been given here about how. And remember that there are nursing areas where your laconic style will be a benefit once you make it through nursing school!!
- Feb 3, '12 by morteOP, are you , perhaps, on the asperger's continuum?