Is it normal to have self-doubts?

  1. I am a second-semester nursing student, and at least one day out of every week, I start to question myself. It's either because I'm still not nailing the exams, or, even worse, am not having good clinical sessions.

    After many sessions of administering medications, I always find myself being disorganized and making mistakes. So far, none of them have been serious, and were able to be resolved, but I question whether I'm going to do it right when it really matters. I hate having to look my instructor in the eye after performing a skill, because I know she'll be disappointed in my performance.

    My self-doubts have caused me physical symptoms as well. Every night before clinical I have difficulty sleeping, because I always have intense palpitations. In the mornings, I often wake up sick, with nausea, an upset stomach, and dizziness in addition to the heart palpitations.

    Will these things go away over time, or should I consider finding another career?
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    About purplegal, ADN, BSN, RN

    Joined: Nov '12; Posts: 640; Likes: 825
    RN; from US


  3. by   DysrhythmiaRN
    Hang in there, it is normal to feel self doubt. I'm a new grad and still feel that way from time to time. Remind yourself why you got into this field. Don't think about what others will think of you, I know its hard, especially with certain instructors. Just ask questions and get yourself out there. Eventually it will get easier, i'm still in the process of getting there.
  4. by   VXNRN2B
    Sounds like your concerns are creating a domino effect. For example, you've had a rough experience, so you worry about having another rough experience, and you get so worked up that you actually HAVE another rough experience. If I were having issues like that, to the point where it is manifesting in such a way physically, I would look into anti-anxiety meds (I have been on them before and don't have a problem with turning to meds). For a more natural approach, finding ways to cope with stress might help a lot. I mean actually doing something. Exercise, meditate, reading, etc in the hours before you're supposed to go to bed on nights before your clinicals might help. You should probably talk to you nurse instructor as well. I see it a lot in my own clinical group. My fellow classmates are much harder on themselves than our instructors are. The instructors even tell us that! We can be our own worst enemy. Hope it turns around for you.
  5. by   hodgieRN
    Everyone has self doubt. In some way, we are all perfectionists. It normal to has stress. Some levels of stress can be positive. You will find that repetition will give you confidence. The first time I started an IV, I started sweating. After doing it over and over, I felt comfortable with it. Plus, everything is watched under a close microscope by your instructor, your patients, and your fellow students. You feel like you were pushed on stage and expected to do it right, but the truth we are our worst enemy. All of this is apart of the learning process. If you are freaking out about putting in a foley cath, you won't be freaking out once you've done it dozens of times. Along with the everything else, we are caring for another human's a big deal. It's not like we are typing payroll reports on a computer screen in a cubical. It becomes very real when you are actually carrying out a task as a pt is looking back at you. I would be more worried about someone who felt too comfortable in the beginning because those are the people who become complacent. But, after you have gone through the repetition, it becomes easy. Your confidence will build as you learn.
  6. by   Sadala
    I think it would be abnormal (and kind of scary) not to have some self-doubt.