Know it all classmates

  1. Ok Im in my first semester and Im already urked by people. Its mainly people who are currently CNA's making me feel inadequate. When we go to learn a new skill they are used to doing it already on a daily basis and Im learning it for the first time, so it makes me feel should I say "dumb" when these other people can do it flawlessly and Im still going huh? It comes up because usually when we have a skills test its in pairs so they go then you go.
    Im not dumb by any means and I hate feeling that way.
    Do I just need to step it up a knotch to be good at the stuff by the time we get to doing it, or just get over it and learn along with everyone else?
    Just wondering if anyone else has noticed this, Im sure most RN classes have alot of CNA's.
    Im normally pretty soft spoken and introverted so Im thinking its just my own complex. But I hate feeling inadequate. Im hoping nursing makes me tough.
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  2. 52 Comments

  3. by   gracie05
    I think you should use those CNAs as a resource. I know you feel "dumb" when they know how to do things that you don't, but they have a skill they could share with you and quite possibly some "tricks of the trade" I just graduated from nursing school in May and 2 of my closest friends were CNAs while in school. I learned so much from them, but they learned from me too. I brought a different perspective and background to the eqaution. Let me say this, there are "know it alls" in every class...you know the annoying one who thinks they know the answers to everything and amazingly has had contact with people who have suffered from every disease/disorder known to man...they are unbearable!! So, hang in there, evenutally you all will be on equal footing.
  4. by   Spidey's mom
    Quote from FNPhopeful
    Ok Im in my first semester and Im already urked by people. Its mainly people who are currently CNA's making me feel inadequate. When we go to learn a new skill they are used to doing it already on a daily basis and Im learning it for the first time, so it makes me feel should I say "dumb" when these other people can do it flawlessly and Im still going huh? It comes up because usually when we have a skills test its in pairs so they go then you go.
    Im not dumb by any means and I hate feeling that way.
    Do I just need to step it up a knotch to be good at the stuff by the time we get to doing it, or just get over it and learn along with everyone else?
    Just wondering if anyone else has noticed this, Im sure most RN classes have alot of CNA's.
    Im normally pretty soft spoken and introverted so Im thinking its just my own complex. But I hate feeling inadequate. Im hoping nursing makes me tough.
    Regarding being "irked" . . . . no one can make you feel inadequate w/o your permission. If they are "irksome", just ignore it or enlist their help. I'm sure most of them would be glad to help.

    It is normal to be unsure of yourself when you are learning new skills.

    I too am quiet. Learning to be forthright is a skill - you will get it. Nursing school helps.

    Good luck and best wishes.

    steph
  5. by   moongirl
    you get them in every class. Some have no medical experience and still act that way. I witnessed a STUDENT correct an INSTRUCTOR once. bout peed my pants. Just ignore them, dont let them bother you or intimdate you. replace their voices with the theme song from your favorite TV show or movie. You will know just as much as the CNA's within the first month or so of school, and there are probably just as many in your class who are starting out fresh, same as you. Remember, the CNA's had a first time to learn those skills as well, we werent all born knowing how to do a transfer or a bed bath, or FSBG

    relax, learn your skills calmly, and stay focused, you will be fine!
  6. by   snowangel3
    hello, i am also in my 1st semester adn, i was never a cna but i was a medical asst for 7 years. i am very familiar with many of the skills that we are learning about. i try very hard not to come across as know it all, but i do try to help my classmates as much as possible with things that can sometimes be tricky...like blood pressures, injections, but in a helpful way. like saying, "this really works for me if i do it this way..." just remember, everyone was once in your shoes and didnt know what the heck they were doing!! no one thinks you are dumb and if they do, then you should stay away from them any way, they are going to make your experience a negative thing, and we dont need any extra stress!! just take it one day at a time and you'll do great, but remember to ask for help and make sure you are learning the right way. many people out in the field develop bad habits that they are going to have to re-learn!! (believe me, i know!) i am also available to talk or write you thru anything you need help on! just make sure you get the most learning out of this experience that you can! this is the only first semester we will have so we should make it what we want it to be...which is great! m
  7. by   cschmill
    i totally understand where you are coming from. i am in my second semester and we all had the "know-it-all" picked out by the second week of class (first semester).
    all i have to say is, carma always comes back to get you in the end. this know-it-all had been an insulin dependent diabetic for years. She pitched a fit when she had to practice insulin injections in the skills labs, so she blew it off and participated little in the practice. when it came time to check off with instructors she was one of the few to not pass the skill on the first time. another example, this same person was also a medication aide for several years and didn't think she needed all the practice time passing meds in our gerontology rotation this semester. once again, she didn't listen to the instructor and drew up medication before the instructor had time to check it beforehand, and she consequently did not pass there either.
    sadly enough, i feel sorry for her. she was not in class last week and come to find out will not be finishing the semester with us. i truly feel that it was her whole "i know everything" attitude that caused her her chance at licensure.
    in the end, the person who thinks they know everything often ends up at a loss. if they know it all, they have little room for expansion. after all, life is a learning experience, so take it with a grain of salt. Especially in healthcare, no matter how advanced in your education you are, you are actually only at the tip of the iceburg.
  8. by   RebeccaJeanRN
    Its really hard to actually know alot more and stand around and hear things taught from the very basics all over again. Its like being in an introductory computer class, versus an Excel graphing class for Statistics. You have to fight the feeling "what am I doing here?" and work to remain humble. If it sounds like I'm speaking from experience, I am. I returned to school to get an R.N. after many successful years in business, being a high level boss earning really good money. What finally helped me was the realization and pleasant surprise that many of my fellow students, who I proudly call 'peers' now, who were younger than my daughter is, had so much to teach ME. Their remarkable ability to handle nursing school and patients and all the shocking things thrown at them, at such young ages, eventually humbled me and made me a better person from being in their company. I still cringe at how arrogant I must have come off so many times...am surprised I earned as many friends as I feel so privileged now to have!

    Try to forgive & ignore those know-it-alls, for soon enough they will find out that they don't! Nursing school is the great equalizer.
  9. by   CuriousMe
    Quote from FNPhopeful
    Ok Im in my first semester and Im already urked by people. Its mainly people who are currently CNA's making me feel inadequate. When we go to learn a new skill they are used to doing it already on a daily basis and Im learning it for the first time, so it makes me feel should I say "dumb" when these other people can do it flawlessly and Im still going huh? It comes up because usually when we have a skills test its in pairs so they go then you go.
    Im not dumb by any means and I hate feeling that way.
    Do I just need to step it up a knotch to be good at the stuff by the time we get to doing it, or just get over it and learn along with everyone else?
    Just wondering if anyone else has noticed this, Im sure most RN classes have alot of CNA's.
    Im normally pretty soft spoken and introverted so Im thinking its just my own complex. But I hate feeling inadequate. Im hoping nursing makes me tough.
    Hi FNPhopeful,

    Someone who thinks they know everything (despite their actual knowledge) and someone who actually has a skill that you don't, doesn't seem to be the same thing to me. It doesn't sound like they're doing anything to make you feel bad (should they do the skill incorrectly to make you feel better?).

    I agree with gracie05, see if you can use them as resources. It's not their fault they've had experience with this skill set.....it's also likely that when they were learning and putting into practice that skill set, there's something that you were learning and refining at the same time that they'll need assistance with at some point. You're not competing with them, you're all in the same boat....see if there's a group that you can row together with.

    Just my .02

    Peace,
    Cathie
    Last edit by CuriousMe on Sep 6, '06
  10. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    It doesn't sound like they're doing anything to make you feel bad (should they do the skill incorrectly to make you feel better?).
    :yeahthat:
  11. by   Jules A
    I didn't have any clinical experience either but I have to say that my classmates with CNA/GNA experience were very gracious. They were bored to tears during the first semester but that didn't stop them from offering practical tips to help me learn to do the different tasks. They were amazing, I was running around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to give 2 bed baths and these gals were doing 10 without breaking a sweat. My guess is that they aren't judging you and would probably help you if you ask. Good luck. Jules
  12. by   RebeccaJeanRN
    You know, now that you all mention it, the people in my class who were CNAs, really were the most helpful...it took me a while to remember who were CNAs or prior CNAs. And one of them got the very highest grades in our school throughout the entire time. (I mentioned her in a different thread...she was also the only student I knew who read almost every darn word we were assigned to read! Simply an amazingly disciplined and hard working student.)
  13. by   AuntieRN
    I have to defend those of us who go to nursing school who are CNAs. It is not easy for us once the instructor finds out we are CNAs. They expect us to not only already have certain skills mastered but to be their guinea pigs as well. I hate to be called out on in class...but once my first semester caught the fact I had been a CNA for so long she called on me for everything including helping out my classmates in skills lab (which I did not mind doing. I love to help others because it only helps me better myself) but the flip side of that is you always get paired up with the one student who just can not cut it without being supervised and hand held all thru lab and clinicals because "I know you will make sure everything is done correctly while I am with another student"...thats all I heard for my first 3 semesters...or you get the worst train wreck patients because "I know you can handle it"....just once I wanted a pt who's care plan did not take me 3-4 hours to do...just once wanted a pt who was "boring"....but I also have to admit I learned a lot because of it.
    We all learn from each other. Doesn't matter if you have prior experience or not. There will be something you do better than someone else and you will be able to help them.
    Now I am not saying that every class does not have a real "know it all" you know the one who thinks they know more than your instructor. We figured ours out first day of class....she did not make it to second semester with us...hmmm guess she doesn't know it all after all.
    ooops sorry guess this post got long without me realizing it....
  14. by   Megsd
    Quote from CuriousMe
    Someone who thinks they know everything (despite their actual knowledge) and someone who actually has a skill that you don't, doesn't seem to be the same thing to me
    I totally agree. My program is accelerated, so we were required to have either our CNA or a paramedic certification to be admitted. Some people got their CNA to get admitted and never used the skills, some people got their CNA and have had a lot of experience with those skills, and some were paramedics and know entirely different skills.

    My paramedic classmates are aces at IVs and EKGs but have probably never done a bedbath before, and CNAs are vice versa. I have actually singled out people who have experience with certain skills as people to ask for help when we get there. I think it's great that we all come to the table with different specialties and experiences and skills, and we can LEARN FROM EACH OTHER as well as from the instructor.

    If you are dealing with people who are actually snotty because they have already done these skills, then that's a problem and I don't blame you for being annoyed. But if they just happen to be good at something, don't view it as magnifying your own faults, but as an opportunity to learn from them. Have that person go first in checkoffs and watch the things they are doing. Then you will be better prepared when it's your turn.

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