loosing my self confidence and doubting myself - page 2

Hello All, This is my first semester in nursing school. I am doing Foundations. I have NEVER had any experience in the medical field. This is a second career for me. I am a hands on learner... Read More

  1. by   nurse4theplanet
    Quote from Tweety
    I promise you even the cocky self-assured ones have the same feelings, they are just masking them with confidence.
    Well said Tweety!

    This student is probably covering her own insecurities by pointing out the areas in which she performs better than others.
  2. by   canoehead
    If you can bake a cake you can insert a Foley. Imagine if you tried to make a cake without ever seeing or using a mixer or oven. You would be slow and unsure at first, but you can see that eventually you WOULD get it. Keep that in mind to keep your self doubts at bay. Your lab partner has the advantage of having seen all the equipment before, and probably has seen insertions too. She has a huge advantage.

    Sure there may be a time when you don't get something and it threatens your ability to become a nurse, but I am absolutely sure that this is not the time. Some of the best nurses in my graduating class were down in the lab practicing bedmaking for 4-5 hours a day the first week, obsessing over seams being up or down, linens tucked or untucked, and I thought they were nuts. Tasks won't keep you from graduating so long as you don't stop practicing, and you don't give up.
  3. by   Kathyz
    I am in my first semester of an ADN program and sometimes I feel slow too. A few people work as CNAs and some just know things b/c of other life experiences! I go to open lab and practice, practice, practice. It is more fun to hang around the ones who haven't had any previous experience because we feel like "we're all in it together". And then we invite one or two who have experience and are not showoffs to the lab or study group!!

    Hang in there! I just keep remembering the more I do it, the better I'll get, and soon I won't even think twice about doing some things! (I'm going this afternoon to my second clinical ever and am not as nervous as last week and am looking forward to the opportunity to "practice" doing my assessment yet again!!)
  4. by   locolorenzo22
    I work as a CNA and there are still some basic skills that take me a little longer...but you can be sure it's right. I'd take an extra 5-10 mins to make sure my procedures goes airtight with no problems, versus a sloppy quick job that's going to make me go back in there all night long.....
    Don't let the younger students throw you off, I personally love the older students with us because they have the ability to throw off a few curves....
  5. by   General E. Speaking, RN
    I recall how awkward I used to feel holding a vial and a syringe. Trying to hold the syringe and flick the little air bubbles out took forever. It was like I had two left hands- no coordination! Mitered corners of my beds never looked right. After years of experience, I could probably make a bed in 7 seconds flat with a blindfold on. These things are like second nature now because I have done them a million + times. You will get more comfortable too once you have done it more- it will get easier, I promise.
  6. by   nj1grlcrus
    Hang in there, I am an oldie, too, and at first, the younguns were alittle hesitant. I just hung in there. We have a mixed bag when it comes to experience, some work in hospitals, I never did. So if they know it already, good. If your lab partner is so great, why doesn't she teach you how to be just as quick as she is, then you could both get out of lab quick. If I knew any tricks, I would certainly pass them on. And why do these kids hope you don't pass to the next class, they should hope every single person passes the program and the NCLEX, makes them look better, coming out of such a quality program, silly rabbits! They should practice some team work, they'll sure need it in the real world...
  7. by   WDWpixieRN
    Quote from nservice
    Just ignore the kids. When they are being nasty, just remember...one day they will be slower. One day they will forget what they went to the supply closet for. One day they will pee every time they sneeze!!
    I just love it when I can get a good laugh out of these boards....I think that's half the reason I keep coming back!! Thanks for this!! :roll

    But to the OP, I am 51....it's frustrating because I KNOW I am not as quick to pick up things as I used to be...but I am thorough (read: anal)....and in the end, the "kids" are not...I feel very fortunate in that there are a number of "mature" youngsters in my class who are my best friends....there are also a few who I would prefer stay as far away from me as possible because of their bad vibes...I don't drink/party/hunt for guys/come to class hungover, etc. anymore so we have little in common anyway...

    At your VERY YOUNG age, please let go of feeling "old"....you are not...you are probably pretty much in the prime of this stage of your life and if you've come from the corporate world, have a vast set of resources, experience, and knowledge these young chickies can only hope to ever have...they should feel intimidated by YOU....having health care experience will only take them so far, believe me...pretty much after that first semester, other than physically being in the hospital more often, most are not doing anywhere near what you will be learning in school....it greatly levels the playing field....

    Concentrate on you and be proud....and from someone MUCH older, be glad you are doing this now!! Do not allow their actions and attitude effect your life!!
  8. by   barbnyc
    Thank you everyone for your posts.

    I'm over 40, one of the top students in my class, an accomplished human being and kind person. I'm acutely aware my instructor this semester does not like me (I think I remind her of someone she doesn't like or she prefers working with younger students).

    I have never felt more vulnerable in my life and it takes the instructor about one minute to diminish my confidence, and I feel incompetent. She told me "you need to trust me," this coming from someone who makes half of the students feel incompetent and publicly berates them. The students who don't do the work, slack off, and manipulate her left and right, are her favorite students. Not to mention, if I did some of the things she told me to do, I would be compromising myself and the patient. I feel like she says these things to try to set me up for failure.

    I come home, I cry my frustrations, pray and show up for the next clinical, guarded and over-prepared.

    Yesterday, I had my first IVPB, and while priming the line there were a few bubbles. She said "it's fine, not enough to cause a problem." I got rid of all the bubbles before I hung the bag. She was not happy with me.

    It is extremely frustrating to deal with someone who has the "shut up and do as you're told" philosophy.

    I'm determined to succeed, but dealing with all the feelings I'm having has been a challenge.
  9. by   Daytonite
    Quote from barbnyc
    Thank you everyone for your posts.

    I'm over 40, one of the top students in my class, an accomplished human being and kind person. I'm acutely aware my instructor this semester does not like me (I think I remind her of someone she doesn't like or she prefers working with younger students).

    I have never felt more vulnerable in my life and it takes the instructor about one minute to diminish my confidence, and I feel incompetent. She told me "you need to trust me," this coming from someone who makes half of the students feel incompetent and publicly berates them. The students who don't do the work, slack off, and manipulate her left and right, are her favorite students. Not to mention, if I did some of the things she told me to do, I would be compromising myself and the patient. I feel like she says these things to try to set me up for failure.

    I come home, I cry my frustrations, pray and show up for the next clinical, guarded and over-prepared.

    Yesterday, I had my first IVPB, and while priming the line there were a few bubbles. She said "it's fine, not enough to cause a problem." I got rid of all the bubbles before I hung the bag. She was not happy with me.

    It is extremely frustrating to deal with someone who has the "shut up and do as you're told" philosophy.

    I'm determined to succeed, but dealing with all the feelings I'm having has been a challenge.
    Look, it is not my intention to hurt your feelings here or be mean to you, but you pretty much confirmed something your instructor said to you about not trusting her! I can also see where you are contributing to your own interpersonal problems by butting heads and acting in an insubordinate way with your instructor who, by the way, is your supervisor. I can tell you as a former IV therapist that a few little air bubbles in an IVPB line are not going to harm the patient. Only in the deep areas of your psyche lies the answer of why you weren't able to trust what your instructor told you. I can understand why she was not happy with you. I don't agree that she was entitled to be unhappy with you. She should have been more understanding in my view and sensitive to your concern, but on the other hand, I think that you were also being a bit unreasonable, headstrong and insubordinate as well. Rather than coming home and crying, I would have been hitting the books or the Internet to find a reason for why, or why not, those air bubbles should have been, or not been, removed from the IV line. Sitting around crying about something just reinforces, feeds and confirms your sense of powerlessness. Is that the kind of person you want to be? Find your power in learning the answer because there is one. The rest of this is all about interpersonal interaction. Your time to be in charge of situations will soon come. Hopefully, you will handle them differently and with more sensitivity. Good supervisors (and RNs are supervisors) approach and handle situations directly (and sometimes bluntly as I have been accused of), not by wanting to play psychological games of oneupmanship with other people around them and involving everyone in emotional upheaval in their attempts to triumph in situations. Now, be honest. Isn't that what you really wanted out of that--to be the winner over the issue of the air bubbles?

    Here's a recent thread on the subject of bubbles in IV tubing on allnurses: http://allnurses.com/forums/f8/iv-ai...on-190642.html
  10. by   barbnyc
    Hi Daytonite:

    I appreciate your feedback. I think where I struggle is adjusting to what we are learning in school and contrasting differences in the clinical setting.

    I have never been subordinate, I just asked questions. I can see your point as to how this can be perceived in a negative light from the perspective of some instructors. My instructor last semester expected questions.

    Until I gain the clinical experience plus credentialling to make decisions regarding patient wellbeing, I ask questions. This has nothing to do with being right vs wrong, or being the "winner". I am a student. I don't ask my questions in a crowd, but on a one-on-one basis.

    I would rather err on the side of caution than make a mistake that could cause harm to a patient.

    As far as dealing with feelings, acknowledging and processing them does strengthen me.

    What I have come away with from all of this is that asking questions is counterproductive. This is a "listen and learn" learning curve.

    Moving forward, if I have a question, I'll "google it".

    Thanks for the link on air bubbles.
  11. by   Daytonite
    barbnyc. . .i hear what you are saying. it's that mental thinking that is getting to you. i don't know how to turn that around. take it from someone who was (and still is) a spoiled brat with major attitude problems and authority issues (i had a mother who was judge judy times 3) that "resistance is futile", to quote seven of nine from star trek voyager, in the situation you are in. be kind to yourself. us kids of judge judies learn very early that the best way to deal with them is to just say "thank you, ma'am" and not let them see you doing what they don't want you to do. my sister was very good at not letting my mother see her doing what she really wanted to do. consequently, my mother thought she was a little angel. i, on the other hand, didn't care, because i had major attitude problems and so i was regularly getting into trouble, seen as being stubborn and always on her bad side. there are advantages to kowtowing as my sister could tell you and as i have reluctantly learned over the years.

    in the major here, i don't want you to cry over the way other people act toward you. people come and go in our lives and soon enough these people will only be memories. there are more important things in life to take away from these experiences than having our feelings hurt. but you have some degree of control over that. make it work to your benefit is what i'm saying. let it be the boot on the foot kicking you to action. good luck! hang in there!
  12. by   jjjoy
    Nursing seems to be replete with people who find questions to be somehow insulting and who think that berating and belittling makes people stronger. These people definitely exist in other setting as well, but it seems very pronounced in nursing for some reason. I'd think the nursing instructor would be pleased that you were concerned about the air bubbles. An experienced instructor should expect this issue to come up and be prepared with the rationale of why such "imperfect" practice is in fact still safe practice and what the actual risks of air in a line are. At the very least, the instructor could assign it as an extra project for the students to research on their own instead of seeing the student's totally reasonable concern as insubordination.

    However, that's not often how it works. Welcome to the world of nursing. This same type of attitude is often encountered in the work place as well where you'll frequently run across practices that seem counter to what you've learned. Questions can trigger a defensive attitude that says "This is how we do it here and who do you think you are to question it?" as opposed to "I can see your concern. Let me explain to you why we do it this way." The thing is in many places it seems that people don't really know why it's done one way over another or what other alternatives are alright. They know that what they do works and that they don't have the time to pick it apart and analyze why it's done that way and if there's a better way.

    It also seems that no one wants to be responsible for telling someone this definitely is or isn't okay because of liability concerns. So an instructor might feel conflicted over whether or not to tell students that "a little air is okay." Maybe that's part of the reason this instructor got so prickly.

    Anyway, you're definitely not alone in your feelings and reactions to the situation. Definitely try to find other students in the program who are supportive. Also, when you go on rotations, if you find a nurse that is supportive or that you "click with" ask if you can keep in contact and use them to bounce questions off of. This particular instructor may not be teaching you nursing tasks in a way that works for you, but she certainly can help you learn to sort out feedback and determine for yourself what is useful (a little air in the line is okay) and what isn't (no need to feel bad about questioning that).
  13. by   moongirl
    Quote from barbnyc
    Thank you everyone for your posts.

    I'm over 40, one of the top students in my class, an accomplished human being and kind person. I'm acutely aware my instructor this semester does not like me (I think I remind her of someone she doesn't like or she prefers working with younger students).

    I have never felt more vulnerable in my life and it takes the instructor about one minute to diminish my confidence, and I feel incompetent. She told me "you need to trust me," this coming from someone who makes half of the students feel incompetent and publicly berates them. The students who don't do the work, slack off, and manipulate her left and right, are her favorite students. Not to mention, if I did some of the things she told me to do, I would be compromising myself and the patient. I feel like she says these things to try to set me up for failure.

    I come home, I cry my frustrations, pray and show up for the next clinical, guarded and over-prepared.

    Yesterday, I had my first IVPB, and while priming the line there were a few bubbles. She said "it's fine, not enough to cause a problem." I got rid of all the bubbles before I hung the bag. She was not happy with me.

    It is extremely frustrating to deal with someone who has the "shut up and do as you're told" philosophy.

    I'm determined to succeed, but dealing with all the feelings I'm having has been a challenge.
    yikes.. dont ever go ahead and do something the instructor tells you not to do!!!!!! Especially if she already has a chip on her shoulder about you in the first place. This is nursing school. you def. have to shut up and do as your told. If she tells you to do something and she is standing right there beside you, do it. You are practicing under her license, and she is the instructor. She has every right to expect you to do it the way she wants.

    Yes, there are mean, crabby, difficult, brutal instructors who live to tear students down- most of them work at my college, but you do what you gotta do to get by.

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