My instructor said I need to have more confidence in myself. I am trying but.....

  1. She says I really need to be confortable in the clinical setting? I am trying but this is all very new to me and I thought the confidence would come later......she wants it now!:uhoh21: Each week I try to do better but she always gives me that same look. I have not done anything wrong yet but I think she feels like I might not make it. I have a 91 in class and I thought I was doing ok in clinicals and she has given me a Sat every week but I feel like she still doesn't think I am up to par. Anyone else feel like this or get this?
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  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   colleennurse
    Hi! I know exactly what you mean about being new to the clinical setting. I have never had a job in healthcare, so clinical is a brand new experience for me. I have a tough time with talking to patients, I get very nervous, I always feel like I am bothering them. But we have things that need to get done and I have to remember that it is for the clients benefit that we are doing these things. When I am not feeling confident, I fake it. I know that my instructors are not going to let me do anything that is not safe. I know it is hard to "fake it" but I try to envision myself as the patient and how I would feel if someone looked like they were unsure of what they were doing, it would not make me feel very comfortable. Plus you are right in thinking that confidence will come in time. You also said that your grades are good, so it sounds like you know why you are doing the things we do at clinical. I am not sure if this helps you, but just know that you are not the only one who feels this way! There are a lot of us out there!
  4. by   Leda
    I would suggest that you make an appointment to discuss this situation with your clinical instructor, away from the clinical setting. In this forum you can have a nonconfrontational discussion with the instructor to obtain specific input/information concerning the instructor's comments and observations.

    As a long time instructor of nursing students I personally find it highly inappropriate to tell a novice "You need confidence or you won't make it" and then walk away to have them solve this problem on their own. Nursing is overwhelming for the new student, particularly if they have not had any prior experience working in healthcare. Part of the instructor's role is to promote the student's success (provided that they are committed to this process).

    You need to critically evaluate where you believe you are "going wrong" and then write this down in outline form, along with a plan to correct/improve your performance. This is what you would bring to the discussion with your instructor, essentially asking them to provide an honest critique of your performance to date, your plan to improve, and some solid suggestions from the instructor about how they believe you can improve in the clinical setting.

    If your instructor does not believe, "You are up to par", it is fair to ask the instructor to clarify what this means. You should be evaluated based on the nursing program's clinical objectives for the course you are in. Receiving a satisfactory is acceptable and considered to be passing. It is not realistic to expect to receive highly satisfactory or excellents across the board on your evaluation, so perhaps you are being to hard on yourself.

    However it is essential to validate your perceptions of your clinical performance with your instructor and together craft a plan to promote your success. Your post indicates "I think she feels like I might not make it", this may not be what she is thinking at all.

    Best of luck to you.
  5. by   crb613
    I would also suggest you talk to your CI & find out exactly what it is you need to do/not do. When your evals are done do they not discuss these areas w/you? I know it can be so overwhelming...been there. I had no prev. healthcare experience & felt so far behind my class mates who were mostly experienced CNA's & LPN's. So what I did to make up for my lack of experience was work like a dog...I would practice my skills at home & in the lab at every opportunity. When I would be at the clinical I had a plan....I made a list for myself so I would not forget any thing, I researched my pt's dx, meds, labs needed before I got there & knew as much as possible about them. I tried to set a time frame for myself to get things done (0700-0800 vitals, meds, assessment & hx) ect. I would go into the room & introduce myself, I will be careing for you today, & then say something like there are a few things I need to get done & go w/it. I always try to be very compassionate & communicate with the patient while getting things done at the same time. This really helped me w/time mgmt. I would have my pt. cared for & then help others while all the time going back to check on my own pt.I would also tell the nurses...I don't know a lot but I would be grateful for any experience & then follow through on any thing that they suggested I do. Don't wait for your CI to say you need to do X & Y....already have it done, but if you don't know how to do something say so. I hope this will help you & remember things will happen to throw you out of sinc sometime but regroup & get back on task. Good luck to you!
  6. by   psalm
    ...all good suggestions. And to repeat, practice at home, even the basics of pulse and lung ascultations. I would practice on my teen son's friends when they came over. Anyone who wanted to eat had to let me do some basic assessments. This helped me get a routine and practice on different people, body types, temps and skin colors. Plus I had a colored index card with list of priorities, musts, shoulds and would be nice of things to accomplish.

    ...I had an instructor who played favorites, and was very rough to those of us struggling with certain skills. It was hard to deal with but I tried not to take it personally.

    Good luck!!
  7. by   ortess1971
    I have also been told that I come across as "hesitant" at times. However, the same instructor who said this also acknowledged that a student can actually do more harm by being overconfident, and not asking for help when it is needed. Remember, we are students-we are learning and people do this at different speeds and use different tactics. As long as your evaluations are good, I wouldn't worry about it.
  8. by   Someday-C.R.N.A.
    It sounds as though your instructor is more confident in your abilities than you are.

    We all know that safety is #1.

    If your instructor felt that you were incompetent, she would probably not be focusing on your confidence or comfort level.

    I get the feeling that you are worrying about this (while in clinicals), and you shouldn't be doing that to yourself. You should feel good about your accomplishments thus far, and remember that you will do anything you put your mind to.

    RELAX!!

    If your core skills were lacking, you would have heard about it.



    She gives you a "look"? You should give her a look - a look of confidence. When in the clinical setting, try to think of her as more of a coworker, and not this instructor evaluating your every move. You're doing fine, now just relax a bit and feel good about yourself!!

    Good Luck!!
  9. by   LoriAlabamaRN
    It is MUCH better to be hesitant than overconfident. Who ever made a med error by checking too often? People learn things and become comfortable with skills at their own pace. It's like learning to drive- some people jump in at age 15 and vroom right off with no nervousness or fear, others are scared to pieces for months. Comfort with your skills does come in time. In the meantime, do as many objectives as you can during each clinical. It takes practice to grow comfortable. You're going to be fine.
  10. by   Daytonite
    How does your instructor know you don't have much confidence? Think about that. Because that was the first question I found myself asking when I read your very intriguing title to this thread. My answer is that she would only know that by the things you've said. Am I wrong? If so, I'm sorry and just excuse what I'm writing. With some instructors like this you cannot let your emotions and feelings show too much. Best to keep talk with her to a minimum and confined to subject matter at hand. You have to find someone else to vent to (preferably a cat or dog at home), but being truthful and venting to this instructor is going to be thrown back at you. I feared I would accidentally kill a patient all through nursing school, but I never, never told this to any instructor for fear of being singled out and harrassed about it. It took years for me to feel comfortable and confident in what I was doing. This confidence takes years to develop and comes gradually. It comes from performing procedures and nursing interventions many, many times so they are as easy as driving your car. You can, however, have an outward appearance of being confident. Just don't be so eager to express your feelings around this instructor.
  11. by   HappyJaxRN
    Quote from JGLPN2BE
    She says I really need to be confortable in the clinical setting? I am trying but this is all very new to me and I thought the confidence would come later......she wants it now!:uhoh21: Each week I try to do better but she always gives me that same look. I have not done anything wrong yet but I think she feels like I might not make it. I have a 91 in class and I thought I was doing ok in clinicals and she has given me a Sat every week but I feel like she still doesn't think I am up to par. Anyone else feel like this or get this?
    How horrible. Difinitely make an appointment to talk to her. Might I mention that if you've never had patient care before, feeling comfortable doesn't come natural and it does take time for you to relax. You'll get there. Don't let this instructor intimidate you. That's not fair.
  12. by   JenNJFLCA
    I've had CI give me B's in clinical because I was "not assertive enough." Yet people who were always late and handing in their care plans late got higher grades. It's ridiculous. I have decided this semester that I really don't care anymore. For me, confidence will come with expereince. That's my personality. That's the way I am. It's not going to dramatically change. I have really been working on it, but the bottom line is, I am just being ME. Since I've come to this realization, it actually makes me more relaxed in clinicals and I think I'm doing better. I also got a job as a PCT this past summer, which helped me feel more comfortable in the hospital setting.
  13. by   Little Panda RN
    I am in my last weekend of clinicals for this semester and am I glad it is almost over. Let me begin by saying that my instructor is very helpful, but I always feel so inadequate when I get on the floor. I am not sure why, I get this overwhelming feeling of anxiety. Today I did not get my patient assessment done util 9:30am and that includes vitals. I let my nurse know what was going on and she asked my why havent I gotten the assessment done so I explained, My patient first was eating breakfeast so I thought well I will give the patient a chance to finish eating, then the patients friend showed up to visit, then the significant other and then PT. I was lost about what to do, so I went to my clinical instructor about this and I actually got teary eyed, (which of course was not good), my instructor gave me some ideas on how to be more assertive but I still feel so lost. I am a medical assistant getting my associate LPN. I have always worked in the acute care setting, rooming patients, doing vitals and giving injections. But when I get to the hospital I feel so overwhelmed. Will this ever get better or am I not cut out to be a nurse. I could just sit here and cry

    Thanks for listening!
  14. by   crb613
    Quote from nd_mom
    I am in my last weekend of clinicals for this semester and am I glad it is almost over. Let me begin by saying that my instructor is very helpful, but I always feel so inadequate when I get on the floor. I am not sure why, I get this overwhelming feeling of anxiety. Today I did not get my patient assessment done util 9:30am and that includes vitals. I let my nurse know what was going on and she asked my why havent I gotten the assessment done so I explained, My patient first was eating breakfeast so I thought well I will give the patient a chance to finish eating, then the patients friend showed up to visit, then the significant other and then PT. I was lost about what to do, so I went to my clinical instructor about this and I actually got teary eyed, (which of course was not good), my instructor gave me some ideas on how to be more assertive but I still feel so lost. I am a medical assistant getting my associate LPN. I have always worked in the acute care setting, rooming patients, doing vitals and giving injections. But when I get to the hospital I feel so overwhelmed. Will this ever get better or am I not cut out to be a nurse. I could just sit here and cry

    Thanks for listening!
    Bless your heart! I think we have all felt overwhelmed at times.....don't let this get you down. All this stuff comes w/experience & when you are more comfortable w/what you are doing you will relax. Have you ever started a new job & felt like you would never learn it all? but you do & after a while it is just not a problem. This will be the same way...you will learn & develop your own ways to deal w/things.Next time maybe just ask the visitor to step out for a few mins & explain there are some thing that you need to do. What time do you start your clinical day? If its early then make it your priority to get your assessment & vitals before breakfast is served. Don't be too hard on yourself we all have to learn....no one was born w/all these skills it takes time & practice. I am still a student & I bumble & stumble all the time...feel like an idiot a lot but I am learning & you will too! I just wanted you to know you are not the only one who has felt like this but don't give up! You will be fine! Good luck & here's a big :icon_hug:

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