Nervous, scared, shy, quiet guy needs advice

  1. After almost a year of waiting, I finally get to continue my BSN in Nursing. I begin clinicals in the summer and I will begin taking my pre-major nursing courses next week. The past week I been having trouble sleeping becaise I am afraid of what would happened if I misinterpreted everything to a patient's family. Also, what if I done a minor mistake when communicating between doctors and nurses that result in a patient's death. The problem with me is that I am a really shy, nervous, and quiet guy when
    it comes to voicing my opinion in class, interacting with groups of students and faculty, and doing presentations. I just had my nursing student orientation last October and I was the youngest student out of 40 in the class. Everybody introduced themselves during orientation professionally, while I just kind of looked down, away from the audience, stating my name and how long I have been going to school. When an instructor points their finger at me and asks my opinion on a certain issue, my face gets all red and I begin to stutter and the words begin to come out weird and funny. When I am at home talking to friends and family, I communicate perfectly fine, but when I am at school it is different. Last fall, I was enrolled in Bioethics, a class that involves class discussions and opinions, and I was the only student in that class that did not voice an opinion, however I still got an "A". When a teacher asks the class "what they think of a certain issue and why they think that way," I get scared and nervous and begin to gather all the information in my head of what I think and prepare how I should say it to the class (afraid the teacher might point the question at me and ask what I think), while other students just raise their hand and begin engaging in an immediate one-on-one conversation. The trouble with me is that it takes time for me to think what I have to say and how I should say it. After taking this class, I felt so depressed, because I felt as though I didn't meet the class's expectations. I have done numerous extra credit assignments that involved powerpoint presentation, a japanese speech in front of an audience of 80, and have been more involved in club activities just to help me overcome being shy and nervous. Sorry if my post bother anyone. It just that I need some advice. I feel as though if I do not do something about my personailty soon, its going to ruin me in the beginning of clinicals and that will be the end of everything .
    •  
  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   arpeggiated
    Have you taken a speech class? Interpersonal communications helped me a lot.
  4. by   Soup Turtle
    ...maybe make an effort to talk to your classmates one on one when you get the chance? You might feel more comfortable speaking up in class if you have a few personal friends around. When I feel nervous or shy, I try to come right out and tell the person or group that I'm feeling that way...you know, get it out in the open...that might help
  5. by   manofcare
    First, let me say that I am at the other end of the age spectrum. I am fourty-seven and the oldest in my class. One of four guys in the day program. I watched some of the dog and pony show with the speaker swear-in today and listened to some of the speakers. One speaker in particular had his voice break several times. My point is that he is a professional politician and his voice breaks. You probably think you speak a lot worse than you really do in public. The speech class idea is a great one.
    You know face your fears and all. As for killing one of your pt.s. It's not going to happen. You will have a proctor watching you every step of the way, but his brings up another point. How do you do with someone watching your every move? First remember they were where you are now at one time in their career. They remember their first injection, etc. Your ins. is not your enemy. The best thing that I can do to cure the nerves is to be prepared. Think the steps through in your mind. Anticipate the questions the ins. will ask. What would be important for me to know about this med.? You know these answers. As for interacting in class, go for it. You are probably sitting there in a bind thinking that a show of personality will doom you. Not true. I am the class spokesperson for my class and I'll tell you. Only once have I run into an instructor that did not enjoy participation in class, including a little humor. Now lets consider a really important issue. You pay these people for your education. They are indebted to teach you and regard you with some respect. If you are going to be an effective advocate for your pt, you are going to have to confront people in authority at times. Now is the time to address these issues.
  6. by   Fun2, RN, BSN
    I used to be the same way.....even took an online speech class! (I videoed my speeches!)


    I have had to make myself overcome my shyness. I think the more you speak outloud, the easier it gets.


    I still have that racing heartbeat sensation now and then, but I do answer and ask many questions in classes now.




    Imagine that you and your instructor are the only people in the room. When a question is asked, or you want to ask a question, totally faze out everyone else. Ask directly to the instructor.


    I hope this makes sense.

    You can do it!
  7. by   Daytonite
    my chinese friends started calling me a "thousand year turtle" many years ago. as i recall it had something to do with luck and living a very long time. i like to think of it because of just being slow. i put turtles on my personal stationary. i have been slow about doing things most of my life and that includes making decisions. every time i've made a quick decision and not taken time to think about it, i regretted it. nursing school will teach you to make the decisions about patients in certain specific situations where it is necessary. what you have described sounds pretty normal to me for someone who is young and still inexperienced about life. what i find is that in the things i know very well, i have no problem voicing my opinion. what you know, that i didn't always, is that when you don't know something very well you just sit quietly and listen to others. i would often just start talking away inserting my foot farther into my mouth as i blathered on! as far as blushing when you are called on to give an answer, i think there is actually a physiological response going on in your body that can account for that. but, for the life of me it does not come to mind at the moment. it has something to do with the "fight or flight" response and the release of adrenaline as i recall. perhaps another student here on the forums who has recently taken a&p can remind us of this. i do know that as we age the ability to blush like that diminishes. i also want you to know that for a number of years while i was in nursing school and after, i was scared to death that i would accidentally do something that would result in killing a patient. this is a very common fear among nursing students and people contemplating going into this profession. i want you to know that you are not alone in these concerns. what will happen is that as you go into your clinicals you pay attention to what you are doing, follow the rules you are given by the instructors and double check every medication or treatment you do with your instructors. as time goes on and you master the various nursing skills and develop more confidence in what you are doing, that fear of accidentally harming or killing someone goes away. nursing encompasses the learning of many different skills. it takes time and a lot of practice to master each of them. although some students don't seem to show their reticence, i promise you, most are all just as worried and scared of the same things as you. they just don't talk about it. i would worry more about the ones who say they aren't in the least bit concerned about the possibility of ever harming a patient. really? that's just a little too nonchalant of an attitude for me. you sound like a very sensitive person. that is something that will be very practical to you as a nurse. patients need more nurses who are able to listen and empathize with their situations. yes, you've chosen the right profession. i think that time and experience will take care of the rest.

    see you on the forums!
  8. by   shippoRN
    ARRR10: I understand what you mean and how you feel. I was super shy myself. I got teased alot when i was in school, so when i got to college it carried over. Like you I would always try to think through an answer just in case the professor called on me. Like you i was scared, quiet, nervous and shy, to top it off, im a girl that towers over EVERYONE i know, i stick out like a sore thumb. Im 5'9.5. Now imagine this tall girl, slumping her sholders, watching the ground when i walk and not even so much as trying to look someone in the eye. I stuttered when i was called on, my heart was in my ears, my face burned and you could litterally see me shaking. You know what helped? Martial arts. I joined a tae kwon do school in my neighbourhood and it did wonders. I think you should take a communication or speech class, but i also think you should look into martial arts, it doesn't have to be tae kwno do, it could be anything, i think it does wonders for one's confidence. Its been a long time since ive trained, but I can tell you that today i stand all 5'9 of my height, 6 feet in a pair of heels, im not so afraid to look someone in the eye and speak. Yes i will always have that shy nervousness, but i know how to use that nervousness to get me to stand infront of the class and make a presentation, raise my hand to answer a question or ask a question.
    You know what? look at the responses to your post, you aren't the only one, so you are not alone. Best of all you have the wisdom of someone like Daytonite who always have great words of encouragement.
    Don't worry you will make a fantastic nurse with time and experience
  9. by   SoulShine75
    Quote from TurtleSoup
    ...maybe make an effort to talk to your classmates one on one when you get the chance? You might feel more comfortable speaking up in class if you have a few personal friends around. When I feel nervous or shy, I try to come right out and tell the person or group that I'm feeling that way...you know, get it out in the open...that might help
    I agree turtlesoup. I think having friends in the class will help you to overcome this. I do know how you feel because every semester, it never fails, the teacher asks us to introduce ourselves so they can get to know us and it seems like I'm always one of the last to speak and that anxiety builds up. Even though I know the people, I still hate speaking publicly when I know I have to. Maybe it's a fear of rejection, I don't know. Don't come down to hard on yourself because focusing on these fears or faults will only heighten your anxiety. Maybe you can just laugh at yourself if you flub up a word rather than beat yourself up. Everyone has insecurities and I feel once you know these people better and you make some friends you won't feel so uncomfortable. I'm sorry your feeling this way and wish I could say more to help you. Just know...you are not alone! Good luck to you and stop picking on yourself so much!
  10. by   jov
    After almost a year of waiting, I finally get to continue my BSN in Nursing.
    Congratulations on continuing your education! What a wonderful opportunity!

    The past week I been having trouble sleeping becaise I am afraid of what would happened if I misinterpreted everything to a patient's family. Also, what if I done a minor mistake when communicating between doctors and nurses that result in a patient's death.
    We all have to face the fact that nursing carries a great deal of responsibility, not only for patients' physical health but emotional health as well. While perhaps you do not have to lose sleep over it, I would be more concerned if you DIDN'T worry about it. A minor mistake communicating should not lead to a patient's death. There are checks and balances sprinkled throughout the system to prevent it. It certainly IS possible that at some point in time you can make a mistake that WILL result in a patient's death - but you are not alone in that. Yourself and thousands of others nurses face that dilemma every day, as well as police officers, firefighters and school bus drivers.

    The problem with me is that I am a really shy, nervous, and quiet guy when it comes to voicing my opinion in class, interacting with groups of students and faculty, and doing presentations.
    There's no problem with you! Everyone is made different. If that's not your style, that's not your style. Being shy is not good. Being shy is not bad. Being shy is just being shy.

    When a teacher asks the class "what they think of a certain issue and why they think that way," I get scared and nervous and begin to gather all the information in my head of what I think and prepare how I should say it to the class.
    You can just prepare a standard answer to use in this scenario. Try "I haven't spent much time thinking about the topic and don't have anything constructive to add at this point." (makes 'em think you're a deep thinker rather than someone who is shy )

    Please stop comparing yourself to others who talk easily. If you would stop worrying about your own self and listen to what others have to say, you might find that the majority of the conversation is more fluff than substance.

    After taking this class, I felt so depressed, because I felt as though I didn't meet the class's expectations.
    Don't worry about meeting the class's expectations. Set your own goals and your own expectations and work towards meeting them. Ya know, you don't HAVE to give other people so much power over you...

    I feel as though if I do not do something about my personailty soon, its going to ruin me in the beginning of clinicals and that will be the end of everything .
    Don't be so hard on yourself! I'm sure your personality is wonderful. The world needs more quiet thoughtful nurses, as far as I'm concerned.

    Maybe visit the Student Health Center for some counseling, if you can work it into your schedule. That would certainly be one stress management tool you could use.
  11. by   ARRR10
    Thanks for the advice everyone. I feel so much better now after reading your responses and I am glad to know that there are other nursing students that are also shy. I've taken a speech class while taking my prereqs. and I also took tae kwon do for 2 yrs., but recently had to quit due to clinicals. I have to say that it really helped my shyness. Also, thank you Daytonite for your response, it really helped.

close