New student with crippling panic attacks!

  1. I'm a new student, as green as they come-and a distance student. I was at guided practice for the second session, were in the middle of a first attempt at a neurological assessment, I burst out crying. My instructor had called it and told me that I could do this particular assessment again later. It meant a 5 1/2 hour drive back to Edmonton next week. I felt like my heart had just been crushed in her fist! What was left of my already dwindling self confidence was gone. I managed to regain my composure. Eventually. I realized that I had totally lost myself to academia. She was God and I was nothing. Now I get mild panic attacks at the thought of going back. How do I keep from crumbling under pressure? I'll try anything!
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    About Tightropewalker

    Joined: Jul '10; Posts: 1


  3. by   CBsMommy
    I'm not trying to be mean but I can't understand your post.

    I don't know what guided practice is (it sounds like some sort of test) and you burst into tears (because you were having a panic attack or because you were stressed?).

    So your instructor said that you could do the test later? That is a good thing...why would it crush your spirits? Practice at home and re-test later, even it means another drive. Good for you! We don't get second chances in our program like that, you would've been held back.

    It doesn't sound like you had a panic attack. A panic attack is not the same as being anxious. In the future, I would practice for your exam and do some deep breathing exercises. If you really felt that you had a panic attack, go and see your physician but if it was just anxiety, the better prepared you are, the less your anxiety will get to you.

    Good luck and hope that helps!!!
  4. by   cpkRN
    Sounds like your instructor was just giving you more time to "get yourself together". I did something similar during my first IV check off. We had all the equipment in front of us and had to go through the procedure step by step (not actually with a patient and no venipuncture). I got really flustered and cried so hard, I couldn't talk! I was so embarrassed. My instructor had me retry the next night, no biggie. If they were setting you up for failure, they wouldn't be allowing you to try again, right?
  5. by   JBGC4
    First let me say, you are not alone. Most NE students succumb to panic. Some can handle it better than others. Who could blame us, right? The classes are hard, clinical play the nerves, we have no time to relax and we are running on empty. All that combined w/ an instructor breathing down your neck can lead to a melt down. I have terrible NE anxiety. I don't have advice really on how to get yourself to not have one. I just know that when I don't get enough sleep, everything is worse. I no longer put late night study sessions. I'm in bed by 11pm during school. This allows me to not get so worked up, I can focus, and I'm in a good mood.
  6. by   brokenroads27
    i also had anxiety and panic attacks my first semester of nursing school. i learned to literally breathe everytime i felt extremely nervous. just stand there and take very deep breaths over and over until you feel more relaxed. i used to get so sick over the thought of going to clinical that i threw up everyday. it hindered my performance in school and i knew i couldnt continue that way. the ONLY thing that works for me is to sit by myself beforehand and breathe deeply over and over.
  7. by   njmomstudent
    Brokenroads has good advice. I suffer from anxiety and have nocturnal panic attacks. My hormones are a huge contributing factor. It blows, but like another poster said, it doesn't sound like you had a true panic attack. You just cracked under pressure. Focusing on breathing can help you get through whatever anxiety you are feeling. Counting while you are inhaling and exhaling helps too.