Not sure what to think now

  1. To give you a little background on what happned yesterday: in church as the children were being released for childrens church and I was heading to the door with my two children, there was an elderly gentleman who seemed as if something was wrong and his granddaughter was trying to talk to him and it was clear she was upset. As I got to the door in the back, she was crying and calling "grandpa" because he was unresponsive. When I returned, the EMS were there and took him away. It appeared he had a mini stroke or something.

    So here I am supposed to begin nursing school in the fall and what did I do, not what I thought I should be doing. I didn't rush over there to see if I could offer some help, to try to comfort him or anything like that not even when I returned from the taking the kids. So as church continued on, I had this feeling come over me about me being able to be a nurse. No I am not trained yet, but it's not even that, it's the fact that I did not have this urge to get over to him to see if I could help. Other people did, but not me. What kind of future nurse would be this way?

    Honestly if he needed CPR, I don't think I could have done it.

    So an already doubting thomas here who has been unsure about this career choice is even more unsure.

    Since then I have been analyzing my feelings about everything and I question why I chose to change careers in the first place. Things like working every other weekend, every other holiday, possibly being overworked, etc. etc.

    Has anyone ever felt this way and then once starting school, felt differently and more sure of choosing this career? Could this have a sign that I need not attend school for this and give up my seat for another candidate? Could this be just an inexperienced person feeling inadequate?

    Social work was my second choice and it is looking more appealing to me now.
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   Jennerizer
    I think it's just inexperience. I'm in my 4th semester of nursing school & still feel uneasy about what I'd do in an emergency situation. I don't know if my instinct would just take over or what. I've also been working as a nurse tech on a cardiac floor for the last 3 months. I have yet to see a code blue on our floor (guess that is a good thing), but I wonder......what would I do? We have a code blue team that pretty much takes over, but I would like to be a part of one before actually being an RN. Because otherwise I picture myself standing there not having a clue as what to do exactly & looking like an idiot. I'm hoping that experience - both watching & taking part in - will give me the confidence.

    We did have a code blue once in clinicals in the second semester. Since we were students, we weren't allowed to participate, but I immediately went to comfort the patient's mother who was standing outside the room. It was instinctual to lead her away from the room & try to keep her calm. Afterwards I was glad to at least be able to help a little bit.

    I think you will find that you may question yourself a lot throughout the nursing program - but that only means that you are looking deeper into yourself & seeing that you do have the capacity to be a great nurse. Don't let this one incident set you back. Just the fact that it's still on your mind means that you are a caring individual. I bet next time you encounter an iffy situation like that, you will react differently.
  4. by   Dr. Gonzo
    the life of a Nurse is very intense not many people can handle the idea of saving a life if you couldnt perform CPR their might be a problem hell im a Volunteer and if i was in your shoes i would of ran and performed CPR. In the nursing business its about saving lives not thinking what you should of done. Maybe it will be a learning experience for you or maybe that experience ruined your nursing aspirations the choice is up to you do you have what it takes or not? Its maybe because your really green havent seen alot of action hopefully for your sake its just that and you bounce back.
  5. by   canoehead
    Hey, I've been a nurse for years and years and I still don't want to deal with emergency situations. But you get trained in what to do so you have more confidence when they occur, and you can get in there and help no matter what you are feeling on the inside.
  6. by   AmyLiz
    The first thing that came to mind when I read your post is this...you're going to be a nurse, not an EMT/Paramedic. As a nurse you most likely won't have to deal with such emergencies. Any problems will be within your facility, not out on the street. I would hesitate to help anyone outside of my facility due to the lawsuit happy society we live in today anyway. The only thing I would probably do is to call 911 or something.
  7. by   nursedawn67
    Hey I have been a nurse for 4 years and a CNA before that for about 10 years, so I have been in these situations. but to this day I still question myself. but when it comes down to it, I handle the situation the best I can. As a nurse you will come across this type of emergencies, but you will (believe me you will) know what to do, who to call, how to handle it. We are only human and are allowed to have these feeling now and again.

    Good luck in what you do!
  8. by   Dialyzin' Dar
    I think if you weren't confident in your ability to help that man, the best thing you could have done was exactly what you did-- let a more experienced person help. Well-meaning but inexperienced people often complicate matters. Wondering what you could have done is better than regretting something you did do.
  9. by   HyperRNRachel
    Dialyzin said it best. As a student, as someone trained in CPR, as a nurse at an accident scene, you can only give assistance if the emergency is within your current training. Just because you are going to be a nursing student does not mean you are automatically equipped with all the proper instincts and diagnositic abilities......everyone knows that comes after the first clinical day :chuckle
    DO NOT beat yourself up, you did the right thing. Remember, when in doubt.... stay out!
  10. by   justjenny
    Quote from studentdeb
    So as church continued on, I had this feeling come over me about me being able to be a nurse. No I am not trained yet, but it's not even that, it's the fact that I did not have this urge to get over to him to see if I could help. Other people did, but not me. What kind of future nurse would be this way?

    Honestly if he needed CPR, I don't think I could have done it.

    Sounds to me like you are "freaking out" just a little too early....

    If you could've rushed over to that man and provided effective emergency medical treatment without a day of training....why in the world would you go to nursing school?!?!?

    You attend school to learn to perform whatever you are learning effectively...which takes time, patience and training!

    You also learned a lesson at church....perhaps the next time you pass someone who looks a little "odd" you will remember that day....stop....and help the person!
    You're on your way..one baby step at a time....

    Jenny
    ADN Grad. Dec 2005
  11. by   mariedoreen
    The other day I was driving home from school (an hour and 20 minutes from my home) when I came upon a wreck on the highway. It was a pretty good wreck and had just happened, there were only about 10 cars in front of me and the road was completely blocked up ahead with the wreckage. I had an instant feeling like you're describing, hey I'm headed to nursing school, I did take a 2 hr CPR class a year ago and I could probably apply pressure or something! (LOL) Then I observed a slew of people getting out of their cars and wandering towards the wreck, I saw two cars get out of line and drive to the wreck (I don't know where they thought they were going, they couldn't get through and all they were doing was keeping in-coming emergency equip from parking close) and I thought, "You know, I don't know anything more about emergency care than the average joe on the street knows.. and right now about 20 average joes are already nosing around.. and the last thing in-coming EMT's need to deal with is a Florence Nightengale wannabe in their way because hey, she'll be attending nursing school in four months!" I turned my car around and got out of that mess!

    I remember when I started my CNA class wondering the same thing, do I really want to be a nurse?! I came home and talked about it with my husband and what we learned was that my self-doubt came up after a discussion in class on the removal of a fecal impaction... My husband wisely told me "Look, you think because you don't like the idea of removing a fecal impaction that nursing's not for you? Go poll a 100 nurses, I'll bet none of them tell you they get excited over fecal impactions, and I'll bet the majority say they love their work!" Try not to question your career goal over everything that comes up, after all, if you didn't have the compassion necessary to be a good nurse, you wouldn't be stressing over this now!
  12. by   studentdeb
    Thanks everyone for your responses. I know that you are right and it is just me letting things get in the way once again. Now that I am done with the prerequistes, I know this fall is it and I think that scares the heck out of me.

    Actually it's just the interaction and touching of people that scares me. The actual classes do not scare me. I am afraid I won't be able to do blood pressure, hear the correct sounds, do a pulse, let alone some of the yucky stuff involved. I know many people before me have made it and I know I will too. Hopefully as the time gets closer, I won't chicken out.
  13. by   wonderbee
    Early in my first semester, I visited my elderly mom who was ill with multiple health problems which were taking her out. I found her obtunded and in respiratory distress. My stepdad wouldn't let me use my stethescope to check her heart but her pulses were unequal. She was barely responsive but I let my stepfather convince me that she would come out of it. My sister had just left and my step dad said he wanted to take a nap which was his way of asking me to leave. My mom's words to me were "don't go" and I told her I'd be down the street if she needed me. When I walked out of the apartment, my little training and common sense told me I would not see her again. She died in her sleep about a half hour after I left.

    Why did I not recognize that she would not last the night? This shook me then and still does now. The bottom line is that there will be many experiences that we will have that will cause us to question decision to go into nursing. I know that I helped many during my clinical and got high marks and the respect of other students and my instructor. That has to mean something. Don't let this experience drag you into introspective mud. Just keep on going and give it a chance. You're way too new to be putting this kind of pressure on yourself.

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