I am sorry to hear that this situation happened to you. Nursing school is one of those unique phenomenons in life (like child birth or kidney stone) that no amount of verbal warning, reference reading, etc. can adequately prepare. Many of us have stumbled along on the path and many more of us will at some point.
Try to look at this as an opportunity to re-organize, re-prioritize and form a proper battle strategy. It seems it has already brought to light a moment of self-reflection when you acknowledge that you have some anxiety.
Know that you are now at an advantage when you resume your schooling as you have an idea of the challenges you face. Make the most of this insight--and it sounds like you have every intention of doing just that.
So the advice is two fold:
A) Whenever you perform validations, med passes, or any skill that causes your nerves to kick into hyper drive, I want you to use the most powerful tool in the nursing arsenal and give yourself permission to pause.
It doesn't have to be long or dramatic, but sometimes you just need to take a moment, breathe, round up your scampering thoughts and get your head back in the game.
My pause mechanism of choice? As I have mentioned in another thread, I am a hand washer. Whenever I need a moment, I sanitize or wash my hands. No one can fault me for doing it as we all know hand hygiene is critical and it affords me just a blessed second to clear my mind of mental clutter.
Now don't get me wrong, there is a time and a place. When my patient is coding is not
the appropriate moment to excuse myself to the sink for some soap and water therapy.
But in validations and the world of nursing school it was my saving grace.
Pause. Breathe. Proceed.
In that order.
2) What to tell your co-workers? Well you can go into the whole big long story (not recommended) or you can provide what I like to call a "non-answer". What is this non-answer? Politicians use it all the time. It is a group of words that equal nothing.
How is nursing school going, you ask? I would say it's going just fine. Right now, I have taken advantage of an opportunity to take some time and reorganize my life some so I can focus a bit more on school. I'll graduate a little later, but ultimately it will be to my benefit.
What did you just tell them?
Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Just that you are graduating later.
And frankly, you don't have to tell them anything out right. I would wait for them to ask. Why blab your business? Unless of course, it is something outlandish and amusing. In which case, as a people watcher and connoisseur of weird human behavior, I whole heartedly encourage you to proceed.
May I suggest something along the following:
Yesterday I tried to flush my pet octopus down the toilet while yelling "Release the Kraken!!" Now I have a rotting, dead octopus clogging my drain. Hey, has anyone seen my bandage scissors?
Oh yes, something like that would do nicely.
is bad. I have no excuse. ::leers at raging, frothing laptop::