Still struggling with self confidence in clinicals

  1. I am in my last semester and although I believe I have come a long way with my confidence since first semester I still struggle with it. When performing skills like hanging meds, I sort of hesitate because I am always wondering if I'm doing it right and doubting myself. I get really self conscious with the instructor in the room. I know what I'm supposed to do but when it comes to actually performing the skill I hesitate. Because I am shy and not outgoing it doesn't help my situation at all, I have expectations of myself and how I want to be but I struggle with getting out of my comfort zone. Does anyone have else have this problem too or have any advice? Thanks
  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   nurseprnRN
    Practice, practice, practice. You're perfectly normal. This will come the more you do it, and there's nothing like feeling better to make you feel better.

    Go to your refrigerator and take out the big jar of mayonnaise and read what it says on the label: "Keep cool, do not freeze."

  4. by   HouTx
    As a nurse educator, I can assure you that we have a much easier time working with new grads who are 'unsure' than those who believe that they know everything and don't need any help (they make us really nervous). True confidence is an outcome of competence - which only comes with experience. Relax - you're right where you should be.

    FYI, Nobody does well with a 'judge' peering over their shoulder. It's not just you.
  5. by   Jill2Shay
    I don't think there's anything wrong with vocalizing to your instructor that they're presence makes you nervous. Not that should mean they shouldn't be there, just that if you seem flustered it's not because you're unsure of what you're doing.
  6. by   Katniss0813
    Thanks everyone for the advice, it makes me feel better about it because I feel like the only one in my class with very low self confidence in my abilities. The only skills that I feel comfortable with are the ones that I have done numerous times like sub q injections, but the other ones that I have done only maybe hand full of times I am not that confident with. I get terrified when doing something the first time, especially when the instructor stands back and just watches and doesn't say anything, I know they would tell me if I was doing something wrong, but it just makes me nervous. One time I did tell my instructor before going into the pt's room that I haven't hung a piggyback in clinicals before and haven't learned to use the pump so I was unsure and nervous about it, but when we get in there she just stands back and watches. I don't expect them to hold my hand because I will never learn to do it myself but don't let me just struggle and get even more nervous. I am never the one that volunteers to perform a skill in clinical, because I am so unsure of myself. I know I have the knowledge but applying it is hard for me, the critical thinking is what I also need to work on but it probably will come with time. I am very nervous to graduate and start working and doing everything by myself. As of right now, I should learn to look confident even though inside I am not.
  7. by   blackvans1234
    My mantra:

    If you have the foundation of knowledge for the skills, and you've practiced them, then you will be alright. Of course you will feel nervous and incompetent, that's when my mantra comes into play.
    It's a good thing a mask with face shield hides emotion or else my patients would know i'm freaking out when doing that first dressing change (on a real patient)