Terrified of clinicals

  1. 0
    I'm not sure whether I'm asking for advice or just venting, though it is probably the latter.

    I have just started my second semester of nursing school, and am still learning a lot of basic things. This semester I was assigned to nephrology. Don't get me wrong, it is the area that I wanted, figuring since it is such a difficult area that it would be a good idea to get it out of the way early before I learn the more complicated procedures. Now I am regretting it.

    Last Friday we all got our clinical assignments and rundown, and my clinical site is apparently known as "the widow-maker." Every other clinical group was told, "Don't worry so much about clinicals, the first week or so is just spent getting used to the site and getting to know people." They all pretty much got a 5 minute explanation and were sent home. My group? Not so much...

    My clinical group got a 2 hour lecture, and a folder full of homework to be completed over the weekend. Our clinical instructor, the most intimidating and critical instructor in the program no less, basically told us that she expects us to know what we're doing before we get there tomorrow afternoon, and that if we can survive nephrology we will be able to do anything. She even went as far as to make statements such as, "now I don't want my students to be the ones who kill a patient." She listed so many DO NOT's that my head is spinning and I can't remember half of what she said.

    All I could think of as I completed the homework and did the studying this weekend is, "what the **** did I get myself into!?" This anxiety has made me physically sick, and I haven't been able to sleep well at all this weekend.

    Anyone else have any 'I don't think I can do this' moments?
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  3. 11 Comments so far...

  4. 3
    Sometimes the instructors who seem the most intimidating and threatening at first turn out not to be as bad as you expected. They are usually the ones who bark the loudest at first, have the highest standards, and who you will learn the most from. Try to let it slide off of you, be prepared, and maintain an open mind about the instructor. I'd be willing to wager that once you show her that you are capable, she will step back and allow you to do your job. I had two instructors just like her. Scary at first, but not as bad as I expected as time went on. You may be pleasantly surprised.

    Good luck!
    all4ofus, SNGuy21, and katebean04 like this.
  5. 1
    Get ready; Be confident; Know your stuff!!! you can do it!
    KimberlyRN89 likes this.
  6. 2
    Quote from mspontiac
    They are usually the ones who bark the loudest at first, have the highest standards, and who you will learn the most from. .....once you show her that you are capable, she will step back and allow you to do your job. I had two instructors just like her.
    This exactly. So true. My advice with teachers like this: know your stuff and be confident. Grit your teeth and take all challenges head on. You will succeed if you give it an honest go.
    Kaybee24 and KimberlyRN89 like this.
  7. 0
    I hate saying it but its true: I hate clinical. Hate it.
  8. 1
    That is always how I feel at the beginning of a new semester of nursing school and each semester just seems to be getting harder and harder. I try to take things one day at a time. This semester I have one of the best clinical instructors, but he sounds like your instructor. He expects us to come to clinical fully prepared. I've been told by other students that we need to memorize labs, so I made flash cards and studied them. My instructor also requires us to come in two hours earlier than required to get patient information and prepare for clinical. Yes, time consuming and hard, but I know it will be worth it. He is a very educated and smart man who loves to teach. The hard ones are the best. You can pull through this. Study hard and take it one day at a time
    Sugar-Phosphate likes this.
  9. 0
    Quote from CrazierThanYou
    I hate saying it but its true: I hate clinical. Hate it.
    I do too because they're unrealistic. I'm glad we have very minimal clinical exposure. Nine days this semester. Fortunately, only five days are spent on the wards. The other four we kind of get to pick and choose. I'm doing two ER, one ICU, and I think an intraop. Nine days last semester. I just wish it was two solid weeks rather than having to look forward to going once a week for nine weeks.
  10. 1
    I applaud your instructor for at least giving clear expectations up front. In every area of clinical you need to "know your stuff" before you start in on patient care. The bedside isn't the place to learn new facts, but to practice skills you learned in theory. Todays in-patient enviornment isn't what it was 30 years ago. If a patient is admitted they are seriously ill and need a caregiver that at least knows the basics of thier condition taking care of them. If cramming for clinical isn't something you feel you can do, you are going to have a tough time all the way through. The more of the book learning you can get under your belt before the rotation, the more you can focus on the skills that can only be leaned at the bedside.
    katebean04 likes this.
  11. 0
    If I were you, I would think of this like an exam: know as much as you can before you step foot in there. I also like to think of the patient: do they want someone who doesn't know their condition to be taking care of them? probably not. Put your self in their shoes- what kind of nursing student would you want practicing on you, one that works their butt off to know their stuff or one that gets intimidated and backs down. Its a lot of information at one time, but if you work hard it will pay off. You can do this!
  12. 0
    I'm in my last semester and I have just now started getting a little confidence....but I know that can go down the tiolet at any time, lol. Sooooo...the anxiety never goes away I assume. Don't worry, you'll get through it!


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