I need to vent. I've made it to the last semester of nursing school never having cried over a clinical day (yay?). Well, broke that streak-- spent an entire hour sobbing when I got home. Icky, ugly crying, folks.
When people say academics don't matter, it's true. All my crap resume stuff (scholarships, job offer, clinical evals, grades, externships) got me....unable to put on sterile gloves, apparently. Twice. I mean....really? Really? (As they'd say in SNL). So, honestly, when people say all the crap that goes on paper (GPA, etc) doesn't really matter-- trust me, they are very right. I have tried to really not to ever let my peers know or be a jerk about it all, because I honestly know the classroom has very little to do with the real world, but wow, is it more true than I thought.
I was called in to do a procedure today. I had never seen it, my nurse had never seen it, and the patient has a lot of anxiety around it. He was a tough one-- insisted on things a certain way, quick to roll his eyes, pretty critical of all of us. I don't blame him-- he has every right to insist on things done a certain way when it is his body, and he was in a stressful environment-- but I felt like I was one mis-step away from a serious dressing down.
So, I went in with the nurse, and asked that he please walk me through the procedure-- he knew it better than anyone on the floor. He kindly agreed, and was great about it (at least I know what I don't know, I guess?). I tried to put on sterile gloves, and I guess I absolutely bungled it? It's been a few months since I'd last done it in a lab (I've probably only done it 3 times in the hospital), but I didn't think I had screwed it up, which was the worst part. We do the procedure, it goes well, great job. But, yeah, not able to put on sterile gloves? We get out, my preceptor says great job, before looking at me like I am stupid and she cannot believe this is happening "do you even know how to put on sterile gloves? because that was a total mess." I guess she tells the instructor, to, who comes over to me about "my comfort level with sterile gloves". It's basically like asking "Are you ok dressing and feeding yourself?"
My wonderful instructor talks me down a minute-- I'm my own worst enemy, one of the best students she has had (and she's been at this for 30 years), yadda yadda. That would be very nice to hear, if I had not then proceeded to prove I can hardly walk and chew gum at the same time.
So, she watches me do it, I do it no problem, I go obsessively practice a few more times, and then we go back in to do the second half of procedure? who manages to somehow screw it up again? Yep.
I know it was largely anxiety, but...really? Really? It's a skill I've practiced at home a bunch, because for some reason it's just not one I do very well. Well, the dressing change just seemed like a joke from there, with my professor coaching every. single. step (which didn't help me looking competent any). I felt like such an idiot. And then the patient's partner asked again if I was really from the (theoretically prestigious) school I told her I was attending. Ye-ouch. The patient asked if it was my first time on the floor. Yep. delightful.
So...yep. And then the professor and I gave meds, and apparently we didn't scan two, which the nurse only found out when she went to administer them again. Great-- that's safe of me. And then I made time to take a patient outside, only to have her lose her glasses case (which, thank the lord, was on her wheelchair). I mean...seriously? I felt like I should have been put in a time-out box.
I had a less-than-stellar day last week in a different clinical...it was orientation, so it wasn't horrid, and I caught a med error, but I still looked like an idiot running lost and confused.
I hate this. I've never had a single nurse talk to an instructor with a criticism, but here it is. I can't believe I'm going to be taking the NCLEX in 3 months. I feel like I need another two years. And how can I do this job when I get so stressed at not-so-critical errors? The anxiety is at a point where it is just working against me. And the more I bungle, the worse it gets. Does it ever feel better? Talking to nurses, it seems like this feeling never goes away, and I cannot deal with 40 years of this terrible stuff.
So, it's a night of practicing sterile gloves and youtube videos, if I can bring myself to deal with the ick feeling of total failure right now. I honestly feel like the dumbest person who has ever been in nursing school.
Bottom line is all the critical thinking in the world doesn't help you any wh//en you can't do the most. basic. tasks. I know, whatever, motor memory, practice, etc, but....yikes. I can see why the BSN degree gets so much crap. I'm great at patho, sure, but can I handle an IV start? Nope. So, everyone is officially allowed to gloat at how the nerds/BSN/etcs are actually gonna be incompetent messes
god, sorry that was so long. It felt good