WHEN Do I Stop Feeling Stupid? - page 2

So when do I stop feeling like a complete idiot at clinicals? I'm in my second quarter of clinical and I get so frustrated at feeling completely helpless and stupid. Between nasty floor nurses... Read More

  1. by   dunegirl84
    I am in my third quater of nursing school and getting to that point where you wonder why they trust you with others lives. It is a frightening prospect for me. You feel definilty in the way and when you do go to do a prcedure it is inevitable that you will forget something :chuckle . I am glad that I am not the only one feeling this way! I hope that someday we will all feel the confidence we should!
  2. by   amy
    I have been a nurse for about 7 years. I have found what gets me thru is to know what I know, know what I don't, and be sure to know the difference. And when you know what you know is right, go to bat for it. For example, had a gross hematuria pt, s/p bladder resection, clogging up foley with clots, requiring multiple irrigations to maintain flow. I say, throw 'em on a CBI, and decrease the trauma to the bladder by forceful flushes of irrigant. A much older, and much more established ER nurse vehemently disagreed with me, and was very wrong. Of course, the ER MD went with her idea of appropriate tx, and GUESS what the urologist ordered on his arrival?

    You will always question yourself, but remember, you are doing the best you can in the place (learning curve related) that you can. If you were truly a poor nurse you would not give a darn. Keep up the good work. Took me a long, long, time to remember the difference between wheeze, craclkles, and rhonchi. A paramedic ER tech said it best and has always stuck with me "rhonchi clears with cough." (the junk moves in the lungs physically and changes the airflow.)
  3. by   amy
    Oh, and I forgot... you have to try really hard to kill someone, so don't worry about that. People are pretty resiliant (sp), and if they are that sick, there is precious little you can do to make them worse if you are prudent in your practice. I may get flamed for that last remark, but honestly, how much worse can we do to people that they don't do to themselves? Again, "prudent" being the operative word. There is a difference between working at a slower pace, and being dangerous.
  4. by   Rhee
    I think everyone feels stupid at clinicals....Even the people who seem to have it together. There's this one student in my clinical group who just seems to "get it" effortlessly...and she told me that she feels like she doesn't know what she's doing.

    I'm in my third quarter of a five quarter program now, and during my 2nd clinical rotation, my instructor told me that I had an air of confidence. I don't know how she got that impression, because I felt like I didn't know anything at all.

    I've just kind of figured that no one expects us to know everything during clinicals because we're not nurses, we're nursing students.
  5. by   HelloKittyRN
    I have been a nurse for a year now, and I will NEVER forget those days in clinicals! And when I really think about it, some of the stuff that the teachers say and even the other nurses, it was so uncalled for! Because I work on a general medical floor, we tend to see a lot of students and sometimes I look at them and remember that I was in there spot once, and I think the instructors do not give enough compliments. Sure, they ALWAYS want to tell you what you did wrong, but never what you are doing right. Now, don't get me wrong, they are a few instructors out there that give compliments and tell you how well you are doing, but it seems they are few and far between. Some of the students I see are so unsure of themselves and lack the initiative to just jump right in. And I don't blame this on the students at all! The instructors make you this way! And you know what's funny, if a student has my patient and I am talking to them about the pt diagnosis and what are you going to do, and watch them do procedures.....they have no reason to not feel competent. They are doing fine! I think that the feeling of low self-confidence doesn't completely go away. I still find myself in situations where I am a little unsure about what I am doing, but the difference between now and then is that I have lots of other nurses around me that are great resources and don't make me feel stupid if I ask questions. They don't scold me for it at all or tell me that I should know the answer. That is the difference between school and the real world. No one is ever going to know everything and there will always be times when you don't know something. And you know what? Even nurses that have been a nurse for 30 years don't know everything. Just a couple of months ago we had to do a worksheet about acid/base balance and pH and if it was respiratory acidosis/alkalosis or metabolic acidosis/alkalosis. There was this one nurse that I have a great deal of respect for. She always seems to know what she is doing and takes excellent care of her patients. She has been a nurse for 32 years. And you know what? She asked me for help on the worksheet! So, just so you know nurses don't know everything. And I'd love to tell you that it is so much easier after you get out of school, but really it's not. The difference is you can ask for help and their will always be someone there to help you and NOT make you feel stupid. Just hang in there. You will make it. If I did, anyone can!
  6. by   AtlantaRN
    some days are better than others, eventually things just start to "click"; but it sounds like where you have your clinicals is one heck of a crappy place!

    "NEVER interrupt report"...?????excuse me, nurse ratchet...a patient is coding...never say NEVER...

    chin up, and hang on!

    linda
  7. by   bsnrnoh
    Quote from lunakat
    You are not the only one who feels stupid. I just started my 2nd semester last month. I keep waiting for one of the instructors to point me out to the whole class and yell "who let you pass 1st semster? How did you slip through the cracks? You are an imposter!"

    Don't feel bad about this at all. I passed boards 5 years ago and somedays when all is going wrong I still feel like someone is going to come up to me and say, "We made a mistake, you aren't really a nurse." So just keep plugging along. We all feel like we don't know what we are doing at times, especially in new situations. The confidence comes with experience and the experiece comes from dealing with situations where you feel like you don't know what you are doing (because you don't yet, that is what clincals, preceptors, and mentors are there to help you through these times) Just remember that the persone teaching you wasn't born with the knowledge they have either, and at one time they felt the same way. Even if they deny it.

    Good Luck and don't give up.:wink2:
  8. by   JentheRN05
    I can't talk too much. I've only been out of school since May, but... in that time I have learned soooooo much. I am nearly an expert at IV's I suck at foleys, but now thankfully I never have do another one.
    As time goes on, you will become an expert at something, whether it be compassion, IV starts, foleys, one way or another you WILL be the one someone comes to for something. Give it time. You will stop feeling 'stupid' if you were actually 'stupid' you wouldn't have made it through the first 'weeding out' year. So that's an acccomplishment in itself. Be proud.
  9. by   JenNJFLCA
    I'm in my last semester and still feel like an idiot most of the time. I don't really exoect this to change for another couple years.
  10. by   FirstYear2005
    I'm in my 2nd semester and I feel as though everyone is doing better than me. My scores are not that good and it seems like I am constantly having to redo skills to get checked off on, that is if I find anyone who needs a foley, or IV dc'd, etc. I honestly feel like crying today. I just came home and slept. What really gets me is that we are graded on a scale of 0-5 on various things and the instructor gave me a 3 on communication. ???????? I definitely do not think I have a problem communicating ????? I just don't get it. My total score was 3.4 and that really depresses me. I don't see myself doing anything different from anyone else, but apparently I am. I just pray i can pass. So yes, to answer your question I feel worse than stupid.
  11. by   BooksNCoffee
    I am in my second semester and starting clinicals for this semester tomorrow...I am depressed. I try my best to be helpful, pleasant and prepared, but it never fails I always manage to attract the burnt out-"I don't want to deal with a student" nurse. I enjoy nursing school, until I get to clinicals. I have clinicals two days a week and dread it the whole time I am there. I have worked at the hospital were clinicals are held, for the past 8 years. Yet when I step foot in the place for clinicals I feel as if I had never been there before! I feel I do well in clinicals, always try my best. But I cannot get past this feeling of being in the way and STUPID.
  12. by   FirstYear2005
    Quote from firedancer
    I am in my second semester and starting clinicals for this semester tomorrow...I am depressed. I try my best to be helpful, pleasant and prepared, but it never fails I always manage to attract the burnt out-"I don't want to deal with a student" nurse. I enjoy nursing school, until I get to clinicals. I have clinicals two days a week and dread it the whole time I am there. I have worked at the hospital were clinicals are held, for the past 8 years. Yet when I step foot in the place for clinicals I feel as if I had never been there before! I feel I do well in clinicals, always try my best. But I cannot get past this feeling of being in the way and STUPID.
    gosh are we at the same place?? I really dread clinical days lately. I'd say the majority of the nurses are the way you described at our clinical site. I am not criticizing, etc. but it's just the way it is. Last week one of thenurses actually said "gosh when i came up to the floor todayI was so glad to see there were no students" How are we supposed to work with that ? I understand they are stressed, didn't sign up to be teachers, etc. but it's all we've got. I wish there was a better way.
  13. by   BooksNCoffee
    Last semester a few of us students arrived to report and sat towards the back of the table to allow plenty of room for others (it was a large floor). We were not offered a report sheet and then were asked to sit away from the table on folded chairs so the "real nurses would have room". Ouch! That made us feel welcomed. I have much respect for those that can teach us, but I don't need my face shoved in the carpet.
    My supportive husband said-"it is a right of passage. We must do it, and that is all there is too it". I quess he is right-we really don't have a choice. I try not to take it personally, but it is very difficult.
    Last edit by BooksNCoffee on Feb 6, '06

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