I feel so incompetent

  1. 0
    I had a lousy day. Get in and a 93 yo lol who had stomach pain the day before - I had repositioned her and it alleviated it - was puking and sick. Call the doc and am missing a vital sign he wanted. Felt like an idiot. Get the order to send her out. Another LOL has a really bloodshot eye and the doc asks me for her last INR. I had completely zoned and didn't even put together that she's on Coumadin AND antibiotics at the same time so bleeding was affected. Felt like a bigger freaking idiot. Call the squad to transport the first LOL and completely forgot to print out any paperwork. Of course, the boss is standing at the printer and getting everything that I should have done.

    Of course, the passive-aggressive LPNs are ignoring all of this because I am *supposed* to know.

    Then my highlighter uncaps in my pocket and completely ruins a white skirt.

    Meanwhile, yesterday a LOL is pinching and scratching everyone. I clip her nails and nipped her pinky. It wasn't bleeding. This morning an LPN notices a tiny scab and asks me if I clipped her nails. I said yes and I must have nipped her while she was trying to pinch me while I clipped. Before I can even get the paperwork started on the incident she's told the DON who is at my desk telling me to do one.

    Then there's a class at 2:30 and the nurses conveniently don't bother reminding me. They leave while I'm on the phone with a family member and I feel like a flaming arsehole.

    I'm a lousy nurse.
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  3. 32 Comments so far...

  4. 11
    You are NOT a lousy nurse. Everyone has days like this. It seems like one thing gets the ball rolling, and it's all downhill from there. You make one mistake, then get all flustered, and start to second guess yourself. Yes, it can be a confidence breaker. But the good part is, your next shift or two is usually much better. And you boost yourself right up again! No worries.
    Debilpn23, esperanzita, prinsessa, and 8 others like this.
  5. 8
    You are not a lousy nurse. We have all had days like that. We are human and sometimes we miss things or make mistakes and sometimes we have coworkers who rub them in our face because they are insecure with themselves. Learn from it and forgive yourself. If your feeling mean one day point out their mistakes to the don. I know it sounds mean but sometimes people dont get how bad it feels until its done to them or if your a nice person kindly point out it would be best if they came to you first because the don is busy and its the professional thing to do. Just my 2 cents!
    Mommy of 2, Debilpn23, esperanzita, and 5 others like this.
  6. 6
    You are not a lousy nurse, or you wouldn't care so much about these things.

    It's impossible to know everything about everyone, so don't even try! Why not make a 'When you call the Doc' card, as a resource to help remember what you need to tell the Doc - VS, symptoms, meds/changes, recent labs, etc. And of course the pt's name and dx!

    We here all know you are very knowledgeable and caring nurse. Rock on!

    Best wishes!!!
    esperanzita, itsmejuli, caliotter3, and 3 others like this.
  7. 5
    Thanks, all.

    I know what to pull together but somehow, when there is something potentially emergent, I fall to bits. And that is bizarre, given my personality.

    One of the other supes put it into perspective for me. When I unloaded my tale of woe she just said, "Aren't you pretty green?" And really, I have 1 year and 8 months of actual floor time, only 9 months as an RN. I guess I expect a lot of myself but it makes it harder that the floor nurses resent that they have more experience and I have the supervisory experience so they refuse to help when they know I could use it. It hurts.

    At least the admin knows. SHe just said, "Do you're human? Who knew!"

    Thanks, all. I just hate missing things that should be obvious.
    Debilpn23, itsmejuli, scoochy, and 2 others like this.
  8. 4
    If you were a lousy nurse, you would go home and not care about any of these things...which, if you look at the big picture, caused NO harm to anyone . Cut yourself some slack and realize you are not perfect. You are, from what I read on here, a very bright, caring nurse who always goes the extra mile and asks her staff to do the same.
  9. 3
    You are still pretty new. You will learn from every experience you have and things will start to click.
  10. 12
    yourre not a lousy nurse;you have lousy co-workers.
    Debilpn23, esperanzita, prinsessa, and 9 others like this.
  11. 2
    I agree with jrwest!!
    Mommy of 2 and SuesquatchRN like this.
  12. 4
    You are an EXCELLENT nurse, or you wouldn't stress about these things.

    You have a lot of life experience under your belt; your nursing experience has yet to catch up. It takes a while---and I mean years---to feel competent in this field, and you've just gotten your feet wet. I know how hard it is not to run yourself down, you tend to think (like I did when I was new) that because you're x-number of years old, that you should have this thing nailed. It doesn't work that way!

    Have a glass of wine, a nice long soak in the tub, maybe put some good mood music in the CD player, and relax. Tomorrow is another day, and with it comes an opportunity to learn and grow. Take care.
    Debilpn23, SuesquatchRN, scoochy, and 1 other like this.


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