Should I leave nursing??

  1. Are there people who passed nursing school with very good grades but just don't seem to "get it??" I feel like that person!! I graduated in 2001 and had several jobs in different area that I hated...never made it through orientation on most. I have finally found a job I like (LTC), been here 6 month, but barely feel able to keep my head above water. I am very unsure of myself and I am the only nurse on during my shift. Should I return to take a refresher course?? I feel lost even about the basics and I am on my own!!!
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  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   ChainedChaosRN
    Hi LuvLife,
    I've seen people who don't "get it"..but I've never had anyone actually admit to it.
    If you are already considering taking a refresher course, do it. Read alot...not just nursing journals, read charts, read H&P's, read your state's laws. Read, Read, Read.
    Next ask alot of questions. Asking the question is not "stupid"...not knowing and NOT asking is "stupid". Never assume...find out.
    Over the years many of the nurses I have worked with who didn't "get it" when counseled about why they did what they did, would comment "Well I didn't know, so I thought...." Find out...don't wing it.

    The last thing I can tell you is that sometimes people are just unsure of themselves by nature. I've been working as a DON since 1987...there is honestly not a day that goes by that I don't wonder if I know what I'm doing. It's my character make up. I look at the "big picture" and could about pee my pants, and then break it down into small pieces so I "can handle it"...and just do it. One day at a time, one hour at a time.

    It's my nature to look at "all that I'm responsible for"...and it scares me...sometimes I go to work with sweaty hands and my stomache aching. The minute I walk into the door and break it down into the daily tasks I have planned and handling "at the moment" issues...I am fine. I guess what I'm trying to say...our fears can be paralyzing IF we let them.

    Hope this helps and good luck
    Dawn
  4. by   Kayzee
    Chainedchaos had a good reply. I think everyone doubts themselves at times. Give yourself time. Try the refresher course. Ask for help. Is there a shift where more people would be available to offer support? I wish you the best.
  5. by   Hellllllo Nurse
    Chainedchaos did give you a great reply.

    Know what? I think A LOT of nurses feel the way you do. I know there's times that I have and do. My best friend has been an RN for over 20 years. She recently left an awful job, terrible working conditions and situation. This really affected her badly. She was just as unsure of herself as a new grad. It was a huge blow to her confidence. But, I've worked w/ her and I know what a first-rate nurse she is.

    In nursing, it seems that we must appear and behave confident and competent at all times. To do otherwise is just not accepted.

    I think a refresher course is a good idea. There are some great study guides/rapid review books out, too. The Springhouse Notes A+ series of books really helped me. They are short and to the point, very helpful. Not overwhelming and confusing like a text book.

    I worked LTC for years. I would be happy to help you in any way I can. Feel free to PM me.
  6. by   LuvLife
    Can I just say thank you all so much!!! I do think nursing is what I was meant to do, but Like Chainedchaos said, "I look at all I am responsible for and it scares me." I adore my patients and I only want to do the best for them. I do think I am going to brush up. I try to read everything I can, and I do look things up that I have questions about.
  7. by   graysonret
    There you go. Luvlife. Take a negative and turn it to a positive. We all get "down" sometimes and our confidence gets shaken. It happens...it's a part of life. Ask questions and read. Who knows? Could end up being the "nurse to see", one day, at your work. LOL. Good luck.
  8. by   redshiloh
    Take a few deep breaths, stand back and try to look objectively at yourself. What is it you feel you 'don't get'? Are you maybe just being too hard on yourself, or trying to do everything perfect? LTC is a great place to start out...you can learn so much from your patients, especially patience. Give yourself a break, do the best you can but don't go for absolute perfection.
  9. by   renerian
    LTC is so hard I think it makes anyone question lots of things about themselves.

    renerian
  10. by   frankiebon
    hi,
    I will advice you take a refresher course my daer.
    and if you still feel the same then you look for where you most enjoy------- another career.
    Frankiebon.
  11. by   funnygirl_rn
    Originally posted by redshiloh
    Take a few deep breaths, stand back and try to look objectively at yourself. What is it you feel you 'don't get'? Are you maybe just being too hard on yourself, or trying to do everything perfect? LTC is a great place to start out...you can learn so much from your patients, especially patience. Give yourself a break, do the best you can but don't go for absolute perfection.
    I agree with redshiloh. Also, are you working nights..since you mentioned you were the only nurse? Could you possibly work on days or evenings...then at least you would have another nurse(s) to ask questions if you truly doubt something. It is hard working alone.
  12. by   askater11
    I felt like a fish out of water for 5 years. I felt like I went to school for 4 years...and came out not knowing anything. (even though in school I felt "on top" of things and had good grades)

    Today I still don't know everything...and never will. But I think when I first got out of nursing school...and looked at nurses that were out of nursing school for years look so "comfortable" "under control" I felt like I was a dumby. But after the year's of nursing I learned nobody know's "everything" (even a nurse...that's been a nurse for 20 plus years)

    Now I have nurses consulting me with "what would you do" type questions.

    I don't know exactly what you're feeling...but that's how I felt out of nursing. And I wanted to tell you in time you feel better. Always ask questions to things you don't know.
  13. by   nursenoelle
    Renerian makes a good point LTC can be so overwhelming sometimes, and you feel like you could have done better, or done something differently. I liked day shift b/c there was more nurse support. Just as much resposibilty, but it does not feel that way some how.

    You have gotten really good advice. I like the idea of a refresher too. I'm gonna bust out the old medsurg books this weekend, as I have been birthin' babies, and need to brush up on protocols.

    Good Luck- being conciensious about this issue clearly demonstrates that you ARE a good nurse.
  14. by   LuvLife
    Hi, thank you all for the support. I carry my reference books with me too work everyday (Just in case I need to look something up) We have only 32 patients in the building so it is always just one nurse, occasionally the DON is also there during the day.

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