The introverted nurse - page 2

Hello, I'm a nursing student. i just had my clinical eval and my prof focused almost the entire session on how quiet I was, how I need to be more assertive in clinicals, talk in class more, and... Read More

  1. by   Anoetos
    Quote from Flo.
    We have a very introverted nurse on my floor and she was nurse of the year for the whole hospital! She is a great pt advocate. When she speaks up about a pt concern everyone listens. So you can be a great nurse and an introvert.
    I have known people like this too, they don't talk much, but when they do, what they say is invariably worthwhile (unlike some others who can't seem to shut up, all the while saying very little [glances in mirror]). I value and admire introverts immensely and I wish I could do it, I really do.

    You guys are awesome, just keep on being your quiet, strong selves, we need it, the patients need it and it makes the world a better, calmer place.
  2. by   lkolod
    People tend to describe me as quiet. I'm detail-oriented, task-oriented, and usually prepare a "to do" list before the start of each shift. I am very introverted and do not enjoy passing the breeze with small talk. I prefer discussing topics that are academic, worldly, or intellectually stimulating to me. However, I will engage in small chatter if it makes the patient or visitor feel more at ease. I am very serious, occasionally uptight, lack a sense of humor, and I do not smile much because my smiles frequently come across as fake. I'll be the first person to admit that my interpersonal skills need plenty of polishing.

    I think it is great that you are detail-oriented and task oriented. I am a nursing student and I always make "to do" lists. I know you mentioned that you do not smile much. Sometimes a simple smile will make your patients day!!!
    Last edit by TheCommuter on May 18, '11 : Reason: quote blocks
  3. by   TheCommuter
    Quote from lkolod
    I know you mentioned that you do not smile much. Sometimes a simple smile will make your patients day!!!
    However, my smiles come across as fake as a $3 bill, and people detect this.
  4. by   JeneraterRN
    Quite a dilemma: how to be yourself without actually acting like yourself? My prior career was in chemistry, and I worked in a lab and loved because I didn't have to be around a crowd. When we moved, I was forced into a career change, so I chose nursing. It has made me learn how to adapt to being around and having prolonged interactions with individuals, but it was very difficult. People misunderstood my motivations frequently (mostly coworkers) because they didn't understand me at all. After five years, they all know and love me, and I them. It's not easy, I wish you luck in that journey. Just remember, if they don't understand you, you may not completely understand them either.
  5. by   madwife2002
    Just for the fact that you are identifying your concern about being introverted tells me you are going to be fine. I love the quiet nurses, in my vast experience as a nurse the quiet ones always step up to the plate and be counted, just because they are quiet does not mean they do not have lots to offer.
    I have recieved the oppersite critisism I am too enthusiastic and positive so I scare people off because I love change and challenges.
    There is room for all in nursing
  6. by   lalalalexi
    Another quiet RN here-
    I had a review recently with my nurse manager and she told me the same kinds of things- "your patients are going to think you're not confident or competent" and "we want you to be just as loud and obnoxious as the rest of us and join in!". Sometimes I think being quiet makes OTHER people feel uncomfortable and they want you to be like them, which is lame. We need all different types of personalities IMO. Anyway, my nurse manager has never been in a patient room with me. I may be quiet around HER, but I am actually quite comfortable and talkative with my patients. I'm not this shaking, timid, strange little thing who doesnt say a peep. And like others have said, I have gotten many a compliment on my kind, calm bedside manner and my listening skills. I (quietly) noted my managers comments and made the decision to just keep being who I am. I am smart, compassionate, respectful, do speak up if needed and I work hard. I think these traits are much more important than being able to easily gab with others. I have been getting the "too quiet" comment from people since I was in kindergarten, it's likely I'm not going to change all of the sudden now!

    Anyway, I think you'll be just fine. Just be yourself! As one of my co-workers once put it "we don't need another bee to add to the hive".
  7. by   Gold_SJ
    Seriously I think all personality types bring their gifts and liabilities to the table in 'any' occupation. Quiteness is a wonderful state to bring to the bedside, being able to listen and give that peace to a hectic day or a time of stress. Just as an outgoing chatty nurse can brighten a persons day with an amusing tale or their vibrant spirit.

    There's a place for all of us and I think the worst thing a person can do is try to make themselves into something they're not. It will just make you feel uncomfortable and fake, you're just a student yet.

    You wait, I was quiet as when a student, but when I got full on into the job out with my new degree and settled into my world of paediatrics surrounded by children, knowing the staff and the policies. You come right out of your shell, sure I'm not some extroverted social masterpiece of anything of that variety. But you find you can be yourself and you'll have no problem advocating for your patient or interacting with fellow staff.

    Give yourself a chance and don't put so much pressure on yourself.

    There's all sorts of us and what brings us together is our love to care for people, being quiet has not hindered me and I love my job and do great nursing care. Some people just can't comprehend the opposite side of the spectrum and think we have to fit a certain mould which to me is impossible.

    You'll make an amazing nurse
  8. by   deelpn85
    esunada.... i just got a flashback of my clinical eval with my second semester clinical instructor all over again. same thing happened to me. if i could go back, i would tell her to kiss my behind! i did not need to be loud and obnoxious like some of my fellow classmates to get through nursing school. she even questioned my ability to make it as a nurse because she thought i was too quiet.

    i did not find the need to step on other people just so i could answer the question first, or be sneaky and get the first procedure (foley, ng tube, shots etc..)i did answer questions, i did talk to my pts, i did do procedures... i just didn't tell her of every single moment.

    i recommend to just be yourself. your knowledge, grades and skills will show. it's sad that i almost contemplated kissing her behind just so she would give me a great eval. i finished my lpn program, graduated and have had no problem getting jobs.

    loud isnt always better! listening is! just get through nursing school.
  9. by   Purple_Scrubs
    OP, you are going to do fine. Some people are drawn to loud, boisterous types and those people might prefer those qualities in their nurse. There are just as many people, however, who are drawn to the quiet, calm personalities. You will never please everyone, so just be yourself and don't worry about what other people think!
  10. by   lkolod
    I am also a nursing student! I tend to me more introverted. Many of my classmates would say that I am one of the quiet ones. However, I tend to be very open, talkative with friends, family and coworkers. Besides the quiet introverted side I can also be out going. As a child I was extremely shy and quiet, but over the years I have opened up tremendously ever since I started a part time job in retail 6 years ago. When I am caring for patients I am able to listen and communicate with them. One of the most important things we can do as nurses is to use our listening skills.
  11. by   newohiorn
    I think introverts sometimes make extroverts nervous because they wonder what we're thinking since it doesn't come spilling out of our mouths all the time. It is not a crime to be an introvert and introverts can most certainly be good nurses. I am an introvert and many of my patients tell me I have a calming presence. It does get old to be harassed for being an introvert--I quit apologizing for it a long time ago--it is who I am.

    On the other hand I recognize that being around people is draining for me and being alone is how I regain my energy so I do not work 12-hour shifts. I find that 12s are not good for me or my patients. Be yourself and do your own thing--I don't think patients appreciate a someone faking it.

  12. by   SRQ5417
    i too am an introvert and will begin nursing school in august. i think i will make a great rn and am excited to follow my dream to become a nurse. however, i hope my introverted nature will not hinder my success. i too hate it when people tell me how quiet i am. i feel insulted and it makes me feel like insulting them in return (we're all not perfect). what's wrong with being quiet? i speak up when necessary, and have given presentations. i'm just not good with small chit chat unless it's on a one-on-one setting.

    it was refreshing to read all the comments. good luck to all us introverts!
  13. by   dingobutt
    I am EXTREME introvert as well (we seriously need to form an introverted nursing club LOL) and here are my words of wisdom to you which I hope you keep in mind: If you posted on this website because you were hoping for support, that means you are willing to accept our opinions as advice. So why not accept your own advice? You can go ahead and make your own "rules" about this. At the end of the day, introverted, extroverted, whatever it may be, people will dislike you. You will not make everyone happy, someone will always dislike you. So do whatever you feel comfortable doing (without hurting anyone), and if it works, it works, if it doesn't..then either change the rules you set for yourself, or keep searching for your niche!

    Honestly, no one can tell you what is right or wrong for a situation like this, where our type of personality is so vastly different from our coworkers...(I work in Imagine the loudness of that floor!). So since there is no right or wrong, just muster up that confidence to do your own thing, and see how it works for you. You can force yourself to be an extrovert (not recommended), or you can stay true to yourself, orrrrr find some sort of middle ground, where yes, you will push yourself to uncomfortable lengths just to fit in... Totally UP TO YOU.

    I feel your pain! I just started working, and it is such an annoying see-saw personality I'm developing...I'm talking at times when I just want to sit and be left alone. I feel the need to fill in silence because I feel guilty if I'm the one who is being silent! Ugh, not fun. But I'm still trying to find my own path of happiness, just liek you. It will take time and patience. And people who are not introverts just don't understand yeah, I totally see where you are coming from.

    Hang in there fellow nursing buddy!!