<-- First of all, let me start by saying that I appreciate any responses I garner from this post. Both positive and negative responses are appreciated. I am not a special snowflake, and I can take your criticisms and want them!!! I also do not know whether to post this under student assistance or the disability forum. Feel free to move, mods!-->
I am posting here in an effort to gain some insight into some areas in which I am struggling in nursing school. I am doing pretty well at the theory portion of nursing school, I am making As and Bs. The program that I am in rarely sees any As. All of the instructors I’ve had both in clinical and in theory state how incredibly intelligent and nice I am. However, I come with pretty big handicaps going into nursing school. I have a long list of psychiatric conditions (anxiety disorders-panic disorder, agoraphobia, GAD, specific phobia, and very severe MDD which has been hard to treat successfully) for which I have struggled since I was a small child. Recently, I was in a severe episode and had to come off the clinical portion for awhile due problems stabilizing my mood disorder. I also have a working memory deficit, dyscalculia, and issues with visual-spatial processing. I can do theory half-baked and in an episode, but I cannot perform at clinical like that.
Clinical is where I am struggling the most. Basic care tasks I have more difficulty with than others. It’s a mix between anxiety and having little concept of where my body parts are in space. It greatly diminishes my dexterity. It’s like having a third arm constantly slapping your real arms and getting in the way all the time. Even screwing on Curos caps can be difficult for me. Not to mention I get EPS from my medications. I also take longer than others to chart. I am very detail oriented because I fear forgetting or writing the wrong thing down. I check everything 3 times and it’s not just meds. This is my norm because I know if I don’t I could make a grievous error. I also have issues preforming procedures in sequence, especially if I am in a depressive episode. It just makes me do things completely backwards. Unfortunately, all of the above makes my time management ability totally awful. I could not survive working on a med-surg floor. I have even attempted to get a tech job (unsuccessfully) to try and get some of the basic task skills faster to help the situation. I fear actually going further into the program because I know I will not pass any further clinical rotations. They will expect more from me and I cannot deliver. I feel like I have exhausted all of my options.
What I am wanting to know is what would be some suggestions to overcome some of these problems? If you were a CI, what would you suggest if a student came to you with these issues besides just give me your badge and quit? I feel like quitting is a bad mistake because I’ve already invested so much time, sweat, and energy into this.
My original goal was to become a psychiatric nurse. I feel like I would be best in that area because of my personality and limitations. And no, it’s not because I have a mental illnesses and I want to save the patients (holy poor boundaries, batman). I feel like my MIs are more of a hindrance than an asset other than I’m more empathetic towards their plight. It also gives me more immediate knowledge of psychiatric care and medications. To grapefruit, or not to grapefruit, that is the question!
I've read this post several times, trying to think of a response. There's so much content here that it's difficult to help you formulate a plan of action; however, your honesty and willingness to listen to both positive and negative feedback is much appreciated.
I'll admit, you do have a rough row to hoe. You are dealing with both depression and anxiety that have been hard to treat. Other than medication, therapy and a healthy lifestyle, I'm not sure there's much that can be done to get you over the hump as far as clinicals go. One cannot be a nurse without a foundation of skills that can only be obtained during the clinical experience. Perhaps nursing is not the best choice for you at this time in your life; that doesn't mean you can never be a nurse, just that you are having severe difficulties now and you may wish to try again later.
Hopefully someone else with a little more knowledge about how to overcome your situation will come along and respond. For what it's worth, I understand a little about mental health problems because I have bipolar 1 and anxiety disorders. How I got through nursing school and my early years in nursing, I don't know because I went undiagnosed and untreated until about five years ago. Even after I got help, I was so unstable that BP ended up destroying my career, and I haven't worked in almost three years now. I'm on disability for that reason, and I honestly don't see how I'll ever be able to return to nursing. There are simply too much anxiety-inducing stimuli for me to handle.
Accepting this has been hard---I'm a stand-up gal who doesn't like to admit there are things I can't do. Being a working nurse is one of them.
I wish you the very best in your decision-making process, regardless of what you choose. Please keep us posted as to how you're doing.
Last edit by VivaLasViejas on Jan 6