Anyone had serious doubts...about nursing and about self? - page 2

by zephyr9

Doubts that went to your core and haunted you relentlessly through nursing school about whether this was what you were really meant to do? So much so that you said, "Well, if I'm in THIS much doubt it can't be right!" But you... Read More


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    Quote from zephyr9
    ....smiling....yeah, I actually am a good listener, haha!
    The textbook angel nurse--I think that's where some of my angst comes from--the textbooks. It's not that I feel the instructors expect us to be perfect, they sure aren't. Their structure, their presentation, is dynamic, sometimes chaotic and messy, very passionate and heartfelt, and extremely human...it IS the books. So dry and repetetive, and EVERYTHING is in there. Fire safety in the patient's home? Really? Come on, is that my job? The book, the nursing fundamentals text, the BIG book, its content, its language, does make the inference that the nurse IS all things to ALL people.
    I do like nursing---NURSING, I mean. Taking care of people. One of the best things I've done so far was wash a homeless guy's cruddy feet, he so desperately needed that care, who knows when was the last time he had some caring human touch. And I got a great deal of satisfaction out of that.
    Holy cow!
    You are blowing me away.
    Are you my long lost twin?
    zephyr9 likes this.
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    You are already on your way to becoming an amazing nurse for the simple fact that you can be truly honest about how you feel and what you believe. Yes...a lot of the culture is related to school...but you will also find that culture in different areas of nursing as well. I was always "on my own" in nursing school...I didn't party, I didn't ever feel like I fit in...I just felt it was what I was supposed to do. Don't get me wrong...I had many doubts and fears, and still do after over 20 years as an RN. Those doubts are not a bad thing, though...those doubts cause you to self reflect, and to re-examine yourself, your choices, your life, and this profession. Anyone who claims they never had a single doubt is lying. It is human nature to doubt and to question. If you don't, how can you grow, how can you learn, how can you better yourself? I was never a great "book/test" student...and it scared me terribly....but....I could see the way patients seemed to connect to me and I to them. There are so many, many different types of nursing...and you should explore all the different possibilities. I remember in nursing school (I went to a VERY intense diploma RN program which was 2 1/2 years) feeling lost, questioning why the hell I decided to go into nursing, dreading my clinicals, feeling like a misfit....I faced insecurities over my intelligence, my ability to handle the profession and its demands, and if I was even in the right profession all together. I did know instantly that hospital nursing was not for me...I am NOT the political game player type, and I can not kiss butt to move up a ladder....I am independent, stubborn, strong willed, and I hate feeling like I have to join the cheerleaders cult to get along with co-workers.....but I also am passionate, determined, and I love certain aspects of nursing---research, teaching, and children. You sound like the type of person our profession needs. The nursing profession NEEDS less robots and cheerleaders, and more thinkers and nurses that challenge the status quo! You will find where you fit...and you will be an INCREDIBLE nurse. Doubt and question EVERYTHING....but DON"T doubt or question yourself, your heart, or your beliefs! I wish you the very best of luck!!!!

    Quote from zephyr9
    Doubts that went to your core and haunted you relentlessly through nursing school about whether this was what you were really meant to do? So much so that you said, "Well, if I'm in THIS much doubt it can't be right!" But you just kept going b/c you didn't know what else to do, and you were invested in it, and you didn't want to let people down? Were there other things you KNEW you were better at, had more affinity for, but you desperately needed the job? Did it just all seem so complicated?

    Anyone have doubts like that in nursing school, but just kept going anyway? And now you have survived becoming a nurse and years later, still love it?

    PS. It's not patient care that I feel funny with. It's Nursing Culture (perfect!! SuperNurse!! Achieve!! BetterBetter Best!) and feeling like I don't fit into it..I'm artistic and introverted and very deep. It all seems more like an extrovert's game. Is this just nursing school?
    I do like patient care.

    Happy nurses: do any of you see yourself in me?

    It's not just about becoming trained so I can get a "job." My decision to do this was the product of some profound spiritual logic in the center of my soul that took many years to unfold. Yes, the status of the professional role appeals to me, but the BS of it repels me. And more importantly, underneath all that, I associate nursing with service and humility, bordering on religiousity... and the hyper-reality of--(...god?...). Which is what I think my deepest self is after.... It IS complicated for me. Strong egos are rewarded in thenursing school environment. Maybe the nursing school experience is forcing me to confront my ego? I feel so invisible, so insecure...in my former job, which I was very good at, my ego was absolutely fed. Comfort zone all the way... Yeah, this IS therapy stuff, I know...but I want to hear from nurses.

    What do y'all say? Hold the snark, b/c it is really scary to ask this.
    cdubs123, zephyr9, DSkelton711, and 1 other like this.
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    So, nursing culture proper IS/can be sort of like the high-schoolish nursing school culture. Depending. Depending on where you work, who you're with...
    However... I know I'm part of the problem. I'm not just criticizing my peers and community, I know I have a part in it. It's hard for me to put myself out there, it's partly my own lack of confidence.
    As part of their way of teaching about lifespan developmental stages, the instructors showed us a movie called "Everyone Rides the Carousel." It is a series of little vignets/dramatizations of Erikson's developmental stages, framed within a circus-y, hurdy-gurdy, fanciful narration by a--circus ringmaster.
    It's done in colorful 60's style animation, that's how old the movie probably is, and it has a sort of consciousness-raising, encounter-group, be-here now feel to it, very intelligent. A very young Meryl Streep does the voice for one of the characters of young-adulthood (intimacey vs. isolation).
    It shows her on a date with a guy...a first date, presumably, and they are rowing in a rowboat. The physical images of the couple as they interact elastically morph, in a very normal seeming way, from their young adult forms into their child forms and back again...they get bigger and smaller as their FEELings rapidly flow and shift...it's neat. I am like THAT. Bigger, smaller, invisible, huge. You'd think at my age and with my life experience I'd be on more solid ground...
    Of course, I AM, in other environments! But not nursing school. ha!
    I'm glad it's not just me with the doubts.
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    All of your views are so welcomed, I so need to hear this, know this. It feels great to be able to get off the superficial level and be real. An old friend of mine went to college for years to be a teacher, then on her first day in a classroom, as a student teacher (teacher "clinicals," I guess), she froze up, said, "I can't do this." And didn't. She never worked as a teacher. She went into another field, was fairly successful/comfortable in it, now hates it 20 years later, and is looking to go into health care.
    I've heard stories about some women becoming nurses, and it's too much for them in some aspect, and they drop out of it within a year. My aunt was a nurse who got a doctorate in education, and rode out her career teaching nurses in grad school. She told me once that a big concern for nursing at that level was retention. Of nurses, in the field. Sounds improbable, but there it is...may have been before this nursing "shortage" did a 180.
    Britrn, 9 years is a long time. When you had your doubts, was it that there was another thing you knew you'd be good at? Were you torn? I can relate, it's crazy, I have a perfect gpa . What makes you want to get OUT of nursing?
    I don't know what my gut says half the time.
    But I know this. I'm in this.
    Last edit by zephyr9 on Sep 20, '12 : Reason: another thought
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    Wow! You are all amazing. I'm uplifted....I'm going to friend all of you!!!
    I can't read the new posts or I will commit an even more heinous time management fail. ttfn, ta ta for now
    Must.
    study
    now.
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    I love your batman saying. I have been known to say this as well. I am not yet an RN and one of my advisers made me feel that I NEED to be a leader through and through to even think about RN school. She scared me terribly. Common sensically (is that a word??) I know there can't be a (highly functional)hospital full of alpha nurses no matter what they try to teach us.
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    I agree with what many of you have expressed! I have also had a lot of doubts about my choice of this profession for a variety of reasons. But when I'm working and it's just me and my patients, I really enjoy nursing. Do I feel I made the right decision to go into nursing? So far, no, and every day I wish I'd chosen another field. But, I also don't think I've found my niche. That being said, I also have enough good days that I know the right job would change my desire to continue in nursing. That, and some nicer coworkers...
    Last edit by LoveToHike on Sep 20, '12
    zephyr9 and DSkelton711 like this.
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    I'm a deep introvert - and I have always felt I would/ could be a good nurse - I know this from patients responses.

    But colleagues and managers aren't supportive - and this makes me anxious.

    First weeks of nursing school another student stated "oh you can't be shy and be a nurse". I don't think she made it through to be an RN.
    zephyr9 likes this.
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    I think introversion sometimes comes across as lack of confidence. I'm fairly introverted, especially until I get to my comfort level.
    zephyr9 and Hygiene Queen like this.
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    You sound just like me 20 years ago. You are the nurse who will connect deeply with your patients, who will derive meaning from your work beyond the paycheck. The nurse who will look at yourself in a few years and reflect on all you've learned.

    Being an introvert does not mean you are a poor communicator, but that maybe you have to work harder at learning some of the finer points in how to deal with your extrovert co-workers.

    Hang in there. It does get better.
    cdubs123 and zephyr9 like this.


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