So unsure if nursing is for me any advice..please!

  1. So here's where I'm at. I've completed all my pre-reqs, I'm suppose to start my first nursing class in three weeks and I'm so apprehensive about the whole thing.
    I feel somewhat scared, nervous and unsure about everything. I've been working as a STNA for 4 years now off and on and I must say I don't love it. I really enjoy helping people and every time I work all of the nurses are so appreciative of my hard work and praise me for a job so well done. I've even had a nurse who was filling in because that particular day we were short nurses, give me her name and number and tell me how awesome of an aide I am and if I ever want to come work where she does to give her a call.
    Well, my point is, I'm a good aide I care deeply for all my patients.
    I care for and treat them as if they are family. Well, I think that may be part of the problem. A woman I was caring for once said I was
    "Tender Hearted," and It's so true.
    I don't deal with stress very well at all. I deal with anxiety every time I go into work. My heart races my hands get sweaty and well, It's just awful. I want to be someone, I want a degree and for gosh sakes I want to be done with school.
    But I don't know if nursing is for me. It saddens me because I know I'd be a great nurse but I seriously can't take all the stress. I guess I'm just not strong enough.
    People say there is so much you can do with nursing. Well, I've worked at a LTC facility, Assisted Living and now a hospital and I still feel this way. I need guidance.
    Any advice would be so appreciated.
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   HealthyRN
    It seems like you have one thing that the majority of nursing students do not: direct patient care experience. I usually advise people who are considering nursing to spend some time shadowing or get a job as a CNA. Since you already have that experience it's a little different.

    What exactly are you anxious about when you go to work? Are you afraid of making a mistake or doing something that hurts a patient? This is very common with those who are new to patient care, but it should subside after awhile. A little anxiety is always good because it keeps us on our toes so that mistakes aren't made. I'm concerned that you have more anxiety that what is good though. Maybe if you tell us a little more about the anxiety and when it happens, we will be able to provide better advice. Maybe you have generalized anxiety that is spreading into other parts of your life?

    It seems like you are a very caring individual. A good nurse should care about his or her patients!! You are right to say that caring too much can be a source of stress though. I also care deeply about my patients and I really do believe that it increases the amount of stress that I experience. I may not be such a good person to ask though because I am struggling with my own career issues and I am planning on leaving the nursing profession (not just because of the stress).

    If this is something that you really want to do, I am confident that you will be able to surpass your fear and anxieties. And I don't think that caring too much is a bad thing. If you stop caring altogether, you should leave nursing.
  4. by   Nurseygurl10
    Well, you're right I do have anxiety in general however it's not as bad as when I was in my teens. There was a life changing event that started me on this roller coaster of anxiety and panic attacks when I was 16. I've managed to over-come the panic attacks
    (thank the lord!) but still deal with the anxiety. I practice yoga, exercise and try to eat healthy to control it. I'm not big on taking medication.
    So on to what causes the anxiety...
    I really dislike running around for hours upon hours making sure this and that is done and that everyone is okay. I start to think of everything I'm going to have to do before I even get to work and It makes me nervous. I'm lucky if I even get to take a 30min break. I just can't fathom the thought of telling a patient that I can't help them because I'm at lunch.
    On this particular floor I work on, the aides go and get their lunch from the cafeteria and bring it back up so they can still answer call lights. Most of them, when they're at lunch answer a call light and will let the nurse know that this pt has to use the restroom or what not and do not care if the nurse gets upset with them for asking.
    I however have a hard time asking people to do something I'm suppose to. I also have a hard time saying NO. Which is why most of the time I dont get out as scheduled.
    I spoke to one of my friends about this and she said "I'm too nice." But I can't change who I am. I've tried and It didn't work.
    I also have a hard time working 12hr shifts. I don't do well with them and I'm afraid I'll have to work them when I become a nurse.
    I just get so pooped after them that it seriously takes the next day to recoop. Lame I know... I'm only 24 and after a 12hr shift I wake up feeling like I was beat up or something.. Okay it's not that bad but still. geesh!
    So here is my last reason as to why I have anxiety. About 2 months ago I had to take care of a girl who was about my age. I held her hand as she cried and screammed because she had just been diagnosed with cancer. She was talking about how in an instant her whole life had been turned upside down. My heart ached for her. I just thought to myself I can't do this any more. It's not fair that this girl is going through this. I felt really selfish for feeling this way but it wasn't fair. I thought to myself, I don't understand why she has to go through this and I can't deal with this anymore. I'm never going to come back to this. It seriously ripped my heart out. That was 2 mths ago and until 3 days ago I hadn't been back to work. I've just barely been making it financially by working a day or two somewhere else making less money all because I couldn't go back there.
    When I went back to work I told a nurse abt that incident and how I was feeling and that I felt so selfish for saying " I cant deal with this."
    But that was the way I felt and that, that was one of the reasons why I feel like I cant be a nurse. She said that she experienced something similar and that she thought that because of that experience that I would be an even better nurse than what she thought because I was so compasionate.
    I just want to be happy.
    Whatever that entails.
  5. by   love-d-OR
    Nursing can be very emotionally draining. I think the trick is to learn to balance your life and your work life. Seems like you let yourself get overwhelmed by alot. Its prefectly fine to cry with a patient or even empathise with a patient (thats why where there). Imagine you being that patient, who would you want as a nurse? one that held your hand while you tried to come to terms with the news, or one that said I have to go finish charting! We are all human beings with hearts and emotions, its normal to get sensitive.

    Wha part of nursing do you like? You said you dont like runnig around stressing and making sure things are done, right? Have you thought about outpatient, dyalisis, school nurse, telephone triage? Do you really enjoy bonding with patients and talking to them? Figure out what you want and what YOU can handle while keeping yourself sane.

    I LOVE kids, but I dont think I could handle working in a PICU, so I wont. But that soes not mean nursing is not for me... As they always say, the opportunities in nursing are endless. All you have to do is find your niche! Good luck.
  6. by   sot75
    Shannon,

    Dont believe your doubts....and never doubt your belief....

    Handled your future with confidence.....
  7. by   Nurseygurl10
    Quote from sot75
    Shannon,

    Dont believe your doubts....and never doubt your belief....

    Handled your future with confidence.....
    Thank you!

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