Encouragement NEEDED

  1. 0
    Hello fellow nursing students!

    While this maybe the "sneaky way" to get some encouragement from someone you don't know.. I am just that desperate and I don't care..

    I am in a 2 year program. I am 4 weeks in to this semester with one more to go.. I feel soooo inadequate.. does anyone .. anyone else feel this way? I am 37 and went back to school to further my education. I continue to work as a Medical Assistant and have been for the past 13 years. The adaptations, adjustments, skill set while somewhat similar really isn't..

    I feel like an old dog trying to learn a new trick. woof woof.. no tail wag.. cock head to the side and look confused..

    I know a lot of nurses and they assure me this is normal.. but I want to hear from those in the trenches with me.. my last semester almost did me in.. the professor I had was not encouraging or even that helpful. .. I know preparing for real life experience.

    Maybe I am kvetching/whining/complaining.. maybe it's lack of confidence, maybe I feel too old ( see previous woof woof comment) .. my grades aren't horrible for working and going to school..

    A classmate of mine and I were discussing this over lunch.. and I tend to agree with her.. if it came down to it today.. I am not sure I feel equipped to save a life..
    I am not afraid of hard work.. my biggest goal in life is to be a blessing and not a burden.. love helping people.. going to school to have a greater skill set to take to the mission field..

    DOES ANYONE ELSE FEEL THIS WAY? HOW DO YOU HOLD ON THAT YOU KNOW THIS RIGHT?

    This is the part where you insert comments of a happy, uplifting nature ( I hope..)

    Thanks in advance for your encouragement..
  2. 7 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    Hello RN2b119!

    I am in nursing school too... and left class today completely DEFLATED! I can absolutely relate to how you're feeling. Some days I feel like my head is above water, other days I feel like I am drowning. I just keep trying to tell myself that the hardest semester is whatever one I am in at the time... and eventually it will pass. I hope things get better for you! You are so close to finishing... you CAN do it! Just keep swimming
  4. 1
    I am in my fourth and final semester in a 2 year ADN program. There is many times that I feel inadequate about my knowledge base and skills. I have learned to keep a journal. This is how I do it; each day I write five things I did well and five things I need to work on. I have been doing this since the beginning and it is a real confidence builder seeing all that I have learned; some days I can write more than five things I did well and less than 5 I need to work on. It may be hard at first but writing that you got out of bed, dressed, and arrived at school on time is one thing that you did well. I wish you the best of luck. Remember: whether you think you can or you think you can't; you are right.
    Oldest&Ugliest likes this.
  5. 0
    I'm less than a month into my first job as an RN. I'm terrified every day that I go to work and I study every night. I'm having a lot of thoughts along the lines of "WHAT did I get myself into???" Then I remember how little I knew about nursing when I started school less than 2 years ago and I know that if I push myself, I can handle my job. I look at things I am improving on, even if they seem small (Today I didn't run after the psych escapee), I'm not all the way there yet (Today I only had to look up two meds I didn't recognize) or I'm comparing myself to how I performed in school (Today I didn't give myself an IV shower by not clamping it before I d/c'd it).

    Expect to feel completely clueless about being a nurse for the first year. My hospital's internship program is big on Benner's professional development theories. My internship is 1 year and at the end they expect that we will be minimally competent (Advanced Beginners in Benner's theory). They don't expect us to be SuperWoman right now. They know that some things like critical thinking take time to develop fully, and critical thinking is useless if you aren't considering how your unit works. If Patient A has a medication due at shift change and Patient B's doctor always comes around 30 minutes after shift change wanting updates, the NCLEX nurse gives Patient A the medication first. The nurse who works in the real world does Patient B's initial assessment first. It takes time to learn to be the nurse who works in the real world.
  6. 2
    This isn't just you. You will have days in nursing school where you've finally grasped a difficult concept, and you will be elated and on top of the world. You will also have days where you are mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausted, and you feel as though you are going to crack if one more expectation or piece of information is placed in front of you. Nursing school is a roller coaster of emotion, and you will find yourself going up and down a lot. The highs generally make up for the lows, but you may be stuck in a rut for weeks, and only experience one good day in an entire month. Also, some semesters are easier than others. Some kick your butt, others feel natural, simple, and like a walk in the park. Some clinical units make sense and feel organized and relatively nice. Other clinical units are complex, daunting, and send you to a corner to hyperventilate whenever you hear the unit name mentioned.

    Some days during clinical you will have an easy patient assignment, all your patients will be alert, oriented, and cooperative, and it will seem as if every procedure you do goes right. Other days you will seem to have the sickest patient assignment on the unit, you won't successfully complete a major skill (like IV start, NG insertion, or catheterization) during the entire shift, and you will run your butt off from the time you get there until the time you leave.

    It does get better, and you just have to work through the hard days, the hard weeks, and, even, the hard months. You have to let what happened at clinical last week brush right off, you have to forget about the test you took two weeks ago, and you have to move on and let the past be the past. You can't focus on why you weren't able to put that IV in after three attempts last Monday, and why you missed question 28 on the test from two weeks ago. Let the small details go, and worry about passing and graduating with your class. Good luck!
    Oldest&Ugliest and Cupcake89121 like this.
  7. 0
    I just started started my first semester in the RN program and I am having similar feelings. I have always been a driven over achiever and a good test taker. In the classes where we have lecture and written tests I am fine and enjoy myself, I find the knowledge very interesting. In the class where we preform clinical skills I am a nervous wreck!!! I can read a blueprint and spent 5 years assembling small intricate parts, I thought I would take to the physical skills easily. I read the book and watch the videos endlessly, but when it comes to doing it I feel like an idiot. It is making me question if I am in the right field.

    In my class we will only go to a hospital setting 4 times at the end of the class. Our clinical returns are done in class on manikins. The teacher shows everyone how to preform the skill in class, and we have our check off at the next class a week later. There are certain posted hours aside from this class time when we can go to the lab and practice with fellow classmates and there is an instructor available if we have questions. I am not a slow learner but I feel this is totally inadequate. Am I selfish to say I need/want more one on one?

    Our first return is on sterile dressing change, male/female catheters. When we get to class we will be informed of which one of the three skills we will be graded on. I guess we will draw out of a hat? We have a checklist on what we will be graded on for each skill. We will then verbalize our assessment. Even if I do well I don't feel this prepares me in any way to preform this on a real person.

    I am wondering if I am suppose to feel totally overwhelmed? Is the book knowledge the important thing? Am I suppose to just have a basic understanding of skills and pick them up when I start working? Should I be able to master a skill with one quick showing by the instructor? Is there something wrong with me? Am I just not cut out for this? I am totally dedicated to my schoolwork, but no matter how many time I practice in a lab with a partner that is just as clueless as me I cannot go in there a feel confident preforming a skill.

    I would love to hear from other students, maybe I am just looking at this wrong?
  8. 2
    I'm pretty sure, that if you aren't feeling overwhelmed as a nursing student, then something is wrong
    Our loved and trusted instructors keep telling us that no one feels like a nurse until they have been working as a nurse for several years. So not to worry if that's how you feel. It's totally expected.
    That being said, I still don't like feeling that way!
    I am someone who needs to get the "rhythm" of doing physical skills, which means I don't feel comfortable until I've done it like 10 times within a few weeks or something like that. That is not the kind of practice we get in school. Sometimes we don't even get that in clinicals. So there are a lot of things that I can technically do, but I still do them with hesitancy and shaking because my muscles haven't got it down yet. It's an awful feeling. But I'm pretty sure it's normal.
    Oldest&Ugliest and PinkNBlue like this.
  9. 1
    You are in the program for the right reason, regardless of your age. You are curious, adaptive, and willing. Speed bumps are there to slow you down, to make you appreciate what you are working towards, they are not stop signs. Persistence pays off in the end. Keep up the good work and think about all of the people that will benefit from your experience. I am 32 and back in school to further my nursing training. I want my children to be proud of me, and I will not be a quitter. I am working part-time, have a 6 year old Autistic daughter, a two year old daughter, an annoying ex-husband (now a single parent), and I am a full time Nursing student. Negative comments and thoughts take away precious space for knowledge. Get rid of them. You are doing great, and you just have to remember that you do not have to do it all at once, or alone, just keep at it and you will get there!
    Oldest&Ugliest likes this.


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