Increasing focus

  1. For me nursing school is not that hard, it requires a lot of work but I have no problem being at the top of my class. This is very nice, but I know that this means nothing when it comes to being a nurse in the real world. I am almost half way through an 8-semester degree of an RN course, but I find that my skills are lacking. I know what to do, when I should be doing it, and why, but when it comes to application I am lacking. I know I am a novice and will not have the skill and experience of the people training me, but for what I know I should be better at the practice part of nursing.

    Today I was with a new instructor that previous students have dreaded. She is always rushing you, and extremely direct, there is no beating around the bush, and she does not seem to care if she hurts your feelings. My previous instructors were very understanding and knowledgeable, and made you think before you talked, and they never criticised me or made me feel that I could not do the work. When the previous instructors evaluated me I was always the stellar student in the group.

    Today with the new instructor I had my weaknesses affirmed, it upset me; my feelings were definitely hurt. The fact is I learned more in one day about myself as a beginning nurse than I have learned in the many hours of this programme that have preceded. And I am eternally grateful to my new instructor.

    In private I asked her how was the best way I could improve. Flat out she called me a "scatterbrain". This was the best feedback I have ever received. She said I was disorganised. She continued to say that she thought that I was doing good but I need to work on my organisation, as well, I have an enormous load with 2 surgical patients as it is. What happens in the real world if I am not organised with 5-8 pt's.
    I don't think I could know a person like my present instructor on a personal level. On a teacher student level I think it is what I need, someone who will point out ways I can become a successful professional, and not be afraid, or not willing to pay attention to what I do so that only good things are mentioned.

    So I have the skills and the know-how to eventually be very good at what I do, but I am disorganised. I think I can attribute this to my focus. My mind is constantly running at very high speeds, this is good at certain times but I think it is part of what is causing my lack of focus in the clinical setting. I know everyone is different, but how do you channel the enormous energy that runs a mind at hyper speed into a slower focus that plans and reasons out that plan to benefit everyone involved in the clinical experience? I feel if I can have more control over this aspect I will improve in many ways.
    Last edit by Bicycleboy on Jan 17, '07
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  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   Daytonite
    well, excuse me for busting up this misguided gratitude you are feeling toward this instructor, but for her to call you a "scatterbrain", say you were disorganized and need to work on your organization and then give you nothing more but all this criticism makes her a pretty bad instructor in my book, kiddo. i can see that this is why the other students dread her.

    let me point out something about the nursing process that also applies to the learning process and instructors. in the nursing process you assess your patient, analyze your data and then apply interventions. your instructor just assessed you, analyzed you and left you hanging! and this, dear heart, was after you asked her the best way you could improve. she gave you nothing but criticism! what a class a jerk!

    getting yourself organized as a nurse takes a little time. there are a lot of factors that go into it. it helps when you go to work on one nursing unit where you get to know the geographical layout of the place, where the equipment is stored, the normal routines and who your co-workers are. that's goes a long way toward helping you establish a beginning routine of what you have to do on a day to day basis. dealing with all the various patient problems that can come up is just going to take time and experience and i absolutely want to punch the lights out of instructors like yours who don't get that. i've been a preceptor and nurse manager to new grads for some years and i know what i'm talking about.

    getting organized starts with trying to work out a plan ahead of time as to how you want to get things accomplished during your clinical shift. the technical term is called making a to do list. what doesn't work for you on one day you change on the next day. you keep those strategies that work and dump the ones that don't work. you talk to experienced nurses and see how they organized their work. it takes time and experience to learn to be well organized.

    don't let this witch get you down. just keep putting one foot in front of the other and doing the best you can. tolerate her as best you can. i'm so sorry you have to put up with someone like this. :icon_hug: here's some information on to do lists and organizing:

    http://www.ehow.com/how_3812_make-list.html - how to make a todo list

    http://www.ehow.com/how_948_manage-time.html - how to manage your time

    http://www.mindtools.com/pages/main/newmn_hte.htm - time management from mind tools
  4. by   Bicycleboy
    Quote from daytonite
    well, excuse me for busting up this misguided gratitude you are feeling toward this instructor, but for her to call you a "scatterbrain", say you were disorganized and need to work on your organization and then give you nothing more but all this criticism makes her a pretty bad instructor in my book, kiddo. i can see that this is why the other students dread her.

    let me point out something about the nursing process that also applies to the learning process and instructors. in the nursing process you assess your patient, analyze your data and then apply interventions. your instructor just assessed you, analyzed you and left you hanging! and this, dear heart, was after you asked her the best way you could improve. she gave you nothing but criticism! what a class a jerk!

    getting yourself organized as a nurse takes a little time. there are a lot of factors that go into it. it helps when you go to work on one nursing unit where you get to know the geographical layout of the place, where the equipment is stored, the normal routines and who your co-workers are. that's goes a long way toward helping you establish a beginning routine of what you have to do on a day to day basis. dealing with all the various patient problems that can come up is just going to take time and experience and i absolutely want to punch the lights out of instructors like yours who don't get that. i've been a preceptor and nurse manager to new grads for some years and i know what i'm talking about.

    getting organized starts with trying to work out a plan ahead of time as to how you want to get things accomplished during your clinical shift. the technical term is called making a to do list. what doesn't work for you on one day you change on the next day. you keep those strategies that work and dump the ones that don't work. you talk to experienced nurses and see how they organized their work. it takes time and experience to learn to be well organized.

    don't let this witch get you down. just keep putting one foot in front of the other and doing the best you can. tolerate her as best you can. i'm so sorry you have to put up with someone like this. :icon_hug: here's some information on to do lists and organizing:

    http://www.ehow.com/how_3812_make-list.html - how to make a todo list

    http://www.ehow.com/how_948_manage-time.html - how to manage your time

    http://www.mindtools.com/pages/main/newmn_hte.htm - time management from mind tools
    i thank you for your information, i appreciate that you took the time to give my your honest opinion.

    you don't have to excuse yourself for busting up anything, although you should for calling me a kid, honey.

    the point i was trying to make was that all of my previous instructors would not point anything out to me good or bad. they would just say that i was doing a good job and nothing else.

    i don't mind having my faults pointed out, especially when i can use it for a place to start improving. what i can't stand is people not caring enough and then just saying that say that i am doing a good job. yeah she may not be perfect, but i am glad to hear criticism for once, and not just that i am doing a good job.

    my wife agreed with my teacher, she thinks i am very disorganised. i know it is because my mind is always running so fast all the time, and my body wants to follow.

    again thank you for your time and i will check out the links that you gave me.
    Last edit by Bicycleboy on Jan 19, '07
  5. by   Daytonite
    The important point I was making was that when someone in a position of authority, such as a nursing instructor and assumes the responsibility of providing critique to a learner in whom they are also supervising, they are also responsible for providing you with some direction with regard to whatever faults they are finding in your performance. This relates directly back to the principles of supervision and discipline. A teacher has more of a duty in this regard. I was trying to illustrate that these same principles are applied to the nursing process in order to give you an idea of how the nursing process is not just some mumbo jumbo that a bunch of scholarly nurses came up with to torture nursing students and nurses, in general. I understand that you are glad to have gotten the feedback from this instructor. However, please understand that she while she was blunt and honest about it, she didn't finish her job. She needed, and still needs, to give you some resources, suggestions and direction on how to start working on getting organized. You didn't say she did that. That's what I have a strong objection to. A good supervisor (and make no mistake about this--she is a supervisor of your learning here) not only critiques you, but also helps to provide direction. Absent that, she's no better than a common bully. Sorry.

    If you should ever find yourself holding the reins of supervision you will want to remember what I am saying. Subordinates, and students, want to be treated respectfully and fairly. This instructor of yours is not a very good leader and supervisor based on what you've posted. I have very strong feelings and beliefs about this subject as I received very bad direction and treatment as a new grad and spent a lot of the rest of my career learning the right way to be a supervisor and leader and passing that same wisdom on to others.

    I apologize for referring to you as kiddo. It was meant as en endearment. I've been an RN for 30 years. Every student is a "kid" to me.

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