Jump to content

Anxious, Confused, and needing help/advice

Students   (556 Views 6 Comments)
by MustLoveDogsHTX MustLoveDogsHTX (New Member) New Member

84 Visitors; 3 Posts

advertisement

My school pushes us to apply before we are graduated and before taking the NCLEX which I understand is due to a nursing shortage, but is this common practice all over?

I have been applying to New Graduate Nurse Residency Programs and since the med center is super competitive I have not gotten any interview requests and many rejection emails already. So is a residency required or when one applies it can just be to any position?  I am feeling more and more like a loser and incompetent, everyone says it is okay that we all will get jobs eventually we are going to graduate in May with a BS with a major in nursing.  I am passing but I don't have honor student grades, I am a nursing student with anxiety issues, should I stop applying until I have my NCLEX then my grades won't matter as much?  With each rejection email I feel more and more like a failure  and think to myself what should I do?  Maybe I am just confused about the whole process and overthinking everything. Help!?!

Another thing about clinical I only need 10 more and I had a major issue with my preceptor, that I walked out with my clinical instructor's permission on my 3rd clinical,  I have asked for a new preceptor and will find out Monday but I was given a choice if I do not get a new preceptor I can sit down with my instructor and preceptor and work things out or I drop and graduate in dec, I do not believe dropping is an acceptable option, I cannot afford to pay out of pocket(I no longer qualify for financial aid) another semester when there is no reason other than lack of placement spots.  I will do the sit down if I have to but here is my question the day before she slapped my hand away so I would not pull out a foley, she constantly tells me I don't know anything, that I am slow and try to get me to not be so anxious by making fun of me, which of course does not work so its hard to not be anxious constantly when she belittles me in front of patients.  I don't want to say exactly what happened the day I walked out but I left in tears that I could not stop and sat in my car for 30 minutes before leaving.

trying to think if it is my fault that i am in the wrong? but there are just bad preceptors out there.  The school instructor in charge of clinical placement basically told me that maybe my depression is interfering with my ability to function well in clinical.  I wouldn't be so depressed and doubting myself if I wasn't getting rejection after rejection?!?

I do not know what to do. HELP!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

9,265 Visitors; 1,387 Posts

1) Stop. Breathe. It’s clear your anxiety is overwhelming you right now, and that makes everything more difficult. You instructor’s comment that your depression may be interfering with your ability to perform in clinical sounds like a sign to seek help. Do you have a student health center at your program? The university I attended offered free mental health services to students. This may be an option for you or they may be able to refer you somewhere. Getting your anxiety and depression under control WILL help – both can increase negative thinking, decrease confidence, interfere with  your ability to concentrate and retain information, and can overall make life feel far more overwhelming, difficult, and negative than it actually is.  

2) I would not push yourself overly hard to find a job right this instant, particularly if it is stressing you out, and increasing your anxiety. There are several reasons you might be receiving rejections – some places auto-reject if you are not yet licensed, or it may be something about your resume, or you may be applying to positions which aren’t “new grad positions” which can be a problem in some (but  not all) hospital systems.

I’d reach out to your career center, or writing center, and/or faculty adviser for some resume and cover letter writing advice, as well as insights on what local employers are looking for before giving up.

3) I am sure what happened with your preceptor and clinical placement. It may be a case of a bad preceptor, or maybe a bad personality fit, or maybe you were not thinking clearly with your high anxiety and she did stop you from doing something that could have been harmful even if you didn’t realize it at the time.

It sounds like your school *IS* trying to work with you by offering you options.

Right now you have the choice to:

1) Sit down with your instructor and your preceptor and try to work things out. This can be difficult, but if the two of  your are able to work through your communication differences could actually be rewarding. It would also allow you to finish out the program this spring.

2) The school is able to find you a new preceptor – this may or may not be possible, but the fact the are willing to try is a positive sign that she school is trying to support you. Given the shortage of preceptors, they may not succeed in finding a new placement.

3) Take a term off, and retake your clinicals later graduating in December. This sounds horrible now, but it may actually be a *good* thing. Give yourself some space, some time to focus on taking care of your mental health, and the ability to come back to clinicals and still graduate once you are in a healthier frame of mind.

Nursing school can unfortunately evoke anxiety and depression for a number of students. It’s new, it’s stressful, and carries a huge amount of responsibility, and for many students it also taking place at a time of life transition. I do very much think that improving your mental health, be it by pausing and doing some self-care and reflection, or by seeking professional assistance will help you succeed. I also think that at this moment your goals should be 1) taking care of your health, 2) finishing out school, 3) prepping for NCLEX, and 4) worrying about post-graduation employment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

5,486 Visitors; 399 Posts

You have a lot on your plate, I'd stop applying to positions so you can focus on the other things going on. Passing and resolving issues with preceptor are much more important than applying to jobs at this point.  Think the application process (and putting the cart before the horse) is giving you a serious kick in confidence and it isn't helping, I'd just sideline that till I have a NCLEX date (and are done with clinicals/preceptorship & school!).  Most employers in my area, not all, won't even look at your application unless you have a NCLEX date, so I'm surprised so many are willing to even consider your application...and maybe they aren't, maybe that is why you are getting rejections? Either way, it isn't the priority at the moment so I'd just let that be for now. 

I'm in my final semester too, I know the general pressure of final semester and just wanting to pass is like, I'm feeling the stress and anxiousness.  I can't imagine throwing a bad preceptor experience and applying for jobs on top of it.  Try to focus on one thing at a time, your applications can wait.  Just make it through these last couple months and if your anxiety/depression is becoming a big issue, talk to someone.  You can even start at the college counseling department on campus.  Good luck & hang in there. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1 Follower; 13,138 Visitors; 1,411 Posts

Forget about applying to new grad residency programs right now. Multiple rejections are inevitable before you are licensed. You can totally do that after you pass Nclex.  

You are obviously in one of the better nursing schools, and they probably realize that your preceptor is a blankety blank. So take a breath, and figure out which of the 3 options you want to take. 

Are things salvageable with this preceptor or is it a done deal? If you think you can work it out and you aren't feeling paranoid that she's just going to continue to torture you, take option 1. Even if you think you can steel yourself against her insults and bullsnot and pull through for a few more just to get through it, take option 1.

If it's  a done deal and not rectifiable then tell them you need a new preceptor and let the chips fall where they may.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

84 Visitors; 3 Posts

Thank you all for the replies, I do see someone outside of school for my mental health.  But if needed I can see the counselor on campus for free.  I have just felt like I have been in a vicious cycle that the stress of early applying has caused me to second guess everything.  Hence y'alls validation confirms that, and that it is not a practice elsewhere to start the process so soon, if anything I can wait til August for next round of residency programs. 

I think the best route for me is to stop applying and wait til the future for that.  After writing this post and thinking about it I think if the clinical site gets me a new preceptor that is great if not I will have the sit down, I do realize that some of the issues came from my self-doubt. and some of it is just the non-communication of what is expected in both of our roles. I should not have assumed the preceptor had taught a senior student before. But dropping is just not an option for me.  Tomorrow is my midterm HESI, used to be the exit hesi but my school changed it so if I do not pass tomorrow I have the option to try again in May.

Back to my studies thank you again for such speedy replies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mandy2016 has 2 years experience as a BSN and works as a Emergency Nurse.

545 Visitors; 24 Posts

Hope this isn’t too late!

YOU ARE NOT IN THE WRONG

Although it would be difficult, I would attempt to find out if this preceptor has had other students in the past, contact them, and hear about their experiences.  Chances are you’re not the first to experience this behavior from her. 

I have been dubbed master preceptor, and I live up to that expectation.  I have worked in an emergency room for two years and have taught many new graduates and student nurses.  Here’s the thing- you really don’t know a lot of stuff because there is so much they don’t teach you in school. 

But guess what? As a preceptor, we expect that!!  Quite frankly, any instructor warner’s who expects you to know as little as 50% of what they do is an idiot with unrealistic expectations. Critical thinking skills and time management are the hardest things to learn, they take time, and you can only improve.  A good preceptor knows this and tries to encourage the development of these traits instead of trying to break you down.

I’m also a little outraged to here of two supposedly “professional” nurses behaving in this manner (1: your preceptor and 2: your professor).  A nurse that belittles, abuses, and bullies you, or any other student has no business training anyone.  For your professor, (I assume she knows what you’ve told us) to believe that it is in any way okay for you to keep training with this woman, should be ashamed of herself.

Most importantly, if you talk with your professor/ instructor/ dean, speak in a calm, firm tone with clear, concise examples of the unacceptable behaviors she has demonstrated. Seriously, your professor should have viciously chewed her ear off the very SECOND you were assaulted over something so petty. If you were about to slam a patient with Succinylcholine, then, ya, that’s acceptable because life over limb. But not for something as trivial as a Foley like, worst case? You put in a new one. Big whoop. Less time in, more frequent changes, decreased risk of infection. I’m guessing she probably wasn’t thinking about that now was she?

Don’t be afraid to reach out! There are a lot of wonderful preceptors out there, you’ll find one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
advertisement
×