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by sophie<3 sophie<3 (Member)

sophie<3 has 4 years experience and works as a RN.

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I am in 2nd semester of NS and still having some problems in clinicals. it is hard to explain...i get so anxious on my drive over & i even have some trouble sleeping the night before. once i step on the floor, i am scared....i feel intimidated by the other nurses (some aren't very friendly or i just feel like i know SO little in comparison to them that i don't want to embarass myself with stupid questions), i feel intimidated by the patient because i don't want to hurt them or don't want to "bother" them with my long list of questions or the fact that I need to have assistance when turning them or getting them moved up in bed every task i do feels like it takes forever. today i went to give my first SQ injection and didn't dart the needle hard enough and it didn't break the skin so I had to waste the syringe and have the nurse order a new one. then to top it off my patients have SO many 0900 meds that i spend so much time looking up and giving them that i feel rushed the rest of the day. we have these 17 page health hx packets to fill out for 2 patients and it is a lot of questions and most of my patients don't want to answer me. i ask to give baths and they don't want them..so i feel almost usless on this CCH floor. i want a good learning experience but i seriously feel so out of place. i dont feel confident, although I want to be. i am waiting for the time when things just start to feel easier, like I am finally starting to get it down but I don't see that time coming anytime soon. seems the more i worry and try the worse i do that day. i never get complaints from my instructor but i can just tell i am struggling. i am not near where i wanted to be in my 2nd semester. I want to get a job next semester as a PCT just to gain experience and feel more confident around nurses, doctors, charts, patient interaction, etc but I feel like I will continue to have these anxiety issues then as well. Does anyone have this problem? Any advice? I don't want to sound like I am having a pity party it is just so hard. I am usualy a very social and interactive person outside of clinicals and once i step on the floor, like I said I shut down and am intimidated. i love nursing and want to be a L&D or NICU nurse but I feel like I may never get there because of fear.

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4,520 Visitors; 157 Posts

Hi,

Try not to worry so much about your nervousness. It's only your second semester. I get nervous sometimes too and I'm a senior. I think you should tell your instructor how you're feeling though. Maybe she or he can work more closely with you. Also, don't be afraid to ask questions because everyone knows you are a student and no one expects you to know it all. In fact, an instructor of mine criticized me for not asking enough questions! They really want you to come to them throughout the day to check in or express your concerns.

Do you get your assignment the day before clinical? That's how my school works so we get to look up all the meds, Dx, and Tx ahead of time. If your school doesn't do that, see if you can come in 30 minutes before report to get your assignment and look things up. As the semester progresses, you will find that you see a lot of the same meds and diseases so just keep a notebook of the most common ones you see. For instance, if you're on a surgical unit, you know patients will most likely be on pain medication, antibiotics, insulin, blood thinners, and antiemetics for nausea/vomiting. Or if it's maternity (recovery), you'll probably see pain meds, pitocin, stool softners/laxatives (that's in surgical patients too), etc as an example.

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6,031 Visitors; 559 Posts

I am this way too. I don't feel confident. :( It's hard, and very stressful. You're right. I think the reasons for not feeling confident are legitimate, nobody can really argue that.

The crux of the issue is that it's how you FEEL. My guess is it's not the reality. Not for your patients, the other nurses, or your instructor. You are a student. Which means they expect you to need to know lots of things, and to make mistakes.

Since I don't have my own confidence, I assume the ROLE of a nurse. I take on all of the authority that a NURSE has, not a scared student. I know what I'm talking about and when I go into a patient's room I'm a TEACHER. Not a student. You know what I mean? It doesn't work all of the time, and if I missed a SQ dart I would have really been shaken, but that's a normal mistake if your nervous.

Hang in there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! With experience comes confidence. Until then, pretend. ;)

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4,520 Visitors; 157 Posts

You're right, that's good advice. ...And if you have trouble with injections (or any other procedure), ask to do more of them! I know that sounds scary but the more you do it the better you'll be.

I am this way too. I don't feel confident. :( It's hard, and very stressful. You're right. I think the reasons for not feeling confident are legitimate, nobody can really argue that.

The crux of the issue is that it's how you FEEL. My guess is it's not the reality. Not for your patients, the other nurses, or your instructor. You are a student. Which means they expect you to need to know lots of things, and to make mistakes.

Since I don't have my own confidence, I assume the ROLE of a nurse. I take on all of the authority that a NURSE has, not a scared student. I know what I'm talking about and when I go into a patient's room I'm a TEACHER. Not a student. You know what I mean? It doesn't work all of the time, and if I missed a SQ dart I would have really been shaken, but that's a normal mistake if your nervous.

Hang in there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! With experience comes confidence. Until then, pretend. ;)

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kristin850408 has 7 years experience as a BSN and works as a RN.

951 Visitors; 14 Posts

I have a comment about the 17-page patient history packets. When I did those in my clinical last semester, I first looked up as much information as possible (medications, known previous diseases, allergies, etc) on the chart and copied that information. I also used info I had obtained from the AM assessment. Using the charts and previous data, and info from morning report usually fill a lot of information required for the packets. Anything left over, ask the patient, but it will definitely not be 17 pages worth of questions!

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462 Visitors; 4 Posts

Reading your post just reminded me of myself! What your going through is normal and infact I had a wonderful lecturer say to me once that I know your going to make a wonderful nurse because your scared to death of hurting someone. She said the most dangerous and unsafe nurses are the ones that go in and think they know it all and don't worry or think about what they are doing.

On my first clinical placement on a medical ward my preceptor kept on and on about how slow I was and had no confidence. She was right, I had many times I left the room and went to the toilet and cried my eyes out. I felt like I had no idea what I was doing. Please trust me it does get better. I have just graduated in July. I still don't know everything and have so much still to learn as I would expect from all nurses, but as you learn and you spend more time on the wards it will all just click and you'll be amazing yourself.

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sophie<3 has 4 years experience and works as a RN.

9,842 Visitors; 307 Posts

thank you all for the kind words and support...i am now finishing up my first 5 weeks of a med/surg clinical...i will be going to an OB floor week after next and i must say, i am starting to feel a lot more comfortable. i have had my share of nerves and awkward moments and not every clinical has been great but i am starting to feel somewhat more confident in my abilities. the past 3 clinicals i have been giving SQ injections, i did trach suctioning and care twice now, i packed a wound on wednesday, and i am actually able to talk and care for patients without feeling like a nervous wreck. i know i have a long way to go but i am getting there...i feel like i have taken some big steps lately..and to top it off i got an A on my first test ;) thanks again!

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