Feeling disappointed with myself..but trying to be positive

Nurses General Nursing


I am a PCA who God willing will start nursing school next fall. I like my job and try hard. That said, the other night a nurse asked me to change an incontinent patient. I did this and my patient literally slept through the entire change. Snoring no less.

Now when I normally leave a room I will ask another staff member to help give the patient a "boost" if he seems to have slipped down in bed. This gentleman had slipped down but because he was sleeping so soundly, I decided not to boost him. I did not avoid the task out of laziness. I want to make that clear.

Anyway, another nurse-who is always passive aggressive-called me into the room and pointed out that he was in a poor

position. She did not berate me or discipline me but said it in a way that made it clear that I should have repositioned this

man. I felt badly because a) I would never *not* help a patient on purpose and b) After hearing stories here and IRL, I am always fearful that when I do make a mistake, it will go straight to a supervisor and I will be done. I am working toward

being the best nurse I can be and will reposition no matter what moving forward....

Specializes in Med/Surg, Ortho, ASC.

You sound like a very caring PCA. I have no doubt that you want to do what's best for the patient.It could be considered a mistake to not re-position the patient. My first thought would have been that if he slept through his cleansing, he would have slept through re-positioning. The nurse actually was not being passive aggressive, she was being assertive by going straight to you and pointing out what she considered poor technique. As you said, she did not berate you, nor did she go behind your back and complain to anyone else.Even if this is considered a mistake, you will have learned from it, and that's what's most important. Guaranteed that you will remember this next time you're faced with a choice to move or not move.

Don't be hard on yourself. You could tell her what you just told us, and then say that you will go ahead and reposition the patient in the future. I just finished nursing school less than a month ago (yippee!), and I will tell you one thing I learned: You had better start developing a thick skin now, b/c you're gonna need it when you get to school and start taking care of patients as a student. For some reason, student nurses get treated pretty badly by a lot of staff (but not all). Just let it roll off your back and learn from it. Some of the lessons I learned the best were from getting sniped at by someone. At least this nurse seemed to be respectful about it, and talked to you directly. A lot of nurses would have just badmouthed you behind your back.

Don't take it personally. Just learn from it and move on. Good luck with school - it already sounds like you will be a great, caring nurse!

Specializes in Emergency Nursing.

You truly had the best of intentions and you need to give yourself a break about the situation. However, (I'm a new nurse) I suffer from being timid and not wanting to wake patients/bother patients when I need to do something like turn them/administer pills/IVs/vitals. I learned very quickly that positioning and things of that nature come before patient comfort (in terms of letting them rest)

If I were that same nurse I'd simply say, "hey, lets go in and boost him up together, it will be done in no time!"

Give yourself a break and keep on truckin'

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