feeling down and discourage..

Nurses General Nursing


hello all.

I'm a nursing student and doing clinicals in a hospital for med-surg.

I seem to struggle when it comes to managing my time, communicating with the patients, being organized, also I feel hesitant whenever I do a task such as giving meds.

one of the problems that I have that I really want to work on is communication. I'm a quiet person. I can talk but fluster up sometimes, especially when i'm nervous. we're taught to use therapeutic communication, but as a result it makes me flustered since I don't want to say the wrong thing to shut down communication.

My professor notices and talked to me. basically after our talk I felt discourage and down. :crying2:

I'm the only one in the group who seems to be struggling.:confused:

have any of you had problems that you've overcome and managed to become great nurses?

please provide some advice on how I can overcome all these problems.

thanks in advance.

Specializes in LTC, Alzheimer's patients,Cardiac.

I am wondering...how far in your education are you? Is this your first semester in nursing school or last? Everyone is a little apprehensive in the beginning, it is a lot to juggle. Do you have any other experience in healthcare? I decided to give up waitressing and become a CNA before I started nursing school because I knew that the experience would serve me well once in the program (even though I made WAY less money doing it). If you are able, look into student nurse internship programs at your local hospitals. The one I did was only 3 days a month, I shadowed a nurse for 8 hours, and was paid to do it. I felt that it was a great learning tool, because I got a glimpse of what things were really like in the hospital, not just my experience as a student nurse there. There are many other things I could touch on so please feel free to ask

Specializes in ED, OR, SAF, Corrections.

I'm sorry you're having a hard time. Don't be so hard on yourself. I think sometimes when you're so worried about making a mistake or saying or doing the wrong thing, you end up creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.

It's OKAY to not be perfect, to always know the right thing to say. You're learning a hundred and one new things every day and trying to put it all together. It IS a struggle sometimes and maybe you feel like you're the only one struggling or unsure, but I guarantee you that is not the case. Some people just hide it better and then again some people just grasp certain things faster. It doesn't make them better because you may grasp other things faster than they do.

The only surefire way to overcome is to keep going, keep doing your best, don't compare yourself to anyone else, ask for help when you need it, but really try to lighten up on and be kind to yourself. Nursing school can be stressful on even a good day. You CAN do this. Time and continued exposure will give you experience and you will pick up speed and organization as you progress.

Nursing IS hard. If it wasn't then anybody off the street could simply put on scrubs and breeze through a shift. If you find you have a repoire with a more experienced nurse, ask her for tips. If not, then simply watching how a more experienced nurse does things and organizes her time and how she responds to patients can be helpful. There is NO single right way. Whatever works for you is the right way.

Good luck to you

Specializes in med surg ltc psych.

Well eternalbride, I found that a lot of the flustering came from the presense of an instructor, or knowing they were in the vacinity. You feel under pressure to "perform" and that takes away a lot of most people's ability to be confident and act naturally in those clinical settings. It is quite different managing your time when you are actually working. Time is somewhat different in a med surg clinical day as a nursing student. As I said, this is what I found to be my experience and most of my classmates experience. As I got toward the last and final level of clinicals, when the instructor was not standing right there as you are giving meds or doing vitals; the edge is taken off when you can have a more casual coversation with your patient and gather more valuable information from them that helps shape your nurses notes and documentation. It's hard to be organized as a student doing your clinicals because the clinical program makes you do things according to the program's style of organization. It (in my opinion) doesn't really take place until after you are out of school and practicing as a legal nurse. As far as you feeling down and discouraged after the instructor talked with you is so completely normal. Almost like a parent child relationship and it feels like crap. Then you go in the next clinical day and feel even more "flustered" and withdrawn. Like we can't do right in the eyes of that instructor, and some have basically said to students that they'd not amount to anything as far as being a good compitent nurse. They are psychologically abusive toward some students, and I have seen them single certain ones out (including me at one point with only one particular instructor). It was blatantly obvious to me, my classmates and the staff nurses at the clinical site that she was deliberately dehumanizing me. I know I shouldn't have smarted off to her toward the end like I did when I couldn't take the humiliation one more week and said "You know, if you put a brand new saddle on me maybe you could ride me better." Hence she informed me that she was going to fail me with a 79 intentionally failing me by one single point because she simply did not like me. What I'm saying to you is that I am validating your current feelings and that it will get better toward the end of your clinical/program. When you go into a patients room next time, try just try to pretend she isn't anywhere around you when you're giving meds and the communication will open up and flow with your patients and you will feel a little more real and confident and not as much of a robot underneath the grand one they call "Instructor."

Specializes in LTC, Memory loss, PDN.

I commend you for not wanting to say the wrong thing. I believe saying nothing is better than saying the wrong thing. Personally, I do not like chatty Cathy. Silence can be and is a form of communication. Being an active listener is part of good communication. Just remember, you don't have to have all the answers and try as you may, at one point, you will say the wrong thing and you'll learn from it. Knowing what to say will greatly improve with experience. Read Anisettes response very carefully. There's much to take to clinicals with you in her post.

I just wanted to let you know that you aren't alone...I'm going through an almost identical experience, right down to the concern about communication and feeling like I'm the only one struggling in my class. The thing is, we aren't. I'm a first-semester nursing student, and after talking to my fellow newbie students, I realized that most of us have doubts and concerns about our performance in clinicals. In other words, feeling like your are running around like a chicken with their head cut off during clinical is pretty normal at the beginning. Understanding that, along with the knowledge that no one expects us to be perfect, helped me a lot. So hang in there--we can do it!

Specializes in Oncology, Medical/Surgical.

Yes, well learning to manage time and effectively communicate with patients can seem like daunting task at first, but once you figure out a way to manage and organize your time, you might have more time to communicate with your patients.

I found in my clinicals, in my last semester of nursing school, I was about to be kicked out because I was not performing up to the standards of a senior nursing student which means managing 5 patients :(...so I got my brain working on ways to organize my time.

What really helped is if the nurse-preceptor is nice, ask he/she their techniques on organizing their time and with their permission, ask if you can observe how they do assessments. I know this helped me out a lot. Often starting your assessment, with a warm smile and a "Hi, how are you?" starts off an assessment well, providing they were not awake the night before.

From my nurse preceptor, I learned to start an assessment with the normal id checkers, name on id band, etc, privacy while greeting the patient. Then while I am taking vitals. except for BP I ask them how they are doing. Then for the assessment, I say, Ok I am going to check heart, lungs and belly (the main ones) then proceed with the rest of my assessment.

Afterwards, I ask them if they need anything, and if they do, I tell them a specific time frame to get them the item and stick with the time frame. Like I will get to you in 5 minutes, is that ok?

If you want I can send you a time management sheet I made up that helped me during my clinicals.

Anyways, do not give up! You will be a great nurse. This is true because you are worried about doing well in this field. Don't be afraid to ask advice and lean on your peers for support. You cannot do all alone in nursing school. It is good to have support.

Well hope this helps and good luck!

Trust me, I'm sure that you are not the only one who feels that they are struggling. Everyone in your clinical group is struggling in one way or another (whether it shows or not!). From external appearances, you likely look like you have it all together too. Ask the members of your clinical group how they see you; you may be surprised.

This is a learning process that we all go through, so don't be so hard on yourself. Sometimes, we can be our own worst critics! Instead of focusing in on what you see as your faults, try to focus more on your strengths. Be confident because you know that you are providing the best care that you can... the rest will follow with practice.

Specializes in Med Surg,.

I am not a good verbal communicator. It is not that I cannot speak it is that I don't want to speak or talk. I almost lost a job for that reason. But my skills are good, great, stupendous so I knew they would need me again. Any ways, you do not have to initiate the conversation. Just introduce yourself and be polite, respectful, clean, pretty, smell good, and command your space. You are in controll. Since you are quiet, you can make them do all the talking by asking questions and wa la communication is taking place. For time management, fake it until you make it, learn how to pull your pills, learn colors, shapes, names. There is NO special way :idea:to do anything special it is your way learn it early and keep it moving.

It takes practice to learn how to communicate with patients, esp. I use to be a quiet girl, but it just takes time for your confidence to build up. You'll soon be comfortable around your patients the more you interact with everyone.

Once again thank you all for your words..........I just wished that I came in frequently to read these words of encouragement.

...........but I failed the clinicals.:crying2:

Specializes in med surg ltc psych.

I'm so sorry to hear of your news. I know you are feeling terribly disappointed and discouraged. Offering a "this is what happened to me" story doesn't quite take away the saddness of your situation I know, so I won't try to offer a parallel analogy because your sadness is so fresh and exclusive to you right now. But know this, you will have another chance to renew yourself if you go back to finish your program and do well. I will admit that after I had to sit out a whole semester due to a surgery and go back to finish where I left off, it was all together different because when I returned to school I had a completely different instructor and outlook, and that made a big difference. I have confidence in you that you will come back even stronger! Good luck to you sweetie.

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