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Feeling incompetent as a student nurse...

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by Nathalie Im Nathalie Im (New Member) New Member

157 Visitors; 1 Post

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Hey all. So, I have a question for you all. How do you feel with any feelings of incompetency as a future nurse? I’m sure we all have been there but I feel personally I have hit rock bottom as of recently. I see myself as a student who does well in theory and satisfactory during clinical.

But this week during clinical, I felt like I couldn’t even continue nursing school. I feel like I tend to forget some things here and there but I do turn in assignments and all on time. But because of my mild forgetfulness, my professor and I discussed how it came across as me not “caring about nursing.” I see myself who has sacrificed a lot just for nursing school, as a lot of us out there. To hear someone say that did hurt a lot. It was also combined with me not being so verbally expressive with my own emotions during class discussions when I’m really just very conservative. This is the reason I felt like I couldn’t been a good nurse.

Please tell me times you felt perhaps incompetent and how you dealt with those feelings. 

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ShadowNurse has 3 years experience.

460 Visitors; 83 Posts

You don't need to be the most emotionally expressive person in the world to be a good nurse. As a nurse, I have been told off for just these two things--being quieter/shyer than most and forgetfulness. We should all try to get better by learning to speak up and reminding ourselves, but these are tolerable faults. The important part is to make progress, not beat ourselves up to the point that we are paralyzed with shame and can't function.

Nursing school carries such intense pressure, mostly put on us by ourselves. Give yourself a break. You are making mistakes, but that is what school is for--learning. 

I had what I call an "I'm a bad nurse" day just yesterday. I had not documented on a procedure I scheduled and my supervisor had to remind me. I talked to my best friend about it and next time I will do better. That's generally how I cope. 

Edited by ShadowNurse

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Sour Lemon has 9 years experience.

2 Followers; 29,031 Visitors; 4,104 Posts

I would thank the instructor for her feedback and work on the specific issues that were discussed. Don't focus on feelings, focus on survival.
You might also consider taking down your picture and putting up a picture of a lemon tree, instead. Your classmates, future employers, or even your instructor(s) could be browsing this site too.

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0.9%NormalSarah is a ADN, RN and works as a MICU RN.

345 Visitors; 78 Posts

Wow, how many of those days did I have as a student? A lot! Nursing school is about learning how to be a nurse. If you already knew how, you wouldn’t need school! Try speaking up and participating a little more during class and make sure you carry a note pad or whatever you need to write down reminders and keep yourself on track. Wake up each day with the commitment to learn something and apply small changes to improve. Keep your head up, if you are conscientious and kind, you will be fine. Keep working hard, this will be so worth it when you are done!

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10,264 Visitors; 1,380 Posts

Nursing school is equal parts learning how to be a nurse and learning how to be a nursing student. Nursing school requires a different approach than, say, a mathematics major. No calculus professor would ever dock you for nor being their kind of personable... a clinical instructor might. Whereas other fields only care if you know the material, nurses care how you show that you know the material. It's frustrating. You'll get through it.

For forgetfullness, come up with a way to better retrieve knowledge. Meet with the professor to discuss your strategy. By seeing you use it, hopefully she see you care. Also through continued interactions, she'll warm up to your way of expressing yourself.

However, I will say it doesn't really matter if you're not outgoing. The best professor I had told me that nurses need all types because we take care of all types. As you work, you will find it to be true. The most outgoing nurse may click with some, while a more reserved nurse clicks with amother patient. 

Anyway, chin up!

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17 Visitors; 1 Post

Hi there! I want to share to you my experience when I was still a nursing student, I can say that I excelled in my studies when I was in College but felt unsatisfied with my clinical performance during our hospital affiliations and felt isolated whenever I am doing the duty with the certain instructor. Until now I can still remember how sad and bad it is to have a duty with her, she can't appreciate your effort, always pointing out your mistakes and doesn't talk to you the same way she's talking with the other student nurse, she's acting indifferent to the point that I don't want to enroll onto my next semester anymore. 

I don't want you to think about the things that will only make you feel dissapointed in the end, what I'm trying to say is that, if someone tries to bring you down and happy that you're life is miserable, show her that she made a big mistake in her life that she'll regret it when you became successful. You can do it girl. We are strong, and nurses must be strong so they can share their strength to those people who deserved it.

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ThatChickOmi has 1 years experience.

1,449 Visitors; 106 Posts

On 3/21/2019 at 11:16 PM, Sour Lemon said:


You might also consider taking down your picture and putting up a picture of a lemon tree, instead. 

Lmao.

I'm sorry. I thought this was funny.

 

Carry on.

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ThatChickOmi has 1 years experience.

1,449 Visitors; 106 Posts

I still question my ability to be a competent nurse occasionally and I'm in my last semester of my ADN program. I'm usually okay on the unit but every once in a while I have a "Whoa, what the bleep was I thinking..." moment and need to rethink things over. That's the beauty of school, learning environment, being allowed more wiggle room.

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386 Visitors; 21 Posts

I feel as though that was a very apathetic statement on the instructors part.  One thing to remember is even nursing instructors are people and are flawed, and that was a flawed statement that she had.  I would take this as a learning experience and try to gather anything constructive out of her statement that you can.  One instructor isn't going to determine your future in this career path!  

I've had teachers like that before...  I had one walk up to me and pull me aside and literally ask me if I even wanted to be in nursing school because it appeared that I was checked out...  This is after getting a 96% on her test and taking care of a very heavy patient load.  

 

All instructors think they know better, but I wouldn't dwell on it! 

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1,001 Visitors; 53 Posts

I am a nursing student and I feel the same way as you. I excel in my theory classes and I do well enough in clinical. But I have moments where I forget things or stumble on my words when giving report. Moments like these make me question I am cut out for this profession. I would like to think this is normal to a certain extent. Maybe some of it has to do with how we process information and communicate compared to others? Keeping a detailed to-do list and "brain" sheet has helped a lot. Working as a CNA and nurse extern has helped A LOT. I think time, experience, and diligence will get us to where we want to go. Good luck from one student to the next. You aren't alone.  

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