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Feeling stupid


Hi guys,

In clinical today... The day went very well except for one thing. I feel totally dumb. It was my first time testing blood sugar on a diabetic patient, so I was flustered over such an easy thing. The patient was talking and telling me everything (loved to talk)... and I didn't put on gloves! I did sanitize my hands before and after and also clean the site but I feel like such an idiot. I know I should wear gloves but I don't know what was going though my mind.

Has anyone else done this? I don't want to get reported for bad practices. I for sure will take this as a good learning experience to always wear gloves!!


Has 2 years experience.

It's probably fine, nursing students do things wrong all the time in clinical. If you already knew what to do, you wouldn't need school. I've done plenty of thingsincorrectly in clinical that you'd think were no brainers ... And I also feel dumb about it. I totally understand you there.

But look at it this way, you'll probably never do it wrong again. And if you do, learn from it. :)

Don't beat yourself up about it. You made a mistake, realized that mistake, and won't do it again. You did not put your patient at risk...putting yourself at risk, yes. But you are new at this, and your nervousness will sometimes get in the way. Whenever you feel you are flustered it is best to take a deep breath, step back, and start over if need be.

SopranoKris, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 5 years experience.

I think everyone has a "doh!" moment in nursing school. I had the nurse at shift change tell me I'll need to dc the IV in my pts room at 1000. I didn't double-check the computer for the exact order and removed the IV from his arm. Well, found out an hour later that only the fluid needed to be stopped. Pt was to have IV antibiotics at 1500. My nurse was nice about it. She said "if that's the worst that happens today, you'll be OK. Just start a new IV in the other arm." I felt like a complete idiot! How could I have assumed instead of check? DOH!

On the bright side, nailed my first IV start on a real pt. My pt was also nice about it, since I got him with only one poke. And better yet, I will never, EVER dc an IV (or do anything else) without double checking the EMR orders.

So, learn from this and try not to beat yourself up too much :)

Thank you guys! I really appreciate your comments. I feel like I don't actually learn something until I physically do it, or don't do or in this case!

danielle2000, MSN, RN

Specializes in Family Practice. Has 1 years experience.

My first clinical experience I had to give a resident a bath and clean her stoma and change her colostomy bag. I was so nervous. I was flustered and the resident yelled at me and said I was all thumbs! Talk about feeling like a total buffoon. It was a learning experience I look back and laugh now.

This was posted about a year ago, so I'm sure you are better at it. I watch a lot of nurses/CNAs do blood sugars or insert IVs with no gloves....and I'm like aaaah...put the gloves on! We have to do these articles on nurses in the past that get bloodborne diseases because they either get stuck with the needle used on the pt...or they touch pt's blood and gets into an open cut on the nurse...something and it's horrible because you can easily contract Hep C or HIV and most nurses with medicine regimens to control the disease is so harsh they have to quit their jobs...one woman got like 30 percent of her pay for work compensation...because she wasn't wearing gloves, even though she got stuck with a needle and the gloves probably wouldn't have helped but since she broke that protocol...she ended up with less money and she had kids it was awful.

But as a nursing student and being flustered already and overwhelmed things happened and you learned and hopefully not make that mistake again. Hopefully your instructor didn't see you lol. I got written up the first time I did it because I have horrible nerves and I was just shaking...I don't know why....I'm a shaker...so my instructor wrote me up...needless to say....that didn't help me shake less...if not more. My nerves are my biggest fault. Clincals is going to kill me!