Berated and feeling useless

  1. I am a nursing student currently in my second year. I am scheduled to graduate in the spring of '07 with my ADN. Lately I have been down because I have been told by many that I will not find the position I am seeking in labor and delivery. I have been informed by many that there are very few openings ever on these floors and when there is, those with seniority and present employment will get them first. Okay, so I try and search out new areas. I am not especially compelled to a med-surg floor, so I do an observation day in the ER and Acute coronary care units. I liked them both, but speaking to other nurses I find that some highly recommend against new GN's persuing a critical care internship. This has me wondering if after wanting to be a nurse all my life, I have chosen the wrong career. On top of that I was berated in front of others by my clinical instructor recently as I expressed to her that the procedure she requested of me I had not performed before and asked for her patience and understanding. I was so upset that my honesty and request for her guidance brought forth such hatred. Summing it all up, I am starting to question daily my ability and usefullness in the world of nursing. I am so torn at this point. Can anyone offer any suggestions or constructive thoughts? I feel defeated before I have even started.
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    About sn07

    Joined: Mar '06; Posts: 4

    18 Comments

  3. by   rrivera2
    Learning how to perservere under extraordinary conditions, not letting the negative words/actions of others knock you off course, and keeping a positive attitude regardless of what others around you are doing, are three of the most useful qualities a person can cultivate within themselves. I want to say about the "berated" incident, to just let it roll off of you like water off a duck's rectal area, but I know it hurts deeply. Some instructors don't know how to teach, especially when they are caught offguard, or they just don't know about patience and understanding yet. I think every road we choose is a hard road, with lots of potholes and boulders to experience and learn from. Keep going. Put your head down (so you don't get hit by any flying bullets or vicious words) and keep pushing forward. You will be thankful when you look back, that you kept going and pushing yourself forward. Stay strong. You can do it.
  4. by   deanr81
    There is no reason to feel useless. You will find throughout your nursing career that there are people who have power trips and feel that they can talk down upon others. Keep a positive attitude, do well in class and in clinical, and the rest is everyone else's problem. There were times when I felt belittled too. Students take their lumps in nursing school. As far as jumping into critical care right out of school - it can be done. I did it. Teachers will tell you to do med-surg before critical care. It's up to you. You will have a 6 month orientation with a skilled mentor. As far as time management and organization, you will learn that within the first month or two. Once you graduate school, you will find the real learning begins.
  5. by   caroladybelle
    Sometimes you have to work in a place you do not like for a year or two before you get the position/shift/unit you want. That is true of many good jobs.
  6. by   kayel
    Hang in there! I see how that would be discouraging but you can get through this!!! I like the other comments from those who know (which I don't necessarily, just being in 2nd year myself and just starting clinicals). Just keep being who you are and I know you will find your niche!!
  7. by   traumaRUs
    Sorry for your frustration. However, you are waayy more than halfway finished. I know for me, the last bit of nursing school was torture. At the end, I wasn't even sure I wanted to be a nurse. However, with the student loans, I had little choice - lol. It does get better. You may not get your dream job immediately, but who knows? Too early to tell. Hang in there.
  8. by   SC RN
    Having just recently graduated (15 months ago), I think I can give some perspective here. I always thought of my first year out of nursing school as actually my THIRD year of nursing school. I wanted to continue learning all I could and if it had to be on a floor or unit that wasn't my first choice (or even my second or third or fourth choice), at least I was getting experience and knowledge that I could use when I was ready to transfer to the unit that I truly saw myself as working on and enjoying. If you can think of your first year out in the real world as just an extension of nursing school, maybe you will better be able to adjust to a floor (just as you have continued to adjust to nursing school).

    With that being said, I actually DID get my dream job in Labor & Delivery but only because I spent two years as a CNA during school on the Post Partum floor and showed what a hard worker I was to all of the managers. It's not easy to walk into a L&D position and it shouldn't be ... L&D is hard and there are times that I wish I had more of a med/surg background to build from. Women in labor bring with them a whole lot of other problems .. all of which need to be acknowledged and treated appropriately. If you do end up going to med/surg first, you will come to L&D better prepared than I was.

    Best of luck to you!
  9. by   wfperseus
    Hi -- yes, everyone has given wonderful advice about this type of criticism. I guess I'm wondering how patient my own preceptors will be about my getting up to speed w/ organization skills, etc. I'm new to nursing and just started a position in a CCU. I'm older (47), have held positions other than nursing (office/admin. work in academia, etc.), and am not used to asking for help. I was "criticized" for not asking questions (but at other times I wasn't supposed to have asked questions)/not offering help to others (even though I have), and thus not contributing to a collegial work environment. I was also "criticized" for being too tentative (I've never worked as an aide or tech) in dealing w/ patients, such as giving bed baths, etc. I feel ashamed that the other new preceptee who's much younger than myself and who has had tech experience is now handling 2 patients while I'm only given 1. I try to take this as constructive criticism, but I also feel totally useless, foolish, and as though I'm in the totally wrong profession . . . plus I'm now full of anxiety about losing my position and dreading to go back to work on Monday. Sorry for the whining, but I just feel so scared and defeated.

    Thanks!
  10. by   purplemania
    You present 1 question with two aspects that to you suggest you are not cut out for nursing. One is am I tough enough and the other is what if I can't get what I want. They are very much the same question. If you can't get what you want right away and that discourages you from nursing then no, you are not tough enough. Many of us have worked in facilities or areas of nursing while waiting for the plum job. Some of us never got the plum job. If that discourages you from nursing then I suggest you rethink your career.
  11. by   BlueEyedRN
    Half of my teachers said you had to do med-surg for a year and the other half said forget med-surg and just do what you want. Honestly, don't listen to what everyone else says anyway. They are coming from their own experiences and only you understand your own needs and wants. Nursing is completely different now than it was 10, 20, 30 years ago and units hiring new grads usually know that they are hiring new grads. Also, don't be afraid to apply for positions that you want, even if you think you'll never get them. My friend applied for L&D as a new grad in several different hospitals and ended up getting a position in a good hospital, even though everyone said it was impossible.

    Also, don't forget that being a clinical instructor is incredibly stressful. The responsibility they are taking on is pretty serious, and I think they've earned the right to be a little testy. All of got whammed occasionally. Don't take it personally and continue making good decisions. Good luck!
  12. by   sn07
    Thanks so much to all of you for replying. It has eased my mind and made me feel better in my struggle of whether to apply for an internship or not. I will not give up my dream of being an L&D nurse, but know now that all my experiences up until that point will only strengthen my skills. I understand that clinical instructors do have a stressful position, but I myself find it hard to accept one that has a student crying almost everyday. It certaintly does not facilitate the learning process. I wish they would all remember they were once where I and many others are now. Thanks again...
  13. by   Elisheva
    Sn07, nursing school and nursing can be a trip, but so can a lot of other careers. You definitely have to develop a backbone and just drive on. Takes some time and practice. You certainly won't be the first to wonder if you've made the right career choice; I think about 30% of my nursing class was wondering the same thing in our last semester. Pretty typical as the stress increases.
  14. by   HARRN2b
    SN,

    One thing to possibly look at is can you relocate? There are many areas of the country that are growing faster than others. I suppose it is possible that you might be able to find the position you wish in another area of the country. I, too, am an older student. But I have met nurses (and md's) in their 70's who are still working. I would eventually like to be in women's health.

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