I am currently in my last semester of nursing school, and I graduate in May. My whole time in nursing school, I have felt like this wasn't for me, but I kept telling myself it would get better. It hasn't. I excel in my classes and I enjoy learning information about health and the human body, but it's my clinical/practicum that are really a struggle for me. I can do the skills and tasks, but when it comes to interacting with patients and making connections with them, I just can't do it. I know this is a huge part of nursing, and that's why I feel like it's not for me. Not that I don't like people, or care about them, because I do, but I would just rather not chit chat and get to know every patient. I know that sounds bad, but it's the truth. I absolutely dread going to my practicum shifts, and I am so miserable throughout the day. I question myself daily on what I am doing with my life, and I know this isn't the path I'm intended to be on. With only two months left of school, I have no choice but to push through and graduate. I keep hoping working in the real world on a unit I want to be on will be better, and that these four years of college weren't a complete waste of time. I really do want to like being a nurse...
I guess I just wanted a place to put my thoughts together and be heard. Thanks for reading.
If anyone has any advice I would more than appreciate it!
(As a way to make money, pay off your loans, and have time to find something else. Or, you may find nursing is OK....school is absolutely nothing like the job).
I'm glad you're finishing out. Nursing may not be for you and that's ok. But you will still have your degree. Know that it will definitely be much more difficult and stressful and more than likely aggravating (possibly even hopeless) when you are actually practicing. You will have many legal and moral responsibilities when you are out on your own working. This will be especially true and apparent after you get through orientation and are practicing on your own. You may or may not get through it.
And don't worry about having time to chit-chat and get to know your patients, you won't have time for that anyway.
School is the easiest part along with the least stressful part of this whole nursing thing. I had no medical background when I began school, I had never been a cna or even had children of my own. I wanted to work with elderly people, but had never had a relative in ltc or even rehab, we took care of our elders at home. I had never even been inside a nh. I excelled in class, but when I began clinicals, it was quite the eye-opener, but nothing like when I began actually working in ltc, whoa... But that's where I spent about 90%+ of my nursing employment. I am through with nursing now, having left due to chronically hopeless understaffing. I have returned to my previous career and have regained all that I lost when I began nursing (plus extra).
I won't be returning to nursing, but my experience has been valuable and I'm glad I did my time in the field.
Pt interacting will get easier. If not there's always perioperative services that's requires minimal pt interaction. Once you graduate give yourself time to to try out different areas and find what you like. Just Don't go on thinking you will hate it.
There are areas of nursing with less chit-chat time involved. That might be an option while you explore other options and pay off any school loans, etc. Who knows, you may enjoy the nursing where there is less interaction, such as working as OR nurse, perioperative type nursing or something else. I am sure there are some other areas I am not thinking of right now cause it's early and my coffee has not quite kicked in. In time, patient interaction may get easier too.
Give it a shot. Keep an open mind. But if it is just not for you, that is ok too. Keep at it though while you find what is right for you. But do consider areas of nursing with even less interaction. Consider if you can manage 1 year on a general medical floor before moving on to another area. Or going straight into a specialty area? There are so many things you can do in nursing.
Anyhow, I wish you the best whatever choice you decide.
You might consider circulating in surgery. When I went through the OR during nursing school, the circulator that I worked with said that one thing that he liked about the job was that his patients weren't chatty. He said that he might have to say "hello" when they first came in, but after that they were under general anesthesia.
I have great interpersonal relationships with my patients, but it always felt awkward as a student. I dreaded clinicals too. Your role is just so uncertain, it makes it difficult to relax. You might find you enjoy it more when you are working.
And I think it's great that you are sticking it out. At the very least you will have a steady income while you figure out your next step.
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