Feeling lost in clinicals.....

  1. I'm in my first semester of the ASN program. We just started clinicals 2 weeks ago. I'm feeling a little discouraged right now because I just feel lost. I'm a phlebotomist so I do work in a hospital and I'm used to patient contact, but all I do is draw blood and leave. I've never actually taken care of patients before and I just feel like I have no idea what I'm doing. We practiced all of our skills in the lab and were signed off on all of them. But doing things on actual patients is ALOT different. I'm sure this is normal though right? When do actually start to feel more confident, like you actually know what you are doing? I'm also very shy which doesn't help either. My instructor made a comment about that during my mid-term evaluation yesterday and it made me feel kind of bad. I've been shy my entire life though and it's going to be hard for me to overcome. But I know I have to because who has ever met a shy nurse? Nurse's are supposed to be out-going and assertive. That's another reason I'm feeling bad about myself right now. I feel my communication skills with my patients and also the nursing staff really suck right now. I'm hoping as I get more confident that will improve. I guess I'm just hoping someone will tell me everything is going to be ok and this is totally normal. Did any of you go through this your first semester?
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    Joined: Aug '06; Posts: 81; Likes: 7

    5 Comments

  3. by   alpayton
    To help overcome your shyness, I'd suggest trying something when you say...go to the grocery store, run errands, and the such. Take time when you run into someone you don't know, just say something to them such as, "Hi", or "How are you today?" or help someone with a door and say "Here, let me help you with that." You'd be surprised at how easy it is to talk to someone you don't know, and how much this will help you with going into those client rooms and starting up a conversation about what you're fixing to do. It'll help make you more assertive, less shy. Try it....don't wait for someone to say something to you....be the first one to say something. I do it all the time, and you'll get some weird looks at first, but then you'll get the ones that because you said something to them, you've brightened their day.
  4. by   Sheri257
    I felt the same way when I first started school so I got a job as an extern to gain more experience. It boosted my confidence tremendously.

    :typing
  5. by   Nurse`Chief~Chickie
    good advice from alpayton!
    something that helped me initially (and btw, i'm alot more ballsy than i used to be.) if you ever had thoughts when you were little(or older hehe ) of being an actor/actress, put on that hat. psych yourself up and go into it like a 'part'. it makes sense, you've studied, same thing as preparing for a 'scene'. after a while, you realize that it's really not acting. you are really the nurse! maybe a little corny, but it worked.
  6. by   Megsd
    Quote from nurse`chief~chickie
    good advice from alpayton!
    something that helped me initially (and btw, i'm alot more ballsy than i used to be.) if you ever had thoughts when you were little(or older hehe ) of being an actor/actress, put on that hat. psych yourself up and go into it like a 'part'. it makes sense, you've studied, same thing as preparing for a 'scene'. after a while, you realize that it's really not acting. you are really the nurse! maybe a little corny, but it worked.
    i agree with this completely. exude confidence, even if you have zero. there's an expression: "the patient's perception is his reality". if the patient thinks you are a confident, skillful caregiver, then you are a confident, skillful caregiver.

    i'm in my first quarter and have had to overcome all the same jitters (interviewing pts for prep still gives me the willies) but i have learned to simply "be on stage" and play the part of the confident, skillful caregiver! i am the type that tends to think everything before i say it. sometimes i psych myself up by "rehearsing" my interview, phrasing my questions and coming up with imaginary patient answers that i can respond to and elaborate on.

    my patients are sometimes more confident in my abilities than i am. even though i always introduce myself as a student and i am constantly bringing in my instructor (who i always introduce as "my instructor") for procedures, i have had patients ask on two separate occasions why i keep bringing these people in with me (one asked why "that lady" makes me look so nervous). when i reiterate that i'm in school and my instructor is making sure i am doing a good job, they have said that they did not think i was a student, and that i seem like i have been doing this for a long time (which is a faaaabulous ego boost, btw).

    nursing school is so much about stepping outside (well, sometimes it feels more like being forcefully shoved) of your comfort zone.. there's just no way around it. take occasional steps outside that zone as much as you can and cheer yourself on. take pride in all your victories, no matter how tiny, and slowly you'll build up that confidence you see in the nurses around you.
  7. by   ProfRN4
    I agree with the others. It's like a dog- they know when you are afraid of them. I see this with my students and their patient interactions. Some patients do recognize the students fears and are patient and receptive. But I do see ones that are not. These are the students who tell me that the patient would not let me do anythign to them. Then i wonder what the students approach was.

    I wonder, for you, what is different about this than your phlebotomy? Did you not talk to the patiens then? By having hopsital experience, that should put you ahead of the game. It is a familiar environment for you, as are sick patients.

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