loosing my self confidence and doubting myself

  1. Hello All,

    This is my first semester in nursing school. I am doing Foundations. I have NEVER had any experience in the medical field. This is a second career for me. I am a hands on learner but for some reason, when I get in the clinical lab, I start to doubt myself and lose all confidence in myself. I am just a handful of non-traditional students in a traditional BSN program. I feel like the slow one when I ask several questions and the younger students can seem to pick up on something the first time around. I have a younger lab partner (20 yrs old) and I can feel her getting frustrated with me when I asked her if I can do BP readings on her with the instructor watching after lab was over. She has taken a CNA course and is able to catch on very quickly, I need more time to make sure I am getting it right.

    Today, we had to do a foley cath on a dummy and I took about 20 minutes to completely finish because I wanted to make sure I didnt contaminate things (I admit, I'm a little anal) and I tried to do the procedure exactly as the instructor has shown us. My lab partner was done in about 10 minutes and just stood there looking at me as I was going over the checkoff list (more like glaring at me).

    As we were leaving lab today one of the younger students made a comment that she hopes the instructor just don't "pass people just because she likes them" because it's clearly some people who are not catching on. I had no doubt she was referring to me.

    Today, I really thought about quitting and going back to work in the corporate world. Then I thought to myself, I've had 14 years of experience (mostly hands on training) and it's just going to take me a while to get it right, but I guess I'm so concerned with not looking as effecient as the other students it's starting to get to me (considering I'm the oldest student in the class)

    Any suggestions? Thanks for letting me get this off my chest.
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    About shoegalRN

    Joined: Dec '06; Posts: 1,379; Likes: 2,139

    27 Comments

  3. by   moongirl
    suggestions? take a deep deep breath, steady yourself and go on. Just b/c a "younger" than you student can do it faster, so what? and she is a CNA?? Was she born knowing how to put in a Foley? everyone has to learn as a BEGINNER. that is what you are there for. You maintained sterile field. your instructor will BEAM at you. If you allow the negativty ot get to you, you will lose your confidence and when that happens, you will shake, fumble and really be in a mess. Start each day with " I can do this. I am smart. I am capable. I got into this program because it was meant to be. This is what I was meant to do."
    and yes, everything takes practice! If it didnt, there would be no need for a learning lab! If she wont take time to practice with you, find someone in class who will
    and to me you are the youngun .. its all relative
  4. by   adamsmom
    I know exactly what you mean. I decided to become a nurse at age 40. It has been 2 years now. I am on my 2nd semester at a ADN program and I am failing. I am a CNA on the weekend so I do not have problems with clinical but my tests are horrible. I did get a 3.75 gpa on my college pre-reqs and got a B on my first semester. But I study all the time and I failed 2 tests. I have a 71 and a 75 is passing. We do have a paper that is worth as much as a test that I hope to get a A and I have a test next week so I have some hope. But I was going to quit after I got my last D. I called my advisor and said I quit. She called me back and talked me into staying until the end of the semester and see if I can make it. This is the hardest semester of the entire program. Last class lost 25% after this semester. I am soooooo afraid I will be part of the 25%.
    I know I would make a good nurse, I know many nurses and I know I can do just as well a job and even better than some.
    I decided if I don't pass this semester I will try to get into a local LPN school. They had said they will look at my transcript and see what classes can be transferred.
    Hang in there!!!! You are not alone.
  5. by   Scrubz
    If your lab is open outside of class hours you could always go in there and practice. The more you practice the more second nature it becomes and the less stressed you will be out about it.

    And just try to think about it like this.. It's not about what anyone else thinks about you, it's about how you develop yourself. Like if I'm in a clinical setting and I know I'm doing a good job, I don't care what any other student thinks about me. Of course I always want my instructors to think I'm going a good job too . Or if I'm working in the hospital, satisfaction comes at the point of patients thinking you're doing a good job, rather than your co-workers. I don't know if that relates to what you mean, but I figured I'd throw it out there. Be good!!
  6. by   Tweety
    I didn't have experience either and felt like a bumbling idiot at first. I was your age too when I started. I promise you even the cocky self-assured ones have the same feelings, they are just masking them with confidence.

    It's a universal experience and you are not alone. Don't let the trolls and their comments bother you. Good luck!
    Last edit by Tweety on Mar 6, '07
  7. by   mammaoftwo
    Don't let the youngins bother you. If they want to roll their eyes, let them. You have life experience and they don't. You can achieve your dream and will probably make a fantastic nurse. There is nothing wrong with you wanting to learn to do something right. If she doesn't want to be your partner, then let HER ask the instructor to let her change. What is she going to say when the instructor asks her why? That you are to slow??
    I'd much rather be slow and learn to do something right. There is nothing wrong with your age, I am 54 and just starting - I am the oldest in all my classes so far. I'm even older than the instructors. I am there to learn to achieve my dream You know what? I am making A's in all three of my classes. A lot of the younger ones are failing A&P - I just keep telling myself I can do this - instead of the "little red engine" saying I think I can, I think I can - I know I can, I know I can and so can you. Good luck and many blessings to you as you achieve your dream.
  8. by   shoegalRN
    I want to thank everyone for their responses and support! I am passing all of my classes so far and even ended up with a B in Assessment and it was a 5 week course in addition to taking Patho (which I am currently passing). Today I was just a little stressed out because I havent seen my son since the weekend, and on top of that, I had a Philosophy test later on in the day.

    I did speak with the instructor and expressed I didnt feel confident like I was up to speed with the rest of the class and she assured me I was doing fine. She even offered to stay after lab clinical and help me do the check off on the foley cath to make sure I was doing it right. She told me not to worry about the time, after I've done it a couple of times, I will eventually get faster. I already knew this, but just hearing her assurance made me feel better.

    I've never been one for negativity and I surely didnt think I would experience it while in nursing school since we are all there to learn. I view nursing school as hands on training and then the real on the job training starts once I start working as a nurse. I know there is the nursing school way of doing things, the right way of doing things, and the real life way of doing things. Since I've already had work experience, I don't think this will be a problem for me while I can see it being a problem for some of the other students once we get into the real world.
  9. by   biogeek
    I so happy that the instructure helped you after class. Knowing how to do something correctly is more important than speed, especially since speed will come with experience.

    By the way, are you attending the BSN program at KU Med? I'm hoping to start there next year & will probably be the oldest one in my class.

    Anywho, hope the rest of your semester goes smoothly!
  10. by   krazy_coconuts
    Everything new is a little scary and intimidating at first, but just remember DO NOT give anyone the power to make you feel that you should quit something you really want to do...especially a bunch of 18 year olds. Just making it INTO nursing school is a big hurdle and you should be proud of yourself
  11. by   Daytonite
    nurse2be09. . .hi! i used to live in nkc. first of all, let me assure you that you are not doing anything wrong. being careful to do procedures correctly in the nursing lab is exactly where you are supposed to be doing that. secondly, you have to see these youngsters for what they are--immature. isn't it sad that they don't have patience? it ought to be interesting to see how much patience they will have with slow, elderly patients who will not move as fast as they would like. what will they do when they have a patient who doesn't understand their teaching instructions the first time around? you might ask for another lab partner, if you can. when people make deliberate comments like they hope the instructor doesn't just pass people because she likes them because they clearly are not catching on, they are letting not only their jealousy show, but their nasty nature. can you see that? they are actually envious of the way you comport yourself. however, you'll never get them to admit that. that's just bad behavior and proof of the kind of poor character they have. you are obviously much better than that. i've always been an advocate of quality. when you are the patient laying in the bed, believe me, you want someone like yourself who is meticulous and patient; someone who took the time and effort to learn things thoroughly the first time around. speed comes with experience. believe me, these young ladies will have their rude awakenings in the days and months to come. sadly, they won't share them with anyone else if they can help it because their egos won't permit it. hang in there. you are doing nothing wrong and you are performing exactly as your instructors are affirming is correct. best thing to do is ignore these children. they are not a good standard against which to judge yourself nor any kind of role model to aspire to.
  12. by   nservice
    Just ignore the kids. When they are being nasty, just remember...one day they will be slower. One day they will forget what they went to the supply closet for. One day they will pee every time they sneeze!!
  13. by   nurse4theplanet
    (((((nurse2be09)))))

    To be very blunt....do NOT let this 20yr old snot intimidate you from achieving your goal! This student lacks respect and maturity! She also seems very selfish. I'm sorry....but somebody needs to tell her that highschool ended two years ago.

    First, You need a new lab partner. One who possesses the maturity to understand that you just want to get the job done correctly and become proficient...whether its an 18y/o or a 50y/o! Can you switch?

    Second, can you ask another student to volunteer to practice with you outside of class/lab time? Maybe even ask your instructor if you can bring in a family member to practice BPs on? And you can practice your foley skills at home without a dummy...the biggest part of learning to insert a foley (as far as using a dummy) is really making sure that you maintain sterile technique.

    Don't be discouraged if it takes you a little longer to catch on because you don't have previous medical experience. I was in the same situation, and I did fine. The skills that others have learned as a CNA or even an LPN will only put them ahead for so long before you all will be on equal footing. Even then, some students just take extra time to learn skills, theory, etc. Keep doing what you are doing and do not worry about anyone else. Someone who cares so much to get things right will surely give the same meticulous care to their patients!

    Good Luck!
  14. by   RN BSN 2009
    Slow and steady wins the race, it's GOOD to be anal (think INFECTION CONTROL!) Quality over speed.... You'll learn how to speed up later without compromising patient health!!!

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