WHEN Do I Stop Feeling Stupid?

  1. So when do I stop feeling like a complete idiot at clinicals?

    I'm in my second quarter of clinical and I get so frustrated at feeling completely helpless and stupid. Between nasty floor nurses and just trying to figure out where things are located, I'm on the brink of crying! I interrupted report the other morning because the unit clerk was yelling at me to go get a nurse NOW and since I couldn't find one on the floor, I went into report and of course was told to NEVER interrupt report and to go find a nurse on the floor. Talk about feeling stupid!

    When it comes to assessing my patients, I'm constantly second guessing myself. Was that a wheeze I heard or was it crackles? Did I hear S1 and S2? Am I really sure?

    When does the confidence arrive??
    Last edit by hangnon on Feb 5, '05
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    About hangnon

    Joined: Feb '05; Posts: 70; Likes: 9
    Domestic Goddess and Full Time Student

    28 Comments

  3. by   VivaLasViejas
    Quote from hangnon
    So when do I stop feeling like a complete idiot at clinicals?

    I'm in my second quarter of clinical and I get so frustrated at feeling completely helpless and stupid. Between nasty floor nurses and just trying to figure out where things are located, I'm on the brink of crying! I interrupted report the other morning because the unit clerk was yelling at me to go get a nurse NOW and since I couldn't find one on the floor, I went into report and of course was told to NEVER interrupt report and to go find a nurse on the floor. Talk about feeling stupid!

    When it comes to assessing my patients, I'm constantly second guessing myself. Was that a wheeze I heard or was it crackles? Did I hear S1 and S2? Am I really sure?

    When does the confidence arrive??
    I'm still waiting for that moment........and I've been an RN for 8 years! :chuckle

    Seriously, it takes a loooooong time to become comfortable with your skills and knowledge, and you can hardly be expected to be SuperNurse in your second term! Try not to beat up on yourself, though......the learning process never stops, and even experienced nurses don't know everything. Don't let 'em get you down, OK??
  4. by   hangnon
    Quote from mjlrn97
    I'm still waiting for that moment........and I've been an RN for 8 years! :chuckle

    Seriously, it takes a loooooong time to become comfortable with your skills and knowledge, and you can hardly be expected to be SuperNurse in your second term! Try not to beat up on yourself, though......the learning process never stops, and even experienced nurses don't know everything. Don't let 'em get you down, OK??
    Thanks.....that really does make me feel better. Clinical rotations are just so frustrating because it seems once you get everything down, they've switched you to another location.
  5. by   VivaLasViejas
    Quote from hangnon
    Thanks.....that really does make me feel better. Clinical rotations are just so frustrating because it seems once you get everything down, they've switched you to another location.
    Oh, how well I remember.........never was in the same hospital two terms in a row. But, you know what they say: "Blessed are they who are flexible, for they will not be bent out of shape" :chuckle
  6. by   hangnon
    Quote from mjlrn97
    Oh, how well I remember.........never was in the same hospital two terms in a row. But, you know what they say: "Blessed are they who are flexible, for they will not be bent out of shape" :chuckle
    LOL. I'd kill just to be in the same department 2 weeks in a row! I've been bounced from Med Surg to ER to OR to Med Surg to Day Surgery......
  7. by   Arkhunter
    Quote from hangnon
    So when do I stop feeling like a complete idiot at clinicals?

    I'm in my second quarter of clinical and I get so frustrated at feeling completely helpless and stupid. Between nasty floor nurses and just trying to figure out where things are located, I'm on the brink of crying! I interrupted report the other morning because the unit clerk was yelling at me to go get a nurse NOW and since I couldn't find one on the floor, I went into report and of course was told to NEVER interrupt report and to go find a nurse on the floor. Talk about feeling stupid!

    When it comes to assessing my patients, I'm constantly second guessing myself. Was that a wheeze I heard or was it crackles? Did I hear S1 and S2? Am I really sure?

    When does the confidence arrive??
    Oh, boys do I hear you! I am in my last semester of ADN program and am scared to death of the thought of being out of school and getting a job because I feel I am totally not ready! Everyone says "Oh, Annette you are overeacting. You will be fine." And you know what? Maybe I will be, but I am still scared to think I do not know enough to take care of more than one patient. I keep moving forward though, because I really do want this and I love the feeling when a patient says "Thank you", and "You are so nice". Anyway, thought I would just say you are not alone, and we will make it!
  8. by   lunakat
    You are not the only one who feels stupid. I just started my 2nd semester last month. I keep waiting for one of the instructors to point me out to the whole class and yell "who let you pass 1st semster? How did you slip through the cracks? You are an imposter!"
  9. by   grentea
    I constantly feel stupid during my clinicals and I'm in my second semester of them too. I never know where anything is, and I feel like I'm always in the way. The thing that makes it worse is that I usually don't get that much sleep because I always have so much studying and stuff to do. One of my classmates gave me a tip on the Post-partum floor I'm on which is to ask the nurse or any nurses around if there's anything you can do to help them. I've been doing that and the nurses seem a little nicer to me and sometimes they will grab me to show me something or help them with little things, which is cool. I've also found that introducing myself to people or pleasantly explaining youself in response to eye-rolling (or similar behavior) really helps. Usually people don't know who I am other than another pesky nursing student and I think when they know my name, it's a little harder to blow me off and be rude to me.
    I feel like I'm not really sure what I'm doing a lot too, but I just do my best and ask lots of questions. I wish that more people could remember what it was like to be a student. I've met a lot of nice people but some people treat us nursing students like they don't know what we're doing there, because after all, they were NEVER students. They were born wearing scrubs and possessing innate knowledge of every nursing procedure....right.
    Learn from the people who help and don't let the rest get you down! We're going to make it!
  10. by   webblarsk
    Hang in there! Clinicals were always difficult for me also. I always felt like I didn't belong and felt very out of place. It gets better!
  11. by   Arkhunter
    Quote from lunakat
    You are not the only one who feels stupid. I just started my 2nd semester last month. I keep waiting for one of the instructors to point me out to the whole class and yell "who let you pass 1st semster? How did you slip through the cracks? You are an imposter!"
    Oh my goodness! Thanks for the laugh I needed one!
  12. by   chilloutrelax
    I feel stupid all the time. And confidence? How am I supposed to get it? For my 2nd semester clinical evaluation, my instructor told me I lacked self confidence. I think it's impossible for anyone to have a complete lack of self confidence...but that's what she said. Since my instructors won't say 'good job', I just keep telling myself how far I've come and I'm proud of myself.
  13. by   ProfRN4
    Quote from hangnon
    so when do i stop feeling like a complete idiot at clinicals?

    i interrupted report the other morning because the unit clerk was yelling at me to go get a nurse now and since i couldn't find one on the floor, i went into report and of course was told to never interrupt report and to go find a nurse on the floor. talk about feeling stupid!
    [font=courier new]i hope you don't feel stupid about that (the nurse who yelled at you should) puleeeeeeease!! what is she, your mother??

    ten years and counting, still feel stupid (sometimes). actually it's a great feeling when you know you're catching on to things. when it starts to 'click', it's so cool!! but sadly, it won't come for at least another year or two (don't want to get your hopes up any sooner). you may need to find your niche before it happens. i know that's what happened to me. there was an in-between stage of not feeling stupid, and oh my god, i really know my stuff . i guess that's called competence.
  14. by   Tweety
    Don't give anyone the power to make you feel stupid. And don't use that word to describe yourself.

    It'll all come together sometime....oh in about 4 to 10 years.

    Good luck and hang in there.

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