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Help...should I go back to Nursing School?


I apologize if this is not the right forum to post on...this is my first time back on this website in a very long time. I really appreciate any advice anyone has to offer. I was in a 2 year Nursing School program at my local community college when I was 17 years old. I worked as a PCA in home health care for years, loved it, and recieved very good grades in nursing school. Unfortunately I was very young, very timid back then, and due to personal issues in my life I chose to leave Nursing School in order to move out of home. I have since worked for years in home health care and as a bartender/server, I also recieved my EMT-B cert in that time, bought a house have a two year old as well as one on the way. My fiance is very supportive thankfully. Now that my life has settled a bit, I'm looking further into the past as to what I'd like to do as my career past bartending, and I'm considering going back to nursing school. I can not afford to work solely part time for two years at a time, however my local college has an LPN option, with the option of working after the one year program and bridging into the RN program when I am financially/mentally ready after getting experience in the field. My main issue is..I'm very scared of the pharmacology aspect of the job. Which is obviously a huge part of the job. Everything else I think I really enjoyed. I had clients with extensive medical needs when I worked as a PCA and was very comfortable with all aspects of that job as well. It's not that I was doing poorly in Pharmacology, but I will admit I have severe anxiety about making a mistake, to the point that it makes me sick. My question is...is this something that I may eventually get over with experience? Should I look into different fields instead? I'm very interested in Pysch nursing (I do hav some experience caring for combative clients), and am assuming this issue would hinder me severely in that field? I considered becoming a Paramedic at one point...however I'm 5' 2" 105 lbs and basically accepted that, especially with the part of the state I live in and the lack of demand for medics, I basically most likely could not physically cut it. Any advice would so be appreciated. Thank you!!

Mrs.D., BSN

Specializes in Medical cardiology. Has 3 years experience.

I’m sorry this board isn’t active, but in case you make your way back here...

I think being anxious of making a medication error is good judgment on your part. This aspect of our job has the potential to cause great harm if not done properly. You will be taught how to be safe and cautious in school. When you have your first job, you will be oriented, ideally for 3+ months.

*You will make a mistake.*

I did while I was precepting. I realized my mistake and told my preceptor. We checked the patients vitals and paged the doctor. We put in a safety (incident report that is NOT for punishment, but to hopefully help the establishment put more safeguards in place if they notice patterns). I cried. Spoke to the manager who was understanding, and cried again. So many nurses on the floor that day told me of when they did it. I was anxious the rest of the day. The patient was fine and I made sure to follow my checks more closely in the future. I’ll never make that same mistake again. In case you’re curious, I had two patients medications on my cart. I scanned the current patients meds and placed back down on my cart. I picked up the wrong patients medication and administered it to the wrong patient.

Earlier this week I received report from an orienting new grad. She made a med error. This time it did harm the patient. She gave too much insulin. She had the correct blood sugar, but read the order incorrectly. However, because she educated the patient on signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia, the patient called her when she became shaken and sweaty. Patients blood sugar had dropped below 30 (very scary for RN and patient!). All the steps were followed for a med error and hypoglycemia. She reported to me that she cried. I told her that I had a med error while precepting and also cried when it happened. She knows her mistake and she will never make it again. The patient is fine.

Please don’t pass up nursing because of your fears and cautions. That’s what will keep you methodical and thoughtful. You might shake the first few times you give meds, but it’s expected by your teachers and preceptors. You can admit that you’re nervous, but do not let it distract you—let it focus you. It’s a scary and important job!

Good luck!

Edited by Mrs.D.