How did I become responsible for everyone else?

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Before I even start in on this, I know the answer to my is my own fault. I have a hard time saying "no" to people, especially when they are my friends, and I am watching them struggle and cry after a test. But it has gotten to the point where I am getting a little frustrated by it all. I have been tutoring people in my nursing class since pretty much the beginning of last semester...but this semester it has gotten worse. Basically half of my class is failing right now....several girls had come over before the last test and I did a little review session with them, and they passed the test. Now, I don't think it was because of me, it was probably b/c they studied more, but now everyone wants to review with me!!! Our final is this week, and about 10 students approached me about doing a final review. I wanted to do it this weekend, b/c it is more convenient for me, but during the week is easier for do you think I agreed to do it this week? Of course. Not only that, but I am driving to the school to do it, which is closer to most everyone, but at least a 30 minute drive for me....this is on the day before the final. I am doing this because I like most of my classmates, and I do not want to see anyone fail...especially a year from graduation....but I am taking away my own study time to do this! Granted, I am not going to fail the class, but the final counts about half of your grade, and I still need to do well to maintain my grade. This is not a post to gripe about the other students, I just need advise on how to better set limits. Classes are going to get harder as we continue, and while I do want to help my classmates, I need to make sure I have time to get my own stuff done. Any suggestions? Time to bury myself in "pain management" chapters, thanks in advance for your suggestions!


Specializes in ICU, CM, Geriatrics, Management.

Okay... this is gonna be tough... but try pronouncing the letter "N." Great!

Now "O." Super!

Now combine the two sounds. Yes!!! You've got it!

Now go practice in front of the folks mentioned above.

Good luck! ;>0


1,483 Posts

Specializes in Emergency Dept, M/S.

I think they are definitely taking advantage (probably unknowingly in their defense) of your generosity. I would just be frank with them now, and tell them that YOUR study time and family life is starting to really suffer because of it, and the drive time, combined with the tutoring, is really draining for you. Maybe, if you are willing, you can tell them you'll get together one time per week for a study session, but you just can't handle any more than that. And if possible, make it closer to YOU. If they want it badly enough, they will travel and adapt to your schedule (should you wish to continue with it). It's never too late to say no. You are under no contract to anyone but yourself.

You need to start thinking about YOU, not them. Until you are paid to be a tutor, maybe it is time to call that part of it quits.


6,620 Posts

You need to learn to say no NOW, cause if you graduate and start working with this "need to please" attitude, you will be eaten alive.


26 Posts

i totally agree with "wannabeanrn",:p if they want to make it thru bad enough,then make them come to you. REMEMBER YOU ARE MORE IMPORTANT THEN THEY ARE!!! :) you are getting taken advantage of :imbar ....been there done that....NEVER AGAIN!! :angryfire If you make them come to you when its conveinent for you then you will find out whos serious and yous getting a free ride...:rolleyes:


13 Posts

Hey, Can you help me study this weekend also. LOL!


612 Posts

Lil, you sound like a very caring and giving person. Your future patients will be lucky to have you someday as their nurse. But you really do have to look out for numero uno and not let others railroad you. Insist that your group study sessions be at YOUR convenience at a time and location that is good for you and won't interfere with your agenda. It will probably feel strange at first being a little firmer with people, but you'll get used to it. Good idea above about having the gathering at a location close to your home ... 30 minutes each way has to get expensive with the price of gas now! If they want the tutoring so bad, they'll spend their time and gas money for it. It's great to be able to help others, it's a feeling that makes you feel whole. That's why we're all choosing nursing. But don't give and give of yourself, you'll burn out fast. Take care of what you need done first, your own needs, your family, your job, your studies, and THEN if you have time left over, offer to help others.

smk1, LPN

2,195 Posts

be nice but firm and say "I am sorry but i can't come out to school this week for a study group but you all are welcome to meet at my house at (enter time convenient for you)" if they grumble then say "well how about i just take a few minutes to tell how i plan to study and which materials i am going over." They really don't need you they just need your good study habits and plans. Tell them what you are studying and how you are doing it and let the rest be up to them.


215 Posts

Boy do I relate to this! I have had to learn very quickly to set boundaries for help.

First, decide IN ADVANCE what you are comfortable helping with, and stick to your guns. For example, "I will be available by phone or email on XXX day - you can contact me then". I had a real problem with people wanting last minute help with assignment proof-reading the end I gave them my time limits, and if they try for the last minute, I just don't answer the phone/email.

In terms of actual study - try setting up some kind of study group. This should help you as well as them. So for example, if you are studying for an exam, give each person a chunk of material to study and write about and have emailed to the group each week. Then when you meet, you can quiz each other. If someone doesn't send theirs, then the following week, drop them from the group, citing fairness to the other group members.

The idea is that it's a good thing to help those who need help, but you must give the message that they are expected to WORK. Believe me, this will soon sort out the sheep from the goats!

Finally, set aside your OWN study time FIRST. Then just make it clear to everyone else - "sorry, that's my own study time/day/s. We will have to do it another time". Trust me, if you make it non-negotiable, then they will have no choice but to accept it.


168 Posts

"To be able to care for others, we must take care of ourselves."

I think this is a valuable life lesson for you. We all go through it at one time or another in our lives - make that a few times for me. :)

I frequently remind myself of this saying, especially when I need to say NO but feel that caregiver guilt. It is also a lesson I teach my patients and their family members. Is it selfish? Definitely but ITS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY, esp when you work in a caregiving capacity and are being pulled in every direction.

Good luck to you! ;)


115 Posts

Hi everyone! Thanks for the advice! I just finished 20 minutes on the phone explaining to someone about which IV fluids (hypotonic/hypertonic/isotonic) to give when! ARGHHHH! I am not answering the phone anymore tonight! LOL! Anyway, I am going to try next semester to put my foot down a little....that is, if I say I can only help at "X time" than that is what it will be. I have come to this after realizing I will be up late tonight/early tomorrow to finish reviewing chapters I need to go over so I can make time to help others! Experiencing brain overload right now.....LOL! Thanks again for the advice....4 more days and I will be in my last year of nursing school!




20,964 Posts

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis.

don't let them suck the life out of you or you will not be able to fill your OWN well. And you need to do that first.

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