I am the biggest anxiety nurse ever :(


hi there,

im new to this forum,but its so nice to see somewhere where i can vent and ask people about how im feeling,i hope this turns out ok! lol my name is devon,im 22,and i just finished my first semester of my rn program at mcc in michigan.

i had no medical experience,until my first once-a-week clinicals these past 8 weeks,id only been in a hospital 3 times in my life. needless to say i felt kind of lost.

im a "worrier" and i always have been,i think i worry about everything...my very first clincal,i forgot to dry under a womans breast (lol i know) after a bed bath and felt sick all night worrying she would get an infection or something because i forgot..:(

i just worry im going to overload myself from anxiety due to my clincals and id love to know if its not just me...i feel great in lectures, but when it comes to the clincals i feel so incompetant still, im afraid to try procedures for the first time on a helpless patient without anyone there to supervise me to make sure im doing everything ok. then when i get home i just go crazy thinking about little things i did wrong at the end of the day...

i flipped out today because i took my patient into the shower room at the nursing home, and then remembered the first day we went there we were told "no students in the shower room with a patient without an employee present!!" i asked the nurse before i did it and she didnt mentino anything....and i just forgot :( nothing happened, my patient was fine but i wigged out tihnking about it later and ended up calling my instructor as a crybaby mess,worried i would get in trouble....ive just never had to do anything where i feel i have so much responsibilty and it worries me to death :(...any advice...i know its pretty bad -_-*!!


1,842 Posts

Has 20 years experience.
then when i get home i just go crazy thinking about little things i did wrong at the end of the day...

reflecting on your day is valuable

even better if you can do this before you go in - sort of like to prepare in advance


144 Posts

I could have written that post. You cannot be the biggest anxiety nurse ever...because I am. I stuggled in clinicals so much. I am very hard on myself. Like you, I would worry so about the things I did wrong. I think it is because I expect perfection from myself and that, of course, is not possible. I also had no history in nursing. I was an absolute wreck in clinicals. I almost quit so many times. The girls in my clinical group were wonderful as was my teacher. They basically threatened me saying "we know where you live". My lecture grades were excellent but I just stuggled in clinical. I was sure I picked the wrong career. I could not eat and was loosing weight. I was litterally curled up in the fetal possition some nights crying " I can't do this". However, I always showed up. Somehow, I always made it through the day. I was just about to quit when my husband made an appointment with my doctor and a therapist. They saved me. My therapist talked me through it and my doctor put me on alittle meds. Just a very low dose of Lexipro. Well, I hung in there and graduated July 2007. Not only that... I finished third in my class. I am now a working LPN in a job I love. It was so worth it. I am doing really well at work and I am currently taking my prereg's for RN. I still "worry" but that is ok. I get through. One thing therapy taught me has been to just do my best and that is all you can do. If mistakes are made, learn from them. Maybe it happened for a reason. I don't know what faith you have but maybe it is God's will. I wonder if I went through what I did to get a better understanding for what anxiety patients go through. I have a real interest in Psyche nursing now. Just please hang in there. Nobody and I mean nobody could have possibly been worse than me. Colleen

Jules A, MSN

8,863 Posts

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

It sounds like you are taking the huge responsibility we will have as nurses very seriously and that is a good thing but just don't let it make you too afraid. Something that I try to remember is that we will make mistakes and the important thing is to own up to them and learn from them. No one is perfect and truthfully the chance of you being in a position this early on that would really harm someone is pretty slim.

You young gals really amaze me, I totally didn't have the maturity to do what you are doing when I was your age. :cheers:

Hang in there! Jules

Daytonite, BSN, RN

4 Articles; 14,603 Posts

Specializes in med/surg, telemetry, IV therapy, mgmt. Has 40 years experience.

Hi, Devon, and welcome to allnurses! :welcome:

You and about 90% of the student nurses feel the way you do. You're just brave enough to say something about it. When I was in nursing school back in the 1970's I felt the same way. My only experience being in the hospital had been to visit my girlfriend's sister and my father who were patient's when I was 16. It was all new to me. Every day that I walked into clinicals I was scared to death that I would accidentally kill my patient. I used to get physically nauseated as I was walking into the clinical site, so consequently I didn't eat before going to clinicals for fear of barfing. This went on for a couple of years before, at some point, I realized that my fear was unfounded and no one had died yet. When you begin to develop more confidence in what you are doing and begin to master the skills you are learning the anxiety and fear starts to go away. I promise. Hang in there.

Specializes in midwifery, NICU. Has 12 years experience.

Devon...(LoVE your name btw!). Babe, just take a big breath in ...then out....and calm down a wee bit honey! :lol2: Honestly, we have all been in that place, you will get by it and learn to trust yourself. Take your time, and start to believe in what you are learning. Six months time...you will feel differently. Best of luck to you babe! JUST BREATHE!!!!:lol2:


You are not alone. I too get nervous about clinical and last week I felt like quitting after checking for residual on a patient with a gastrostomy tube. The professor was asking me questions about where it was placed and I just blanked out from nervousness. And now I am worried about med-surg clinicals beacuse expectations are higher.

I've decided that I've worked too hard to get into the nursing program and I can't continue beating myslef up over littlest things. And that I have to stop being so hard on myself. Last week was my last week of clinicals so what I did was I really prepared the night before. I practiced all the skills that I needed to do on my patients over & over again. And when it came time to perform I also said too myself "do not rush it take your time and relax." And for the first time I wasn't nervous. So please keep practicing your skills at home so when you do get to clinicals it will lessen your anxiety. Trust me when I say everyoine is nervous. Just try to practice, practice, practice. Best place to vent is here or to your friends try not to vent too much to your professor you don't want him/her to think your incapable of doing the job. Just keep practicing your skills, it will get better.


453 Posts

Devon, I never had any hospital experience before either. There are going to be times when you forget a step or make a mistake as a student nurse, but I bet those are mistakes you won't make again. The last day of my skills class, I was verbally walking through several task to my instructor including taking a stool sample, teaching how to take a clean catch urine sample, vital signs, and at the end the instructor asked me what I needed to do. From the way she said it I knew I missed something. I started to get nervous. I said I would give the patient the call button. She said yes, but what else. "Uh.... I would document." Yes, but what else. "Ummmmmm... clean the hat out?" Those are all things you would do, but there is something I always tell students to do when they take there gloves off. I finally figured it out that she meant wash my hands. I was mortified, my fellow student/patient had been trying to signal me. Thank goodness that was in skills class and not in clinicals. I know I won't ever forget to do that now.

We are all learning new skills so it is natural to be anxious. Take a moment to recognize the signs of anxiety and work out ways to cope with them, and tell yourself that as a student, this is all part of the learning process. You will make mistakes, but you learn from them and move forward. Best of luck to you.


44 Posts

I hear ya! I have lots of anxiety and I am very hard on myself. I do very well in lecture but when it comes to clinical...I have issues. I had a little CNA experience in nursing homes, but I'm very shy, especially when it comes to authority figures that I don't know. I have self-doubt...keep telling myself that I can't wait to graduate IF I make it through the program. I feel like I'm in boot camp and no one understands how hard things get except those that are going through it themselves.

But here I am...one semester left to go. And I am scared to death about clinical (all the anxiety just makes my clinical experience harder). We are going to end up having 4-5 patients at a time to "work on our time management". EEK! But at the same time, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! I (and you) just need to get through. Just tighten the reigns and focus harder than you've ever focused before and it will be done before you know it!! Lot's of luck!!

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