Need inspiration...did you love your clinicals? Because I don't

Nurses General Nursing


I have been slogging away through nursing school, part-time, while working, for over three years. I feel like I should have my PhD by now LOL. But alas, I have one more year to go.

I've been working as a PSW (CNA in US, I believe). I have two jobs, one which I like, and one...I don't like so much. The tension between myself and two co-workers has really come to a head the past week or so.

The 50 hour work weeks and stress of juggling two jobs and school finally pushed me to seek out a $10,000 student loan and complete school full-time this September, keeping the one job I like two nights a week. I just can't do it anymore - my nerves are shot, I am exhausted all the time, crying, my husband is scared for me.

In order to make this work financially, I have to finish working until the middle of August. I can't quit the job I hate any sooner - it would set me back approx. $1500 - and I can't afford to tack that onto my loan.

However - I have clinicals right now, and I feel I am exhausted for them. Today I called in sick. This is the second day of clinical I've missed. However, this is my first clinical rotation - we are basically doing care, transfers, etc. It is all things I am doing as a CNA. The only thing we got to do once was medications - which I really enjoyed. I love the mental challenge of that. But I HATE the basic slogging work - especially since I did it the night before from 3-11, and usually have to look forward to another 3-11 that afternoon. It is endless DIAPERS!!!!!!

I do well in school. My average is 92% in classes. I got a glowing review from my clinical teacher at midterm.

So why do I feel so crappy about this?

I realize all I have to do is get through til August....but my clinical only has three weeks left, and I can't blow it. I certainly can't miss any more days.

Any tips would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


230 Posts

We all get stressed... You seem to have a lot of stressful situations going on ....... I dont always like my clinicals too... Sometimes I really have to psych myself up for them... It will be worth it when you get your rn. BTW you averages are awesome. something to be proud of.

grinnurse, RN

767 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surge.

Sorry you are having such a rough go of it right now. The only piece of advice that I can offer came from my second clinical rotation in which the instructor was less than supportive. Get you a big black marker and just keep marking those days off until you get out of the bad situation in August. As busy as you seem to be, hopefully it will go quickly. I commend you for working 2 jobs and going through NS at the same time. I couldn't have done that at all. I would have been stark, raving mad by that point.

Remember to try to make a little time for yourself even if it is just taking a bubble bath every now and then. Be good to yourself and good luck.


437 Posts

Most people don't love clinicals but can muddle through. I think your situation sounds especially stressful which is why you can't enjoy your clinicals at all. I bet after you quit this second job you will feel a lot better.

But your average, after being in school so long and working two jobs, is incredible!!!! You should definitely be proud.

Try and do something nice for yourself after clinicals that you can look forward to. Get a pedicure, take a bubble bath, just do something to destress.

Good luck!

Tweety, BSN, RN

33,538 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac.

I feel your fatigue. You should take today to rest up. Tomorrow slog through it one step at a time. There were days when I literally had to reduce it to that, putting one foot in front of the other.

There were many clinicals I didn't enjoy, but it was all getting me towards my goal one slogging step at a time. There's no rule that says you have to enjoy your clinicals or enjoy school.

Good luck.

mommatrauma, RN

470 Posts

Specializes in ER.

Sorry you're having a bad time...But think of it this way...I think part of the clinical problem you are having is boredom...its like a hair dresser, they cut hair all day, the last thing they want to do is go home and do their own hair...but remember, as much as you don't like the basic slogging...its essential to the job...just because you become an RN, doesn't mean you won't have to still do that, we are never above it...and use this time to help your classmates, maybe that will help you get through...since you already know how to do all of this because of your regular job, maybe you could teach them a thing or helpful hints in transferring...quicker ways to clean a patient and change sounds trivial to you because you do it all the time, but maybe some of those in your class don't work in a patient care type setting right what's easy for you, could be a challenge to them...use your boredom and turn it around to be a helpful hand...then maybe when you get further into your clinicals and you find something that is more challenging to you, someone else will return the favor and use their knowledge to help you...

suzy253, RN

3,815 Posts

Specializes in Telemetry/Med Surg.

You've received some great advice here.

I concur that you should try to make some time for yourself.

I wasn't too keen on my clinicals when I first started them. But after awhile when I got the routine down and was able to think for myself (!) I began to enjoy them more; certainly not a favorite is the endless diaper changes but I try to think of the patient and how much more comfortable you are making them.

Hang in there--good luck to you & let us know how you're doing.


93 Posts

Thank you all for your replies. I have spent much of the day slogging through some old filing that I've been putting off for ages, and watching a Johnny Depp movie :) It feels absolutely decadent and guilty all at the same time!

You have all given me some excellent advice. I do know how important basic care is, and that I will still be doing it when I graduate. I just get tired of doing it 16 hours a day, non-stop, with the highlight of my life ordering lunch. And even then, I usually study through it!

I am very proud of my average. I wasn't a great student in High School and I'm relishing being "the smart one" for a change LOL :)

Still, I feel like I'm shutting down emotionally and physically, and so close to being finished too. I guess I'll just take the advice to put one foot in front of the other...onwards!

Geez...I haven't even taken a shower yet today. I repulse myself :)

Tonight, I'm going to do a bit of light studying, and then maybe go for a walk in the park. I wish I had a dog sometimes so I can have an excuse to get out, but that's all I need...something else to care for!!! :rotfl:

Thankyou for convincing me that it's not that I'm not cut out for nursing because I don't like my's just that I'm overworked :balloons:

you are going to burn out before you ever get to work as a nurse. Take the money, quit one or both jobs, talk to your instructor about how you can become more engaged in your clinical experience and make time for fun & excerise. You gotta take care of YOU. I literally HATED my psych clinical for various reasons. I blamed it on my instructor at the time, but now I see I was not contributing to the experience, just floating through it. Do what you have to do to FOCUS on nursing, keeping your physical and mental health intact.


191 Posts

Hang tough and take a break when and where you can. I'm "just" a student myself right now but my last full-time day job, I was active duty in the Navy as an instructor at the Naval Special Warfare Center. When I went through as a student, at the end of the day I'd do the mark the day off the calender routine as mentioned above, but what really helped is that when I got up to start the day, I'd tell myself that all I had to get through was today. After today is over I'd re-negotiate. Then when it got even harder, I'd just go meal to meal, Just tell yourself "I only have to make it until lunch etc." You can do this. Remember that there really is no such thing as a "life sentance" it'll all be over sooner or later. Good luck




20,964 Posts

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

I hated clinicals until the last weeks of my final semester. I always felt the instructors were lying "in wait" for us to make an error and wash us out. We did lost more than 1/2 of our class in those 2 years. It was NOT easy. So don't feel bad. You are not alone.


175 Posts

I cant wait to start clinicals!! Im soooo excited.....Maybe when I actually start clinicals my attitude will change :chuckle But for now clinicals are what I am anxiously awaiting.

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