Why Is It That Everyone Thinks They're A Good Nurse? - page 11

i don't get it. people write about the horrible mistakes they've made that got them fired from work or suspended, and then they'll go on to say that they know they're a good nurse anyway because... Read More

  1. by   LadyFree28
    Emotional maturity is a growing pain...especially in nursing.

    To share: I found myself less inclined to be not as "sensitive" because I was raised in a military family, on top of that I was a very objective person; I still have to go through the growing pains of nursing; I actually embrace them; but then again, I appreciate "honesty" over "happiness" and "heart" and ooh-"glory"

    I think of the nurses that I learned from in my career and my education and how they honestly attempted to educate and inform me and my cohorts; I always think of the horse-leading to water analogy; although on the other hand I think of locus-of-control theory in my distant memory...eventually you have to adjust your internal locus of control in some way to accept objectivity...it helps in honing the best practice...meaning, to me, it's not about being the "best nurse", it about the "best practice" for the pt and that is pretty evolutionary, fluid, and ever changing; just like life.

    The "best" may not be on a mythical mountaintop, and we are not destined to be the second coming of Flo, and that's ok!
    Last edit by LadyFree28 on Apr 20, '14
  2. by   LadyFree28
    Quote from rn/writer
    Mr. Trouble comes around when people--of any age--don't separate themselves and their personal identities from what they do and how well they do it.

    Learning to take constructive criticism in a healthy way is an acquired skill that many have never mastered. They equate an honest evaluation of their abilities and actions as an attack on their very being and become defensive and unteachable, to everyone's detriment.

    The result is that you have nurses who dismiss valuable input as "eating their young" and wall themselves off from people who could help them if they would only listen. Granted, some criticism is delivered in a harsh or unprofessional manner, and that makes it harder to separate the wheat from the chaff. But if you can't receive any correction without going into a tailspin and developing a chip on your shoulder, you simply will not evolve--as a nurse or as a human being.

    People here on AN sometimes try to encourage a member who has made mistakes (sometimes a lot of mistakes!) and either lost a job or was disciplined in some manner, and they say things like, "You're a great nurse," or "I can tell you have a lot of compassion and you care so much," or "Anyone who tries as hard as you do must be a really good nurse."

    I think they're trying to comfort the person. But when you're not able to make the distinction between self and skills, identity and actions, personality and vocation, that's what happens. And that's why separating the two is crucial.

    The reality is often something like, "You are a wonderful and worthwhile person. But you have made a number of mistakes and you need to take that seriously and work on the areas where you are deficient."

    With everything blended into a blur, there is only all up or all down. That is a childish way of thinking, no matter how old the individual is. As a person matures, there should be an increased ability to compartmentalize the different areas of life and give each the reaction and attention it needs.

    This is a major life skill that, unfortunately, hasn't been taught the way it should have been. The result is a hodgepodge of confusion, misery, attitude, hostility, hurt, misunderstanding, fear, obsession, and a few other non-productive responses.

    Those who care feel tortured and overwhelmed. Those who take a more narcissistic approach feel slighted and irate. Many fall somewhere in between.

    What's the solution? Growing up. Recognizing the boundaries between who you are and what you do. Learning to take an honest inventory of what you do and then embracing the good and improving the bad.

    This can be done at any age. It's never too early or too late.
    Wanted to bump this quote...so well said.
  3. by   dudette10
    I think it's just because I've never heard anyone in any profession say, "I'm bad at my job." Also, everyone has their own definition of a "good nurse" which they apply to themselves and to others.

    I also think its silly that someone can say to another, "You are a good nurse!" without ever directly observing. One night, I was upset about a mistake I had made and was talking about it with my husband. He tried to make me feel better by saying, "You're a good nurse, honey," and I unfairly snapped back at him, "How the hell do you know?" because I was not in the mood at that moment for an empty compliment. On this forum, we can minimally assess someone's knowledge and approach to learning and criticism, but beyond that, we can never truly know.
  4. by   suanna
    I make sure everyone knows I'm only a mediocre nurse with short periods of below average. I find my potential for sucess greatly depends on lowering other peoples expectations of me.