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Nursing school and depression

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Hello

Today was my 2nd absence from clinical due to illness (depression, no sleep). I have been depressed for along time (I am on antidepressant and see counselor 1x wk). We are only allowed 2 absences total for whole semester. I have 0 absences in my classes, grades, etc are good.

I am going to write instructor to explain my situation (get dr note) about my depression so possibly I won't get F for course. Doing good in class/theory work. Has anyone else out there had this problem. Much of my depression does have to do with being child of alcoholic (i attend Al Anon meetings). I don't drink. It has effected my self esteem.

Thanks for listening.

decembergrad2011, BSN, RN

Specializes in Oncology. Has 12 years experience.

I think talking to your clinical instructor might be a good idea, but go at it from the aspect of wanting to make up your clinical hours/assignments rather than looking for sympathy or a pass. They are more likely to respond to a proactive attitude.

I would speak to your counselor about your medication regimen, and possibly get a referral to a psychiatrist to discuss treatment options. It's possible that there is a medication that is a better fit for you than what you are taking now.

I have some experience with abuse as a kid, and I think it affects me more than I realize on a daily basis. So I understand those feelings.

I know nursing school is hard, but absences make it so much harder. Try your best to reel it in as soon as possible.

I think part of depression has to do with severe anxiety and clinicals. I don't have job in healthcare and so no experience and the instructors expect us to be fast in care. I have a nice personality and like people but maybe I just don't fit in at clinicals?:yawn:

I suffer from severe depression and I am in my first semester of nursing. Some of the depression stems from lack of sleep, anxiety, and fear that you don't belong. Find people that you feel comfortable being around. I like taking a Saturday or Sunday and devoting to myself. I will take a long, hot bath and read a book that has no educational value to it. Talking to your instructors about making up missed assignments may be the best thing for you to do. I wish you the best of with your nursing education.

decembergrad2011, BSN, RN

Specializes in Oncology. Has 12 years experience.

I think part of depression has to do with severe anxiety and clinicals. I don't have job in healthcare and so no experience and the instructors expect us to be fast in care. I have a nice personality and like people but maybe I just don't fit in at clinicals?:yawn:

You are inexperienced, and that's okay. It's unfortunate that most clinical instructors expect students to understand and master assessments, skills, med administration, and communication with their patients after seeing it once or performing it twice. What is causing all of the anxiety at clinicals?

I found that I was perpetually in fear of my med-surg clinical instructor because I believed that she hated me, thought I was not capable of being a good nurse, and would take any chance she could to deduct points from me. All of the negative talk made clinicals a huge stressor for me. It wasn't until very late in the semester that I realized that my CI pushed me because she LIKED me, and felt that I could be a better nursing student with just a little tough love. She was wrong - definitely not the way to motivate me! But nonetheless her heart was in the right place, and she's written letters of recommendation for me and served as a reference. I would suggest that you NOT start, or continue, to do this cycle of negativity to yourself.

Talk to your clinical instructor - be open and honest about your experience level and your fears about not being fast enough in your care. When you feel uncomfortable performing a task, let her know that you might need some extra help, whether that comes from her or your RN. Whatever you do, keep those lines of communication open because it is so vital to your CI seeing you as an active learner. When my CI knew that I was really, really trying, and that I was just a little anxious sometimes, she backed way off of me and gave me the space to show that I could do things without constant pressure.

Hang in there. You CAN do this. I still suggest talking to your counselor specifically about these feelings. If you are missing clinical because of depression, there might be something wrong with your current treatment plan.

itsmejuli

Specializes in Home Care.

I've had to deal with bouts of depression and anxiety this semester due to menopause. I don't like the side effects of anti-depressants, I chose to go for acpuncture and chinese herbs to treat my depression and anxiety. I've had excellent results.

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN, CNS

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU. Has 27 years experience.

Please don't take this the wrong way guys but I wouldn't tell your instructor your health history. Its just not necessary.

I would approach it as "I have missed two clinicals, what do I need to do to make it up or can I drop this class and repeat it?"

No need to mention the reason.

decembergrad2011, BSN, RN

Specializes in Oncology. Has 12 years experience.

Please don't take this the wrong way guys but I wouldn't tell your instructor your health history. Its just not necessary.

I would approach it as "I have missed two clinicals, what do I need to do to make it up or can I drop this class and repeat it?"

No need to mention the reason.

If knowing the reason behind the absences is the difference in being able to make up clinicals vs. not, I would tell. If it's already determined that the clinicals will be made up, then it probably isn't a necessary piece of information to include. However - talking about her fears, inexperience, and true desire for learning skills definitely should be discussed.

You can't discriminate against someone based on their medical history as long as they are able to complete the job requirements, so I'm not really sure why it would be a bad thing to let them know what's going on if it's necessary. She is on a treatment regimen for her depression, so she's actively managing it. I guess I don't like this idea that we can't share our health problems with co-workers, supervisors, or instructors because it might come back to bite us in the butt. Everyone is at risk for something, it doesn't mean they are a bad candidate for a nurse and should have to hide it like a deep, dark secret.

For what it's worth though, my mom, an RN, advised me to not share the fact that I had anxiety with my instructors as well. I can say though that my experience in sharing this information with the 3 out of 5 clinical instructors that I have had has been positive rather than negative.

A fellow nursing student suggested that I quit because I should not have anxiety at clinicals. I guess she knows more than me. I can't talk to any of the instructors this week because of Thanksgiving vacation and waiting is awful. I have done will in skills demos and class, is it possible for people not to do well in clinicals and everything else fine.

Sherriblu

Has 30 years experience.

My opinion may be harsh but I have been a nurse for many years and suffered deppression and what I did was go every day to school no matter if I slept or not.No matter how bad I felt, when I went home I felt good and that I was a part of something awesome greater than myself. I fought this depression ! I didnt let it stop me from what I wanted!! Nursing is not easy and it is up to you to decide who you want in charge, your depression or you? Use your time off to do therapy and sleep when you can but dont give up so easy if it is what you really want. Noone will coddle you in the real nursing world but you will find life long friends, a sense of pride and self esteem, and people who really need you to help them which always made me feel better.This is a tough career but the rewards are worth it and they are not always monetary.Dig down deep and find a way to keep on keeping on!!

Edited by Sherriblu
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