Second thoughts...

  1. I just started nursing school and I'm already second guessing my choice. I really would like to be a nurse, but Im so unsure of what Im doing, I wonder if any nurses felt that way in the beginning. I have issues with group work, but my client interaction is phenomenal. Can a student survive nursing school and not be able to preform well in group labs, assignments, etc? My instructors PREACH that if we are unsure about what we are doing and dont feel completely comfortable we need to talk to them, but they all seem bothered when you do! My clinical instructor acts like your an idiot if you ask too many questions or go to her with concerns. Are ALL nursing teachers like that? Maybe Im just at the wrong school.
  2. Visit ikatiana21 profile page

    About ikatiana21

    Joined: Mar '05; Posts: 21

    10 Comments

  3. by   fleur-de-lis
    It is early in the semester, don't give up yet! Just think of all the good you can do with your strength being pt interactions - and think of all the patients that will miss out on that if you don't continue. I felt alot like you when I started in May, but it does get better. I had some cranky instructors, but I found that it was mostly stress from the beginning of the semester and they warmed up within a month or so. Maybe yours are still in that phase? If not, maybe you could talk to your advisor? Hang in there, it's still early. You will have lots of ups and downs in your program, but you'll get through it!

    About the group work, that is a skill that you can work on. Nursing is a team effort, so you will need to be able to interact with all sorts of people. This will be good practice, which is probably why they make us do so much of it! No one likes it, but it is a fact of life. Just keep reminding yourself that it too, shall pass! You will get through it and be a great nurse as a result!
  4. by   lilshamrock
    You are so not alone. I too have been thinking the same thing to myself lately. I've waited so long to do this and I've wanted to be a nurse for as long as I can remember but now actually being in classes sometimes I feel so inadequate. I have two professors, one of which I do feel comfortable talking to about things but the other seems very cold and judgemental, even though she doesn't state it her body language and facial expressions are a dead give away.
    I've just been trying to take it one day at a time with hopes that this will get better.
  5. by   Daytonite
    Well, I'm listening to you ikatiana21. I think you need to make clear what you mean by being unsure of what you are doing and having issues with group work. I'm concerned about you having issues with group work and just exactly what you mean by that. As a grown up licensed nurse you would be working with all kinds of people in various groups. There are rules and policies that will have to be followed. Are you going to be able to do that? Are you going to be able to work with other RNs and LPNs in a professional capacity? Some employers have a requirement that their nursing staffs participate in at least one committee--that is group work. And, many nurse managers have their licensed staff do inservice presentations at monthly staff meetings to meet their ongoing education requirement for their yearly evaluations. Are you going to have problems with that? The IV team I worked on was given the task of making a video on how to start and maintain IV's. It was a six month project that involved our entire staff of IV therapists working together to do their part of the video. How would you fare with something like that? I'm bringing these questions up because in my 30 years of experience as an RN I can tell you that the reasons students are asked to do group work is because there is cross over to actual work situations they are going to find themselves in the future. One of the very first nursing classes that I was required to take when I went back for my BSN was on group behavior. So, what I'm telling you is that this is going to be an important component of your working years to come. If you are a loner, you are going to find yourself very miserable indeed. If you know this now, perhaps you should explore other healthcare career options where group work is not going to even be an issue.

    With regard to just not being sure of yourself, that is just a lack of confidence. That comes with time and experience. You're just being eager to please and not happy that your performance was perfect enough to suit you. Nothing is ever as easy as it looks when someone with experience does it. Practice makes perfect.
  6. by   ikatiana21
    Group work is just what is sounds like, working in a group. I dont feel comfortable being "taught" by people that could be teaching me wrong, and I dont feel comfortable teaching things I dont know. I dont like standing in front of groups demonstrating procedures that I dont know how to do, then getting talked down too by my instructor; I dont have the patience for that. Luckily, it hasnt happened to me, but a girl in my group was reduced to tears because the instructor pretty much called her stupid for asking too many questions. So on top of the stress of having to do a procedure that they NEVER taught and her embaressing you, you have a group of people watching you as well and judging. If I knew what I was doing, people could watch me all day long, I wouldnt care. Im not a loner, but I am shy in groups. Like I said before, my patient interaction is great; one on one is where I shine. Are you saying that Im going to be miserable if Im shy? One of the things Im unsure of goes hand in hand with being miserable. All my instructors seem like they are the coldest women ever. They talk about patients "circling the drain", laugh about/tell stories about gross people, and are generally rude about patients. Im sure they do this to cope with stress and to detatch themselves, but I dont ever want to talk about people Im helping like that. And am I really suited for a profession where you are pretty much destined to be "cold" after awhile, only to save you're own sanity?
    Im also very unsure about this school. Like I said, the teachers are very uncaring for one, they also cannot teach. For example, in my Foundations class yesterday, we started going over cultural diversity in nursing. A man in my class asked the teacher where she was getting her notes, she replied Transcultural Health Care. The man said, Correct me if Im wrong, but we were never assigned reading in this book, will it be on the test tommorow". SHe said "Correct ME, if Im wrong, but I put them on the board last week". She never put it on the board. So after we got out of class at 5pm, we had to read 13 chapters for our test today. She mumbles, so we cant hear anything she says, and for the most part, so you only hear about every 5 th word out of her mouth. Not that it matter because, even though she assured us all the test came directly from her lecture, most of it came from the book. And I wont even start in on my clinical classes. I think its the teachers job to make sure we are confident in our work and should be able to send us into the hospital knowing what we are doing. So far, I havent seen any of this.
  7. by   latenurse
    It sounds like your teachers may be burnt out. I am a first semester student at a CC and cannot begin to tell you how pleased I am. The teachers would not ever do that to a student, and to be honest if they did it to me, I would calling them on the carpet right after class.

    You do need to be able to demonstrate skills after they are taught to you. If the teachers are not doing their job, it is up to you to go forawrd to the administration to register a complaint.

    Group work is a must in every environment. It is difficult and politics always throws a wrench in things.

    good luck
  8. by   sugar plum fairy
    i certainly have moments when i feel so inadequate, like i am not meant for this, and that there are others better than me. well, yes there are indeed others better than me at something, but i'm also better than others at other things! thinking about that kept me going and changed my mindset (well, not overnight, i can say i'm getting "there"). don't get me wrong. i didn't apply for nursing school in a whim. i did a lot of hard work, a lot of preparations and certainly a lot of studying and crying (oh, they do go together...) i have wanted to become part of the medical field my whole life, so i'm not about to throw everything away for just one moment of feeling inadequate. well, in other words, do not give up! ever!

    i have been worrying about group work and stuff even before i was in nursing school because i always wanted to work on my own. however, i am lucky enough that the people in my section are really warm and generally nice that now, i enjoy doing group stuff! it's also a benefit that not all of us have our own "posse" so to speak, because that leaves everyone to interact with one another. (and well, it's still early in the term to have posses!)

    i'm sorry to hear about your teachers, ikatiana21. they sound really horrible and mean. i am enjoying all of the lectures and labs we have been doing so far and it really depended on the instructors' being available when you want to talk to them and being generally accommodating to us. maybe as latenurse said, you can file a complaint? or just try and talk it out with the instructor in question (following the Chain of Command rule).

    i hope you have a nice term. and remember, when life throws lemons at ya, make lemonade. do what you deem best. take care
  9. by   scaredofshots
    don't give up yet.. wait until you get to help that patient.. or see a new born baby...do some nursing care plans...hold the hand of someone who is dying... change dirty sheets...do some more nursing care plans...change dirty sheets again...listen to someone complain...listen to family members cry...get a client some ice...get the same client a spoon for the ice...sit with the client and just listen...take away the ice because the patient is NPO...do more nursing care plans...give a bed bath...give another bed bath...change some more dirty sheets...finish some nursing care plans... Wonder why stupid is not a NANDA...change an IV bag...empty some urine...clean up some urine...clean up poop...clean up vomit...clean up your vomit...change some more sheets...do some nursing care plans...then after all of this if you still are unsure...
  10. by   sugar plum fairy
    ^ for me, helping others, not necessarily patients is very rewarding. tedious, yes. lots of hard work, yes. but at the end of the day, when you look back at the number of people you have helped, see the smiles on their faces, hear the first cry of a newborn and the gratitude of an elderly client, you will feel all the hard work is very rewarding. true, nursing is not easy but it is very rewarding.
  11. by   scaredofshots
    The following scale has been developed to test if you have spent too much time in nursing school and whether you are having adverse side effects due to prolonged exposure. (i did not come up with all of these myself...they are sooo true)
    Score one point for each statement that applies to you.
    • You can discuss the digestive process over a meal.
    • You own a 4 color pen.
    • You use more than one color to take notes.
    • You have used up more than 6 high lighters in the past 3 months.
    • You have ever highlighted something YOU wrote.
    • You retype handouts given in class.
    • You have not been able to remember the normal term for something because you were thinking of the medical term. (reflux for heartburn)
    • You have adjusted to less than 5 hours of sleep.
    • You know the correct spelling for pruritus. (Thanks to Dr. Brock)
    • You also know what pruritus means.
    • You have ever asked a question in class and the professor and didn't understand the question.
    • You didn't believe the answer the professor gave to your question.
    • You went to look it up to see if they were right.
    • You can't hold a conversation on anything other than nursing school.
    • You've said you didn't do well on a test on which you beat the mean.
    • You spend more than 15 hrs a week on e-mail.
    • You have a callous on you finger from writing.
    • More than one professor knows you by name.
    • When you ask a question, a new professor has said "Oh, I've heard of you."
    • You can name more amino acids than past presidents.
    • You use more than 5 acronyms an hour when talking.
    • You actually know what PERRLA stands for.
    • You know all the steps of the menstrual cycle.
    • You do not read PTA as parent teachers association.
    • You know by heart the signs and symptoms of all the electrolyte imbalances.
    • You know the process of negative feedback r/t hormone levels.
    • You can't remember what you had for breakfast but you expect your clients to.
    • You equate "morning stiffness" with Rheumatoid Arthritis.
    • You actually know normal values for plasma Na.
    • Missing class causes you extreme stress.
    • You have seriously asked someone "So how does that make you feel?"
    • You have asked will this be on the exam -Just after the professor said it wouldn't.
    • You have made a nursing joke and no one laughed you figure they just weren't that far in their studying.
    • You wear your stethoscope around your neck when you go into Wal-Mart after clinicals.
    • "SOB" means short of breath to you.
    • You have gone to the ER with suspicion of a disease you have studied -within 3 days of the lecture.
    • You have corrected a professor in class -the rest of the class didn't understand the lecture to begin with.
    • You know how to calculate IV drip rate per hour, per minute and you can't balance your checkbook.
    • You don't know what the weather was like for the past week.
    • You don't know what the weather is like right now.
    • You actually talk in open ended questions.
    • DIC isn't a slang term for the penis in your book.
    • You think that a 75 is a very bad grade.
    • You have stressed about the pass/fail clinical calculation test.
    • You study during most of your meals.
    • You see nothing abnormal about the Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.
    • You can drink coffee with pizza.
    • You draw all of the slides not already provided in the handouts.
    • Emptying a bedpan makes you hungry.
    • You know the size of a RBC but don't know the size of a football field.
    • Your eyesight has worsened by 10 pts or more in the last year.
    • You have the library hours memorized.
    • You have your own seat in the library.
    • You have debated between giving up sleep and eating in order to find more time to study.
    • You plan to start studying for boards more than 2 months in advance.
    • You have made plans to study over Thanksgiving Break.
    • You have a designated seat in lecture.
    • You have ever asked someone to move from "your seat."
    • You sleep less than 4 hours the night before clinical think that is plenty and have thought about cutting back.
    • You study more than 35 hrs outside of class and think you are a slacker.
    • You think everyone answers yes to most of these questions
    Scale
    < 25 = You're not in nursing school. Go back to your party and leave us alone. We have work to do.
    25-30= Either nursing school is a breeze or you like the sound of "Charge nurse"
    30-35 = Gotta love that Primary Care
    35-40 = Well, I never really thought about MSN/PhD, but now that you mention it...
    40-45 = Your social life is shot, might as well try to earn a living

    45-50 = Which specialty did you say you liked?
    50-61 = All hail the great Nursing School Nerd.

  12. by   ikatiana21
    Thinks have gotten better since I first posted, but not because of my instructors; they are for the most part still useless. However, I went to my first clinical and the RN's on the floor and the PCT's were WONDERFUL! They taught me way more than, I've learned all semester. Im hoping that during Fall II, that I just get better teachers, I just got a crappy hand during Fall I. At least my A&P class is easy, that teacher is phenomenal.
    Thanks for all the encouragement guys! And the comic relief!

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