is confidence a turn off

  1. I am a new grad hired on L & D and absolutely loving it..... except for today. The staff is wonderful , the unit is great and my preceptor is awesome.

    But today I felt a bit overwhelmed. Today was my 7th day on the unit, and we do 12 hour shifts. There were deliveries going on back to back and everyone was basically running. We had inductions, c- sections and several just walking in the door ready to deliver. My preceptor and I started out w/ an induction on pit, but I went in to help another nurse with a laboring pt and stayed with her until after she delivered about 1 1/2 later.

    My preceptor then sent me into another room to help the nurse with her delivery. That went well also. I continued monitoring my original pt and charting under my preceptors supervision. She has told me that I am a quick study and am doing very well. All the nurses ask me where I have worked before and are surprised when I tell them I am a new nurse. I try to carry myself with confidence and will do what I am asked if I know how. Inside I am scared and worried but constantly remind myself that I am an RN and I can get through this.

    My preceptor left early today and I was with another nurse who asked me to do many things that I have not gone through yet, just things that were discussed, such as testing for ROM and d/c from triage among others. she kept saying "oh , so you dont know how to do that". I also noticed some of the girls who were more talkative in the beginning with me seem very quiet now. Maybe Im paranoid or just trying too hard but can carrying myself with confidence be rubbing people the wrong way. I just want to fit in and learn everything I can.

    Thanx for your help,
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    About alluvme

    Joined: Apr '06; Posts: 14; Likes: 2


  3. by   nurse4theplanet
    For some reason there are nurses out there who get their kicks by drilling new grads (and techs in my case) on their knowledge, making every uncertain answer a spectacle for all other staff. Its condescending and infuriating. Fortunately, I have only met two. One I tolerate because I feel that really its a personality thing with him (he just doesn't know any other way to teach) and he is EXTREMELY intelligent...I'm not going to miss out on what I can learn from him just because I don't like the way he shows me. The other, I absolutely despise her, and I think she has a complex because she is an LPN and frequently bashes RNs and RN students. ( *Sigh* Why do people have to create such drama: a nurse is a nurse and we should all be supportive of one another) Anyway...I avoid this one and refuse to help her. She is the epitomy of a nasty nurse who craves the blood of her young.

    Confidence means survival, so by all Confident! But do be aware if you are overly-confident, or know-it-all, because that IS a huge turn off, and even the kindest nurses will quickly put you in your place!

    Good luck!
  4. by   NurseyBaby'05
    There's a difference between confidence and cockiness. I would just take a step back and try to see how I am presenting myself. If you're not discounting your newness and are confident, not a problem. If you think you can handle a situation because you heard about it in class, but have not had a lot of experience that's another story. If it's the first, then I wouldn't worry too much.
    Last edit by NurseyBaby'05 on Sep 29, '06
  5. by   augigi
    Some people unfortunately make it their mission in life to show you that they know more than you do. Sounds like she was one of them. It's great that you're confident in your skills. Don't be overconfident, as you're a beginner, but don't feel you need to understate your skills either. People like that, it's easier to say "gee, there are lots of things you can teach me, with all of your experience".
  6. by   OBSFlightRN
    Are there other new grads on your unit? I ask because new grads tend to be rare in L&D and many experienced nurses are a little wary of them. Just make sure that you are asking for help when you need it. Don't act like you know how to do things if you don't or people will worry that you may get in over your head and not admit it. Maybe you're not doing that, I'm just making suggestions from what I see new nurses doing in my unit. Ask lots of questions, get help when you need it, and people will start to trust you. Nurses in L&D get a huge amount of autonomy. You really need to recognize when you need help and not be afraid to ask for it. If you're giving off an air of over-confidence all ready, people will worry about you when you're on your own.
  7. by   RebeccaJeanRN
    I know of one really bright student who was often given a hard time by some nurses when they first met her on a unit because they read her as arrogant, until they see how knowledgeable she REALLY is (then they give her immense respect). I think that the nurses get tired of newbies who act like they know it all, and even correct the nurses with something they just learned in school or out of a while you are not a student, but a new nurse, if by chance you may have come off that way, here are a few suggestions: 1) make sure you express appreciation (sincere sounding, not suck-up sounding) when an experienced nurse teaches you something, 2) show deference and appreciation for a nurse's longtime experience and ask questions (not too many, not when its a too busy time, and not designed simply to 'stump' the experienced nurse or show what you know) and 3) make sure you also work to be accepted by your peers rather than acting 'apart' from them (offer to lend a hand or do the thing that nobody enjoys doing). You will find that you need your peers as much as the experienced nurses and being without their company/support can be lonely- so also be sure to ask a peer a question or two also! That will show that you respect THEIR talents. You may have done nothing wrong other than being confident and capable. For some people who are petty, that's enough reason to be turned off. But being extra aware of how you may come off, as well as with some effort to be a team player combined with a good work ethic on the job, you should eventually be able to win most people back over!
  8. by   llg
    Interpersonal relationships in the workplace are often complicated. They require a delicate touch and the ability to balance a lot of factors. As other people written, while no one wants to work with an overly "needy" colleague, most people don't like "know-it-alls" either. The trick is to find a balance. Be careful that your efforts to appear confident aren't being perceived as being cocky and/or oblivious to the possible risks of the activities you are doing.

    Humility is a virtue, pride goeth before a fall, etc. are old adages that have been around for centuries. They express some basic truths about human nature that remain true today. Use some of the advice other posters in this thread to find a healthy balance between confidence and humility and you probably be fine.

    Good luck to you,
  9. by   xt1
    Having confidence in your abilities is definately a good thing. If you do not know how to do something there is nothing wrong with admiting that. Who really expects the new nurse to know everything? No One. I think nursing school can give you a start to understanding nursing but that the majority of nursing will be learned in the field through experience. When you dont know how to do something, figure it out... ask someone, look it up, whatever.. and then next time the situation arises you'll be prepared and feeling more confident. You can't learn everything there is to know in 2 years of nursing school.
  10. by   TrudyRN
    No matter what you do or how you do it, there will always be someone who doesn't like it.

    Be teachable and courteous, somewhat deferential, not cocky. Learn from everyone, including the secretary, housekeeper, and laundry lady - from every discipline, as each one contributes to the patient's care and well-being and you need to know how everyone fits in, even if they don't do direct pt. care.

    As to any colleagues who got quiet on you, the heck with them. You will never please everyone. I know it's awkward and hurtful but just try to learn what you need to learn and don't dwell too much on trying to please people or figure out where they're coming from. Maybe they're going through divorces or are sick. Just be your self and don't get too close to (or keep too distant from) the other people.
  11. by   heartbeat2
    Confidence and knowledge are great assets. Give your co-workers time to LEARN you too. Many new nurses don't have a clue as to what all they DON"T know, and are in deep trouble before they know it.
    Labor and delivery is a very quick paced area. Most units will not place new nurses in this highly litigious area. I have taught some really wonderful new nurses. What stands out to me with the "good ones".
    - Always seek out learning experiences. (One of my best teachers when I was learning was a scrub tech. She taught me how to watch for the "signs" of what was going on with patients.)
    -Never say "I already know how to do that" when someone is wanting to teach you something. You very well may know how to do it, but you never know when someone is going to ADD a pearl of wisdom. Then afterward, you can say "you do that the same was as my mentor showed me , or thanks for showing me another way to do it". This works well for the early learning stages.
    -Never do ANYTHING you aren't sure you are doing correctly.
    -Take time at the end of EVERY shift and ask your mentor, What went well, what could you improve upon.
    As you gain experience, transition to becoming more independent by taking over the patient and your mentor "watching". I had to get pretty rough with my mentor, she kept wanting to fill in the spots I missed. You don't know what you need to work on if someone does this.
    These are not impossible things to do, but they have always made me take notice of new people that do this.
  12. by   SmilingBluEyes
    If you are not "over-projecting" then you have nothing to worry about. Like the post before mine said, think about how you are presenting yourself. It sure sounds to me as if you are doing NOTHING wrong. IF that is the case, then you have only one choice if you want to stay on that unit.

    Grow a really thick skin, go about your business and don't let them get you down.

    I went through a similar baptism by fire my first year out of school, only it was not just the nurses treating me badly, but the docs. Just hang in there and as long as you remain hard-working, sincere, and with integrity, you will make out fine.

    Good luck.
  13. by   JaneyW
    You received many terrific responses. I want to suggest that maybe it was just the end of a very busy 12 hour shift and people just were too tired or just not in the mood to be chatty or friendly at the moment. I think when you are new (not too long ago for me!) you tend to internalize everything about you. Almost like being a child again, the world or unit revolves around you and your experiences. This isn't a criticism, I think this is just the reality. I went through it, too. You will have a better time if you step back and realize that most things going on around you have nothing to do with you and are not a consequence of your actions or attitude. As my mom used to say to me, "Other peopple aren't as concerned with you as you think they are.".

    Hang in there and do your best. I think the best advice was to learn as much as possible--even in situations that you think you have mastered there will be pearls of wisdom to be gained from others!
  14. by   alluvme
    Thank you soooooooooooooooo much everyone. You are all amazing and I appreciate all your responses.

    I do think I need to get "thicker skin", not internalize everything and take it too personally. I dont think I am coming off as cocky but I need to maybe allow some of the others see me as needing a bit of their help also. I let my preceptor know how vulnerable I feel at times. It's just that I know how fast paced and intense L & D can be, and I want them ( and to reassure myself ) to feel that I do belong there.

    I also think that sinces the other nurse I was with didnt know where I was in my orientation or what I had done yet, she didnt know what to expect from me. So when she told me to do things I hadnt done I felt overwhelmed. I did tell her later on that if I didnt know how to do something that I would tell her and if did know how but never actually did it myself, that I would try.

    There is another orientee on the unit thats been there 3 weeks longer than me. Everyone is really nice there and receptive to new grads, for the most part. I really am happy to be part of their team and ecstatic to start my career in L & D.

    Thank you all, I feel so much better after reading your responses and having a good cry last night. I will try not to be so hard on myself.


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