I was searching for pre-existing threads that I could contribute to, but only found ones written by nursing students. I, too, have performance anxiety at work, especially starting IVs and inserting Foleys (on women). Those two skills are the bane of my existence!
A little background: I work on a med-surg/tele floor that mostly takes care of >65 y.o. pts. I've been a nurse for 2.5 years, have worked on this unit the entire time, started there as a new grad. I spent a year on nights, learned a lot, then last year switched to days. I've been on days for a year. I'm an academically-minded person (working on my second master's) and am certified in my specialty. I've preceptored several new grads and am known for cultivating good critical thinking skills in the new grads on our floor.
It's those damn clinical skills that get me! Most of the time, our patients come up from the ER with Foleys inserted and IVs in place and our pts are in and out in usually less than 4 days, so often I don't get a chance to practice my skills. But when urgent things come up and I need a new line quickly or I need to insert a Foley quickly, I freak out, get all of those bad physiological anxiety symptoms (shaky hands, sweaty palms, racing heart, racing thoughts, crazed/distracted look) and usually end up having to ask for help.
I know part of the problem is that I'm rushing myself (going too fast), putting super high expectations on myself (additional pressure than just the situation), and thereby creating more anxiety for myself. AND, I have a history of depression/anxiety, which I mainly have managed (in the past) via therapy, exercise, stress-reduction. I'm not opposed to medication, just don't think I need it that badly.
However, all that said--I still want to be able to do these skills MYSELF without asking our resource or charge RN for help! What makes my anxiety worse is that I worry that I'm going to lose credibility in the eyes of my colleagues. I'm scared that they'll think I'm a total fraud who can't do her job. In every other job I've had (I'm a second career RN), I have been a leader and one of the most competent people on the job. It really bothers me that I'm not there yet in nursing--at least skills wise.
I see other nurses--totally relaxed (or at least able to hide it well), great at their skills, seemingly no problems with anxiety--and what kills me is that they have the same exact experience level as me (2 years or so) and have spent their entire careers on the same unit! Where the heck did they get so good at their skills?
Please share your thoughts with me about how I can get over this low self-efficacy/self-esteem and face my fears! Sorry for the rambling. Thank you in advance.