So I am a Sr. BSN student. I will be graduating in 54 days (but who's counting). I am a mature student - 2nd degree, 2nd career, married with children. I am an admitted perfectionist and have worked my rear off in nursing school to do well. I have done quite well both in didactic work as well as clinicals.
In my family nursing clinical last semester and again in my senior preceptorship this semester I was told by my preceptors to "stop trying to be perfect" and to "cut yourself some slack". I'm not sure what to do with their feedback. I am obviously perceiving situations differently from the nurses I have worked with.
As I said, I am a perfectionist. I am driven. If I make a mistake I admit it, apologize, try to figure out where or why I went wrong, make a new plan, probably run the new plan by the preceptor, execute, and then reevaluate. As far as my family nursing clinical goes, I was working in a pregnancy prevention program and honestly don't know why that preceptor said that. It was a very fluid situation and I don't think I could have screwed up if I had tried so I really don't know how I was hard on myself. In my senior preceptorship, I was in an NICU and managed to take a full load by my 8th shift or so - so I think I did well though I don't really know what "normal" would be. I received high marks and high praise from both preceptors. I think (thought) I did very well in both situations. Most of the mistakes I have made in clinical are instances where I should have thought of something (the next step or big picture) and didn't or I forgot to chart something - after having been taught to do it. Now, I realize as a senior student next level thinking is usually hit or miss, but I feel like I should say something like "sorry, I should of thought of that. Or "Sorry, I knew that. I'll get that next time." Is this wrong? I did grab the wrong milk for a baby one day but had not done anything with the milk yet or initiated my checks. I had gotten it out and then got called away. And I did apologize and did some inner chastisement because that could have been a big deal. Is my feeling that I need to acknowledge my mistakes and my learning curve making me come off in a bad light?
I guess my problem is that I'm not sure how to take their advice. I will be graduating soon and hopefully will be able to get a new grad residency in a NICU/PICU. When I inevitably forget things or make mistakes is there a better way to handle the situation? How do you handle it when you make a mistake or forget something?