I knew I had practiced the skill in lab but boy, was I nervous. I didn't know whether I could do it. Self doubt filled my mind and I was second-guessing saying yes. I knew the rule for clinicals: as long as your allowed to perform the skill, whenever you get a chance to perform it, do it. Everything is a learning experience. My heart was racing and all eyes on me. You see, I not only got to insert my first foley, but it was all while 3 doctors were waiting for me to insert the foley to begin their procedure. I felt their stern eyes on me. I imagined their thoughts. I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders. Never before had I been under so much pressure to perform a skill but I knew I had to learn and that triumphed all the negativity.
I told the nurse this was my first foley and she said she would be there right a long with me to help me out. I knew all the steps book wise but taking that next step took major confidence for a student nurse. The only thing that my attention was focused on was the nurse. I was ready to learn and accomplish the task. The nurse told me straight out "I'm going to teach you the right way'' Those words sounded so refreshing. I've encountered many nurses who simply do not want to teach. Who, in my opinion, have forgotten they were a student once. I've been refused and put to the side many times.
So here I was inserting the foley, following the nurse's orders while performing sterile technique. I got urine back. I've never felt so relieved yet so accomplished. I felt the weight of the world lift off my shoulders. Once I finished my insertion, the procedure began. I felt relieved and embarrassed that I had taken up such time away from the doctors but the truth is, they had opportunities to learn and just as they did, nursing students need them too.
I had to leave midway for post conference but I couldn't leave without saying Thank you to that nurse. She may never know the happiness I felt in receiving the opportunity to insert a foley. OB nurses do this task everyday but for students to be able to perform it, is a luxury. As a student nurse who needs to continue building confidence in nursing skills, it meant the world me. What she whispered to me will stay with me forever: One day you may be inserting that doctor's foley. I couldn't have heard truer words that day.
I know that there are many others nurses out there who teach from the heart. My advice: Continue to do so. Continue to mold the future of nursing. For students: Any opportunity you get in clinical, as long as you are allowed to do it per policy and with supervision, take it. You never know when it will come around again. You may be nervous, you may have a million questions when the time comes but trust yourself. If it's something you've never done before, let the nurse know. Chances are, they are willing to teach you. Don't be scared. Don't let your negative thoughts limit you like I almost did. Opportunities are golden. Textbook material is one thing but performance is another. Yes, you had a mannequin to work with before but in the real world, there is no extra cushion or obvious hole.
My sincerest thank you to those that teach from the heart and the nurse that helped me grow as a student.