Last week, one of my professors said it was normal to have one of those days when you come home from school in tears, and I didn't think it would happen to me...but here I am today, in that exact situation. I sucked it up throughout the day, but I just got home and can't hold it in anymore. It's just so overwhelming being in only my third week of nursing classes (did the pre-reqs last semester though and did really well) and going into clinicals and feeling like you have NO idea what you're doing.
I thought it would be easy to find a radial pulse, and according to my professor, it's supposed to be easy since everyone else seems to be getting it...but I'm having problems finding it, and then when I find it, I'm having problems feeling it enough to properly count it manually. And same thing with manual blood pressure. I put the stethoscope where it's supposed to be, squeeze the thing like I'm supposed to, and still I can't hear the heartbeat enough to make a good enough judgment on the numbers. And it's not like I'm going to guess and put someone in jeopardy that way...I told the teacher's assistant that I was having trouble doing it, and she was patient with me, but I was still mad at myself. I feel like I'll never get it right.
And then, at the very end of the day, I was watching a blood transfusion and I was totally fine until the patient said he didn't like to look at needles. Something in me identified with him (I used to have major problems with needles - kind of tricked myself out of it, or so I thought), and all of a sudden I started not feeling well. Before he said that, I was actually thinking how cool the blood looked in a bag like that, but after he looked away, I started thinking about it from another point of view. I knew my body well enough to know that I needed to sit down before passing out, so I asked to step out and got some water. I was fine after that, but my professor had followed me out of the room to check on me, and I was just so embarrassed that this had just happened. I'd been fine with everything else all day - I had seen tubes and catheters and all of that and had no problems. All that was happening here was blood flowing from a bag into a tube. It was just beyond frustrating to have my professor and my classmates see it, and deep down, I was afraid (still kind of am) that this would become a regular thing for me.
I want to do this work so badly (obviously without passing out - and no, I am not interested in finding positions that don't involve "squeamish" things, I want to get over it), and I believe I have it in me to do it. It's just hard right now to start out with experiences like the ones I had today...if anyone else is in those beginning stages of school and any of this sounds familiar, please know you're not at all alone. I hope I'm not!