I posted this in the wrong area so posting here, too!
bring it on nurses!! I need soem
serious help and guidance:
I just started a clinical care training program at a county hospital. It's a 13 week program with a mix of didactic and clinical time.
There are about 35 of us in the program. The majority of the people are new grads... some have a couple years or less experience in a different discipline.
I graduated in 2015 and started working in a chronic outpatient dialysis clinic in addition to doing some registry work. I've never worked in a hospital.
This job basically fell in my lap... I never had huge ambitions to work in a hospital and never ever imagined I'd want or be in an ICU. My self esteem is such that I would never think I have the competence or ability to do what I consider such advanced and sophisticated nursing (God, just disclosing this opens all kinds of invitations into my broken thinking). So while I am super grateful for the opportunity I have also entered this with a somewhat paralyzing amount of fear and trepidation.
I have just completed two days with one of my two preceptors (my primary preceptor).
First impressions: she absolutely terrifies me. She's fast, talks fast, does fast, moves fast, has a thick accent that is sometimes challenging. She's incredibly intimidating. She's abrupt, abrasive. She's a "take no prisoners and take no ****" kind of gal. She's knowledgeable, experienced, proficient. She is required to precept and she openly disclosed to me she avoided it for years. She's impatient, particular, and hard around the edges.
Yesterday, my second day on the unit, we were in conversation... I can't remember the exact content of the conversation, but whatever it was she told me I responded with, "I don't think I'll be ready for that." She quickly shut me down, told me that is the wrong attitude, told me I should reconsider if I want to be in the ICU, told me the NM would flip out if she heard me say that. I, in turn, began to cry. I felt so small. So embarrassed. So weak. So incompetent. So useless. And so incredibly lost. And I was thinking, "****, i'm the girl that cries. I don't have what it takes to be and ICU nurse... my second day and I'm already in tears. I'm too sensitive, too vulnerable....."
Now, in all fairness, while by and large her personality and mine clash, she does show me certain things, she pushed me into a room with a fresh heart patient straight from OR to see how that all looks (I didn't understand a thing about what was going on at all)... but I feel like her expectations of me might be a little unreasonable.
I don't do super well with the "tough love" method. I freeze. I buckle. I don't have enough of a foundation to feel confident and secure. When i worked in dialysis long enough to feel my footing I was not so sensitive to being challenged or yelled at.... but here, I just don't have a clue. I'm overwhelmed... I feel like a nursing student again. I feel like I'm being set up to fail. I don't know how to prioritize. I don't know **** about the meds, the procedures etc.... And I noticed today that we haven't gone exactly according to the orientation program schedule of what were supposed to be doing Day 1 and Day 2. She had me charting yesterday - in Epic.... my god, none of it is intuitive and she would yell at me for forgetting things or tell me I'm charting too little or too much and I don't really understand where I'm supposed to get into detail and where I don't need to get into detail. I 'm getting mixed messages.
I don't feel comfortable or "safe" with her.... I mean emotionally. I know she's not there to coddle me. And I can appreciate that I need to put in the work, too. I get that. But I look around at some of my peers in the program with me and their preceptors seem so much more gentle, more patient, soft spoken....
Should I not be expressing my fear? Should I reconsider the ICU? When is enough time to know it won't work?
She did suggest I write down questions/concerns we can discuss next time. I go back Saturday and will be with my other preceptor. I've met the secondary. Truthfully, she doesn't seem much better. .... but I'm open to see what happens Saturday.
I can't help but imagine the secondary will already know I've cried....
God, I'll take any feedback or guidance or help.