Should I continue this??

Posted
by ijuanabhappy ijuanabhappy, ASN, RN Member

Specializes in School Nursing. Has 10 years experience.

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Virgo_RN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Cardiac Telemetry, ED. 3,543 Posts

So, if you aren't the drama-inclined compassionate brainiac that gets a rush from helping 300-pound gorillas to the crapper, then I would advise you to run far far away and choose a different career!

Most people will probably read this and see a lot of bitterness, and yeah, there is some, but I really felt like I was misled and lied to in nursing school. The idea of "it gets better" is a falsehood.

This part of your post really stood out for me. I won't argue that there isn't a lot of grunt work involved in nursing. There absolutely is. But to say that's all there is to nursing is grossly inaccurate. Where I work, the cardiologists have an incredible amount of trust in our ability to analyze patient situations and make the right decisions. We are expected to *think*, and to understand cardiac physiology to a very high level. So sure, I do some butt wiping, but I also need to know a lot, and be capable of knowing when to continue to monitor, when to call the cardiologist, and when I need to act first and THEN call. I'm expected to know my rhythms, know my cardiac pathophysiology and my cardiac meds, and know these things well.

As far as things getting better being a falsehood, I can't agree with you there. For me, in my experience, it does get better. I'll admit that I've had my fair share of "I WANT OUT" moments, moments where every cell in my body screamed at me to get in the elevator and not look back, moments where I felt like the most incompetent, stupid nurse that ever existed. I have shed tears at work, directly related to feelings of inadequacy and frustration. But yes, it does get better. Right now, I feel very good about what I do. I feel like I've just been through trial by fire, and I'm really proud of myself for having the fortitude to see it through and get here. Was it easy? Absolutely, positively, resoundingly, NO!!! Nursing school was *nothing* compared to getting through my first year as a nurse. You won't get any sugarcoating from me. I'm the last person to attempt to blow butterflies and unicorns up your butt.

Now, if nursing is not for you, and you don't like the nature of the work in the first place, then no, it will not get better. If you're not drawn to the work to begin with, then of course it won't get better. I'll agree to that.

Magsulfate, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU. Has 13 years experience. 1,201 Posts

One thing that I had a problem with in nursing school was getting used to all the new people and new faces that you see everytime you walk into a hospital. I didn't really start getting used to that until I was a nurse for about 6 months. I think you just need to list all the real reasons why you're having doubts about nursing school and nursing in general.

And yes, with the nursing shortage, and your background experience, you will have a small chance of getting a job that is not at the bedside... You may have to go on a few interviews before you get that job, but I believe you will get one.

Virgo_RN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Cardiac Telemetry, ED. 3,543 Posts

Thanks for telling me this. It is good to know that I am not the only one who has felt this way. I feel like others view me now at clinical as this thin-skinned, needy, high-maintenance, anxiety-ridden freak! I seriously felt so stupid... a combination of one of the three Stooges and Bozo the clown!

I would worry more about the student who doesn't feel stupid in clinicals. They are the ones who are dangerous, in my opinion.

I was double checking a med with another nurse not too long ago, and she was having a heck of a time drawing it up in the syringe. I said something to the effect of how it was better than being in nursing school, with your clinical instructor watching, and we both laughed. I remember those days, where just the simplest task seemed so big, scary, and intimidating, simply because I was constantly being watched like a hawk. Heck, I've drawn up thousands of units of insulin in the short time I've been nursing, but my hands would probably be shaking if my clinical instructor popped in to watch me!

There is nothing like nursing school to make even the brightest, most perfect student feel like a blathering idiot.

My point is, if you want to be a nurse, know that these feelings of inadequacy and terror are NORMAL. Don't let your feelings of insecurity make you think nursing is not for you. If nursing is not for you, you will know it for other reasons.

Jules A

Jules A, MSN

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner. 8,863 Posts

I was fortunate to have a cool career when I was younger that paid a good buck and allowed me to smoke cigs and drink expensive coffee while shooting the breeze with artsy types. :) I got it out of my system but the good news is that with my per diem job in psych, that I started as a new grad, I make more money than many people do with their full time gigs. Just doing a couple of shifts a week would allow for plenty of days off to write your novel while still paying the bills with ease.

Faeriewand, ASN, RN

Specializes in med/surg/tele/neuro/rehab/corrections. Has 12 years experience. 1,800 Posts

Stay in school and get your RN. Not sure if this is true at all schools but for mine there were several clinical instructors that only taught first semester. 2nd semester was a whole different experience with new instructors. We got to do OB and peds and that was so much fun!

But most of the learning I've been doing has been this past few months while on the job as a new med/surg nurse. If you want more instruction medically related then take a class during the summer break. I took the only class available which was EMT and am forever grateful for that experience. (And there were several over age 40 in that class)

MrsWampthang

MrsWampthang, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency room, med/surg, UR/CSR. 511 Posts

I appreciate all of the replies. It is not that I "hate" nursing, I just felt so out of my skin at the clinicals. Believe me, I do care about people and whenever I do something, I give 100%. When I gave bed baths, I made sure to get my patient as clean and comfortable as I could. Nothing so far really grossed me out. Even though I have a 95 average, clinicals have made me feel so incompetent. I thought maybe I am not "smart" enough to be an RN if that makes sense. There is so much responsibility. I felt let loose at clinical with no idea of what the heck I was supposed to be doing. For some students, it just came natural for them. They went in, did their assessment, skills, etc. They knew exactly what they needed to do. I get overwhelmed easily with anxiety and did not even know where to begin or really what I was supposed to be doing with my patient. The instruction was vague. It got to where I dreaded going to clinical. I am the type of person who needs a lot of instruction and watching before I can learn something. But once I learn then I am really good at it. I am not good at "winging" things I have never done. Maybe it is my OCD flaring up! I don't know.

A part of me wants to quit school and start writing a novel! Sip on my coffee every morning as I sit at the computer and write. But is that realistic? Not really. What did I used to be good at a long time ago? Writing, photography, talking to people. I like helping others with their problems. I like making other people feel good about themselves. I enjoy finding resources for people to help them better their lives. I don't know if any of this has anything to do with nursing, I am just thinking out loud here. It is just that I have come so far and I am already almost 40. My thinking was that I would find my niche somewhere in nursing, but I know it is not in the hospital. I really think I would enjoy working in some capacity in an office setting like a physician's office, but I hear that is hard to do right out of school. I guess I could give it more time.

You sound like a good candidate for case management or maybe a degree in psychology or social work. Something to think about anyway. Good luck with whatever you decide! Those would be career fields that wouldn't involve floor nursing anyway and might offer more stable hours. Just a thought.

Pam

MrsWampthang

MrsWampthang, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency room, med/surg, UR/CSR. 511 Posts

I would worry more about the student who doesn't feel stupid in clinicals. They are the ones who are dangerous, in my opinion.

There is nothing like nursing school to make even the brightest, most perfect student feel like a blathering idiot.

My point is, if you want to be a nurse, know that these feelings of inadequacy and terror are NORMAL. Don't let your feelings of insecurity make you think nursing is not for you. If nursing is not for you, you will know it for other reasons.

How True!!!!!!

Pam

ijuanabhappy

ijuanabhappy, ASN, RN

Specializes in School Nursing. Has 10 years experience. 1 Article; 381 Posts

You sound like a good candidate for case management or maybe a degree in psychology or social work. Something to think about anyway. Good luck with whatever you decide! Those would be career fields that wouldn't involve floor nursing anyway and might offer more stable hours. Just a thought.

Pam

Are you talking about a psychology or social work degree in addition to the RN or by itself? Because I know several people with those degrees and there are just no jobs. But I have thought of that as areas of interest. Thanks!

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