Hi. I've successfully completed my Phase I didactic portion and am now 4 months into the Phase II clinical residency which lasts a total of 16 months. I feel very blessed and fortunate to be where I am and have come so far. However, these days I'm having a lot of doubts about things. There are some days where things go really well and smooth (conficence days!) and many more days where I feel as if I'm never going to get all of this down and succeed in this field. I'm extremely detail-oriented which is a disservice at times when the pace of the OR supercedes my "analness" if you will. There's not a lot of time to be organized and detailed. And there's just so much to learn...down to how to work the I-STAT lab machine! I'm still not good at IVs (we had minimal experience in my ICU...as well as time). I've attempted a few art lines without success and I'm VERY uncomfortable with Pediatrics in general. I just work so hard and yet feel so behind. I've always thought becoming a CRNA would be a perfect fit for me, but I'm just so afraid I won't be competent in all that I should be by the time graduation rolls around next December! Any words of wisdown or advice would be much appreciated. Thanks!
Dec 23, '10
I still have days that I feel nothing goes right. It will get better, and you need to realize that doubting yourself at times is not a bad thing. It means you are able to improve yourself. Your a student, you aren't suppose to be able to act like a fully experienced CRNA. I have been doing this almost ten years. In my experience, the students I need to worry about are the ones who think they are great at everything and won't take advice. I have yet to meet a fully competent anesthetist who didn't doubt themselves every once in awhile.
Dec 29, '10
Sounds entirely normal for 4 months in clinical. You'll be fine.
Jan 1, '11
yeah, it sounds hugely familiar. i'm in a front loaded program too. the turning point for me was during the 5th month of clinical. i got a big boost after our first evaluation when i got some nice feedback and concluded that i didn't totally su*k and wouldn't flunk out. I'm more at ease now and can focus on just learning as much as possible and practicing skills. I still have challenging days, but they don't leave me doubting the colors of a rainbow
i suggest seeking out some feedback from your preceptors--especially the ones that concern you the most--i bet you'll hear some good stuff and hopefully constructive stuff too
Jan 2, '11
Thank you all so much for your constructive replies. I hate feeling like an idiot all the time, but I truly do want to learn and be the best CRNA I can be. The responsibility is enormous and a bit frightening at times. I hope that everything will come together nicely over the next few months. After all, I only have 11 more months to cram everything in before graduation! Thanks again!!
Jan 3, '11
You will be fine. The self-doubting that you are feeling is normal for where you are in your education. A few suggestions, work out a system for setting up your equipment and don't deviate, unless the situation requires that you do. After many, many years in anesthesia, I still set up the same way I did when I was a student. If you have access to a sim lab, work on your IV and A-line techniques there. They are simply learned technical skills. Anesthesia is more about making correct judgment calls and applying science to the technical component. Another suggestion, even though you probably aced your anesthesia principles class, go back and read your textbook again, cover to cover. It will also give you more confidence.
Good luck and let us know how you do.
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