I should have just gone to med school
February 21, 2012 1:36 PM Subscribe
Calling all nurses and non-nurses: I hate clinical, what do I do?
posted by pintapicasso to Education (13 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Hi, everyone. I feel really silly posting about this. As you can see from my previous questions... school is tough for me.
I'm in the midst of the first year of a two year nursing program. I already have a bachelor's degree and previous to the nursing program I was managing a restaurant. My program is set up so that after our first year we are LPNs and after our second year we are RNs.
I wanted to go into nursing because: I like being hands-on with people, I like working with elderly people, I like being on my feet, and I like being busy. We have had a rotation at a nursing home which I really enjoyed.
We have clinical two or three days a week: a full 7-3. Previous to the shift we have to do a lookup on medical dx, meds, labs, etc. It takes me 4-5 hours. At clinicals we do everything independently except for giving meds (we each only give them 1 out of 4 shifts, with our teacher) and things like inserting or removing a catheter, which we do with our teacher. Most of our day is spent taking vitals, checking blood sugars, giving bedbaths, toileting, ambulating, charting, etc. We kind of take over the CNA's job, but we take on LPN tasks as well.
All this is to say that I am SO STRESSED OUT at clinical. We rotate between three hospitals and just started a new one last week. After spending forever looking up my patient the day before, I hardly sleep and get to the hospital sooo anxious. Once I am there I feel like a complete idiot. I feel as though I'm a chicken with my head cut off and like it's a giant scam that I'm even there in the first place.
Here are specific things I would like advice on:
-How do little things become second nature? Like, today I was helping someone into the shower and I forgot to wrap their cast in a bag until the patient told me! Little things like that just aren't stuck in my brain, but I had never showered someone with a cast before. I don't know when I will again. How long does it take?
- A big source of anxiety are the staff nurses. I am going to sound like a baby but many of them are so nasty and unpleasant to us. I know that they are incredibly busy. I am very un-assertive so I hardly ever ask them for anything and I think they appreciate that and help me when I do ask. However, I see them snap or yell at my fellow students and it makes me so mad! But I can't do anything about it. When you are a staff nurse, does it get better? Are the nurses like this to new nurses? (I am NOT trying to be mean to nurses. Some of them are very nice)
Some of the other students in my class are sooo into clinical; they say that they love it and they want to take their patients home with them. Is this a learned attitude? I don't think I will ever feel this way. I want to shoot myself at around 0800 each day. I want to throw up and cry multiple times a day. It is getting a little bit easier but not much.
Despite this I get very good evaluations in clinical but I feel like I'm playing a giant trick on everyone. Each time I take a blood pressure or listen to lung sounds I'm thinking "I CANT BELIEVE YOU TRUST ME TO MAKE SENSE OF THIS."
Many nurses I've talked to say it's a good idea to work on a med/surg floor straight out of the RN year to get experience. The idea of prolonging this stress terrifies me. What's strange is that I am normally very even-keel; I have really chilled out about the rest of our classes. They are difficult but I study my butt off and do very well without worrying about it. Clinical is a whole 'nother beast, and deep down it makes me worry that I don't want to actually be a nurse. I do enjoy my one-on-one time with patients, but it's overshadowed by the stress.
Please, give me some insight, words of encouragement, anything. My fiance has to deal with me crying multiple nights a week and my friends don't seem to get how difficult it is. Some of my fellow students are right there with me and we comiserate, it's literally the only thing that makes me feel better. I'm considering taking a year off after June and working as an LPN at a clinic or nursing home, just to get my feet wet and regroup. Any advice?
I realize this is all over the place but I'm in the middle of another lookup and feel like a robot. Oh, and I'm on sleeping pills.