Dear Clinical Instructor,

First off let me say that I know how stressful your job can be. You are in charge of 8 human liabilities running around. It can be scary and rough. You most likely don’t get paid well enough for all you do. I also understand you want us to excel and be great nurses and want to push us to do better. If I may let me also say that every single one of us want to be great amazing nurses one day and provide top notch care. During clinical we are all freaking scared out of our minds and the new knowledge we have is barely enough to keep up. Please watch your words and actions with us. We are fragile and easily influenced by you. You carry more weight in our lives than you may ever know. Encourage us when we do well and guide us when we are wrong, but please don’t belittle us.   We are steal learning and although you may hide your frustration well we can see it. It shows us the invisible bar that is set so high we will never do anything good enough or “right” enough to be a nurse. We are still growing and we look up to you. You approval or disapproval means more to us than you may know. Maybe I don’t know all my meds by memory, maybe I don’t know all the physiology of the patient I just got assigned to, but I am learning. Take the time and teach me show me. I am trying. Just be patient with me and remember where I am coming from. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Your Future

Clinicals: The good, the bad, the ugly

I remember my first clinical I was absolutely terrified and thought that everything I did may kill the patient.  What if I take the BP and he loses feeling in his arm?  What if i take their temp and they start aspirating?  What if they stop breathing while i’m in the room?  Now days I am much more comfortable, but their are still days I leave feeling very inadequate.  Recently I received some advice from an amazing nurse that I was working with.  He told me that if you look at the days when you go home feeling upset or bummed it usually is not the events, but the way you reacted to them.  I think that there is a lot of truth to this statement.  However if you go home feeling like you need to change careers you are not alone.  In fact A LARGE PART OF YOUR CLINICAL EXPERIENCE IS BASED ON YOUR 1. INSTRUCTOR AND 2.YOUR ASSIGNED NURSE.  I had an instructor one semester of nursing that absolutely belittled everyone.  Including me for absolutely no reason.  I would get yelled at on the floor, I was told how inadequate I was numerous times and at one point I was told I smelled bad.  (I was probably sweating so much from her breathing down my neck).  Anyway I have always been a person with a kind of resolve to not quit, not this semester though.  I called my grandma and best friend and told them both that I was quitting nursing school and going back to business school.  I ALSO CRIED. I am a man and never cry.  My friend reassured me I was a good student, but every clinical that semester I literally dreaded going.  I had no confidence in myself to even hang a bag of fluid.  I ended up receiving a B instead of the A I was told I had 2 weeks prior to grading.  Going in to the next semester I was absolutely terrified about anything to do in the hospital BUT THIS TIME… GOD SENT AN ANGEL.  In the form of the best clinical instructor I could ask for.  She continually reassured me how great I was with patients and how great of a nurse I would be.  One particular day after I confided in her about some previous experiences she said this, “Never let anyone take your confidence from you again, you are an amazing nurse”.  What that did for me, she will never know.  MY POINT IS THIS: WHAT CHANGED IN BETWEEN THE SEMESTERS?  Nothing really except for my instructor.  I learned never to put too much stock into the opinion of one person.  The truth is that this is extremely hard to do when the comment comes from someone in authority or someone we look up to.  So I say if you are having a bad clinical don’t let it get to you.  There are many factors besides you that control your clinical experience. You will be a great nurse one day.  It’s not always your fault, hold your head high and press on.  You will encounter a thousand nurses and superiors in your life they all may not like you.  The important thing is that you like yourself and react in a way that you maintain your dignity.  Never let success get to your head and never let failure get to your heart.  Whatever you do don’t run away.

-dontRNaway

Why another nursing school advice blog?

First off let me say that this probably isn’t a good advice blog.  My point of writing this is definitely not because I think I’m better or I have all the answers…or any answers actually.  Throughout nursing school, I scanned the web hours upon hours looking for advice watching videos, just to try to find help to get through.  They are many great videos out there and blogs that can give people great tips and also many great blogs of people sharing their success stories.  However I often left these blogs and ended these videos thinking, “Man I just don’t know if I can do this”. The reason I think that occurred is because although these people try to encourage me and share their success none of them ever shared with me all their failures.  No one ever took time to really express how insecure they were feeling or the times when they cried at night.  You know I’ve been inspired throughout live by many great men and women who have done wonderful things.  However I was inspired and motivated to keep going by those who have failed many times and yet in the end triumphed.  My point in this blog is not to share with you tips and tricks of how I’ve done everything it’s to share with you my own failures, my own insecurities, and the deep thoughts that go on in my mind long after clinical is over.  (At times I may share a tip or two).  My goal or what I want is to let you know that it doesn’t matter how many times you fail the trying to start an IV.  It doesn’t matter if you’re not sure how to insert an NG tube and you’re about to graduate.  It’s not important that you don’t know how to answer a code and you’re about to take the NCLEX.  It’s my firm belief that every single person should be a lifelong learner. If there’s one thing that you’ll learn in nursing school and probably the most important thing that you learn, it’s how to fail.  Growing up I only attempted to do things that I knew I could succeed it.  I never learned that it was okay to fail.  In nursing school you will fail and that’s okay but you’ll learn every single time.  Eventually you’ll master that skill but if you’re still learning you’ll be failing at other things.  This may not seem like encouragement, but it’s the truth.  When you understand it’s okay to fail you’ll begin to step out and you won’t be afraid to try to learn new things.  There’s a lot of pressure in nursing school from instructors, peers, other nurses, and faculty that you work with.  Just take some of the pressure off yourself, hang in there and don’t run away.

God Bless,

-dontRNaway

Welcome

Hey everyone welcome.  Let me start by saying this I am a normal guy with a girlfriend and 3 dogs.  I work in a restaurant and I went to nursing school in my late 20’s.  As I graduate nursing school this semester I have learned a few things that I hope to share to encourage students.  The first is groups of people you will encounter while in nursing school.  The first group is your peers.  There is always the one person that even though they haven’t graduated acts like they know it all.  When the clinical instructor teaches you something they look at you as if to say “oh you didn’t know about this obscure procedure, It’s simple.”  They are the type of person that looks like they are breezing through and always know what to do.  THEY’RE LYING AND FAKING!!! First off nursing is tough FOR EVERYONE, NO ONE IS IMMUNE.  They are just as insecure and afraid as you are and THATS OKAY. There is sooooo much you don’t know.  People who think you should know it all by now are morons.  This type of attitude can leave you paralyzed.  It will make you not want to attempt anything because when you fail the apparent will be made known to everyone…and that is that you don’t know it all yet.  I have watched as these people talk and then tremble and shake when they are doing a task for the first time.  Look there are times when I first started IV’s that I wondered if I would even hit a vein.  Times when I could “feel” nothing and see nothing.  I failed many times.  Just get better at something everyday.  You will fail at things and thats OKAY.  Don’t run away just hang in there 🙂

-Don’tRNaway