Thursday, October 26, 2006

A moment of self doubt...


Gosh, no one ever told me that being a nurse made you go through so many changes as a human being. I go from feeling really confident to being afraid to touch another patient to just being a raving lunatic. Mixed emotions isn't even what I would call this, it is pure insanity. I am a good nurse, I know I am, but when something goes wrong, I find myself reviewing my actions and wondering what I could have done to change the outcome from a retrospective point of view. I have been trained, I know what I am supposed to do. Comfortable, I am not. In a way I don't ever want to be comfortable, I always want to have that little feeling of "What if?"

You know like, "What if my patient codes? Then what am I gonna do?" I want my response to a crisis situation to be a reflex. A knee jerk response. I am still waiting for that to happen. Alarms are constantly going off on my unit, but I need to train my ear for the alarm that means something bad is happening. My skills are tight, I can IV and foley with the best of the best. Everything else crisis oriented, I just feel frozen. And when I do move, I am a tongue-tied, bumbling idiot. I know what to do, but I don't know what to do first. Right now I am going to treat everything like an emergency, at least until I am able to discern a TRUE emergency. I have to learn when I can be therapeutic and when I need to be stern to a patient and tell them what they need to do to prevent a terrible outcome.

I was told by a seasoned nurse that it will be at least a year before I really feel like I know what I am doing but in the meantime, I feel like a total liability. I am being told that I am doing well. I know that I have horrifically low self esteem and that I can't take a compliment, but I just don't feel right. I need to do something extraordinarily good...Soon or I am thinking about getting a job in a doctor's office where the extent of my responsibility is taking vitals and telling people to change into a gown and pee into a cup. But I bet that people code there too. I just have to find my zone. And being the Diva that I am, it won't be long before I fond it.


The kids are well. My brother came home for a brief visit from the Marines, then he was shipped to Japan. I guess that is better than the Middle East, but I will miss him and worry about him just the same. My mother had a biopsy done recently. For the past few years she has been complaining about this pain in her left arm. Most recently she told me that she has had discharge coming from her breast. This finding concerns me as my mother is post menopausal. I hope that she will be well. The thing that bothers me the most is that she was not forthcoming about her condition to my brothers. In the worst case scenario, I think I would have liked them to know what is going on with her. My Dad, he is a complete wreck. He is a jerk, but he cannot live without my mother. I am praying that everything is going to be okay.

DiVa...Someone, anyone holla if ya hear me! Throw me a life vest, I am DROWNING out here!


overactive-imagination said...

Holla!! Sounds like you have an awful lot on your mind. First of all...your mom. I will keep her in my thoughts and prayers that all is well.

I am halfway through my first semester of nursing school and I think on a daily basis...Can I do this? Oh, I know I can make the grade, I have a degree in the dental field but nursing is much different than working on someone's teeth.
I'm hoping it's normal to be scared every time I go to the hospital for clinicals and to wonder if I will EVER feel like I know what I am doing.
Keep your chin up and email me if you ever wanna chat. (email is on my blog sidebar)

Gemtwn said...

I stumbled across your blog and have been reading it for a few weeks now. I'm in my second year at nursing school and I must say that I have been having the same feelings and Im not out of school yet. I'm afraid part is my own doing, I have a "be the best or don't do it at all" mentality that I have been struggling with. In nursing you just can't be perfect all of the time because every person is just a little different and every situation is different. Good Luck, sounds like you are where you want to be don't give up.

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