Friday, July 16, 2010

Overwhelming Self Doubts

I feel my stress level rising and that is not a good sign. I have finished the first week of my CNA class and while I don’t find the material difficult at all, I am extremely nervous about having to “perform” in front of a bunch of strangers. I seem to have clicked really well with one of the other ladies in my class, which helps me feel a little more comfortable but I still get very anxious just thinking about having to do some of these things in front of other people.

This is a huge character flaw in myself I have known about for a long time. I am not a social person at all. I hate to be watched and I get nervous in crowds, hell even in small unfamiliar groups. I freeze, then sweat. I had really hoped that doing this would help me get over whatever fear I have but I am worried it is going to cause me to doubt myself so much I end up quitting altogether. I mean, my heart starts beating a million miles a minute as soon as someone mentions just having to talk to people. That cannot be normal right?

I was watching one of my new favorite shows last night, Boston Med, and as I saw the nurse interacting with the patient I immediately thought to myself, there is no way I can do that. What am I getting myself in to? Shouldn’t it be different? Shouldn’t I have been excited to imagine myself in that situation? Normally I would be, but something has changed. Doubt has really set in.

I have also recently started my online Pharmacology class. I was looking forward to this class until I started reading some of the lectures and discussion topics we will be going over. I feel like I am in way over my head with this class. No wonder my campus is so adamant about students taking it while in the nursing program rather than before. It really seems like you have to have some good basic knowledge of nursing in order to understand most of this stuff. It has really gotten me thinking: If I can’t handle a silly little Pharm class, what makes me think I am going to be able to handle an entire Nursing program?

To top it all off, this week has been hard. I am trying to work out a whole new schedule. Between being at home with my kids all the time now, to trying to work out when I can get my part time hours in for my job, to working in some studying and going to class, it has been very hectic. I feel so out of order. Things are in chaos around me and I am trying to figure out how to gather up all my balls and start juggling them again. I don’t have much time to get it all figured out either.

Such a change from last week, when I was so excited to get started on all of this, to this week, where I feel I am in way over my head and wondering what the hell I have done.


  1. While is is always scary to feel that anxiety, just keep in mind that most people have that issue, and most manage to get through it. When it becomes less new and you gain some confidence, it will feel less frightening, and you'll do it second-nature.

    And about Pharm: Every single science/nursing-related class I have taken has scared the pants off of me when I started, and every single class has proven to me that I can handle this stuff and master the material. Yes, it's challenging, but you have a good brain, and it you focus, take the time to get through the material, and review, it *will* sink in and at the end you'll look back and be amazed that you learned it, and you'll be proud.

    Sometimes the biggest hurdle to overcoming performance anxiety is maintaining perspective and realizing that most people deal with it, and you will get through it, and soon it'll be "old hat."

    Just breathe deeply and do the work and trust the process.

  2. One of the most difficult things in clinical for me?

    Talking to the patients.

    Not all the complicated nursing crap. Just the stupid, "hey how's it going?" stuff.

    It gets easier.

  3. I started nursing school a year ago, and it was really scary performing skills in front of everyone at first, but it gets so much easier with time. Everyone is in the same boat as you, and before long, you'll all know each other and be able to laugh and joke about it.

    Talking to patients was hard at first, but they are generally so nice to you once they realize that you are a student and are there to learn. They also appreciate the extra attention they get from you, because you have a lot more time to spend with them than the nurse does. Ask them questions about themselves and find something you have in common to talk about.

    As far as pharm, I took it online, too. It might be helpful to get a drug book that you really like, and I bought the "Pharmacology Made Incredibly Easy" book. That helped a lot, and don't feel like you have to go into nursing school knowing it all. When you are at clinical about to pass meds, you'll be able to refer back to your drug book for help before you go over them with your instructor and give them to your patient.

    Good luck!

  4. I'm obviously not a psychologist, but if I had to guess, I'd say you're just really overwhelmed with all of the changes that have occurred in a short amount of time and that's where the doubt and fear is coming from.

    I know you'll be a good nurse. You know you'll be a good nurse. It's going to take tons of work and will undoubtedly bring you out of your comfort zone, but think of how good it will feel when it's all over! Don't get down and be too hard on yourself-- you'll do wonderful, Ms. It's just me, RN.

    Yea, I accidentally typed your real name first. That could've been bad!

    But, if you're really worried and bothered by the crippling effects your fear and uneasiness around crowds, maybe talk to your doc about anti-anxiety's. Lexapro is a wonderful drug!

  5. I have the same gut twisting feeling when I have to do skills in front of people. I dread it, but since nursing school is so full of these events, especially in clinical, you learn to deal and puke later! Best of luck I know you can do this!

  6. Just read over the couple of first blogs that I wrote about - my first experiences ( and ( ...and u will feel so much better about what you are doing. I can tell you that what you are feeling is normal. NORMAL. Isn't that a great feeling? So slog's a bit of work, but you CAN DO IT. And in the end u will be glad u did it... :)

  7. First off, pharmaology is a hard class. But you can do it. It helped that I took chem before pharm but overall it was just a matter of going over lecture notes, asking questions when needed, and studying hard.

    I did my first clinical day in geropsych and the patients there were not scary to me. And the nurses and CNAs were so helpful. BostonMed is showing very expereinced nurses in ER and transplant situations. ER nurses are some tough and funny folks.

  8. You can do it, you can do it. Tell yourself this many times.

    If you can be a mother, you CAN be a nurse if you really want that!

    Good luck!