A mixed day

Happy hump day!  Already!

Sorry I skipped posting last night.  Instead I spent the evening practising drug calculations and writing up notes about Men and Cancer study day I attended on Saturday.  Exciting stuff.

Today I worked with another mentor who has the ability to pass or fail me on this placement.  I hadn’t worked with her before.  She’s really lovely, an excellent nurse, and not afraid to correct me and ask questions.  She’s also encouraging.  The problem is that I have come home feeling so unconfident it’s shocking.  I think I must come across as a shy 18 year old rather than a confident 29 year old.  I just hate getting things wrong and feel so self-conscious at being observed during my nursing practice that I turn into a bumbling idiot.  At the beginning of every placement I always feel a like a nervous wreck for the first 1 month or so.  Then, as if by magic, I get to the midway point and I suddenly begin to feel like I can do the job of a nurse.  Right now though I just feel incompetent, slow, embarrsingly withdrawn, and hesitant in the tasks I’m doing.  Surely by this age (and stage) I could just get a grip, feel confident that I know what I’m doing, embrace mistakes and learn from them rather than over-analysing and worrying about every move I make on the ward.  I’ve had great and positive feedback, and only constructive criticism that will help me be a better nurse, yet still I feel the size of a pinhead.  Tom and I chatted about it yesterday, he got impatient and told me I need to be more confident.  He’s right, but it’s hard and unnatural for me.  I can’t believe I’m going to be qualified in 6 months time.  Where do others get their confidence from? Most of the students I’ve worked with come across as so confident, how?  This is my current ongoing dilemma- lack of confidence, over-analysis of self, and frustration.  Maybe it’s not such a happy hump day after all.  Maybe I just need to get a grip!  Is that the phrase?

My other dilemmas are: what to have for dinner?  and shall I go to yoga this evening or to the pub with friends? or shall I go for a run or read my book ready for book club next week…  See, my life is full of major decisions that must be made.

Ok, foodwise it’s been the same old, same old.  However, last night we had an amazing and super-easy, foolproof stir-fry.  Let the photo show begin.

Wide and shallow mugs are my new favourite vestibule from which to consume my breakfasts.  This cup look like it’s floating.

Lunches this week have been the usual combos of the above, and slight variations of.

This was the best dinner salad I’ve had for a while.  The usual salad suspects but topped with chopped up, clearspring tofu burgers and ketchup.  I don’t usually have ketchup on salads but it was necessary with the burger and just about worked!

Now then.  This stir-fry from last night was a.mazing.  Hence two crappy photos rather than one.  It was just tofu burgers with veg that I stir-fried in sesame oil and then simmered in a sauce made of tamari, nut butter and sweet chilli sauce.  Who would have thought such basic ingredients could create such greatness.

How has your week been going?  Do you feel your age?  If not, how old do you feel?

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5 thoughts on “A mixed day

  1. I can relate – I’ve recently started a new job and the lack of confidence that comes with it can be kinda crippling.

    But more importantly… what on earth is ‘hump day’??

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  2. I usually feel older than 23, when I’m surrounded by the typical college student & I have none of the same interests. I can feel you on the confidence thing, as I’m usually very confident, but since moving to Asheville, my confidence has waned.

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  3. I remember that feeling when I first started teaching. Except I didn’t have a mentor scrutinising me, just a whole bunch of 18 year olds. It was terrifying! I knew that if I betrayed any kind of self-doubt they’d lose confidence in me and I’d be lost for the rest of the year. The thing I realised after teaching them all for a while though was that the little fumbles you make, the hesitations, and blushing (and sweating!), you notice much more than other people. Really, those things are SO much more pronounced to those who are experiencing them. So it’s likely that you’re not coming across as nearly as unconfident as you feel.

    The times that you do feel a little unsure or inexperienced though, is it worth talking to one of your mentors about it? I can understand you might not to make that admission, but if you genuinely think they have noticed some of these moments anyway, then perhaps making the admission, and explaining that you’re just a little anxious settling into a new ward (after such a long period of desk time?), etc. You could ask their advice on how they settle(d) into new posts, as you realise that the faster you acclimatise, the better care you give.

    Generally I think people would (should) be very understanding of your anxieties. Nursing is an important job, and the fact that you worry is an acknowledgement of that, and a sign that you want to do it well. You just need a little help getting over some awkward thought patterns.

    Good luck 🙂

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  4. Rachel – Exactly! It is crippling. And yet I’m frustrated that I do find it crippling. Hump day- I believe it is what our american friends call Wednesday (maybe because it signifies the hump in the working week??? after wednesday the weekend is that much closer and we’re over the halfway point? Really I have no idea what the reasoning is).

    Errign – Moving is a major test of confidence for sure. I would find it to be as well.

    Alison – Thanks for your suggestions. My mentor is aware of my lack of confidence and actually pointed it out to me, and highlighted that it is something I need to work on so that my patients can feel confident in my ability to look after them. A bad nurse is a health and safety issue which probs doesn’t help with the nerves. I may start telling myself that it’s mind over matter. I know the theory, I just need to be more confident about it. We will see! 🙂

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