My confidence at year 3
Year one was a huge learning experience—and in a stressful way—for me. I questioned myself and everything I was doing…and I had a lot of hand holding as a new grad. While I didn’t feel very confident, I always had a back-up in my preceptor or fellow nurses who knew I was a newbie.
Year two I definitely got more confident. My assessments were done more quickly, I was able to spot potential problems before they occurred and act more efficiently in the face of a crisis. No longer did I dread shifts: I didn’t worry so much about what would happen in those upcoming twelve hours. I even felt a little cocky. And that’s not a good thing.
Sometimes I was lulled into a false sense of security that got me into trouble: I made my 1st med error, I reacted instead of responded, or I didn’t take responsibility for all of my actions and played the blame game. Yeah, I got knocked down a peg or two because things didn’t go right all the time and I wasn’t super-nurse. Yet I trudged on!
Year three finds me with more experience under my belt. I thought stupidly last year that I had seen it all. HA! Now I find that I question my practice even more. I am more careful than ever with my charting and my assessments. I’m always asking, “What’s wrong with this picture?” I have learned that getting a second opinion from my fellow nurses is a good thing. I am learning more about my specialty as I get more advanced certifications and I am finding I have so much more to learn. While I feel I am growing, I still really struggle with questioning myself. I look back at choices I made and wonder if I could have done any better.
This is all very humbling and overwhelming. The deeper I get into nursing the more I find that I have so far to go, so much more to learn. I have to run fast to keep up with the technology race. So my self-assurance has been stunted a little—it isn’t growing very quickly. I guess I’ll get out of this rut but right now it doesn’t feel very good. It must be all part of the learning process?
No one said nursing was easy, but I wasn’t quite prepared for this—and year 4 is coming. I wonder what it will bring.
Amy is many things: a blogger, a nurse, a wife, a mom, a childbirth educator. She started her journey towards a career in nursing when she got pregnant with her first child. After nursing school and studying "like she has never studied before" she entered the nursing profession eager to get her feet wet. The first years provided her with much exposure to sadness, joy and other complex human emotions. She feels that blogging is a wonderful outlet and a way for nurse bloggers to further build their community. Traditionally, midwives have handed down their skill set from midwife to apprentice midwife. She believes nurses have this same opportunity: to pass from nurse to new nurse the rich traditions of this profession.
By Amy Bozeman