If you’re a nurse then you know, there’s a certain time in every nurse’s career when your “balls” finally drop (not literally, metaphorically of course). Yes, that’s right, I said balls. For those of you who don’t know what this means, it means that at a certain time in a nurse’s career, there will be a point when a nurse has the confidence to challenge a doc., make demands and contribute suggestions or ideas. Well ladies and gents, I hate to say it but I think I have lost my nursing balls, or a least they’ve shrunk a little.
It’s not that I’ve lost my confidence (in fact I’m probably way more of a confident nurse now than I was a year ago), its just that now that I’m aware of so much more, I start to overthink the situation and end up not speaking up as much as I used to. Now, if a resident orders something that I don’t agree with, my first instinct is to say something, but then I think “well wait, maybe there’s something to this patient they know that I don’t” or “maybe they’re ordering this because of this…”(you get the idea).
So what could have caused this you ask, two words-Graduate School. Over the past year grad school has filled my brain with extended education of G-proteins, metabolic pathways and chronic diseases that I thought I knew quite a bit about. For anyone who has been in or is currently in, grad school, they know, graduate school humbles you. It makes you feel like you know nothing while at the same time learning everything, and then when you go to use it in the real world, you start overthink and second guess yourself. You realize that all these years you’ve been in a little bubble of what you’ve known as a beside registered nurse, and now, that bubble has popped (going to grad school) and you realize there are so many other possibilities and reasons. You knew this, but had no idea how it would affect your decision-making.
So what will I do about this? Well now that I’m aware of it, I’m hoping that it’s just a phase that will pass. I’m hoping that once I start my year of clinical (next month!) I will be able to organize all the information in my head, and turn it into much understood diagnoses and management of my patients. I’m hoping…