Category Archives: Lecture Notes

Impostor Syndrome

One of these things is not like the other….

Last week in class, when we were going over what the next few months had in store for us, my instructor brought up a very good point.

We are all impostors.

Or at least, we feel like we are. I had no idea, but Impostor Syndrome is a very real thing… and there are people living it every day. Walking through life feeling like they do not belong there, that at any minute someone is going to figure them out for the fake that they are. They feel as if they have tricked the world into believing they are smart, and competent, and good at what they do – when the reality is they lack a whole lot of self confidence!

I can’t imagine that there are many senior nursing students that do NOT feel this way. If you are one of those people who are just naturally awesome and able to conquer the world, then rock on. I am not one of those people. I spend a lot of time freaking out that I have somehow managed to pass all the tests by some sort of fluke of nature, and I’ve managed to just slide through clinical without someone figuring out that I am a complete and total fraud. Eventually someone will wise up when I ask the wrong question, or do the wrong thing… and they will kick me out.

How in the hell have I made it to the end of this?!

The really scary realization is that I am going to be expected to get a JOB and WORK?! AS A NURSE?! How is that supposed to happen? Will I miraculously have all the knowledge I need in the next three months?

Rationally, I know that I have worked hard and that is how I have gotten to where I am. I do take comfort in my instructors reassuring me that we are BEGINNERS. We are NOVICE nurses. We will not be expected to go out and save the world. So why do we expect that out of ourselves?

So take comfort, fellow Nursing Impostors. We will be ok. We are where we are supposed to be. We have made it this far not by luck or chance or happenstance, but because we have worked our asses off for it. We are going to be nurses, and damned good ones at that – because that is what we have been called to do. We will ask stupid questions and we will do the wrong thing, but such is life on a perpetual learning curve. I have that much figured out already. No one can truly be an expert in the field of nursing, because medicine and technology are evolving faster than we can perfect our skills.

Maybe one day I will wake up and I will no longer be an Impostor. Until then, I will continue to “fake it ’til I make it” and trust in those people who have mentored me along the way. I have some great teachers and mentors paving the way for me… and they believe in me, even if most days I don’t believe in myself. Yet. 🙂



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Med/Surg and Mentors

Today was my first day of Med/Surg. Or, as it’s called in my program – “Adult I”. I don’t have much to say about class yet because today was just a mish mash of syllabus and a little lecture. Things kick in for real next week. 🙂

I did volunteer today to be a “mentor” to a first semester student. I really wish I had had a mentor to answer all my questions and ease some of my fears back when I started – so maybe I’ll be able to do that for some other poor innocent soul starting out on this journey.

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I survived summer semester!

It’s OVER!

I finished up today…. we had our cumulative final in OB nursing.  We had an extra credit opportunity (we had to write a short paper on a film about culture in childbirth/rearing) to earn 5 points, so factoring that in I managed to pull off a 100 on the final!  🙂

The huge sense of relief I felt finishing up that class today – I can’t even begin to describe it.  I have worked my tail off this summer, and it’s been HARD.  I hate summer semester as a rule – it’s just so fast and everything is so condensed.  BUT – I managed to pull it off.

I now have a two week break where I can put the books away and enjoy the time off before fall semester starts.  I plan on enjoying every minute of it!

I will say, I will miss OB.  I didn’t enjoy the clinicals so much, but of all the professors I have had so far – this one was by far the best.  Lectures were entertaining, engaging, and I actually enjoyed them. 🙂 That is hard to accomplish when you are talking about 4 hours of lecture every week, you know?  I hope that I am that lucky with my next professor.

Bring on Adult I!!!

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Where have I been?

Knee deep in OB, that’s where!

The second half of summer semester has begun.  These short sessions start out doing what they call “front loading”… it’s where they keep you in a classroom for an obscene amount of time, pump you full of more knowledge than you ever thought possible, and then test you on it.  The reasoning is so when you get into the hospital, you sound like you know what the hell you are talking about.  I guess that’s a good thing, but it truly does make for a boring couple of weeks! I just spent the last six days in my Maternity book, and this weekend is seriously the first time I have been able to come up for air.  I’ve already had two exams!!  Crazy.  I start hospital clinicals this coming week, and I’m excited!

I’m doing pretty well so far in the class, but I can’t tell yet if I’m going to like OB or if it’s going to be one of those places that I just have to survive.  It’s just a lot of vagina.  LOL!

You know though, I can’t imagine watching babies being born would ever get old.  I cry every time I watch one , or heck  – even hear about it! We were talking about birth in the class this past week, and the birth stories were enough to tear me up.

It’s a good thing they have decided it’s ok for a nurse to show emotion in the work place now. 😀

I’ll fill you all in on my clinical when it happens.  On Wednesday I’ll be in the sim lab (Hooray! Robot Babies!), and then on Thursday I will be with the laboring/birthing moms! Can’t wait!

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Goodbye 4.0, Hello OB

I finished up the semester with an A-.  Needless to say, I wasn’t happy about that grade at all…. had a hard time on the final!  Ugh.  It wasn’t a great way to end the class, but it was fitting.  Pediatrics was one of those classes that I LOVED THE CLINICALS SO MUCH – but hated the class.  The lectures were rough, the material presented flat, and the tests were frustrating.  My final had material on it (it was a cumulative final) that we never once discussed in class or read over in the book.  Heck, there were a few questions on that final that weren’t even IN the book to review!  It definitely frustrated my type A personality.  However, I finished the class with a 3.7, so I shouldn’t complain.  Maybe now that the 4.0 is gone (I mean, there is no getting it back, right?) I can start to relax with the perfectionism!!  Hahaha, yeah right.

I’m actually curious to see how many we lost between the end of pediatrics and the start of OB.  I have a bad feeling that pediatrics separated some men from the boys, if you know what I mean.  I know a lot of people are crappy test takers – which is unfortunate, because there are some that are struggling that would still make great nurses! And there are ones that are succeeding with flying colors that WON’T. (I’m not one of them of course…. Hahahahaha)  You know what I mean, though? Sometimes it doesn’t seem fair that we are forced to take these tests and our futures rely on the 77 or better.  It’s enough to give people ulcers.  OF COURSE I want my  nurses to be smart and skilled, but truly – I know people who KNOW the material, who are AWESOME in the clinical setting, and they are struggling with the tests.

We’ll know how many of us are gone tomorrow, I guess.

We are already down to less than 60 before the start of summer session!

Anyway, tomorrow begins the start of OB.  I’m looking forward to it!! It will be a different change of scenery anyway, right? 🙂 And another one checked off the list.  In the fall I start my Adult Complex classes.  I’m actually REALLY excited about those. I LIKED working on the Med/Surg floor. I’m weird like that.  (However, the feeling on the peds floor was COMPLETELY different – calmer, and less stress filled for the nurses/techs!)


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Slowly hacking my way thru….

Summer semester has really been an eye opening experience.  Even on my “breaks” I don’t have a break. I am continually sitting around with my nose in a book, studying for yet another exam (they are back to back this time of year), or on the computer typing up classwork, research, clinical incidences… you name it.  The lecture days are LONG, and the clinical days are longer.  At least I enjoy the clinicals. 🙂  I often wonder if I will ever get over that feeling? Every time I set foot on a hospital unit, I just feel like a superstar. LOL!! I know that sounds silly, but I love it. I love the patient care, I love meeting people…. I love learning how things work, and LEARNING from the pros.  The nurses on the unit are my heroes!  It’s great when you get a really good nurse who WANTS to teach, and wants you to learn.  You can sit in lecture for 12 hours and not learn what you can in an hour from a fantastic floor nurse.

Last week I didn’t get that superstar moment. 😦  Instead, it was my turn in the sim lab and then we spent a day at a Child Development Center observing child development.  I kind of felt like that one was redundant for me… I’m a mom to three, every day is a study in child development at my house.  The sim lab was fun though… I really love it in there. It’s nice to know that you are learning from the best and you can’t kill anyone if you make a wrong decision. 😀  I haven’t killed one of my robot friends yet, so I give myself props!!!

This week I will be in the Children’s Hospital and I can’t wait… you know, I used to think I would hate pediatrics.  Now I am wondering if I might not LOVE it.  It’s a love hate relationship.  I’m interested to see how I like being up there in the peds floor.  I’m looking forward to it.  I bought a pack of stickers and I’m armed and dangerous.  😀  Now watch, my patient will end up being 18.  HA!

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First Day of Pediatrics

I think I will survive. 🙂

The thing with summer semesters, is that there is an obscene amount of information all crammed into just 13 weeks.  What makes MY summer session even TOUGHER, is that I take TWO classes back to back in the summer, which means they each just last a little over 6 weeks.  I am taking a full course, including all 90 hours of clinical that are required by law, in 6 weeks.  Nuts.  It’s very daunting, I won’t lie… but it’s doable. I can do this.  It’s just the next stop on the ladder.

Tomorrow is my first day of clinical. This week, we won’t be in the hospital – we are just being bombarded with information in the classrooms. Next week, I start my actual clinical rotations.  First stop – a doctor’s office. FUN!  And then I’ll be in the NICU. It’ll be an experience regardless. I’m looking forward to it.  Hopefully I will have some interesting things to blog about.

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