Thursday, May 25, 2017


So the bosses at work, in all their infinite wisdom, apparently decided that I'd be a good fit for training a new grad into the ER. I guess that means I haven't screwed up too badly there yet? Adapting to a new hospital is always hard, and that makes the feeling of "am I actually good at this, or just good at faking?" a little harder to shake. Even after eight years of nursing and multiple rounds of precepting (mostly travelers and other experienced nurses, but a couple of new grads too), there's always a little voice in the back of my mind telling me that I've still got a long ways to go before I don't suck at nursing.

I went through a pretty intense year or two of impostor syndrome back when I was a relatively new nurse. Most days I came home and felt that any good thing I had done at work was owed to the abilities of my charge nurses, coworkers, or just good luck. Gradually, I felt more comfortable with most things but that little nagging feeling has never completely gone away. People tell me that it's a good feeling to have, because it means that I still care about the profession and that I'm not allowing myself to become complacent. I can understand that, but I wonder if other people still feel this way even after so long?

So tell me, do any of you feel this way too?


Aesop said...

I have twenty-plus years in nursing, and seventeen in the ER, in the busiest ERs in the US, hence the world, and there are still days where I wonder if I'll ever be as good all the time as I am some of the time.

You are not alone. We are always out harshest critics.

Keep on not sucking.

Old FoolRN said...

If you are caring for patients and concerned about providing them with the best care you are an elite practice nurse. It's the nurses sitting behind a desk all day worrying about utilization, insurance, and regulation that should be concerned about their skills.

I once had a director of nursing interpret an arterial line waveform by pointing out the QRS complexes. These are the nurses that should be more self-aware but lack the most insight.