So you're in clinical, and you were asked to
do something by your clinical instructor or
by a nurse that you're working with.
But you have absolutely...
You don't know any of the words that came out
of their mouth, right?
You don't know what they're talking about.
Let alone how to do the things that were
actually asked of you.
And it can feel really, really hard to say:
"Actually, I am, I have no idea what you're
talking about." Right?
Because you don't want to seem uninterested
or like asking you as a waste of time or
that you will always say no or, you know,
you don't want to be perceived as
incompetent. But remember what we discussed
in the previous module?
Literally any decent human in the clinical
world will not see you as incompetent
because you are literally there to learn.
So try to just scratch that worry off of
your list if you can, and
let's troubleshoot a few different ways that
you can say you don't know how to
do something, while still emphasizing that
you are totally down to learn how.
Because it is totally okay to say that you do
not know how to do something.
It's why you're there.
And you'll be learning, you'll be learning
new things forever in health care.
This won't be the first thing you don't know
how to do.
So you might as well get really used to
saying, "I have no idea how to do that, but I
would like to find out now." And that right
there, actually, the last sentence we said,
"I don't know how, but I'd like to find out"
That sentence is totally, totally acceptable.
That's a fine way to express that you don't
know how to do something.
I personally didn't feel confident enough to
be so up-front until
many years into my clinical practice when I
was much more fine just saying, like:
"actually, I don't know how to do that. Will
you show me?" There are easier ways in the
beginning when you're newer and less okay
with admitting, like, full out that you're
just clueless on a topic.
And we're going to cover those now.
Here are some examples. "I would love to help
you with that, but I am unfamiliar with the
process. Could you show me so that I can
tackle it next time?" That's going to show
you more of, like, "I want to shadow here."
Then we have: "that's actually on my list of
things to learn this semester, so I haven't
quite done it yet, but do you have time to
show me?" "I've actually never done that,
but I would love to learn if you could show
me how." "So I want to do this, but I'm not
exactly sure how to do it.
Can you point me to someone or could you
maybe show me, so you can just guide me
through it or have someone else help me?"
Any of those are going to work, or whatever
feels comfortable to you.
It'll be okay, I promise.
And practicing saying these things at home,
finding your one phrase, is actually going to
be really helpful before you even get to
So it can just like roll off your tongue,
Because you're going to be scared. And if it
just falls out of your mouth the moment that
you're asked this question, it makes it a
I promise it's totally normal.
Even the most experienced nurse has to have
lots of these moments where they're
like, "I have, I have no idea", or they have
to go look something up.
I have always, always said to my preceptees
when I'm training them as new nurses, that
the things that they don't know, that
doesn't scare me.
What scares me is when they say they know
how to do something, and they actually don't
. Never, ever avoid asking for help out of
concern for feeling dumb or being a
burden. You are not a burden.
You are a student.
But if you don't speak up and let people
know that you need help, that is when things
get complicated, that's when frustration
will set in, and that's when you can become a
burden and cause problems.
You will always be learning new things in
nursing, so you might as well just embrace
it, practice it now.
Ask the questions.
Learn and grow!
Grow my nursing babies.
Remember, you can only control how you
interact in a learning environment
. By being honest and upfront at knowing,
like, "Hey, I don't know how to do
something", but showing the willingness to
learn you are doing your part as a student.
If someone is disappointed that you do not
know how to do something or is giving you
any kind of attitude about them, I need you
to know that that is like them being
grumpy and that's their problem.
That is not a you problem.
You did not do anything wrong.
You are enough.
You're doing the hard things.
Okay, friends? Go you.