However I had a crisis of faith not too long ago. I was listening to a conversation between two nurses on a ward and it might as well have been in a foreign language. I managed to pick up the occasional word that I recognised but beyond that I was lost.
I know many people have spoken about the fear of not knowing enough and getting to the last year and panicking because the safety blanket of being a student will soon be ripped away.
But I think this doubting of self-confidence affects students before they even get to graduation.
I’ll give you an example, I was in a clinic sitting with my mentor in between patients and I was asked a relatively simple question. If I remember correctly it was to do with the direction of blood in the circulatory system. I knew the answer, but I hesitated and said I wasn’t sure.
Obviously my mentor was fine and continued to teach me but I was surprised at myself. I began seeing other examples, not only from myself but from my fellow students.
I know that we all have a desire not to look foolish in front of others and I can fully understand why you wouldn’t want to answer the question in a lecture but even when I was in the safest and most supportive environment to answer the simple question, I faulted and stumbled.
To end this story, towards the end of this placement I made a conscious effort to ignore my anxiety. I read, I asked questions and I learned as much as I could and it all culminated in one final day in clinic when I was able to contribute in a conversation between nurses. Everything seemed to fall into place when I was liberated from the uncertainty I had felt just a few weeks earlier.
We all know more than we think we do and whatever the circumstances student shouldn’t be afraid to try.