I know nothing …

I know nothing …

I spent over 25 years in IT, this was after many years of pursuing it as a “hobby” (whilst I should have been focussing on my then chosen career). The role I rose to and the salary I was accorded demonstrated I was rather good at it. I knew stuff. I could make stuff happen.

A few years ago my heart felt empty, suffering from a lack of nourishment. After much soul searching I decided to retrain as a nurse.

I never did amazingly at university, I love to study and I understand most of our topics and found them fascinating, often digging more deeply than I needed, usually one of those with my hand up in lectures to find out more, always pestering my mentors with questions too … I have a thirst for knowledge. I’m told my presentation skills are pretty good (given years as a consultant I’d hope so!) but I’m not so good with essays or exams, but despite that, I graduated and qualified in Feb 2018.

7 months on an acute admissions unit, at times I felt out of my depth, but I pushed through. I’d only just qualified and whilst there was a lot to learn, it was being laid down on top of a strong foundation that my degree study/placements had given me.

I then spent 10 months in an ITU which I loved. I’d had two placements there as a student so it felt like coming home, I had recognised in my second year of studies that critical care nursing is my spiritual home. My experience in ITU is that there is always more to learn, always a way to be better … but again I felt it was building on my ongoing learning and growing knowledge.

Tomorrow is my first clinical day (orientation) in a new large ITU … and I am absolutely terrified! Overwhelmed by my lack of knowledge, what little experience I have. A crisis of confidence like this is deeply disturbing, I cannot remember feeling this uncertain about any situation for decades (Yes, I’m old!).

On some intellectual level, I can reason that I have not suddenly lost the knowledge and experience that I have gained since I qualified … but deep down inside there is this loud voice screaming words such as “fraud”, “charlatan”, “faker” and it will not be silenced!