Sunday, May 17, 2009
Bad Dream, Worse Behaviour
Some nights I have a dream in which my boss and peers come up to me in the middle of a busy shift and tell me that I’ve actually failed my licensing exam and as such, I’m not actually a nurse. Then I see professors from some time long ago saying that my degrees have been revoked. Of course, my nursing license also gets revoked. All of this happens in front of a doctor who starts to lecture me on ER wait times being prolonged because of something I’ve done. It’s never a good sign when I dream this dream while on break AND when the doctor in question is on shift as well. Of course it doesn’t help that this doctor makes me incredibly nervous and I can’t figure out why. Rationally I know full well that I have the requisite knowledge to work as nurse. I am also completely cognizant of the fact that I have a long way to go before I reach the ‘expert’ level of nursing. And yet, there remains something about this doctor that makes me feel very very edgy (close to the point of full blown mind numbing anxiety) when he’s on the same shift as me. His presence makes me feel as if anything I say would sound foolish and anything I do would be wrong. I become consumed by the thought that I was hired over the other candidates from my class only because I might have stumbled across the right answer to some mundane question. And so, much to my own chagrin, I say nothing. I silently sit paralyzed with self-doubt and wait until he goes onto see the next patient before I can breathe a sigh of relief. He has never done ANYTHING that would warrant such a response from me, but I feel threatened by him regardless. Perhaps it’s his height (almost 6’7) though unlikely, or perhaps I think I see an expression of restrained surprise so subtle as to be nearly imperceptible when I speak intelligently about something. Or maybe, I still feel I have nothing substantial to offer next to the highly skilled and experienced nurses and doctors and this doctor just happens to work on the shifts in which I feel exceptionally shitty and under-qualified. I know I have to deal with this, and quickly, but I don’t even know where to start.