Tele...no winning in this

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    So I have been a tele nurse now for 3 years. Last year becoming per diem after family care issues. I try my best everyday I am there to take the best care I can of my patients. However, I Feel it's a lossing battle and I am becoming burnt and disheartined. I am unsure how to process these emotions. I have always wanted to be a nurse and was so proud to become one. On bad days, I can have 5 patients with transferrs and new admits. On the worse of days my head is spinning and am Unsure at the end of my shift what the hell just happened! On the way home I pray I made no mistakes under all that crazyness! I have been chewed out by another nurses for forgething something, called on a discharges and questioned. I just feel like there is no winning in this field. The things that are asked of us and the dangers involved...are they worth it? I am told to chart on my patients room every two hours, make d/c calls, discharge patients, adm meds, check orders from stupid doc's. I am sure I dont need to go on with the list of things that are expected of us in 12hrs. I just dont know how to make this any better, how to be less hard on myself if I forgetting something. I have learned from my mistakes and I do believe that these mistakes have made me better, but in this field is there really room for error? Am I just not cut out to do this anymore? When a patient asked me if I am back the next day and tell me that they would very much like it if i was, it can make it worth it. IT is rare that we are thanked in anyway for what we truely do! Being able to give my patients the attention they need or that i would like to give is impossible! Sorry for the rant..just no one truely understands how sometimes i feel completely incompitant and stupid!
    koi310 likes this.
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  3. 5 Comments so far...

  4. 4


    I was still in nursing school, working with a preceptor who told me, "You can only do one thing at a time." When I keep that in mind, I'm fine. It's when I start feeling like I should be able to do everything, and start trying to handle more than one thing at a time, that I get stressed.

    Nobody can do it all. Nobody can do all that's expected. Just do your best, forget the rest. (I think that's trademarked by Tony Horton, the P90X guy, but it's good advice for a variety of things.)
    lvan0904, Orca, SMUgrad, and 1 other like this.
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    "just no one truely understands how sometimes i feel completely incompitant and stupid!"

    No, I don't understand why you feel incompetent and stupid. Because you simply should not feel that way.
    You are NOT stupid or incompetent! You are overworked.

    You should feel angry with the "system" that is forcing us to work under these conditions. I have been a nurse for 30 years, mostly on units exactly as you describe. The workload and stress gets worse each year.

    I wish I could offer advice as to "how to process these emotions". I would suggest...

    Analyze your situation with a clear head..
    with a colleague that understands(trust me, there are many of us.)

    Does your facility offer the Employee Assistance Program? Couldn't hurt.

    In my case... way to late, but I am just now getting the hell out of the hospital setting.. any way I can.
    Orca, wooh, and SMUgrad like this.
  6. 4
    Dear erin01

    I am sorry that I cannot provide you with some breakthrough advice, all I can do is sympathize and relate. I have been a practicing RN for 3 years and was blessed to have obtained a position on a telemetry floor. This is a new facet of nursing that I have been exposed to as well as cardiac and neuro were not my strongest topics in school. But I wanted to advance in my career and challenge myself to do it. I am still doing my orientation and it will last for 12 weeks total.

    As a new nurse on telemetry, I can relate to every emotion that you have expressed. I feel sick each time I am on my way to work because I am nervous, I feel afraid of the legal ramifications that can come to bite me if I fail to do my job or even if I didn't do something that I SHOULD have because "well you should have known." I hate that phrase. I also hate "well, it's your license." Thanks, like I didn't know that. Anywho, I don't know for myself how to get over this fear that's why I come to allnurses.com to read stories like yours, then I feel comforted.

    It is true you can only do one thing at a time, you are only one person. And don't pretend to know everything. I often do feel as you do and I am worried that I will never get out of that feeling and I loathe that feeling of being scared. However, we are nurses for a reason because we were taught to assess the situation and then intervene. That being said, I have found coaching4nurses which I have inquired about to help find a coach to help me through my career and to help me clearly define my goals so that I can learn how to take care of my patients and feel that I have done the best that I could. I am proud of what I have accomplished of becoming a nurse also, and I have made peace with the fact that nursing will never get easier just more manageable if I know where my resources are and how to access them, then I can better problem solve and "troubleshoot" the situation.

    If there is any consolation, I am thankful that you have decided to become a nurse and all that you do because it is not easy to give or even maintain compassionate care especially to difficult patients. New nurses, like me, will be thankful for your experiences and stories to help them get through their insecurities, doubt and other "head-noise." Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I wish you all the best, please don't give up.



    ps- You know why my icon is from Finding Nemo? Because it was Dory who taught me to "just keep swimming."
    Last edit by SMUgrad on Jul 20, '12 : Reason: to add something
    Orca, dodoy, wooh, and 1 other like this.
  7. 1
    Work on your time management skills. While you are at work...don't talk about issues from home concenetrate on nursing. Pray for strength and ask God to help you..He will see you through! Sounds like you are already doing an excellent job.
    lvan0904 likes this.
  8. 1
    i feel your pain. you know i was recently saying to somebody how no matter what I do, I end up charting til 8 AM. (im a night nurse.) and they said "you just have to prioritize." I realized that throughout my 1 year as a nurse-I have built a lot of things into my routine that are above the bare minimum. I worked into my routine all kinds of things, from refilling pitchers, fluffing pillows, checking charts, reading old consults to beef up my AM report- what the heck have i been doing. I'm a very thorough person and it sounds like you are too- but think of where to cut the fat. Start by doing EXACTLY what is required- meds, assessments, checking labs, calling MDs. and then you will be surprised what time you have, you can take that time to do the second tier requirements- like calling discharged pts at home etc. trying to do it all at once is just so frazzling. (if that's a word ) do that first most important tier of things, THEN move along to the lesser important. Trying to work it all into a routine isn't as practical- because if somebody goes down the tubes (as they do on tele!) you will be on schedule, and all of the CRITICAL stuff will be out of the way.

    I also started being honest with my patients. I will tell them "I have to go see everybody else now so I will check on you as soon as that is done." then they get the idea we aren't lounging. for the pacing patient and family awaiting their discharge education- tell them "i am helping someone else right now- if you were that sick, I promise I would be with you- and I'll be with you as soon as I can." Don't let anybody pull you off your path!

    i don't even know if i should be giving advice, being that I have only 11 months experience, BUT i can relate to you, and this recent tactic has helped me a lot! hope it also helps you- good luck!
    OfficialWarmBody likes this.


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