Help, I just started a new ER position and having much difficulty with the role transition. I am still a fairly new nurse with 2 years Med/Surg and needed a change, and some new learning experiences. An ER position at another hospital was offered to me and I took it. I am about 1.5 months into training and am really struggling. I am having a hard time with the super fast pace, and so many things to learn. There has been a big turn over of staff for some "secret" reason and preceptors are apparently hard to come by. I feel like they are rushing me thru training in order to get me out on the floor to meet staffing needs. I am afraid for my pt's safety and my license. The other new orientees, there are four of us, feel the same way. We have tried talking to our nrs manager, education specialist, team leads, everybody, but so far have gotten no where.
I worry as well that being an "older" nurse, that maybe I am just too old for the pace, especially learning a new pace. Initially I was excited about the position, but lately have been feeling very anxious and having a lot of self doubt. I have started having stess symptoms, anxiety, depression, general maliase and overall feeling sick and I think it is because of this job.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
I'm 51, graduated 15 years ago. So I don't think that you are too old. Being an ER nurse is not for everyone. But that doesn't mean that it's not for you. Your peers are right - usually, everything will finally just click in to place. I think that the hardest transition for a floor nurse to make is the abrupt turnover in patients. That and learning to do focused asessments.
Does your hospital have standing orders or protocols in place? If they do, learn them. So much of ER medicine and nursing is straight from a "cookbook". It's very task oriented. "Treat 'em and street 'em". I start discharge planning in triage - "How are you going to get home?" (to those who abuse EMS and come by ambulance.) Same with teaching - "Why haven't you called your PMD?" "Why haven't you checked baby's temp and given Tylenol?"
If you wait to be "comfortable", it may be years. Even though you've been assigned a preceptor, what you need is a mentor. That will be someone of your choosing. Nobody starts out as a GOOD ER nurse. You're going to make mistakes. You're going to be slow. And you're going to ask a lot of stupid questions. But the stupidest question will be the one that you DIDN'T ask. So ask all of them. Don't be too hard on yourself. Remember your ABCs. And if at the end of your shift, everyone is still alive, we count that a really good shift! Good luck!!
Last edit by jojotoo on Oct 31, '06