From Med Surg to ER...So Lost!

  1. I was sent to the ER to work last night....I was like a deer in the headlights. I can't quit thinking about it....Oh my gosh. I was a little nervous to start with then I had to stick two diff. pt's twice to get an IV.....they were not hard sticks....I just missed. I thought if I can't feel comfortable with anything else at least I did w/IV's.....so much for that thought!
    We have computer charting in the ER....not on the floor....lost again.
    They draw their own labs in ER....never done it....lost again.
    They start most IV's in the AC....I never put one there.
    I stopped fluids & flushed before/after pushes....they don't. They use mostly NS....but its just habit for me....They asked me why I would stop fluids & flush.....habit....then I felt stupid.
    I cannot shake the dumber than dumb feeling today. I have been on the floor a little over a year but I feel like a brand new nurse. Did any of ya'll feel like this if you went from the floor to the ER? I just hate to feel so inadequate.....and boy, do I ever feel that way!
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  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   HM2VikingRN
    I take it as you were just going into a new situation. I think its normal to feel insecure in a new environment.

    it will go better next time.
  4. by   Blee O'Myacin
    Quote from crb613
    I was sent to the ER to work last night....I was like a deer in the headlights. I can't quit thinking about it....Oh my gosh. I was a little nervous to start with then I had to stick two diff. pt's twice to get an IV.....they were not hard sticks....I just missed. I thought if I can't feel comfortable with anything else at least I did w/IV's.....so much for that thought!
    We have computer charting in the ER....not on the floor....lost again.
    They draw their own labs in ER....never done it....lost again.
    They start most IV's in the AC....I never put one there.
    I stopped fluids & flushed before/after pushes....they don't. They use mostly NS....but its just habit for me....They asked me why I would stop fluids & flush.....habit....then I felt stupid.
    I cannot shake the dumber than dumb feeling today. I have been on the floor a little over a year but I feel like a brand new nurse. Did any of ya'll feel like this if you went from the floor to the ER? I just hate to feel so inadequate.....and boy, do I ever feel that way!

    I bet you that it wasn't as bad as you thought it was. You took a pull to the ER without EVER having been there, without an orientation further than "here's the supply closet and your patient assignment -- good luck..." and you did just fine. Trust me on this one. The staff in the ED was happy to not have to take on extra patients because they were running short. It's far easier to help out a nurse that was pulled from the floor than it is to work with an unsafe number of patients. I work in the ED and I have to stick patients more than once for IVs too sometimes. There are just days where you just can't hit the broad side of a barn! (Personally, I find it easier to put a line in the AC, but that's just me...) Being pulled for a shift means that you are going to feel out of sorts for the day, but on the up side, the staff is usually REALLY happy to see you there!

    Don't beat yourself up over this!

    Blee
  5. by   Larry77
    Just like there is a huge learning curve coming out of school there is also one coming down to ED. Just think the next time you go there you will have a much better idea of what to expect and how things are done.

    If you do want to work in ED full time I suggest getting a book on ED nursing and reading a little...it will help a lot on rationales and give you a better idea of why we do things the way we do (ie AC IV's).

    ED nursing is very different than floor nursing and much more fun!
  6. by   bill4745
    I would be just as bad going to a M/S floor from the ER!
  7. by   crb613
    Thanks ya'll! You how when you go to a different area you want to help....not be a rock around someone's neck? Well I did feel like the rock Thanks Larry 77 for the suggestion....I think figured out the IV/AC...quick & good for labs & such. They did ask me if I would like to transfer out there ( said I had the personality for it :uhoh21so I guess it was not all bad. I do plan to go back & learn....I think I might like it!
  8. by   bigsyis
    Quote from crb613
    Thanks ya'll! You how when you go to a different area you want to help....not be a rock around someone's neck? Well I did feel like the rock Thanks Larry 77 for the suggestion....I think figured out the IV/AC...quick & good for labs & such. They did ask me if I would like to transfer out there ( said I had the personality for it :uhoh21so I guess it was not all bad. I do plan to go back & learn....I think I might like it!
    Hey-take it from one who has been there-they would NOT have asked you about transferring down there if they didn't think you would be an asset to their staff. So much for the "stone around the neck" thinking!
  9. by   amberfnp
    crb613--don't be discouraged. I have been in the ED (not a trauma level) for a little over 5 years, only on a prn status. I started as a new grad with minimal orientation to the unit! My orientation was on my prn schedule and to be honest, insufficient. That is not the norm, but I am glad they allowed it because I really do like it there. But there are still days I have the dumber than dumb days and still have a-ha moments when I say to my self "that's what ___ means/is for" and of course all my patients are hard sticks! It does get better and the really bad days get fewer and far between. Before you know it, if you haven't already, you'll be helping the newbies along.

    I envisioned myself in a trauma center by this time, but I'm comfortable where I am for now!
  10. by   tmh0322
    I've been in ER since graduating in 2000. I work at a small hospital in rural IL and floated to our sister hospital. I WAS LOST!!! I thought I'd be more comfortable but, it is a new environment, new people, paper work and new processes. If you made it through the shift without a nervous breakdown, you did a great job!
    Consider ER.
    Tina- IL
  11. by   crb613
    I was reading through the ER section & saw this old post. I thought I would just update it a little.....
    I am now in the ER & I absolutely love it. I am in orientation & my preceptor is great! LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT!!!!!!! I think I have found my place.
  12. by   Altra
    Quote from crb613
    I was reading through the ER section & saw this old post. I thought I would just update it a little.....
    I am now in the ER & I absolutely love it. I am in orientation & my preceptor is great! LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT!!!!!!! I think I have found my place.

    Good for you!!! Thanks for the update.
  13. by   twiggs
    i've been thinking about getting into a specialty (so far i've been sort of med/surg/step down/whatever) & really wondering what i'm cut out for. i'm torn between (as weird as it sounds) trying er or hospice. i've done a lot with trying to help families & pts with end of life issues where i used to work, & felt it was rewarding. the worst part was always when the doc was just blowing sugar & sunshine their way, & i would be trying to give them an honest perspective. but i think in hospice there wouldn't be that total denial in place. on the other hand, i think the er would be very interesting, but don't know if i'm up to it. i'm not into the adrenalin rush of codes, so i wonder if i'd just feel like an awkward clubberbutt when the traumas & other seriously critical cases come in. i was interested to read this thread & the follow-up...i wish i could have some professional career guidance. interested in your thoughts, advice
  14. by   crb613
    twiggs.....I had also thought about Hospice. I was very interested in geriatrics & end of life issues. Actually that age was my favorite when I was on the floor. We had inpatient Hospice & you might be surprised at how many are in denial.
    I kinda fell into ER & just loved it! I am sure I will be awkward for some time :icon_roll but I am learning & becoming stronger each day. I can tell you one thing your co-workers make all the difference! Mine are wonderful, they are the best bunch of nurses & techs I have ever worked with! Talk about teamwork......
    Have you considered going PRN? You could try some diff. areas & see if anything is a fit so to speak. That way if you don't like it you aren't stuck. Just my thoughts. Good Luck to you.

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