I was so excited to start as a new grad in the ER. After three days of training (not ER directed, just hospital orientation) and taking two ECG/rhythms classes, I was introduced to the person I'd be with for floor orientation. I was so excited and felt like I would be comfortable with this nurse since she has a fun/outgoing personality. I am so eager to learn and want to be a great nurse. Unfortunately, my first day did NOT go as planned and I feel overwhelmed and completely foolish. I feel like they're already regretting their hiring decision with me.
I did my school preceptorship (64 hours) in the ER back in June and then took NCLEX in August, so I've been out of the clinical setting for about 4 months. Everything that could have possibly gone wrong (with the exception of killing someone) went wrong. Mistake, after mistake, after mistake. Things I was comfortable with as a student.
Here is a summary of my day. During all my experience in clinicals, I never left upset. I was crying the entire way home and cried for a good hour after getting home. I'm so overwhelmed and I feel like I'm letting the department down. I also feel like they just expect me to know how to do everything, and I don't. I just really need to get these feelings out.
1. Foley: My hands were sweating so bad, I couldn't get my sterile gloves on. I finally got them, but it took forever. Then, I was blank on what to do with antiseptic and even blank on what the syringe of lubricant was! I hadn't seen a foley kit since first year (I had done lots of straight caths throughout clinicals--just not foleys). I finally got the catheter in, but I was embarrassed.
2. I couldn't start an IV if my life depended on it! During my preceptorship, I was able to start them and take blood without assistance. It's like I completely forgot how to even do the steps. Plus, the person I'm with does things completely different than the person I precepted with over the summer which is frustrating.
3. Glucometer. Yeah, doesn't get much easier than doing a glucose reading...wrong. She asked me to find out what his blood sugar was and I was so excited, like "finally! something I won't mess up and can look competent at while doing"...While the machine was reading the results, I pulled the strip out (not even thinking!!!!), so of course, got an error message.
4. Went to connect IV tubing to the IV....couldn't figure out why it wouldn't go on...oh yeah, because I forgot to take off the cap. She teased me on this one and I smiled, but I was feeling so stupid.
5. Almost forgot to swab the IV port with alcohol before doing a saline push, but the trainer caught it and tried handing me a alcohol pad...that I dropped on the floor, so she got me a new one.
6. Put like four of the stickers for ECG on incorrectly because I couldn't figure out how to count the intercostal spaces. I've never done these before.
7. Was asked to reconnect a patient to monitoring...forgot to hit start on blood pressure cuff and didn't hook up the leads.
THIS IS ONE DAY!!!!!!! I FEEL SO FOOLISH. It looks even worst seeing it all written out. Any past experience you've had or hope you can share would be so greatly appreciated right now. I hate feeling this way. Plus, I have ACLS training next week and I'm terrified of that as well.
Did I mention I'm 6 months pregnant? Yeah, I'm just a wreck, lol.