To stay or Go?
- 0Jun 15, '13 by djones4033Hi. I'm a relatively new nurse (8 months) in a level 1 er. This is my first job and I would really love it other than the stress i feel when i get home. I wake up in the middle of the night and remember things i forgot to do, wondering if my patient was ok, etc. I feel like i'm doing ok just from feedback i've gotten from the er docs and other nurses. I'm certainly not as fast as the other nurses, but i know that will take some time. I try my best, but i feel like its not good enough. Most of the er nurses are older/more experienced than i am, so i don't feel like i have anyone i can really relate too. So my question is does this stress eventually go away? Should i try a different area of nursing? Do all new grads feel this way with their first job? Thanks!
- 2Jun 15, '13 by Altra GuideYes, the stress will lessen with time, and yes, the vast majority of new nurses feel this way.
I consider myself fortunate to have started as a new grad in an ER in which it was said often, it will take you a year just to know what you're doing, 2-3 to be really competent, and 5 to feel like you can handle anything that comes in the door. I wish that sentiment was more widely repeated -- it's distressing to see new grads come in with the presumption that their learning curve will be short and that they should be comfortably, fully competent within the first year. It's just not realistic.
I hope that you've had a multi-faceted orientation (both classroom and on the unit) which provided a good foundation. The fact that you seem to indicate that your ER is not overrun with new grads is actually a very good thing, even if it leaves you feeling a little lonely. (p.s. ... fellow new nurses with the same gripes you have now might feel comforting ... but they can't actually do anything to help you get to the next level -- so don't write off us more experienced nurses )
Unless there are specific aspects of the ER you know you don't like ... and you can realistically say that you're sure you won't encounter the same things in another setting ... stick around for a while and see how you feel in another 6 months.
Good luck to you!
- 1Jun 16, '13 by bwhiddon74Sounds like you're right on track What you're experiencing is called professionalism. It's where you revisit your steps and critique yourself so that you're continuously improving. You're setting the bar higher for yourself than you're used to going, so don't stop Good job!
- 3Jun 16, '13 by Esme12 Senior ModeratorYup you are normal....even after 35 years....I would wake up from a sound sleep and think "Holy Crap I forgot xyz!!!!!!!!" call and find out is did not.
You are doing a Good Job! I think that little edge of fear helps to keep us safe.