1st day as a new RN

  1. I am a little confused on what is expected from a new grad. I had my first day on a pediatric observation unit and I was surprised about my perceptor. I worked the 7p-7a shift. She expected me to take on 3 patients. I reminded her this is my very first day and I would like to shadow her today so I can get an idea how things are done. She said well if you have any questions just ask me. I felt like I was thrown to the wolves. I didn't get a chance to speak to my educator yet. She would be a good preceptor for someone with alot of experience already. On top of it all she is also hard of hearing. I know things will get better and I would not do anything I was unsure of but I was just surprised of her attitude. Has anyone else had this bad first day experience? I have different preceptors in the upcoming weeks.
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   florry
    Hello Lindagiao!

    If I was your leader I would insured you, that I am sure you have done your work in a good and caring way!

    I remember my first day, who was a nigth shift. I was alone and one of the patients got unexpected hematemesis.

    The assistent I worked with had taken a sleep/nap on the bathroom and I stood their alone with night -shift matron which was coming....The patients survived, and me too. But I never forget her face: Icecold, not trying to give me some support or a even a hug!

    I think I am talking about power. Maybe some person enjoing showing power, maybe they have forgotten their first day as a RN!

    This is my e-mail support or hug to you! I am sure the experience som day will come, but you must give it time to come; or your leader must give it time to come.. You certenly do! Think about your knowledge as back-packer -bag: all the tings you can and know! Use it! You have not got your RN if everything was a mess and the bag was empty!

    From me

    Hug from an old one
  4. by   meownsmile
    Been there done that!,, Fairly recently i might ad.

    Just remember your preceptor(s) are showing you how their organization works for them. It doesnt mean that you have to organize it like they do. Take what works for you and use it, if it doesnt find another way. You will develop your own organization after orientation is over because no two people think alike. Some have to have everything written down, others never have to write anything but the most important stuff.

    I dont think anyone really feels ready to be off orientation. But you will be ok. After orientation you will find a comfort zone to work from and it may or may not include the little tips that your preceptors give you.

    You wont get it all in that orientaiton period. Just use any and all resource people available to you. If you dont get an answer that feels right,, find another person to ask.
  5. by   shay
    OMG. How completely inappropriate of your preceptor. I would never do that with ANY orientee on their first day, ESPECIALLY not a new grad.

    Please update us on what happened. It's been a week. Have things improved AT ALL????
  6. by   lindagio
    I am now with a different preceptor, YEAH. I will have several as I go along. I actually felt like a real nurse( which I am now). I felt comfortable asking several questions. I will enjoy this unit. I am a postive person so I made the best of the other preceptor and just bit my lip. I plan to talk with my manager to let her know not to place her with a new grad especially the first days.

    thank you all. I feel better now.
  7. by   bewbew
    Good on you, lindagio, it is worth you chatting to your manager, re: not placing new grads with this preceptor.....some may not cope as well as you.

    I will be in this position February......I hope I don't come across the same situation........

    I loved your comment about being a real nurse now.....wow......at this point, being a student, I cannot yet imagine not having to be countersigned for meds, etc etc....

    bew
  8. by   Catherine UK
    Hi. I recently qualified as an RN here in the UK a couple of months ago and reading the posts in this thread I was wondering what USA grads workload is like once they have graduated. I noticed on the first post that the lady who posted said she was left to care for three patients. What would be the norm, if this isn't? Would you normally just shadow someone for a while before taking on some patients of your own?

    The reason I ask is because here, you have a preceptor and plenty of people you can ask questions if you need to, but you have a caseload of patients to care for at the same time. I had 12 patients under my care on my first day, and that is normal for a nurse on our ward. I did have questions, so asked plenty, plus I had two nursing auxilliarys and a student nurse to whom I could delegate tasks so that was a big help too.
  9. by   Catherine UK
    Hi. I recently qualified as an RN here in the UK a couple of months ago and reading the posts in this thread I was wondering what USA grads workload is like once they have graduated. I noticed on the first post that the lady who posted said she was left to care for three patients. What would be the norm, if this isn't? Would you normally just shadow someone for a while before taking on some patients of your own?

    The reason I ask is because here, you have a preceptor and plenty of people you can ask questions if you need to, but you have a caseload of patients to care for at the same time. I had 12 patients under my care on my first day, and that is normal for a nurse on our ward. I did have questions, so asked plenty, plus I had two nursing auxilliarys and a student nurse to whom I could delegate tasks so that was a big help too.
  10. by   mark_LD_RN
    I remember my first day as a nurse I walk on to the unit stood there looking at the mass confusion and everyone running around. thought of leaving before they saw me. well ishould have! I was spotted and assigned my preceptor got a quick tour of the place .given a locator badge and some patients to go with it. i had to fight to stay afloat the whole day. I guess i did not have the sense to give it upthen..
    I survived and moved on eventually.
    I personally never treat a new nurse the way i was treated, I was lucky I had good skills and a broad knowledge base from my family background and all, or else i don't think i would have made it.

    looking back now i realize how innapprop[riate and dangerous it was.

    I would clearify what is expected with the nurse manager, and if need be get a new preceptor.good luck
  11. by   aus nurse
    New graduates here do a 12 month graduate program (not mandatory but advised). Most hospitals have on average 2 weeks (some more if you are really really lucky) orientation to each new ward. In this 2 weeks you are supernumerary to staff so you can shadow your preceptor if need be. Most grads start taking patients in the first few days and work up to a full case load. The program rotates through different areas in the 12 months, all agreed upon at the start of the contract. Preceptors should be the same one for each area.
    A new grad on her very first day should not be expected to work independently IMHO

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