I'm a new grad and have become so nervous daily to make a mistake. Whether it's a direct patient mistake or a mistake in my documention. As a new grad with 6 patients on a very busy M/S floor, there is almost ZERO time to think/double check charting before it's on to the next task. I'm regularly worried I'm going to do something and lose my license. I sometimes regret even becoming a nurse because I take so much worry home that it's hard to enjoy my life outside of work. When I actually have time to talk to my patients for more than 2 mins, I love my job. I love the medical field but often wonder if I should have taken a different route. Any suggestions?
How new of a new grad are you? It generally takes about a year for a new grad to adjust to the change in role from nursing student to nurse. That first year is miserable, and you've described it clearly. Nervous, afraid to make a mistake, afraid of forgetting something or leaving out some vital documentation, worrying about your job to the point that you don't enjoy life -- it's all pretty typical of that first year of nursing. It does get better, honestly it does. Sometime about the one year mark, you feel that unmistakable 'click' of things falling into place and you realize that you got this -- you can do it. At that point, our jobs seem to get easier and our life improves. Unfortunately, the only way to GET through it is to GO through it.
I have no suggestions unfortunately, but I wanted to share that I also feel extremely nervous and worried as a new grad. Just know that you're not alone in that fear whatsoever.
After my last shift I spent a good 24 hours worried that I had messed up somehow, and was convinced that I was going to be pulled into an office and told that I totally screwed up on my documentation or on my assessments or something. The fear is very real and I think that so many new grads struggle with it! But if properly managed I think it's a good way to keep you alert and safe. Although it does sound like it's taking a big chunk out of you emotionally right now. Have you tried talking to your peers about it?
It's a scary feeling, just know that you're not alone. I just hope that it settles down for us like so many people say it will. Keep your chin up *hugs*
Yup, as a new grad, this is how I felt the majority of the time and I was only dealing with two patients in the ICU! It took quite a while for me to begin to trust myself that I didn't "miss" something in my documentation and that I truly was caught up on my tasks. This is something that, I believe, only comes with time.
However, I encourage you to lean on your preceptor. For me, my preceptors were invaluable in building my confidence. It may feel a bit needy to ask, but I don't think it would hurt if you ask your preceptor to give you feedback a little bit more frequently over the course of the shift! My preceptors would check in almost every couple hours to just touch base with my charting and reassure me, "you're doing great!" It was cheesy -- almost annoying at times -- but it helped so much! I certainly didn't feel like I was doing great while I was in the heat of it!
Hang in there! It won't get easier, but you will get better!
I hear you there! I'm a new grad (six months of experience) on a step-down ICU floor and just had my first rapid response the other night. I'm not usually an anxious individual, but that one definitely came home with me and I was worried for a couple of days after my shift. What I'm starting to realize is that, if you did make a mistake (and I've certainly made my share of little ones), it's generally going to be OK as long as the patient is unharmed.
Make sure you keep up a good quality of life outside of work; eat well, exercise and keep up on a social life (easier said than done, I know). You're doing great from the sounds of it and we all go through it, I think. Cheers to you and keep chugging along!
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