Adjusting to the "Real World"???

  1. Hi all!

    Just kind of curious how everyone is adjusting to the "real world"???

    I'm doing okay. Passed the boards this week ! Orienting in a small ICU/Telemetry unit. I started in July and they said I probably won't be off orientation until January....which is great, but it seems like my preceptor isn't very "free" with information. If I ask, she will tell me...otherwise forget it!!

    Ugg! Hope you all are adjusting to your new roles well!
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   live4today
    Congrats USA987 on passing your boards and landing your first nursing job!

    As for your preceptor.......do NOT allow her to treat you this way. Ask the questions, be assertive in letting her know you expect to be precepted properly, and if she fails to do this for you, you'll go to the Nurse Manager or Unit Nurse Educator.

    There is nothing worse than a new employee...especially a new grad...being assigned to a preceptor who takes the responsibility of teaching those coming on board for the first time in a half-azz manner. You have the right to a sound orientation, so make sure you get just that! And tell 'em I said so. :kiss
  4. by   fourbirds4me
    My preceptor is not the greatest teacher either. She is VERY experienced and tends just to take over. However she is very laid back and easy going so that helps.

    I have friend who is in CCU and she has just been thown to the wolves.

    I've been on the unit a week and so far I think I'm adjusting well... but who knows?! We get a weekly progress report and I am cringing over those.
  5. by   live4today
    You don't have to tolerate a poor orientation! None of you do! Don't start out by allowing nurses like that abuse you! Speak up for yourselves!
  6. by   Gator,SN
    I am just a few days shy of 3 months into this new career and I love it and hate it all at the same time. Working with the patients is great. Even the most difficult assignment has been a learning experience. The part I don't like is the feeling that I don't fit in and I get my feeling hurt easily sometimes. If someone is really impatient or grumpy especially when I'm trying my best it is all I can do not to say something I'll regret. I know I don't fit in yet. I don't know didly, but thats why I'm here: to learn. My preceptor is really nice, though at times she tends to take over everything.
    One thing that I am sick of hearing is "welcome to the wonderful world of nursing" That is the the catch phrase for everything lately. If I say that I am not comfortable with 3 higher level acuity patients, that s what I hear. On the other hand, she tells me that I need to verbalize my feelings so we can communicate.
    Fine, just don't throw it back in my face. OK??
    I am glad that I made the decision to go into nursing. I just wish I could spend less time on the paperwork. It takes me a little longer at times and I still have to think a lot about what to write in the progress notes. I tend to talk all about one system, move on and realize I forgot to put something important like the saO2 info. But I think I'm getting better....
    They say the first year is the hardest. I knew it wasn't going to be easy, so I'll just keep trying.

    Good luck to all new grads. In time we will all remember these days and it won't seem so bad. (I hope)

    Gator
    Last edit by Gator,SN on Aug 17, '03
  7. by   fourbirds4me
    I hear ya talking Gator. I've only been here for 1 week and am seeing some of the same things you desribe. I don't think it's going to me that bad for me... but some of my classmates are feeling it hard. I don't know about you but I think we dont' say anything a) because we would like to keep our jobs and b) because we have to work with these nurses for a long time. I for one do not want to be alienated... so I figure there is just so much stuff I'm gonna have to take... as part of "paying my dues" maybe. The part I really hate is that (to me) sometimes the attitude tends to endanger patients. For example we were busy the other day and a patient came in for an NST and Labor check. She was contracting regularly, dilated to 3, gbbs +, multiparous and lived over an hour away. She was by herself and I was told to send her home. She cried when I told her she was being discharged and sure enough she made it about 30 miles and had to come back.... to me that is dangerous and scary... but "we need the beds" and "when you're here long enough you'll understand".

    OH well.... I guess this too shall pass....
  8. by   palesarah
    well I'll throw in some positivity- my orientation is going really well. I have had excellent preceptors, am on a floor that doesn't eat its young, and most nights go home with a smile on my face. I had a few rough weeks where it seemed like I was seeing/doing too much, and wasn't building the foundation I needed, but I was upfront about it with my preceptors (I have 2) and my clinical coordinator. I told them I needed to take a step back and they supported me, and now I feel quite competent taking my own patient assigment (I'm not off orientation yet but am trying to move towards being more independant). Which is good, because the LDRP floor I'm working on has been so busy lately they've needed an extra mom/baby nurse on the floor! Even on our crazy crazy nights, I never feel like I'm in it alone. I am grateful to have been hired onto such a supportive floor!
  9. by   dsczephyr
    I am so glad this thread got posted. I was thinking of starting it myself. I have a 12 week orientation and I am learning all the time and work with great nurses who are always ready to answer my many questions. BUT, it is so frustrating to be new, so very new to nursing and to feel stupid all the time. I am constantly having to ask questions, to verify that I am doing something the right way, and I know how it must look to the patient.

    I tell myself that every nurse is new once. Everyone has to go through the first year, and someday I will no longer be so very new. I tell myself to be patient. Eventually, as time goes on, I know I will feel less stupid, more experienced, and hopefully, that critical thinking will kick in. Denise
  10. by   autumn-moon
    Man, I wanted to say *exactly* what you all have been saying about 2 or 3 weeks ago, so I'm glad someone got this thread going.

    I too, have been having a hard time adjusting. I really thought my preceptor thought I was hopeless. A couple weeks ago I spent my days off crying and whining and doubting if I'd ever be able to measure up. I was even thinking I should be practicing the phrase, "Do you want fries with that?" or even "Paper or plastic, Ma'am?". Things have finally gotten aired out (it wasn't a fun experience) My preceptor is very frugal with compliments and very big on pointing out potential areas of liablility. She is also a very *strong* personality. The nurses on my unit are all really exceptional nurses and that tends to be even more intimidating for me, as a new grad. I finally realized this and explained to my preceptor and the nurse coordinator on the unit. They were both very supportive and things have been going a lot better since then.

    My preceptor still isn't overly generous with positive feedback and probably still thinks I'm a bit wimpy (we are talking about one STRONG willed woman here!) But we seem to be getting along well and she has become like one of those teachers in school that everyone hates because they are so tough and in retrospect,
    we are so glad we had, because we learned so much from them. She really makes me want to work extra hard to earn her respect. She really pushes me to stand up for myself, to voice my opinons, to be secure in my knowledge and skill, proud of my profession and to not take any BS from anyone.

    I may not always agree with her, but I think that one day, thanks to her teaching, I will be a much better nurse for it.

    Some days are exciting and exhillerating and some are gut-wrenching and frustrating. But I guess that is par for the course as a new nurse, from what I'm hearing here. One day WE will be the experienced nurses. So keep hangin' in there new grads and we'll get there one day at a time!!!

    Best of Luck to You All!!!
    Melissa
  11. by   LuvbabiesRN
    Hello all new RNS!! COngrats to all of you and good luck. I am on week six of oreintation on a cardiac surgical floor. I am learning sooooooo much but still feel incredibly inadequte about alot of things. I have an awsome precepetor who doesnt hover over me but is really patient and explains anything i ask without making me feel stupid which is good. I have so many questions!!! Some days are so frustraing and I hate to always be asking people questions because everyone is busy but oh well. I agree also with those of you who are intimidated by the level of knowledge on the floor. I am going to be working 3-11 but i am oreinting on days and with the exception of one nurse everyone has been a nurse there for years and is very knowledgable. My biggest issue is feeling confident with my skills... my patients are hooked up so so many things .. pca's, chest tubes, insulin gtts, amiodarone gtts, 1 million ivs... its intimidating.. sometimes i just have to take an iv line from the site and trace it all the way back to the pump to figure what is where...
    the other thing is I feel like i am so slow... i need to be more efficent but i think that will come with time i guess. ITs a long road but we can do it.. image, we all made it though nursing school... in a year or so we will look at the new grads and think wow... we have come a long way!!!!
  12. by   USA987
    Hi all!

    Glad to see that maybe my feelings aren't all that unusual! I have always felt that my initial orientation and first year as a nurse will determine how successful I'll be in this profession.

    I feel comfortable with the patient and family interaction and I know my skills will develop with time...but the paperwork and dealing with the docs is KILLING me!! There has to be at least 50 of them and they all have different preferences!! UGG! I really need to bring a little notebook for myself to keep them straight!

    This site is such an outstanding source of support! Thank you all! Hope we will continue to be here for one another!

    Hugs....
  13. by   Katnip
    So far, my orientation has been dull. It's all classroom. This morning I followed an orientee who started earlier, around.

    The experienced nurses there were great. Answered questions, invited us new folks to lunch, that sort of thing.

    Also, from what I've seen most of the docs like to have nurses join them on rounds and encourage questions. Heck, today I had a resident asking me for help with flow sheets.
  14. by   kimmicoobug
    My orientation kind of sucks. I am at week 10 of my orientation and after week 12, I don't even know what unit or if I even have a job. This hospital that I work at had the bright idea during the spring to start an orientation program for 8 new grads to be "mentored" and "precepted". Well, the only problem is the facility didn't need any new hires. The plan was to retain us for the float pool. So, I was hired into OB and then was told that I wasn't needed and to transfer. I did.

    Honestly, I don't know about my progress as a new nurse. I have spent two weeks orienting to each unit and I feel like I am doing ok. But the other new grads who were hired to a particular unit and who werent asked to transfer just yet are so much farther ahead than I am. Right now, I am back on a med-surg unit. My first night I actually had a full load unmentored because my mentor was sick. So, I had a fresh surgery, four regular med patients, and an admit. I managed to do it with some help from the other nurses. I am eternally gratefull for that. Time management is going pretty well. The heaviest that our loads will be is seven and the lightest five. Between my mentor last night and myself we had seven, five of which I had. Where I struggle are some of the procedures (so many of them) and becoming faster on forms and stuff.

    I am trying to stay positive and am applying all over since I am not too sure of my job security or even if this is the place that would be the best for me. We'll see, I guess. Good luck to you all, and me too.

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