Am I doing the right thing? New nurse getting butt kicked - page 2

by j_tay1981

12,602 Views | 58 Comments

I am a new male RN, BSN. I graduated in August of '12 and started at my job on a neurology/med-surg unit. I never really wanted to do med-surg, but many nurses told me that it is a great place to start because you can hone your... Read More


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    Roommates of mine have their BSN and graduated in 2011. They work in a variety of settings including med-surg, family practice, ortho, telemetry, ED, OR, PICU. You just have to find what is right for you. Don't give up yet, you may find you love nursing but in a different department!
    procrastinator911 likes this.
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    I haven't finished school yet, I graduate in May 2013. I have friends who graduated last year and are just coming off orientation and are having the same problem with gastric upset and dread. I have had some seasoned nurses tell me that they don't expect us to finish school and know everything. School just gives us a taste of lots of different opportunities and when we get our first job is where the on the job training starts. Med-surg is a good opportunity for us to hone our nursing skills that we are learning because we get to see such a variety of different specialties and the disease process. I have heard that it takes a good two years before you even start to feel somewhat comfortable and 5 to feel comfortable. I hope this helps but if you are still uncomfortable find something less demanding, there are lots of different ways you can work as a nurse.
    @ Esme12, thank you for the brains, I saw a few I would like to try!!! I absolutely LOVE this website!!!!
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    Quote from j_tay1981
    Right now nursing feels like a race to get everything done immediately. It almost feels like everything is considered a priority!
    I think, once you can get over the feeling of a "race to get everything done immediately" things will feel much better. Just remind yourself that NO ONE can do everything at once. Prioritize.

    It used to really bother me if I couldn't get assessments in quickly or meds passed "on time". I no longer sweat it, I remind myself that I have 12 hours to get everything done =). Deal with the sickest first.

    And, I have been FORCING myself to chart as I go. Really, it feels like torture at times, but is so necessary. Unless it is a code situation or someone falling out of bed, that next task can wait 5 minutes while you chart whatever you just did...

    PS - for me, things started to feel much better at a year. 18 months was really key - LOTS of stuff started clicking then.
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    You stated you took a job in a unit you had little or no interest in. For me personally that would be a major stressor on the job. I have no interest in L&D and a great interest in ICU or ED. I feel I would be much more successful in a unit I desire to work in rather than one I know from the start I have little interest in.
    Lennonninja and OnlybyHisgraceRN like this.
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    Quote from dee78
    I am also a new nurse, I understand the anxiety. There are a few things that have helped me.

    First, I have found a system that works for me. I use post it notes to keep organized...if interested I will give details.
    Second, I am not hard on myself. I realize that I am new to nursing and imperfect. Give yourself a break, learn from your mistakes.

    Last, I have great coworkers, some better than others. If I am unsure then I ask...sometimes several people.

    Give it some time.
    dee ohh please do give the details. I love post its and was kind of sad that after school I would not be using them as much.
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    I became an LPN in January 2012, I was having all those same symptoms, tbh, I still have anxiety and gastric upset before my 12 hr shift at the LTC facility. I am currently in the ADN transition program with graduation May 2013 and my anxiety level is building immensely with the thought of NCLEX again. Thank you all for the encouraging advice and support. Although I am eager to find my niche in the nursing world, and It may be hard for my family to live with me, I am seriously considering med/surg after school. It seems to be the most advised place to start after graduation. Good luck and prayers that things get better for you soon!
    OnlybyHisgraceRN likes this.
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    I felt the same as you when I was new. Hang in there if you can. Having a year of experience is the best thing you could do. I quit my first hospital job in less then a year and it does have its consequences. Luckily, I was hired somewhere else but I did have to explain on every interview why I left in less than a year. It isn't impossible to find a job but just think ve3ry long and hard before leaving.
    Don't snap at your coworkers. I did this once at work and it came back to bite me. Hang in there.
    j_tay1981 likes this.
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    I am also a new nurse and I feel the same way. I am in med/surg and I dont think it is for me, but I knew I had to start there. Just look at it as a means to an end and see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I have heard from many people that it takes about a year to start to feel confident at what you are doing.
    j_tay1981 likes this.
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    Any thoughts on what specialty you would find interesting? Men are very welcome in jails, prisons, psych, (we are physically strong and these are areas where self-protection might be required) management (we don't get pregnant and need maternity leave).
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    My initial goal when going to nursing school was to become a mental health np. This was due to my own experiences as a patient. I thought that since I knew what it was like to be treated for mental health issues, I could be a good advocate for psych patients, and have a better understanding of what they are experiencing. However, in my junior year, I spent a week on a psych floor as a patient, and the experience was a bit traumatic. I did very well in my psych rotation afterwards, but I felt like the hospitalization had hit a raw nerve. I didn't think I could work in psych now since it hit so close to home for me.

    So my initial plans got a but messed up. I'm not sure what else seems interesting, though I did enjoy my one day shadow of a home health nurse, and (oddly enough) found hospice to be a pleasant and dignified experience...


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