I am a new grad who began my first position on med/surg in July 2011. I am now just over 7 months into it and I feel like I am going back and forth between treading water, swimming, and just plain drowning (the drowning is usually only when I am at home and my reflections of the days begin to overwhelm me).
I felt so overwhelmed for the first few months through orientation and then for the first few weeks I was on my own. Then they picked up and I remember telling my director that I really liked my position on the unit. Then the holidays hit and I haven't been able to perk back up since.
I get told by the CENAs how good of a nurse I am, how helpful I am, the other nurses say I am doing well, but I am constantly feeling frazzled. I try not to let it show how wild my mind feels while I am working, but lately I feel like I just look like a crazy person. It's hard to tell if I really have just recently had some REALLY rough days or if I am breaking and having a hard time dealing with everything. I prioritize pt care over sitting down and charting, so I end up staying late to finish my charting. I never get any messages for bad charting like I hear others do, and I know my charting is thorough and complete by the end of the day. I am just so frustrated and tired. I don't take my breaks like I should, and I really don't eat when I am working because I feel too busy (and then I just lose my appetite). I just want it to all click again. I live in fear of bad outcomes. I have such a sporadic sleeping schedule (thanks night shift), I have nightmares, and am generally feeling like a shut-in when I am home. I worry that I am more task-oriented, and even then meds are being passed late recently. Is it just me or has it been busy at work? I have been really trying to work on my delegating and prioritizing skills lately and I feel like it is time to flip back through the med/surg books for review. I am huge on asking questions / finding the answer before I act if I don't know what I am doing (which I just think is common sense and safe), but I still fear something will happen and I'll lose my license.
Despite all of this I am trying to take better care of myself...I started working out again, and am trying to keep up with chores around the house, talking with friends/family, and getting out of the house. It's hard though, despite all of the love and support I get from my loved ones, no one ever really gets it and I feel like a mopey burden on them sometimes.
Is this normal? Will it get better? What can I do to get back to feeling like I am swimming again? Any and all comments are welcome!
Feb 14, '12
I could have written this almost exactly. I'm not sure what to say other than I understand what you're going though. My personal goal is to get at least a year, and then start looking again. I did not want to work in adult med/surg and I think that's a huge chunk of my problem (in addition to the fact that we simply have too many patients per nurse).
I know it's supposed to get better as time goes on. The critical thinking skills, the prioritizing, etc. And, I know it will, but I really think you have to be in a good place to reach it, too. It's hard, but it's nice to know that these are pretty normal feelings.