Can I really handle this?!? - page 2

Hello! :wavey: I'm a brand new grad in a residency program and just started this week on the floor with my preceptor and I'm already wondering if I can really handle the work. I'm an older... Read More

  1. by   JoAnna McNurse
    Another "old dog" reporting in.....
    But I've got you ALL beat. I am 57 y.o. and retired from an onc pharma career that inspired me to want to be a nurse instead of a drug pusher.

    I finished school/NCLEX in Aug. Was hired in the Onc department of the Hospital I did my preceptorship in. The first 2-3 weeks I thought I was doing pretty good. BUT..... as each day passes, I swear, I am getting worse. Now this may be because they have pushed me to do 4 patients and the patients are getting more acute every assignment.

    The other day, my nurseing internship instructor was up and delighted to hear I had taken 4 patients the last 2 weeks and wanted to know when I would start with 5!! I set the record straight on that RIGHT THEN and told her I had no intension of doing 5 patients for a good long time or ever !!!

    I refuse to be pushed. It is not in the best interest of the patients, other Unit staff nurses or ME to try and count on me to do that many patients on our oncology unit. I end up doing a half-assed job and others have to pick up the pieces I "drop."

    I honestly don't know if this hospital business is for me or not. I reall want to get to an infusion center and give chemo but I'm trying to learn some of these basic nursing skills. But.....like many of you, my confidence is so shaken on a regular basis that I just don't know if I'll make it or not.

    I have a new theory on "THE NURSING SHORTAGE." I'm not really sure there is one. I think that hospital nurses are run so ragged with heavy loads, acute patients and often, like us new nurses, lack of time to really get competant with our skills - that many leave the hospital area and take office jobs or ANYTHING other than hospitals !! Ha Ha

    I'm praying all your saying about getting better over the course of the year is true. Right now, I get giant butterfly's everyday as I drive to work.
  2. by   mom and nurse
    Hi - Just wanted to say that I started on the floor as a new nurse at the age of 46 a couple of years ago. At the beginning I had anywhere from 7 - 10 patients at a time (rehab). Things have become better at the hospital I work at and now we may have only 6 or 7 patients. Though the other night I spent 8 and 1/2 hours going room to room, etc and didn't have time to sit and eat....this (not eating) has recently been a rare occasion.

    I spent much of my first year in tears.....and I still have tearful days.....but they are few and far between. I stuck it out and things are better now two years later. I was recently asked to help precept a new nurse half my age. As is usual, she started off with only 3 stable patients and was quite an expert on nursing care (we're all experts with 3 stable patients)...and now she is up to 7 patients and informed me that she now realizes she'll never be able to practice nursing care like she'd learned in school....it was sad to hear her say that and yet I knew that for the most part that is reality....

    I've learned it is not age that determines how hard nursing is for us. Nursing is hard no matter what age you are. And I know for sure I would have left by now had I still had 8 - 10 patients a shift....it helps if you have a listening ear with management and they are working on the situation. We have that at our hospital.... management listens and that's why I stay....

    But I have to admit...I'm back in school again trying to earn a Masters so when I'm half dead and can hardly run anymore perhaps someone will notice my degree and hire me. And.... If I ever do leave and work at a job outside of hospital nursing (for example community health nursing which only requires a BSN in our area..).....I will never return to hospital nursing
    Last edit by mom and nurse on Nov 20, '06

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