So I just finished my 5th month as a new grad nurse on a busy progressive care/tele floor. Things have gone VERY fast. I graduated the end of april '10 took boards at the end of may and started orientation the first week in June. Needless to say I didn't even have much of a chance to stop and even realize what was happening in my life. While I am very grateful for the opportunity I have in the job, MAN, is it stressful and scary! I've been on my own since the middle of august so I had a pretty long orientation, but there really is nothing to prepare you for the real thing.
Going to work each night scares me so much. I'm getting anxious just thinking about going to bed this morning and having to wake up this afternoon for it. We start with 5-6 pts/ RN on nights and go up to 7. I had 7 last week and I NEVER want to do it again. It is TOO MUCH for a tele floor. Forget about a lunch break, they never happen. I resorted to buying protein bars to eat while I chart because I lost so much weight before I even got off orientation.
When I sleep at night I dream about work all night and passing meds, and have even had nightmares about forgetting things. I'll even wake up in the middle of sleeping and have no idea where I am or what day/time it is (I'm assuming this is from night shift). Every time my phone rings when I'm off, I freak out and think that it's my nurse manager or a charge calling about something forgot to do or did wrong. I recently also went off the bcp because I think is was also playing into some of my depression and moodiness. That combo with work was NOT working. I feel a little better, but this anxiety with work is eating away at me, literally.
I absolutely love my co-workers and my NM is amazing. I am learning a lot too, more than I think I would on a regular med-surg floor. I just want to know that all this anxiety and nervousness goes away. How long do people normally stay on the first unit they work on? Maybe it's my floor? I know my NM is extremely demanding, based on what float RN's say. She has very high expectations of everyone who works there. I feel like I'm being pulled in a hundred different directions at work, from customer service surveys, pt education, pain management, charting, etc., it's so much. I feel like all of it just makes you forget why you liked nursing in the first place. Forget actually getting to talk to your pts and properly assess them. It's as if the dang computer is more important. Are other units like this? Does anyone else feel like this?