Drove home in tears...

  1. Hello everyone! I have been lurking for some time now and figured this is the time for me to jump in
    I am a new grad (Aug 2006) and started as a med-surg noc nurse in December. I was very fortunate to have a wonderful preceptor and felt confident that I would do ok flying solo. This weekend was my first time on my own. I had a full load of 7 pts with occasional dc's and admits.
    Unfortunately my first 3 shifts on my own were HORRIBLE. I felt like I was drowning. Each day I left over an hour late and left a couple dressing changes and consents to be signed for the day nurse. I don't want to be known as the nurse that passes all the work to the day nurse.
    A couple nurses have told me that I will hit my groove in about 6 months but I don't know if I can wait that long. I am usually a very optimistic, "I can do anything I set my mind to" kind of gal.. But this is definately testing me. I drove home with tears streaming down my face and didn't get any sleep due to nightmares that I missed medications and forgot charting. I feel like I hear call light bells all day long. Is this normal? Any words of encouragement or advice would be GREATLY appreciated!
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  2. 22 Comments

  3. by   muffie
    breathe

    take a nice hot bubble bath

    get a good sleep

    and for gosh sakes , yes, give yourself some time

    after 20 years i still have lost sleep and tears , but not regularly

    IT GETS BETTER !!!!!!
  4. by   All_Smiles_RN
    very normal! i've been on my own for 6 months now and feel ok most nights, but still have lots of questions... give it time. :-)
  5. by   Anginem
    Everything is so normal! I've been on my own for about 5 months now and I remember having the nightmares and not being able to sleep d/t fear of forgetting something. Slowly it just got better and everything is now falling into place. Hang in there, you are doing great!
  6. by   PralineLPN
    It takes a while, but focus on the things you HAVE learned and accomplished. I can guarantee, the knowledge you have accrued is not insignificant. Everything will fall into place. Ask for help and guidance. Pick one weak area per shift, and try to improve your skill with it. Hope this helps.
    Paul
  7. by   RNsRWe
    If you had any idea how similar your story is to mine, you'd get chills

    After the last five months, I've come to the conclusion that med-surg nursing is alot like a quote someone put up here once: some days you're the pidgeon, some days you're the statue!

    Hang in there, you'll be so proud of yourself when you are able to do that patient load and still get out on time!
  8. by   CHATSDALE
    i don't personally remember any days when i was the pidgeon...

    NORMAL - SNAFU
  9. by   hlfpnt
    From what I read here, all of us new grads have pretty much the same feelings & experiences. I graduated mid August & went to work 2 weeks later. I've been on my own for 2 months & am just now feeling some sort of "comfort zone". I still, & probably always will, ask tons of questions! I know my supervisor's always ready for me to go home ! Hang in there...believe it or not, it does get easier & you will begin to feel better! :icon_hug:
  10. by   DDRN4me
    Nursing is not necessarily an 8 hour job...you will probably always have days that you just cant get everything done!! with that said, dont hesitate to ask your co workers for help... you may be working hard but not smart , yet...they may have some suggestions to help you become more efficient. In the mean time, cut yourself some slack and dont berate yourself for not being perfect!! none of us are !!
  11. by   bigmona
    extremely normal. so if i'm reading your post right, you only had 1 month of orientation? and now you're on your own with 7 pts? that's a lot to handle in a little bit of time- nursing is HARD and it takes a while to find a routine. even when you think you get a pattern down, there will always be things that happen to throw you off. i'd say you're doing really well...hang in there, it gets better (though i know its hard to imagine), and just know you're in good company here among people who completely get what you're going through.
  12. by   Myxel67
    Does anyone on this site use the chat rooms?
  13. by   just_peachy83
    I think you are absolutely normal! I'm a new grad, too, working in the medical ICU. I have 2 weeks left in my orientation, and I was talking to my preceptor today about how I feel bad whenever I don't get all my work and my report done in time to leave right at the end of the shift. My preceptor told me that she rarely leaves work on time, and she's been a nurse for 20-some years!! Plus, in the ICU we only have 1-2 pts per nurse. So, if that's any consolation, even the most experienced nurses struggle with time management. We have so many demands that an 8 or even a 12 hour shift is not enough to do everything that could possibly need to be done. I bet you are WAY more efficient than you give yourself credit for in your post! It will get better!
  14. by   Mudhoney
    I just want to say THANK YOU, THANK YOU for all the kind words of encouragement. I drove to work yesterday thinking about everything I read in this and other posts. I promised myself that I would simply put in 100% effort. And while I still felt extremely overwhelmed I repeatedly reminded myself that I'm not the only one who has felt this way Thanks again to everyone who posted!!!! It honestly made a HUGE difference in my outlook! I promise I will pay this forward when I see, hear or read about a newbie. This is a great support system....I appreciate the responses!

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