Emotional and physical support during first job

  1. 0
    So, I have finished studying Nursing this year. Which was such an accomplishment! (Well done guys!) and have been working in my now role as a GI nurse for 2 months.
    I have a preceptor but haven't been working with her much/hardly at all. She's lovely but doesn't really have the time to talk.
    I've 'missed' the preceptorship course (student nurse to staff nurse transition courses) which I will be starting in April. So basically i'm a staff nurse now but will be a junior staff nurse in April (if that makes sense). So that's what my line manager has told me and basically feel like I've been thrown off a boat into the middle of nowhere and feel like I have to get on with it.
    I'm not afraid to ask questions or say I need help but there's one issue..
    I cannot shut off at night after my shift has finished. Is this normal? I can't help but think oh my gosh. Have I done that? Have I done this? Is that patient alright?
    Especially if my patient was septic (I hope there are alright.. etc..) I've spoken to fellow newly qualified's and they said they all feel the same but they can sleep at night.
    I struggle and manage on 2/3 hours each night. I've been told that it's normal but for 2 months? Is this?
    I've moved from my study area into a totally different hospital trust where I'm unfamiliar with the paperwork. All the nurses who see it say it's fine but I still get the feeling that there's something missing.

    Is it just me? Opinions please!

    Bea
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  4. 0
    Constant reassurance and support was so important to me during my new grad year. It's a shame you haven't got someone to lean on during this time. Is there a nurse educator at your hospital you could speak to? Have you formed a bond with any other nurses? Or even an in-house counsellor you can debrief with?
    Re the shutting off thing- I was exactly the same. I had the same thoughts running through my head each and every night for months after a shift- it's completely normal, and I even know some senior nurses who still do this. Don't worry! Just make sure you work on your time management skills and get used to making a shift planner for yourself and you will be fine. Also find activities at night such as gym/exercise to help you switch off, or you will get burnt out really quickly.
  5. 0
    Connect within a nurse educator or either contact your local nursing association and connect with other nurses that way...find a mentor if you need one; also, stop being hard on yourself; focus on the positives; also try deep breathing and mediation to replace the "negative" thoughts, also take the positives from your co-workers as well.

    You may have to do self-reassurance; nursing is about the patient, so at times the only reassurance is that "you'll get it" quote from your co-workers, and take that in stride.

    Also find ways to have a positive out look-exercise, meditate, paint, knit, read a good book, or plan a vacation-get some life balance in your life.
  6. 0
    Quote from beabeabea
    So, I have finished studying Nursing this year. Which was such an accomplishment! (Well done guys!) and have been working in my now role as a GI nurse for 2 months.
    I have a preceptor but haven't been working with her much/hardly at all. She's lovely but doesn't really have the time to talk.
    I've 'missed' the preceptorship course (student nurse to staff nurse transition courses) which I will be starting in April. So basically i'm a staff nurse now but will be a junior staff nurse in April (if that makes sense). So that's what my line manager has told me and basically feel like I've been thrown off a boat into the middle of nowhere and feel like I have to get on with it.
    I'm not afraid to ask questions or say I need help but there's one issue..
    I cannot shut off at night after my shift has finished. Is this normal? I can't help but think oh my gosh. Have I done that? Have I done this? Is that patient alright?
    Especially if my patient was septic (I hope there are alright.. etc..) I've spoken to fellow newly qualified's and they said they all feel the same but they can sleep at night.
    I struggle and manage on 2/3 hours each night. I've been told that it's normal but for 2 months? Is this?
    I've moved from my study area into a totally different hospital trust where I'm unfamiliar with the paperwork. All the nurses who see it say it's fine but I still get the feeling that there's something missing.

    Is it just me? Opinions please!

    Bea
    I was a brand new nurse 35 years ago, and I vividly remember sleepless nights worrying about my patients. Did I remember to document this? Did I pass that off in report? Did I give all my meds correctly, or did I miss something? Were my orders all taken off properly? That patient who I had to send to ICU . . . did I miss something? Or would it have happened regardless? Did Dr. Imaflamingdonkeybutt think I was stupid because I had to look up the normals for lab values? Does the pharmacist think I'm stupid because I didn't know that ASA was the same as Aspirin? Does the head nurse think I'm stupid because I couldn't pass than NG tube?

    After all these years, I haven't forgotten getting sick to my stomach at the idea of giving an IM injection. I still remember vividly being afraid to speak up when I thought the doctor was mistaken (and it turns out he was.) Crying all the way to work because I was sure I was the dumbest, most incompetent nurse ever and crying all the way home because I hated my job, my coworkers and my LIFE. That first year (and then some) was absolutely miserable.

    But sometime, toward the end of that year, things started to click for me. I realized that I only felt incompetent and stupid SOME of the time, not all of the time. I didn't cry all the way home or all the way to work every day. One day I realized that I actually felt competent. (OK, so that lasted less than an hour, but hey, it was a start!)

    The first year of nursing is absolutely miserable, only there was no one on the internet to tell me that it's a normal part of the transition from student to nurse. I thought it was ME, and that I was the worst nurse ever. You have the benefit of allnurses.com, and all the folks here who can tell you it's not just you, it's the nature of the beast. Hang in there! It will come. Good luck!


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