Feeling like a failure most days - page 2

by *4!#6 6,528 Views | 15 Comments

I am a new grad at a hospital med/surg floor and I work rotating shifts a month. I can manage a full assignment on most shifts and have been performing at a very rudimentary level. I am having trouble in a few areas though: 1-... Read More


  1. 0
    I am also a new grad RN and I sympathize with everything you are saying. I always feel like I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I especially hate the morning from 7-10a when I am passing morning meds. I just feel like a pill pusher and barely like a RN. I feel like I am not doing what I went into nursing to do, which is to be there to teach pts to care for themselves, to offer them help emotionally in any way. I also have no time to delegate and supervise, and recently I was approached by my preceptor telling me that many of the aides are telling her that I am not helpful enough. I am barely hanging in there trying to take care of 6 patients and now I have to add in helping the aides. They will not approach me during the shift to ask for help, so up until now I assumed they had everything under control. So to say the least, I feel completely blindsided by all these comments it is starting to become so overwhelming I am starting to hate nursing all together honestly. I am constantly anxious as well,especially when I give anything IV push, and BP meds. Many times their BPs are under 120/80 and they will be on 4 different BP meds. Some have different parameters but it just makes me nervous. I also have an issue with giving all these meds, many I havent heard of and not having a second to look them up so I know interactions, nursing implications, etc. Even IV compatibilities, I cant look up no time so I pause everything, heplock and push everything like that unless its NS hanging. One time I had a patient vomiting wanting phenergan, another was being discharged and being pushy about leaving NOW they were in a wheelchair and their family member was waiting in the car for them, and I had 3 ppl calling for pain meds, etc etc. I got flustered, so I went to my preceptor for help, at least to take the pt downstairs to discharge. She tells me no, I need to prioritize, and then she continues to sit and chit chat with other RNs. That flustered me even more! I am also new to inserting IVs, and I tried twice on my pt, so I asked the charge RN, she says no I dont feel good, I ask the manager who is breaking down boxes after stocking and he says " im not doing those today" so I had to beg 2 other RNs who were sitting around talking before I could get help. This was when I was not even halfway through orientation and they all knew this. There is definitely a lack of teamwork on my floor and I know walking in everyday I will never have less than 6 patients, I might even have 7 or 8 plus LPN assessments to do and chart, plus doing aid work if we are short. I dread going to work, for the past 2 weeks I have had no appetite feeling so stressed. I almost walked out one day when I heard I had 7 patients, I had to do 4 LPN assessments, and I had to be the aide for half of them. I feel like my license is almost in danger at this point so I did myself a favor and I am out of their asap. I got another job already at a much better hospital and I am just going to hang in there another 2 weeks with 4 weeks of orientation to go so I dont miss a paycheck. Oh well.
  2. 0
    I feel the same as the OP, everything that she has said reflects how I am feeling right now. I hate that feeling, when you are dealing with a clogged Gtube, trying to feed the meds in, while transport is waiting to take the patient down to CT, asking you if you had the forms done, meanwhile I don't know how to print the forms, or at least its not working the same way as it did when you did it for the first and last time a week ago, and you are already behind and the more flustered you get the more difficult every task seems. Oh yea and new orders are coming in for blood cultures and a type and screen ASAP bc your other pt needs a blood transfusion and patient 3 who is covered in Stage IV sacral pressure ulcers is laying in a puddle of feces and needs both cleaning and dressing changes. You find out that bit of information from the family member! Ahh, that was yesterday for me. Pt 4 is doing well, is your last priority, but you havent seen them in too long and have to make hourly rounds?!?!

    This job is meant for like 10 people, not 1. When I come home and SHOULD feel accomplished because I did learn. However, I just feel incompetent, stressed out and anxious for my next day at work. I hope it gets better.

    One other complaint is that I absolutely love dealing with my patients and their families. I have had nothing but good experiences and they come by and thank me for being so caring and helping their family members out. That also made me cry in a good way yesterday. But what makes me sad is that as I go through this orientation period, I will be getting more and more responsibility with less and less time to properly talk to, teach and update my patients and their families. I love doing that so much, and should be at the core of nursing. But now it puts me behind. I have to learn to make it short and quick I guess. My floor is trying to make it routine for us to sit with our patients for 2-3 minutes in the morning to cover goals and cover and concerns for the day. And even that is proving to be difficult for the experienced and non experienced nurses alike. 2-3 min!!!! Thats how busy we all are! I just dont know....I will tough it through for 18 months and reevaluate then I guess. Until then, keep my head down, plow through and try to get rest on my days off.
  3. 0
    I could have written this post. I am a new grad (May '12) and have been on the job 6 months. I work on the step down unit of a small community hospital. Normal patient load is 5 patients. I know exactly what you mean about good days. If my patients are all stable and nothing majorly unexpected happens I start to think, "Hey, maybe I CAN do this job!" Then you have the days (often) where everything happens all at once. You have to give a med quickly, and of course the IV no longer flushes or is infiltrated (and I SUCK at IV starts). Then when you are dealing with this, an aide comes to tell you that so and so's BP is seriously high. The monitor tech then calls in to tell you the patient's family in room whatever wants to talk to you. The doctor picks that minute to see one of your other patients and start changing orders left and right, so you run to the Pyxis only to find out that pharmacy has not yet verified the meds and/or the med you need is not on step down, it's on med/surg. So you have to run by there...on your way you pass the room where the family wants to talk to you...they think you are arriving to talk to them and get annoyed when you say you will be there soon and pass them by......then your other patient calls out with chest pain or something and next thing you know you are barely hanging on to your emotions by a thread. One day I had to stop a hospitalist from consoling me because the first person who said, "Are you okay?" to me was going to get a sobbing, heaving, hysterical mess to deal with (I can hold it together as long as no one tries to comfort me). When when when will I feel like I'm good at this? UGH. And I totally agree about the task orientation. I'm still trying so hard to get it all done that I find I'm having zero time to really sit and help people. I feel like I'm not helping anyone the way I thought I would. I have no time!!!!! If patient is chatty and starts a long convo, I'm trying to figure out how to gracefully exit the room the whole time thinking of all I have to do. This is not the nurse I wanted to be!!!!!! I am just going to keep plowing through and hope one day I realize I'm having more good days than crazy days and realize hey - I have arrived!!!! UGH.
  4. 0
    I truly think you are on the right track. You sound just like how I felt when I started. I became comfortable after about a month, but it was a full year before I felt truly confident. Even then, I still had doubts. It's a small level of anxiety that makes you heighten your awareness to things that you need to pay attention to. You really need to sit down and talk with someone, though. There is great advice above my reply, honestly, but you need to go over in real time with someone some goals and things that may help. Good luck to you!!
  5. 0
    One more thing. when you leave feeling like a hot mess, that means you probably did some real nursing and saved some lives. That will never go away, it will only decrease in frequency
  6. 0
    You must be my twin! You totally described me in orientation!! Which ended when I had stable pts, meds, assessments, report everything was on time and I was on top of everything, once something unexpected happened, my anxiety kicked in and could not focus when everyone was asking for things at the same time .......I felt confident at the end of orientation, but I was slow for the unit , i could run andngo faster but I an a new grad I have to read and reread orders, meds, do triple checks to avoid mistakes. If I rush and I am a new grad I will make a mistake!


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