First night on my own. (Long vent)

  1. 0
    I survived, somehow. I had 5 patients (D/c'd one but picked up another right after). For a while I thought I was doing really well...2000 & 2100 meds were all passed on time, patients were settled in, I had three of five chart checks done and was sitting down to grab the last two so no unexpected orders would hit me later on the shift. Then all hell broke loose.

    Ivacs constantly beeping. Pt's constantly on call bells, never happy. One kept complaining of pain but wouldn't take pain medication or even let me reposition her in bed! New orders upon new orders for the new admit; lots of timed labs based on med admins. No secretary for the shift to help with that. Antibiotic administration hell...I think I hanged 10 antibiotics this shift, but at least they were on time. In the hussle I didn't notice the new admit needed cardi monitoring until the end of shift...but I did get it on her and up on the screen before I left.

    I think what bothers me the most is a catherter I had to insert. The insertion went great. Pt was draining clear, yellow urine when I left the room. An hour later it's blood tinged. The patient was confused, so I don't know if she was tugging at it? But now that I'm home I'm sitting here knit-picking on how I put the catheter in wondering if maybe I caused the bleeding somehow when I know it's not likely...but I just feel awful that it happened and on my first night of all shifts. I was so worried about it during the shift I asked my charge nurse to look at...she reassured me it was probably nothing...that people sometimes bleed with an insertion and she very may well be messing with it to keep draining blood tinged urine. I felt so stupid after I made her come all the way in there just to tell me not to worry...

    Sitting here running the shift through my mind I keep stalking the clock. I keep waiting for a phone call from my manager to lecture me about a mistake I made without even knowing or about how slow my charting was for the shift.

    Sorry for the long post. Just needed to vent!! Any tips to keep this hurricane from happening again...I thought I went in fairly organized, apparently not!!

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  2. 2
    Congrats on surviving your first shift on your own! Expect to be stressed for at least the first few months, until you find your "groove."

    It's perfectly normal to be slow, somewhat disorganized, and chock full of questioning self-doubt as a new nurse.

    Do your best, PLEASE feel brave enough to ask questions of your coworkers/charge, and forgive yourself for the minor "oopsies" that are inevitable as you develop your skills as a nurse.

    It will get better!
    Always_Learning and Sun0408 like this.
  3. 1
    Sounds like you did really well
    gigglestarsRN likes this.
  4. 2
    Quote from MissHaleyDawn
    I survived, somehow. I had 5 patients (D/c'd one but picked up another right after). For a while I thought I was doing really well...2000 & 2100 meds were all passed on time, patients were settled in, I had three of five chart checks done and was sitting down to grab the last two so no unexpected orders would hit me later on the shift. Then all hell broke loose.

    Ivacs constantly beeping. Pt's constantly on call bells, never happy. One kept complaining of pain but wouldn't take pain medication or even let me reposition her in bed! New orders upon new orders for the new admit; lots of timed labs based on med admins. No secretary for the shift to help with that. Antibiotic administration hell...I think I hanged 10 antibiotics this shift, but at least they were on time. In the hussle I didn't notice the new admit needed cardi monitoring until the end of shift...but I did get it on her and up on the screen before I left.

    I think what bothers me the most is a catherter I had to insert. The insertion went great. Pt was draining clear, yellow urine when I left the room. An hour later it's blood tinged. The patient was confused, so I don't know if she was tugging at it? But now that I'm home I'm sitting here knit-picking on how I put the catheter in wondering if maybe I caused the bleeding somehow when I know it's not likely...but I just feel awful that it happened and on my first night of all shifts. I was so worried about it during the shift I asked my charge nurse to look at...she reassured me it was probably nothing...that people sometimes bleed with an insertion and she very may well be messing with it to keep draining blood tinged urine. I felt so stupid after I made her come all the way in there just to tell me not to worry...

    Sitting here running the shift through my mind I keep stalking the clock. I keep waiting for a phone call from my manager to lecture me about a mistake I made without even knowing or about how slow my charting was for the shift.

    Sorry for the long post. Just needed to vent!! Any tips to keep this hurricane from happening again...I thought I went in fairly organized, apparently not!!
    Your patients are still alive and no major mistakes were made, good job.
    nursel56 and Orange Tree like this.
  5. 1
    A new admit on your first night alone? I think you did GREAT! A new admit can put even the most experienced nurse behind. You need to cut yourself some slack. As far as that cath insertion, if you did anything wrong she would have had blood from the start; sounds like she pulled on it afterwards and you can't help that.
    Always_Learning likes this.
  6. 0
    no tips. seemed like you did everything you were supposed to. this will happen over and over and over. this is the very nature of the job. you get used to it and a bit faster or go somewhere else. easy shifts, or ones were everything goes as planned are rare!
  7. 1
    Try not to be too hard on yourself. No matter how well we try to be organized & prepared, there are always nights where "it" hits the fan! Sounds like you did fine.

    My manager often asks me "How's it going?" when she shows up in the morning. If I can say "Everyone's breathing & we're finishing the shift with the same pts we started with", it's been a good shift.
    anotherone likes this.
  8. 1
    Thank you all for your replies! I was so hyped up from that shift, my mind was going in circles.

    I'm on call tonight, and bummed. Worried I won't get enough clinical experience being hired part-time, and now on call for my second night to boot.
    CrufflerJJ likes this.
  9. 0
    Sounds like you did a great job on your first on-your-own busy shift!!!


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