How long does the "new nurse anxiety" usually last? - page 2

Hey all! I know there is a section on this forum about disabilities but I don't think this relates to clinical anxiety/depression. As a new nurse (2 months without preceptor) I basically have,... Read More

  1. Visit  joanna73 profile page
    1
    I have had shifts where I felt anxious, but even as a new grad, I knew to do my best, go home and reflect, and then forget it. My last two clinical experiences were very intense, and they were full time, so most of my anxiety had been worked out by the end of it. However, I would agree with others that it takes 6 months to a year to start feeling competent, and at two years, things start to gel. I think new nurses are too hard on themselves. Many of you expect too much, too fast. Ask for support when you need it, review procedures and meds regularly, and know that the routine of your nursing care will improve with time. We all started much the same way.
    happyRN29 likes this.
  2. Visit  86toronado profile page
    0
    I never had much anxiety, but then I am not an anxious person in general. My husband, however is, and he said it took him about a year to not have the anxiety. He also said it really went away once he started precepting other.
  3. Visit  AICU RN profile page
    1
    You mean it ends? I'm kidding...

    I have been off orientation a year next month and somewhere about 6 months ago it started to get a lot easier. I am a new grad in the ICU and I think it depends, at least somewhat, on what unit you start on. ICU and ER are both notoriously high stress areas.

    Sometimes I still get anxious but like someone else said, it calms down after I start the shift. Hope this helps.
    anotherone likes this.
  4. Visit  MJB2010 profile page
    0
    I had a lot of anxiety, partly based on being a new grad and partly due to a horrific first job. My first job was about 6 months before I quit, I woujld sit in my car before my shift nauseous and could not sleep either. My second job was SO MUCH BETTER that the anxiety was never as bad as the first position, way less overall. It lasted 3 - 6 months, what I would call normal nurse nerves. My current job which is a totally different specialty, it was about 6 months as well. It does get better. With experience comes confidence in your ability.
  5. Visit  j_tay1981 profile page
    0
    Graduated BSN August of 2012, and have been without a preceptor for ~ two months. I still get anxious before work and the first few hours into the shift. I work nights on a busy med surg floor. I also tend to feel really stressed and tense when the shift begins. And I hate those feelings. It goes away as the shift wears on but it is tiring feeling that way so often. I was told by my manager six months to feel more comfortable, but other employees have said 1-2 years. I guess each person is different.
  6. Visit  UseYourNoodle profile page
    0
    Thank you ASM90 for your post. I was here researching the same thing! I'm right there with you, new grad in the ED. I was recently asked to come off orientation early. I felt excited that I am doing well enough that they would consider me ready but then the anxiety set in and now I feel like I'm going to be all alone! The staff I work with are great but I just worry about when we are slammed crazy busy is the help still going to be there. Like all I guess I have my good days where I feel like I rocked the whole shift and then other days I feel like I was a scattered mess and want to vomit. I am just happy to see that it's normal to feel this way.
  7. Visit  GrnTea profile page
    0
    Quote from UseYourNoodle
    Thank you ASM90 for your post. I was here researching the same thing! I'm right there with you, new grad in the ED. I was recently asked to come off orientation early. I felt excited that I am doing well enough that they would consider me ready but then the anxiety set in and now I feel like I'm going to be all alone! The staff I work with are great but I just worry about when we are slammed crazy busy is the help still going to be there. Like all I guess I have my good days where I feel like I rocked the whole shift and then other days I feel like I was a scattered mess and want to vomit. I am just happy to see that it's normal to feel this way.

    You won't be all alone. Remember that.
  8. Visit  squatmunkie_RN profile page
    1
    You'll know when the nurse you're giving/getting report to/from ****** you off and you're not afraid to say something.
    anotherone likes this.
  9. Visit  rumwynnieRN profile page
    1
    Quote from squatmunkie_RN
    You'll know when the nurse you're giving/getting report to/from ****** you off and you're not afraid to say something.
    I'm looking forward to the day I can do that =D
    squatmunkie_RN likes this.
  10. Visit  Inori profile page
    0
    Well hard to say i guess it does depend on the person. I'm a new grad of 5 months, just got off orientation and well I just realized that I no longer am anxious about going to work, doing patient care and i couldn't tell you when the anxiety went away just that today I realized that i'm actually quite relaxed, sure its busy but i'm not anxious, scared, worried. Sure there are other stresssors but at least i'm not worrying daily about me losing my license, accidentally injuring or killing someone. Best estimate for my comfort level at 1-2 months basic competency but nervous wreck, 3 months competency with some situational anxiety, at month 4 calm and confident at month and by 5th month calm, confident and assertive. Uh now to temper the assertiveness before it goes into aggressiveness lol so yes now i'm working on how to be a gentle, friendly yet firm leader,

    each day Look up disease processes, procedure, policy of facility on spare time, and also frequently used drugs on your unit. Watch how your preceptor and other successful and experienced nurses interact with patients, doctors, nurses, pcas and other staff and mimic what you see. Copy until you can do better... avoid using humor, slang, jokes. always be professional, and do not participate in gossip, you may hear it but do not pass it along.

    To help with anxiety I carried in my pockets all the tools of an ER nurse even though i'm not one and a copy FA Davis RN Notes, iphone with drug guide and medsurg handbook. That was my security blanket, this way i knew that in a pinch i could always quickly refer to a reference manual.

    Good luck and the anxiety will pass you get more and more experienced and one day you too will find that its been a while since you were last anxious. I use to be stressed out before, during and after work to the point where you wonder just who had more issues me or patients haha. Anyways I like mulling about work issues at home as it is a safe place w/o interruptions, emergencies so i can think things through ... leave work at work is easier said than done. I use at home time to plan and think through work dilemmas
    Last edit by Inori on Feb 5, '13
  11. Visit  AsatruRN profile page
    1
    I think the general anxiety should subside by six months on your own. One year should be enough that you're mentoring others and anticipating your day. You should be able to see complications that may come and prevent them.

    However every now and then you will either be unable to sleep or wake up in the middle of the night with something that you "forgot." My nurse managers have mostly told me that after 10 years of nursing you will stop "doing that to yourself." You will learn to tie up your loose ends, document, and basically really leave your shift at home.

    I've been a nurse for 6 years now - two jobs in two specialties so far. I feel that this is mostly how it works.
    joanna73 likes this.
  12. Visit  mstacyi profile page
    0
    I dont feel it before work or during work, but after work. It took 6 months for me to feel comfortable but still have anxieties once i leave work.
  13. Visit  joanna73 profile page
    0
    Your anxiety level will depend on various factors. Some people worry more than others in general, and we all have various coping methods. It also depends on the area you're working, and the culture of the unit. One thing that really helped me was learning to prioritize my care, and distinguish from patient needs versus wants. Someone who has a life threatening condition will have my undivided attention, versus someone who needs pain medication, for example. And while it is important to be proactive and consider the "what if" scenarios, worrying about things in advance is not healthy.

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