How long does the "new nurse anxiety" usually last? - page 3

by ASM90 10,189 Views | 39 Comments

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, to a degree, an anxiety attack... Read More


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    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.
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    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.
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    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
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    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.
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    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.
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    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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    Useyournoodle I definitely know how you feel. Glad you're in the same boat lol. Once you're actually on your own the anxiety will kick in a bit more. You said you have a great staff, then they will be there when its busy because they know how to handle it. I learned through experience that even during the crazy rush in the ED, there's always a nurse or charge nurse to help you out. Sounds like we have 6-12months before we feel better haha.Thank everyone else for the posts. I'm reading everyone of them and it's definitely making me feel better. Keep em coming!
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    When in a new area I write everything I learn down in a pocket notebook, which I photocopy double sided in mini-print. When an unfamiliar event occur out comes my notebook. This has saved me much angst.
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    Ive been in my job for 21 months and i still get the butterflies at times. I feel slightly more comfortable ie the sweats and the shakes have stopped but i still go over and over and over things in my head and sometimes end up making mountains outta molehills but i guess this too will pass eventually.
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    Well, to be honest, sometimes it never really goes away until you wake up one morning and say, " HEY!!!! I GOT IT!!!!!" Don't focus on what you may do wrong, but correct , take note, and move on. When I first started working in the ER i was so scared I didn't want to do anything. But when I got my feet FINALLY wet, ii was great I was good to go. Hang in there!


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