I Feel Like I Don't Know Anything!!!!!!

  1. 0
    Hi Everyone,

    I am a new grad and just took a position in an acute rehab facility in massachusetts. The types of patients that are on the floors are on vents, have trachs, amputations, lots and lots of g tubes and ng tubes and lots of other tubes, av fistulas and get hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis, ms, spinal injuries, strokes, wounds, cardiac issues and many many more things. I got pretty good grades in school and passed the NCLEX with no problem and I feel lost. I start with a preceptor next week and I am sooooooooo nervous! There are so many things that I have never done in school or at clinical. Should I be nervous??? What do they expect from me? Should I be reviewing everything? I am gonna have ALOT of questions and I know I shouldn't be afraid to ask but I am. HELP, any advice is appreciated.

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  2. 12 Comments...

  3. 1
    Ask lots of questions, be honest if there is something you don't know or have never seen. There are no dumb questions when it comes to patients lives. Better to ask questions then make a mistake that could hurt someone. They should start you off with one patient and work your way up. Be assertive and take lots of notes.

    Good Luck
    michellemmkRN likes this.
  4. 0
    School only introduced you to the basics. You are now going to specialize. You will need to learn about these things in more depth. Ask about getting more information about them when you are in orientation and on the unit.
  5. 0
    Ask, ask, ask. If you don't know now, you won't know later, so save yourself (and your patient) by asking while you're learning. I work on a floor that sounds very similar, though in a hospital setting. Turns out I really love those trach and vent patients! It can be scary and overwhelming at first, but they've already got the airway of the ABCs covered in case something happens! You will be amazed at all of the skills you will be able to make use of. Best of luck!
  6. 0
    I know how you feel. I'm still completing my first year of nursing too. And considering I got good grades at uni and aced the board exam (we don't do NCLEX in my part of the world) I thought I could go in there guns a-blazing. So I did! I jumped in feet first (I work in a PACU, which isn't the easiest place to start).

    Long story short, I was called into the charge nurses office twice in my first month. And as she and my nurse educator put it so delicately "you don't know anything".

    So yeah, don't by shy to ask. But I still insist a new grad needs to go in blazing!!! Although that might just be me...
    Last edit by Silverdragon102 on Sep 22, '08 : Reason: pm to member
  7. 0
    You pick it up as you go along...if you don't know, ASK...shadow first few shifts..but make it a goal to pick up and do something every day, as well as learn something. Learn the routine, learn the order system, learn how to sign off, learn how to do the standard skills that you will do every day. ICU orientations are usually fairly long.....because there's a lot to learn. good luck. New grads should be professional that they know basics...BUT do not go in cocky or blazing....You honestly don't know anything with the unit. And it takes time. You would rather be known as the new grad who asked questions versus the one who almost killed someone because you didn't know what to do exactly....but you thought you did.
    PS tyler? watch the language on here.
  8. 1
    "....But I still insist a new grad needs to go in blazing!!! ..."


    You probably shouldn't do that until you know what you don't know. And that doesn't happen the 1st day, week or even month. Maybe much longer for some folks.
    HappyPediRN likes this.
  9. 1
    To the OP, that feeling is perfectly natural. I am almost done with my orientation... I fly solo next week. Ask a lot of questions. You will learn. Don't expect to know everything after your orientation is through also.

    One of the things I am praised for is that people feel comfortable with me because I ask questions when I don't know something. Nothing is scarier to the existing staff than having a new grad who thinks he/she knows it all rather than asking someone if you don't know. Good luck!
    ICU/CCU likes this.
  10. 1
    Quote from michellemmkRN
    Hi Everyone,

    I am a new grad and just took a position in an acute rehab facility in massachusetts. The types of patients that are on the floors are on vents, have trachs, amputations, lots and lots of g tubes and ng tubes and lots of other tubes, av fistulas and get hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis, ms, spinal injuries, strokes, wounds, cardiac issues and many many more things. I got pretty good grades in school and passed the NCLEX with no problem and I feel lost. I start with a preceptor next week and I am sooooooooo nervous! There are so many things that I have never done in school or at clinical. Should I be nervous??? What do they expect from me? Should I be reviewing everything? I am gonna have ALOT of questions and I know I shouldn't be afraid to ask but I am. HELP, any advice is appreciated.
    i think the fact that you feel this way is a good sign. a lot of people, from what i've heard, go into the hospital with false confidence. in nursing, you learn everyday. from many of my friends who are now nurses, i've heard to keep asking questions, a lot of the stuff just comes with time.
    ICU/CCU likes this.
  11. 0
    I think just the fact that you are nervous, realize you don't know everything, and will have questions is a sign that you will be a great nurse! When I orient new grads I often tell them that they are not being patient with themselves. It takes a lot of time and practice to learn the basics and the learning never stops in this career.

    Ask your questions, and don't think any question is stupid. Good luck to you!


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