I'm so disappointed in myself...

  1. I'm a new nurse at my first job and I am struggling. All I do on my days off is cry and dread going back to work. I have had very few good days that make me feel reassured that I can actually do this. I don't mind working and being busy (it makes the shift go faster), but I constantly feel overwhelmed and like I'm drowning. I work on a very busy telemetry unit with a lot of turnover. We have 6 patients and our charge nurse often has patients too. I sometimes have to stay as late as 21:30 to finish charting. I am so overwhelmed and I don't know what to do. I have asked to be moved to night shift but was told by my manager that wouldn't be a good idea for me because I'll still feel overwhelmed and be busy just with a lot fewer resources. I'm thinking about quitting. I have hypertension and it was controlled with medication before this job. But now my BP is always elevated at work even with increasing my med dosages. It is because I am always upset and stressed. I know that if I do quit I will most likely not be able to find another job. Most new grads go through this and I understand that but I really don't think this floor is for me. I see my classmates that have jobs in specialties like L&D and NICU/Nursery and they are busy but LOVE what they do. I am so miserable because I can't honestly say I feel like I get to help people because I just have time to assess them and give them meds before I get behind. I don't get time to spend with them. I had a patient that cried because she was sad that she was sick in bed and felt helpless. I tried to comfort her but all that kept going through my mind was how late I was gonna be on my meds. I'm so disappointed in myself for not being able to do a better job at being a nurse. The only feedback I get from the other nurses at work is "work on your time management" and I say "well how do I do that?" and they say "oh it comes with time!". Ugh! So I just have to be miserable for some time? I wish they would prepare us for this in school. I had no idea it would be this awful. Hard yes, but downright miserable and depressing no!

    I don't know what to do... If you got this far in reading my post Thank You!
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    About DisappointedRN

    Joined: May '12; Posts: 1


  3. by   classicdame
    Most new nurses are overwhelmed, and rightly so. There is a lot of responsibility and work in being a nurse. If your manager cannot assist you then you may consider a transfer to another unit. I doubt that will make a lot of difference, except for acuity of patients. I remember this awful feeling of dreading to come to work. FINALLY, when I got more confidence, the feeling went away. Good luck in your journey
  4. by   DeLana_RN
    ((( Hugs )))

    Been there, done that. I worked on a similar floor years ago, only I had 8 pts at a time (meaning, 8 assigned beds; sometimes, I'd have to discharge 4 and get 4 admits that afternoon. Those days, I'd stay not only until after 2100 - which was normal! - but left after 2300 ) Never mind the mandatory 4th (12 hours) OT shift every other week... It was HELL. And BTW, it wasn't any different when I worked night shift, so they may be correct there (however, if a lot of admits/discharges are the problem, there are fewer at night. So it might help?)

    I was a new grad, but the experienced nurses I respected (who took good care of their pts, well as best they could with such an overwhelming load) always stayed until 2100 too. So it wasn't us - it was the excessive workload. Management never said a word about it, they knew they were overworking us, but couldn't find enough help. Wonder why?!

    So, it's not you, you're doing the best you can with the limited time you have (time management - don't make me laugh. On a floor such as this, there is not extra time to be had when you could possibly wonder: hmm... should I take my break now or later? Sarcastic here, I never got a break and I bet neither do you). But one thing I always did - and I urge you to - take 30 min lunch, away from the place. They have to let you do that, with another nurse covering your pts. Otherwise, you will ruin your health (having HTN already)!!!

    You don't say how long you've been at this job. In many hospitals, you can transfer to another unit after 6 months. I would definitely make plans now to move on (even if you have to wait until you have closer to a year so another manager will hire you), because it won't get any better there. You will get somewhat faster with time, of course, not having to look up so many meds and getting more organized. But telemetry units are very fast-paced, lots of turnover, you can't change that. If you don't love it now (some like the excitement), you won't!!!

    Actually, if you do like cardiac, you might be better off transferring to the ICU. There, you still have very sick pts - sicker, of course - but you have only 2 of them at a time. A lot more manageable!!! Or look into something you're really interested in.

    Best of luck, you are not alone, and you will make it just like we all did.
  5. by   Been there,done that
    STOP feeling disappointed in yourself. It is the current corporate/government mandates that make our job impossible.

    I've done this for 30 years. The constant addition of responsibilities makes it hard for ME! I also find it shameful that I don't have time to comfort my patient. It's the reason I got into nursing. However, I can pass their meds... listen to them and hug and support them at the same time. You can too. You just need a little practice at that.

    You are doing a SPECTACULAR job. Keep on focusing... ask fellow nurses how they cope..and wait until you can make a move.

    Please take care of yourself. The hypertension issue needs to be addressed with stress relief techniques instead of more medication. If your doctor has not suggested these.. get another doctor. I find breathing techniques (square breathing), Tai Chi and chamomile tea very helpful.

    Hang in there, sister. There are better days ahead.
  6. by   HouTx
    If you are suffering from stress-related health problems you need to do something about it. Think about this for a sec -- what would you advise a patient in the same circumstances? That's what I thought.

    First, ask your provider to give you some sort of document that indicates your health problems are stress induced. Then, talk to your manager about your health related issues. Be prepared to show the provider documentation if needed. Ask your manager to work with you to find a solution... including transfer to nights if necessary. If your manager is not receptive, then you need to take it up a notch and talk to your HR representative... same approach. I am pretty sure that they want to avoid having to pay out a worker's comp claim for stress-related health problems so they should be able to help you out with a transfer.

    I am all for 'alternative medicine' and relaxation techniques, but you need to do something in the here and now. There are many points in anyone's life in which they find that they are in an intolerable situation... and this seems to fit that scenario. It's up to you to advocate for yourself and make a change.
  7. by   NoviceRN10
    Your manager is wrong about the nights being worse for you. If you have a decent handle on your job but the tasks during the dayshift are making you drown, then I am pretty sure nights would give you at least a little bit of a break. Tele isn't an easy floor to start out on anyway, I commend you for sticking with it and not giving up .
  8. by   not.done.yet
    I don't think "work related health problems" has a prayer of panning out given a previous history of hypertension anyway. If there is any chance management is pegging this individual as struggling, this claim will only add another confirmation to that suspicion.

    I am a new grad too and this is the second week "on my own" without a preceptor. I usually have four patients, five maximum, but I am on a stepdown floor with a bit higher acuity than med-surg. I didn't like the idea of working nights, but now am glad I am. There is just that little smidge of extra time to collect my thoughts and most days I am leaving on time. I scramble a lot but get it done.

    I guess since you say you realize most new grads struggle and yet you still are crying every day and want to quit that you have a decision to make. Nothing I say here is going to smooth this over. I don't know if you are doing a good job or not, I don't know that night shift or more time will make it better. I will give you the advice I give my kids when they are struggling with having to do something they don't want to do.

    What will your future self looking back on be able to hold its head up about? What actions now will make you feel good about how this situation pans out when you look back in 10 years?

    Only you have those answers. If you look back on this time in ten years, what do you want to feel about yourself? And what actions will bring those feelings about? Will punching through and accepting the struggle for a while longer let you know you did all possible in your own power to make this work? Or will walking away and feeling like you salvaged your sanity/health/dream of what nursing was versus what it is, even at the risk of not working at all make you feel likke you did the right thing for you? Either way, there's going to be a decision and it is going to come at a price. Which price do you want to pay?
  9. by   RockinChick66
    6 patients is a lot esp on a telemetry floor.
    Nights are much easier, don't know what
    your manager means by less resources.
    They'll be less people in your way, less
    orders to carry out, etc. Until you learn.
    I worked nights at first, it's a much better
    atomsphere and more conducive to learning.
    Good luck and hang in there. Try to go nights.ok
  10. by   Cauliflower
    This post was a blessing to me too. I'm a fairly new nurse and often feel like I'm drowning, but less frequently than before. I hate not being able to spend as much time with patients as I'd like to.