I am a new grad, started feb 4 at a local hospital on the cardiac stepdown unit. I was incredibly honored to have a chance to be on this floor. However, I feel like I make so many mistakes and it causes me major anxiety and stress. Last night when I came on shift one of the patients had accidentally pulled a wound vac out, the day nurse told me she talked to the doctor who told her to remove only the black foam and do a wet to dry dressing. Fast forward to later on my shift, my patient spikes a temp, I call the doctor who orders a work up and iv abx about an hour later my patient is looking better and states she feels great, no significant changes with her lab work. Fast forward again, I am giving report when wound care arrives, they are completely ticked the white foam was still in cuz that is a big no no! I feel truly horrible and like I caused my patient to get that fever and like her health may be compromised because I didn't question more and it was in my entire shift. I also feel like a failure and what if they fire me for being so incompetent. It's just completely eating me up inside...
Apr 16, '13
First off, all of us make mistakes. ALL OF US. The fact that you felt bad about it, learned from it, and the patient was OK in the end are all good news.
Second, find a mentor who you can talk to. Preferrably a few. This isn't always the easiest thing to do as people are really stressed and busy but it is possible. Find nice people. Be nice to them and they will be nice to you. You are busy so it won't be easy but when possible help with their new admits, bedbaths, etc and they will have more time to walk you through the things that you may need help with. Because being this new you are going to need help. If all else fails go to the charge nurse and ask, ask, ask. I know that it is hard but do it anyway.
The confidence will come only with experience and that is an awful truth but truth regardless.
It really does get better-about a year-I know that is long time right now but it really really does get better.
Apr 16, '13
Its human to make mistakes and WE ALL DO! But it all seems in my short year and half as a nurse to be wheather your manager is understanding of that or not (or wheather they like you personally or not frankly). Some places love to make a mountain out of a mole hill, some are more forgiving.
I know what your going through, the responsibility of nurses combined with the little were given to work with can be daunting. You can ask for help every now and then, but basically were alone out there cause every one else is out of their minds busy themselves, or out to get you. Even though the person above me is right, usually there will be one or two people you can talk to, that helps.
Keep your chin up! I'm sure your gonna be fine though. And don't feel bad, again, we alllll make mistakes.
Apr 16, '13
Hi, I am not expert on infection or wound vacs but I can't believe an infection and spiked temp would be totally related to your white foam being left on. An infection would have started hours earlier and just happen to spike during your shift. So take a deep breath.
I know you are scared but you are going to keep making more mistakes if every hour at work you are scared, nervous, anxious. No one can function or think clearly when they feel that way.
I was so scared of the responsibility of having patients lives in my hands. At my first job I would to walk into work consciously thinking......"I hope I kill a patient today so I lose my license and don't have to work as a nurse any more." This was a way to relieve the pressure. Face the worst, believe the best, do the most and leave the rest, sounds nicer, but I hope you get my meaning.
I have been a nurse for almost 30 years now mainly in acute care, hospital, nursing. Of course I never killed any patient and to my knowledge never harmed a patient. I have made mistakes, we all do.
It is honestly, truly. extremely hard to kill or even seriously injure a patient. Most nurses loose their license or run into trouble from drug diversion and I don't think you are going there!
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