New Grad Med Surg Nurse Freaking Out!

  1. 0
    Oh God, somebody please help me! I just started a job on the Med Surg floor and will have 6-7 patients per shift. I am working with a preceptor right now and having trouble juggling only 2 patients (I just finished up my 2nd week on the job). I feel incompetent because I have to ask a billion questions, am not used to the computer system, and freak out inside when talking to physicians about a patient. Just a general lack of confidence and experience I suppose. I feel like I will never get it down, am overwhelmed, and almost burst into tears at least once during my shifts. I am an extremely organized person, but really need some advice on how to best prioritize tasks so that I don't feel so overwhelmed. Did anyone else have this problem as a new grad, or am I unreasonably panicky/being too hard on myself? I never realized in nursing school how hard nurses truly work. Now that I am on the floor, I am convinced that my fellow nurses are superhuman angels!! :bowingpur

    Get the hottest topics every week!

    Subscribe to our free Nursing Insights newsletter.

  2. 32 Comments...

  3. 8
    Ok, deep breath and relax. First the bad news-you are not going to feel comfortable with your job until about the 6 month mark. Until then, keep learning and asking questions. If your preceptor doesn't like that many questions, move on to someone who does. Admit you mistakes and most importantly learn from them and don't make them again. Second, time management. YOu have to find a system that works for you to make your day work for you. What I do is I write down on one side (column) of my report sheet (back side) the meds due outside 0900 med pass and procedures due for that patient. On the other side-column-I write out every hour from 0800 to 1800 and what is due and that specific time. I hope this helps.

    And if it doesn't go to night shift where its quiet.
    seaghost, SilkyKRN, tsunade, and 5 others like this.
  4. 7
    I'm a new graduate myself. And boy oh boy. Let me tell you. My orientation was a total of 9 weeks which included 2 weeks of in class lecture. So technically I only had 7 weeks. Just stay calm and relax because the last thing the staff needs is another person to take care of. I had a lot of trouble and I still have a lot of trouble. I've learned that I'm good with stable patients, but when a patient goes from stable to unstable, than my entire world is at an end. I have trouble signing orders, charting assessments etc when something like that happens and the best thing to do when that happens is to go through one patient chart at a time and do everything. I still have trouble with it. I had to create my own report sheet to help me organize. I mean as a new graduate, you want to mimick your preceptor right? you may not be able to, because you don't have the experience that he or she has. And the whole "putting the picture" together? Yea that's gonna take some time. My orientation got extended to an additional 3 weeks and I am very very thankful. I know how you feel because I still feel the same way and I think I will always feel that way. The staff says it takes about 1-2 years to feel comfortable. ha ha and they only give you so many weeks. crazy isn't it? My advice is patient safety and follow up on assessment. For example if you have a bp of 160/90, and you gave something to bring it down, you gotta recheck. My first couple of weeks of orientation, I was pretty much programmed into: handing out meds, morning assessments, signing orders. It's like that's all I could think of? and I still think that way. You would think that being task oriented is a good thing, but when I ask the preceptor what they would like me to work on for the next shift, they always mention task oriented like it was a bad thing. The next thing they're gonna tell you is to focus on patient's needs. In these remaining 2 weeks of my extension, my goal is to practice patient safety and follow up on assessments. All the other stuff will take time. Skills will take time as well also. I mean, I've only been able to start 1 successful IV. Tried many times, but couldn't do it. And also, a lot of the nurses I worked with, always said to be confident in what you do because if your not confident, than the patient question your care. and that's the last thing you need is for your patient requesting to speak to another nurse. Be careful with the "needy" patients too. I'm learning that how you choose your words is very, very careful.
    elprup, tsunade, Equestrian, and 4 others like this.
  5. 2
    Just relax! It's only the 2nd week of your job, and it is completely normal to be stressed out (even this much). Is your preceptor giving you just 2 patients or the full 6 or 7?
    D.R.A. and Faeriewand like this.
  6. 1
    Everyone has to feel just like you feel- it's certainly difficult! Docs can be *******s- because they can and because they don't have all the answers either. The medical field is tough for all of us. We're all doing the best we can- we'll make it!
    tsunade likes this.
  7. 1
    Take a deep breath, relax and just think...before you know it you will have all this stuff down. I have only been a nurse for 2 years and it took me about 6 months to feel comfortable. I was a brand new nurse and placed in a charge nurse role ....that was stressful ....and scary. I'd go home at night and all I thought about was..."did I do everything i was supposed to? and did i do it right?" You just have to ask your questions and do the best you can. Better and more comfortable days will come...I promise
    Miss Chybil RN likes this.
  8. 3
    you should check out our 'first yr of nsg' forum.
    you will then realize, how much company you have.

    it gets better, i promise.

  9. 0
    Quote from SteffersRN87
    Just relax! It's only the 2nd week of your job, and it is completely normal to be stressed out (even this much). Is your preceptor giving you just 2 patients or the full 6 or 7?
    She's giving me 2 patients right now, but I have a feeling that she may want to bump it up to 3 by the end of next week.
  10. 3
    Thanks so much for everyone's replies! The combination of venting and reading your words of wisdom has made me feel muuuuch better. As bad as I may think some days are, if at the end of my shift, I can say, "well, today was crazy, but at least I didn't kill anyone", then it was a darn good day.
  11. 1
    You will do fine, being a nurse is a big responsibility. I hope you have a good preceptor because they can make or break you as a new or novice nurse. If you think that she is good, follow her lead hopefully she is patient and knowledgeable and with time you will get there. Your real training starts on the job. Prioritization is key, see your worst or most critical patients first then work your way down. Before you know it, it will become second nature.
    Miss Chybil RN likes this.

Nursing Jobs in every specialty and state. Visit today and Create Job Alerts, Manage Your Resume, and Apply for Jobs.

A Big Thank You To Our Sponsors