New Grad, what did I get myself into?

  1. (FYI, This post is mostly rants and ruminations)

    So I'm a new grad RN with CNA experience on OB and Med-Surg. I landed two hospital interviews, one on med-surg days and the other on medsurg/tele nights. They are both magnet and teaching hospitals, however reviews on glassdoor mention corrupt management at both hospitals, wonderful.
    I recently came across some articles about nursing burn-out, and how it's especially prevalent among new grads, and on med-surg units. The thought of burning out so early in the game honestly TERRIFIES me. And people were commenting on how they left the profession because of all the stress, and understaffing, and working for top-heavy hospitals and how they don't recommend nursing to anyone. WAIT, THIS IS NOT WHAT I SIGNED UP FOR!
    I knew nursing was a stressful job and I have a vague idea of what the job is like, but I did not expect it to be THIS BAD (maybe I'm over-exaggerating?).
    I'm starting to think if I should look for RN jobs that are less "stressful" (aka away from bedside and floor nsg), but providing bedside care is something that drew me to nursing in the first place.
    A family friend suggested going into OR nursing, because you don't have to do a lot of bedside care, no discharge teaching/care plans, minimal to no talking with the pt and fam, it's an overall chill job and the only potential stressful situations would be codes, wrong pt, wrong site, missing tools/gauze etc. As an introvert, OR seems like a comfortable place for me, however the competitive atmosphere and constantly sticking up for yourself, and portraying a don't mess with me attitude isn't exactly my cup of tea. Also feeling like I had stage 3 pressure ulcers on the bottom of my feet at the end of the day was less than appealing (maybe dansko's are worth investing in).
    I realize this is mostly new grad jitters and nervousness about starting to work as an RN, and questioning if I made the right choice/ applied to the right units. But I'm having a mini crisis and I just need some encouraging words or advice on how to adapt to the world of nursing, and if finding the dream nursing job can be turned into reality.
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  2. Visit jasska profile page

    About jasska, ADN, ASN, CNA, RN

    Joined: Oct '17; Posts: 4; Likes: 1

    4 Comments

  3. by   barcode120x
    You just have to push through it, at least for the first year. EVERYONE goes through this. The more and more you look into the negatives of nursing, the more you will want to give up. Take each shift one day at a time. I've said this countless of times but I too went through the nasty new grad blues. I've always been a chillax dude all through life, even through nursing school. I never had a problem with anxiety. When I started on my own, I had so much anxiety I thought something was wrong with me. I was overeating and my sleep patterns were messed up. I would sit in my car after each shift for 20 minutes thinking if I did something wrong or if I forgot something. When I laid in bed, my mind would wander about what kind of patients I would get hoping for low acuity ones. The first few months were terrible. By 6 months, most of my anxiety was gone, but still lingered. By the end of the first year, it was mostly gone. 2.5 year later, the anxiety exists only when things go wrong (but that's part of being a nurse).

    The new grad blues and anxiety do go away eventually, but you have to get through the experience first to beat it. I think it's too early for you to drop your position and go to the OR. Get that 1 year of MS experience first. Once you got that down, you can go anywhere. And, you can't be an introvert and be a nurse. Speak up, go out, communicate, and be outspoken.
  4. by   not.done.yet
    You are already stressing out about potentially stressing out? Deep breath.

    The first year is going to be rough no matter WHERE you start. The specialty doesn't matter. There is a humbling learning curve in nursing. The sooner you internalize that and determine to go with the flow, the less rough it will be on you. The more you focus on it, stress about it and work up over it, the harder it is going to be.

    Keep in mind when reading reviews of companies on Glassdoor that contented employees aren't wandering around looking for places to review their employer. Online reviews are often heavily skewed to the negative. Also realize that even in a less than ideal company there are good people and good floors. My first position was with an HCA hospital. They have a really rotten reputation. Even still, I had a lot of support as a new grad, enjoyed my coworkers, had a fantastic educator that inspired me to become one myself eventually and I got a solid foot hold in nursing that has served me well ever since. Their Glassdoor reviews aren't spectacular but the people I worked with were.
  5. by   Have Nurse
    Quote from jasska
    (FYI, This post is mostly rants and ruminations)

    So I'm a new grad RN with CNA experience on OB and Med-Surg. I landed two hospital interviews, one on med-surg days and the other on medsurg/tele nights. They are both magnet and teaching hospitals, however reviews on glassdoor mention corrupt management at both hospitals, wonderful.
    I recently came across some articles about nursing burn-out, and how it's especially prevalent among new grads, and on med-surg units. The thought of burning out so early in the game honestly TERRIFIES me. And people were commenting on how they left the profession because of all the stress, and understaffing, and working for top-heavy hospitals and how they don't recommend nursing to anyone. WAIT, THIS IS NOT WHAT I SIGNED UP FOR!
    I knew nursing was a stressful job and I have a vague idea of what the job is like, but I did not expect it to be THIS BAD (maybe I'm over-exaggerating?).
    I'm starting to think if I should look for RN jobs that are less "stressful" (aka away from bedside and floor nsg), but providing bedside care is something that drew me to nursing in the first place.
    A family friend suggested going into OR nursing, because you don't have to do a lot of bedside care, no discharge teaching/care plans, minimal to no talking with the pt and fam, it's an overall chill job and the only potential stressful situations would be codes, wrong pt, wrong site, missing tools/gauze etc. As an introvert, OR seems like a comfortable place for me, however the competitive atmosphere and constantly sticking up for yourself, and portraying a don't mess with me attitude isn't exactly my cup of tea. Also feeling like I had stage 3 pressure ulcers on the bottom of my feet at the end of the day was less than appealing (maybe dansko's are worth investing in).
    I realize this is mostly new grad jitters and nervousness about starting to work as an RN, and questioning if I made the right choice/ applied to the right units. But I'm having a mini crisis and I just need some encouraging words or advice on how to adapt to the world of nursing, and if finding the dream nursing job can be turned into reality.

    Here you are. You worked day and night to get through the courses, the clinicals, writing Care Plans, exams, papers, Boards. You got that diploma and now what??

    Take a slow, deep breath and exhale slowly... a couple of times. It's going to be okay, Sweetheart. (Speaking as an old grandmother here.)

    What you are feeling is normal. Don't let the horror stories scare you. You are valued and needed.

    It takes time to know where one will eventually fit in our profession. You might start slow, doing part time work and doing research in the off hours to help strengthen your knowledge and confidence.

    I heard the stories too and could tell a few of my own. But that's not the norm all of the time!

    When you interview, you will make it clear that you are a new nurse. You will be assigned a Preceptor to work with you.

    You shouldn't be starting with a "full" load of patients right away.

    You will need to be organized though. Carry a tiny notebook and pen in your pocket. Use it for questions, reminders etc., until you get more seasoned. It helps a lot to create a kind of brain sheet divided into columns for Report so you'll be able to stay on top of things.

    You will find your own routine, but what worked for me when I worked the floor was this: Get Report, check Orders next, in case something has changed (like IV solutions for instance or meds.) And make sure if it's meds, that Pharm is aware of it. Check M.A.R.s, noting when pain meds are due and note it on your Brain Sheet. Do Vitals, assessments, check IVs, foleys and equipment, pass meds if due, get folks up in a chair or to walk a bit.

    I taught myself to notice at least 5 things when I enter a room.

    Example: Expression on patient's face. Are they in pain? IV's what's in the bag and how fast is it suppose to be running? If it's going at a pretty good clip, check those lung sounds!

    Incision? Dressing? Clean and dry? In tact? Draining?

    Are they on O2? Rate? Sats? Are we continuous or are we weaning them down?

    Foley? Is it draining well? Clots? Sediment? Color?

    The point is, to teach yourself to be as observant as you can.

    Continue meds pass. That first hour out of Report can be crazy, but things will settle. Start charting asap.

    This is just how I started my shift and it worked well for me. Don't beat yourself up if you forget something, but try not to, and, if you do, own it and tell somebody. Sometimes things cannot always get done on a certain shift, (bath for instance), but the next one can grab it.

    But the really important stuff like, preps, tests, pain control, bleeding, diminished urine output to name a few - those things can't wait.

    You will lose your introvertness quick if you want.

    If this doesn't at all appeal to you, you might consider taking Coding. It's mostly working with Medicare billing, etc.

    You will find the right niche. And yes, excellent footwear is a MUST!!
  6. by   Renell
    Fellow new grad here!

    Nursing is hard. It is not for the faint of heart. But you can get through it. I had to nip my introversion in the bud, and I did. Mostly. Do I still have my social anxiety moments? Oh yeah! Sometimes, I have to take a few breaths before I go into a patient's room. But I keep in my mind that I have a job to do, then I open that door, and take care of that patient. Baby steps~ =p

    I am in my 9th month on a busy floor, and I have been put through some daunting situations at times. But as much as I may complain and moan about my job, I cannot ignore how confident I feel, and how much I've grown in my profession. I used to be anxious every time I went to work, wondering if I'll be able to fit the bill. Now, I only get anxious if something goes wrong. A little anxiety is good for nursing. It keeps you ready if something does happen.

    I would recommend the Med-Surg floor first, honestly. Don't get me wrong. I would looove to take an OR job. But if you really want to refine your nursing practice, the floor is a good route to go, especially in the beginning.

    Ultimately, it is up to you. OR may be your niche. Experience is experience, after all.

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