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- Apr 19, '12 by flexisealI think the first year is the toughest, maybe even year 2 had some struggles. I started in ICU though. I remember in nursing school, one of the nurses I was with told me it took her 5 years to *really* feel comfortable, and after being a nurse for 7 years now I have to agree with her. Not to the extent of being a new grad nurse, but yea it takes awhile.
Also so is it only 4 weeks orientation on the actual floor? That is really short, so of course you are flustered! You will find as you go that you are getting the same types of patients (hopefully) with the same diets, meds, and plans of care..so you will learn what to expect and that will make it much much easier, I promise! And for giving report and forgetting to transcribe an order, I always write everything down...otherwise I will forget, guaranteed. You will find your own cheat sheet/brain in your career that works for you. I use different colored pens to write down important things and any changes I write down in red. When giving report I always read what I wrote down in the AM and any other notes I have..PMH, then head to toe: neuro, cv, resp, gi/gu, access, skin, labs, plan.
- Apr 19, '12 by Riverrat2010I also had a very short orientation period, (3 wks departmental, 1 week general hospital information) that lacked formal structure. I have been constantly struggling with time management for the last five months. I was recently assigned a mentor for two days to help streamline my routine. I discovered that I had been charting too much/too often and I was also given some tips for disengaging from a patient after their immediate needs have been met. I can't tell you how much better I feel about going to work now. I hope you can also find someone to help you manage the overwhelming stress we feel as new nurses.
- Apr 19, '12 by sillygalYou sound exactly like me when I was a new nurse-- a whopping 1 year and 10 months ago. I thought I was losing my mind because I was exactly like you-- and as a person coming in with 2 previous careers, I had NEVER had the sorts of issues you describe-- esp memory stuff. But in nursing, there's so much information flying at you from so many different sources (MDs, patients, secretaries, care partners, other nurses, physical therapists, etc), you'd have to be a machine not to forget things. All this to say, unfortunately, what you're going thru is normal.
I totally agree with the nurse who uses different colored pens to write down important stuff; and find a mental system that works for you-- we're all different, so play around with it. I tend to give PMH 1st (if the ns doesn't already know the patient), then prns (because I'm always worried that I'll forget those), and then systems review (with any tests included, such as a CT) under the system that was scanned.
But you sound like a good, conscientious person who is concerned that you might have missed something-- that is a good thing!!! Keep at it; remember: you will make mistakes (which, as some nurses seem to forget, is part of the human condition), but you'll learn from them! And as your knowledge base increases & your time management skills improve, so will your confidence. By the way, somebody referenced the 5 year mark for competence-- it was Patricia Benner, a nurse theorist who wrote From Novice to Expert. She claims that it takes a minimum of 5 years to go from novice to expert-- and boy do I know it's true!! So, hang in there!
- Apr 19, '12 by KRODDI am a new lpn, 3 weeks in a LTC that I worked in as cna. And alot of the time I feel like you as well.
- Apr 19, '12 by Esme12Quote from ashlee-snfirst....congratulations!!! on graduating school! and landing a job!hi everyone!!!! i am a new nurse (2 wks out of orientation on a renal floor and i just want to know if what i'm experiencing is normal as a new grad nurse because @ times i just feel overwhelmed and discouraged.
i recently got out of a 6 week orientation program , 2 of which was just getting information about the hospital itself. on average i have 6 pts. i get behind on medication delivery, constantly forget things,ask bunch of questions ( which probably annoys my co- works, but they never say anything they are so nice but i know it's hard having to help me and deal with their own pts). my hand off reports suck, i often wake up( i work the night shift) and realize stuff i forgot to tell the day nurse. today i just realize i forgot to put in a clear liquid diet in the orders... i transcribe the order during shift change, even told the day shift the nurse that the diet was changing but never put it in. my coworkers tell me i'm doing ok and just be confident and everything will fall in place; just hate feeling incompetent @ times.
i hate to even complain/ rant because i know how hard it is to find a job esp as a new nurse. just need to vent a little frustration.
the first year out of school stinks. you are overwhelmed but it does get better. i remember the sinking feeling when patient was in trouble with chest pain and i realized that i was the nurse. i remember vividly crying in my car on the way home never thinking i'd ever "get it". wanting to quit more times than i could count. it will get better.
take a look at these brain sheets you may find one to help
mtp med surg.doc 1 patient float.doc
5 pt. shift.doc
final graduate shift report.doc
day sheet 2 doc.doc
critical thinking flow sheet for nursing students
student clinical report sheet for one patient
i made some for nursing students and some other an members (daytonite)have made these for others.....adapt them way you want. i hope they help
- Apr 19, '12 by linnaeteMaking mistakes/forgetting small things is going to happen. It's up to you to learn from them and become a better nurse one day at a time.
- Apr 19, '12 by hanaseaYou sound exactly like me! I had six weeks orientation and had hard time to join in. Now I have been here for one and half year. Sometimes I struggle, having problem with charting, and new events, but most of time I feel comfortable with environment. I don’t forget checking I&O, Vital signs, draw blood samples, urine samples.
At first time, I forgot and forgot and made too much mistakes. The problem was, I made same mistake again and again. My co-workers were almost gave me up. They encourage me to give up, I am not a nurse material, too slow, don’t understand, can’t communicate, etc. I really wanted to give up, but I have student loan to pay.
Now I am much better. I still make few mistakes, and I know there are long way to go – become a competent and trustable nurse. But I am far way better than new me. My co-workers could not trust me yet, they saw too much mistake of mine. (Now I am thinking about changing hospital, but afraid to adjust for another hospital again..but It is another story)
I have my all sympathy for your message!
You will be better. You will even feel comfortable after certain time. Give you time for adjust. You are doing well.
- Apr 19, '12 by GypsyLPNWelcome to nursing!! I have been a nurse since May 2011 but working since September 2011. My first job has been working in a specialty clinic. And I know clinics are more laid back then the hospital floors, but not necessarily when you work in the clinic of one of the top specialists in the Nation and see 45-50 patients a day. But it gets better with time and you get your rhythm and build your routines. Don't give up.
- Apr 19, '12 by beautifulbyHisbloodI'm a new nurse, too, and I totally feel ya! It is rough! I have good nights and bad ones, but I always make little mistakes and ask tons of questions. I even double-check some things because I am just afraid of doing something wrong. I realize every day how much I DON'T know, but also how much I'm learning!!
I've mislabeled blood, been an hour behind on meds (including a PRN pain med, man I'm horrible)...
Stick it out, they say it gets better. Just takes time!!
You're not alone!
- Apr 20, '12 by Ashlee-SNI sooooo heart this site!!!!! I can't express how thankful and grateful, I am for all the motivation, kind words, and similar stories shared!!!!
I read many of the responses before I clocked in last night and was soooo pumped for a great 12 hours. Even though it was rough I still feel like I came out on top. I even started my own IV(Yayyyyyyy!!!) My school focused more on critical thinking then actual skills, so I am definitely a work in progress in that area.
I am going to check the suggested books out!!! And the different color pen worked magic; I even got highlighters.
I only forgot one thing but by the time I called it in to the day nurse said she had already done it and not to worry about it. Blood draw ordered @ shift change during shift report I just got to stay even more focus and diligent the last 30 mins. as well. I now understand that I can't take everything to heart and I must realize there is a learning curve and it's definitely going to take time but I'm up for the challenge.
Thanks again EVERYONE... Often to sleep I go to prepare for another great night!