New nurse feeling overwhelmed and miserable! - page 3

by RN2012Newbie 17,410 Views | 34 Comments

First off, I would like to state that I know I am extremely blessed to have landed a job in an acute care hospital very close to graduation. I know there are many new grads that look for jobs for months before they find... Read More


  1. 0
    Quote from Catzilla
    Dude. People say that the first year will be tough. That nursing school and working in the hospital are worlds apart. For the most part, I think we listened. But in no way could we have understood. No way could we have really known what we were in for.
    I did not think I'd be THAT new grad. You know- the one who is painfully anxious, nervous, awkward, and blows at time management. But I AM. But you know, so what. They gave us a chance-we got the job. We're going to be wobbly on our legs at first. Not gonna quit. I Look forward to the Fall of 2013.
    When I'm a more confident, less spastic, new-ISH nurse who survived their first year.

    Here's to the future!!!:***:
    I agree! In a way though I feel like I am wishing the next year of my life away just so I can be over the new nurse 1st year bs. I know every nurse has gone through it but I get so scared just thinking about what the next year is going to be like!
  2. 3
    Quote from Sgm228

    LITERALLY covered EVERYTHING I was planning to post. I mean, you didn't leave a single thing out. The criticism, the feeling of incompetence. Although, I do take it as constructive criticism, but after a while you feel incompetent and discouraged especially when your preceptor is not really reassuring you but rather reminding you how you've only made it to 2 patients and have 10 more weeks left on orientation. Mind you, my patients are like ICU patients and I'm expected to handle 6-7 of them.

    My main problems are level of comfort, confidence, speed [time management], prioritizing.. so i guess EVERYTHING! One of the things my preceptor and nurse specialist keep telling me is to find "my system" when starting off my day. I completely agree with the importance of this component but how do I find my system when I'm trying to figure out the whole entire picture.

    Does anyone have any advice on how they conduct their routine day? Any tips appreciated!
    1 get report from previous shift.
    2 go assess all patients thoroughly
    3 get mars together and check against med orders. Look quickly for any "now" orders that need to be done soon or critical labs that should be addressed. Write down all the times that meds are due at the top of your mar or on a sep sheet of paper. Know all blood sugars for dm patients so you can grab insulin with med pass.
    4 pass first round of meds. Make sure you know what most recent vitals were first.
    5. Do a more thorough chart check, especially for the last 12-24 hours. Look for specimens for labs that still need to be obtained, read h&p, read med hx.
    6. Eat and go to bathroom as needed. You might work on charting during this time.
    7. Start preparing for 2nd med pass if need be.
    Chart, chart, chart
    8. Once caught up, do dressing changes, start new Iv, ambulate postop patients, offer to help others (you will need their help at some point).
    9. Make sure you are making rounds on all your patients every 2 hours at least, unless you've already been in there room for something else recently.
    10. Pass final round of meds starting an hour or more before end of shift and make a closing note on your charting.
    11. Find out who you're giving report to and be ready to give report.
    Disclaimer: this is a system that works for me at the facility I work at. I'm not suggesting that this will work for everyone.
    IBleedGreen, owlRN01, and Cauliflower like this.
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    Thank you for posting this----I could've written this word for word too. I'm not an anxious/ panicky person, but I sure have turned into one. It's so hard to judge whether this utter misery is worth sticking out for a year or whether it's not worth your sanity, sleep, and health. I relate to the same dread/ crying/barfing/ anxiety!
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    This thread has given me so much power and inspiration to move on with my new job as I am also a New Graduate Nurse. 2 months of orientation ending this week and soon will be on my own from next week. This feeling of anxiety, overwhelm, stress is all I relate to as well. When I do things at work, I feel pretty good on some stuff I do, but when I am unsure or just have self doubt about something I am bout to do, I just ask whoever nurse is nearby. But, I realized that when I ask questions, some of the nurses think I am incompetent or I don't know stuff. This makes me sick to my stomach because I know I am not incompetent. Its just that I am new and want to do everything safely. But, there are others who answer all my questions. This feeling of what next shift is gonna look like keeps me very anxious even on my day offs. I just can't wait for it to be 6 months like most of you said here.

    Any words from you is going to be very encouraging to keep myself moving forward.

    Thank you.
  5. 2
    Quote from nsgstu
    This thread has given me so much power and inspiration to move on with my new job as I am also a New Graduate Nurse. 2 months of orientation ending this week and soon will be on my own from next week. This feeling of anxiety, overwhelm, stress is all I relate to as well. When I do things at work, I feel pretty good on some stuff I do, but when I am unsure or just have self doubt about something I am bout to do, I just ask whoever nurse is nearby. But, I realized that when I ask questions, some of the nurses think I am incompetent or I don't know stuff. This makes me sick to my stomach because I know I am not incompetent. Its just that I am new and want to do everything safely. But, there are others who answer all my questions. This feeling of what next shift is gonna look like keeps me very anxious even on my day offs. I just can't wait for it to be 6 months like most of you said here.

    Any words from you is going to be very encouraging to keep myself moving forward.

    Thank you.
    Hi nsgstu! I am the original poster of this thread. I just wanted to share with you that it DOES get better and easier. I am not quite at my 6 months mark from being hired and have been on my own maybe 4 or a little over 4 months. However, my anxiety has decreased alot! I function better and have less anxiety when im at home. Yes, I still ask questions to be safe which sometimes makes me feel stupid, but ive learned to deal with it because i know its better to be safe than sorry! Hang in there! It should soon get better for you too. The first two-ish months on your own are very stressful, but it will get easier! Now Im looking forward to the day I have a year of experience and how much i will have learned by then! Keep us updated
    Lizzy03 and GrnTea like this.
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    Thanks RN2012Newbie for your response. I really need that encouragement and I feel happy when people say you will see light at the end of tunnel after sometime. I am hanging in there and will continue to hang as much as possible. I know all I can do is work hard and give my best every day I work.

    Thanks again.
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    I am a night shifter with team (Rn and LPN) nursing on a medical with tele unit with 8-12 patients, 7 months off of orientation. It does get better!

    Here's my routine:
    2300--get report
    2330--LPN looks up med times for the night, I look at charts, check any new labs, orders, read tele stripts, and occasionally call for any impending disasters
    0001--LPN starts on vitals, midnight meds, I go with her and do my assessments. I try to start charting my assessments between every pt (I have 8-12 pts, so I chart on relevant details first, then go back and finish everything else later)
    0200--Hopefully we've seen everyone, now put out fires, give any prn meds, chart, read H&Ps/progress notes
    0400--Draw any labs from central lines, still chart, prn meds
    0500--Continue charting, check labs, call for any weird labs, prn meds
    0600--Last minute issues, read charts, prepare for report, prn meds
    0700--Report! and Freedom!

    This is all assuming, of course, that everything goes smoothly, there aren't any admits, rapid responses, or armageddon (you never know, it could happen)

    If I'm on our oncology unit, we do primary nursing with no aides, so it's different there. I will admit, we're spoiled. On nights, we do not primary more than 5 on either medical or oncology.

    I'm a relative new grad (7 months off of orientation). It definitely took some time to get into the flow of things and I'm still adjusting my routine (I've only recently started charting in between pts). I still have a lot of questions (thankfully my manager is very helpful, as are the more experienced RNs). I admit though, that I am generally not an anxious person, and while I've had days where I've called my dad (also an RN) in a panic because I think I've missed something, I never seemed to have the absolutely gut wrenching nausea, panic attacks, or inability to sleep. It is frustrating at times, that there doesn't feel like there is enough time to really get a good perspective of my patients, that I feel some nights like I am just putting out fires, or that my patients are just in a holding pattern until the day starts,
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    Thanks for sharing Hypersaurus, RN. I am going on my own tomorrow and sick to stomach right now. I so want this feeling to end ASAP.
  9. 1
    Quote from nsgstu
    Thanks for sharing Hypersaurus, RN. I am going on my own tomorrow and sick to stomach right now. I so want this feeling to end ASAP.
    Hi! Thanks for posting. I posted on this thread a few months ago. Going toward my eighth month now. It's getting much better. Starting to consistently leave work on time. I still haven't lost any patients, dnr or otherwise. Confidence level has gone way up. I still don't desire to charge. All I can say is hang in there and when you are not sure of something, ask! Get a few second opinions. I recently had a 93 year old pt go into respiratory distress, applied 3 l o2 nc and afterwards she was ok. Had another more experienced nurse assess her only to conclude with me that I just needed to keep a close eye on her. The point is, my clinical judgement has increased and I know that I'm not alone in my decision making. Learn who you can call for questions that you can't handle. Obviously this will usually be the doctor, but at my facility there is a house sup, director of nursing, and a clinical nurse data specialist. If the charge nurse can't help, you should know where to turn for help. Anyway, good luck and the best of wishes to you!
    Larry,
    South MS RN
    HyperSaurus, RN likes this.
  10. 0
    I feel where you are coming from. I'm a new grad myself and I cried in my car today before my shift. I hope this feeling of being overwhelmed passes soon. It's not a nice feeling.


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