I have been working in a NYC small community hospital for 3 months. I had 6 weeks of orientation 1 weeks of classroom time and have been on my own since mid november. Every day before I go to work I have the feeling of impending doom. My anxiety level has been through the roof! My average patient load is anywhere from 7-11 patients per shift. That Does not include discharges, admissions or transfers. Most days it's 9 or 10 I am overwhelmed have been making alot of mistakes. I feel like I got thrown into this job. They couldn't wait to get me off orientation. My first day alone I had 11 patients and over new years weekend I had 9- w of which 2 expired 3 nh discharges and a transfer to telemetry with 3 still left to care for Now yesterday I had 9 PTs I feel like I made a med error. I gave fragmin 2500 to a patient whose h/h was 7.7/23.6 and ptt was 335. I called the dr after my shift had officially ended to tell him the CBC results and he order the Pt to get blood but I still feel awful. There is no pixus so my day is filled with searching for med cart keys and narcotic keys. There are no computers. 10 am meds are not in the med room by 10 am so the majorty of stuff is late. I can't find the time to do my notes during the day so I don't stay until 9 pm. When my Pt expired my manager said that it through me for a loop and I had other patients to care for. It was my first one as a nurse ever!!! I'm sorry if this sounds like a rant but I don't know if I should stay. I'm in the union and I have filed 3-4 protests since I have been there and joint commission is coming this month. Other places get 5-7 PTs. I'm getting an average of 9-10 what do I do should I just quit cuz it's so hard to find work in ny right now. But I'm really scared for my patients and my liscence. It's really hard to give the care I want to give them. And when I ask the nurses aids for help they always have something else to do. I don't know what to do. Everyone says if you can make it at this hospital you can make it anywhere but I don't know how handling 9-10 PTs proves I'm going to be a good nurse? Just means I can give limited care to many Ppl in my opinion. We also get alot of DNR PTs so when a patient is going downhill and I tell my manager that this Pt doesn't look good the first thing out of his mouth is "is the Pt a DNR". And if it is well just give o2 and fluids. Doeant seem to matter what the Pt is here for. I hear alot how things cone with experience and it will get better. I just don't know what to do. Please help could really use the advice from all of you on here. I am very nervous and um afraid I'm gonna harm someone and that's the last thing I want to do. Please help what should I do and if I'm gonna stay how do i manage all this better. Thanks in advance for takin the time to read this.
Jan 14, '12
I think most nurses have experienced some level of the chaos you are experiencing. I always had a "story of the day" after every shift I ever worked, mostly involving either odd patient behavior or what I called deficient medical decisions! We see more than anyone could imagine! Right now, I suggest you take this as a huge learning opportunity and collect yourself. If you quit now, you will leave with low confidence and your job prospects will be even slimmer.
Start you day by doing something empowering for yourself. Eat some real and not junk food to help yourself getting grounded. You could at least stretch if you don't want to take the time to walk or do anything else. Learn how to get grounded, as that will drop your anxiety and improve your energy. You are there for your patients, even if the hospital standards seem a bit (ahem) low.
Yes your work load looks impossible. Do what you can, and put your attention on your patients, not on what you aren't doing as well as you would like. This isn't your career job, but your job is to be professional and that means not acting scattered and complaining. Act like the strong nurse you know yourself to be. This too shall pass. You're there for a reason and can emerge stronger and smarter, and certainly more confident. Best wishes. Don't let ... anyone get you down.
Last edit by wellnessnow on Jan 14, '12
: Reason: needed to expand a thought