I'd like to, first, thank the AN community for all the helpful information and for taking the time to read this entry.
I am currently working on a med/surg unit that is very busy with admissions and discharges. We see everything from GSW to MVA to amputations to gastrectomy. I am on my last week of a 6 week orientation and I feel very nervous about being on my own. I know I technically will never be alone because everyone on the unit is extremely helpful. I sometimes feel like I am beginning to feel comfortable and then I have days where I feel like I don't know anything. My main worries are forgetting to perform something and not having the "safety net" of a preceptor to catch it. Another concern is not having the necessary knowledge to provide the care needed for my patients. Please any advice would be greatly appreciated. Is this a normal feeling to have?
Oct 23, '12
I think that your feelings are completely normal. I had a 10 week preceptorship and felt so scared to finally be on my own. I have been on my own for 4 months now, and definitely have days where I feel like I don't know anything. I also have days where I feel pretty good too. It sounds like you have a supportive team on your unit which really helps!
I guess my biggest advice would be to ask a coworker if you are unsure or feel uneasy about something. I know I feel like I still ask a million questions a day! Also know where your references are. We have a binder at every nurses station on the unit that has step-by-step instructions how to do basically anything (ie DC a pt to a nursing home or prepare a patient for surgery). I have learned so much referencing that binder, and also it ensures I am doing everything properly. You will learn so much every day being on your own. Best wishes & Good Luck!
Oct 24, '12
I know exactly how you feel! I felt that way right when I got off orientation. I've been on my own for about 2 months now, and I'm just now starting to feel SLIGHTLY comfortable. I would say definitely ask questions, if you're not 100% sure on something, don't do it or move forward without a second opinion. If you have the slightest feeling that you need to call the dr about something, definitely call them. I felt like my preceptor caught so many things with patients, and I know there's no way I catch everything now simply because I don't have the experience. In terms of knowledge, just remember you went to school for this!! you have so much more knowledge than the majority of patients, so any teaching you give them, no matter how small it may seem to you, will help! Just try to do your best, and if possible, try to take on some of the easier patients on your floor for your first few shifts on your own! you can do it!!