Reality Check

  1. 15
    This is my reality check.

    I am a new LPN, hired to work on a part-time night, rotating weekend schedule on a secured unit. Since that initial four day orientation, I had one day oriented to the day shift and one day oriented to the evening shift in the same unit. I have really yet to work the schedule that I was hired to work, as they have had me working both days and evenings to fill in for staff vacation. I think this has helped me immensely in learning the ways of the unit and learning about the administrative side of nursing that school doesn't teach you. Has it been difficult? Yes. There are days that I feel I am able to do no more than a mean dog paddle.

    After a month of working at this, I realize that I while I can strive to be perfect, I am never going to be a Superhero. I will make mistakes, and the best I can do is learn from them and not repeat them.

    I realized I needed a serious conversation with myself. This conversation resulted in a reality check and a lifting of what has felt like a thick fog. It gave me insight to two very important points.

    While the majority of my errors are on the side of administration and learning the paperwork process, a few of the mistakes I have made, I would NEVER have made two years ago if presented with them as a Paramedic. While in school, I was told to forget everything I knew about being an experienced Paramedic. "Being a Nurse is different than being a Paramedic." While this is in fact true, what I needed to understand was that I shouldn't forget, but adapt, meld and shape it so that it complements my new career.

    I have had a serious case of Tunnel Vision. I had become so focused on trying to complete tasks in a timely manner, that in all honesty, not only did it make me lose sight of the big picture, it also made me less focused on what I needed to be doing.

    I am still learning. I will make mistakes, I will learn from them and strive not to repeat them. My immediate supervisors and DON are supportive and I have co-workers that will throw me a life preserver when I need it. My friends cheer me on, and my family doesn't mind me complaining and ranting. When I need a good cry, my dog is there to show me a belly rub will fix it, at least for him.

    This is my reality check. Not a pity party, not a woe is me. This is unique to me and no one else.

    I will go to work today with fresh eyes and a new focus.
    dudette10, Katrin, Altra, and 12 others like this.
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  4. 8 Comments so far...

  5. 4
    Being able to self-evaluate and know what one needs to do to improve is a sign of a well-developed educated individual. Good luck as you progress through your career.
    Altra, acerbia, PetsToPeople, and 1 other like this.
  6. 2
    Thanks, JustBeachy.

    I just needed a place to write this down. I think the root cause was that I was feeling overwhelmed, and as a result, I closed down and was working with my eyes wide shut, in a sense.

    I hope by writing what I was thinking last night down, it will be the start of me becoming more aware.
    DalmatiaRN and barbyann like this.
  7. 1
    Print it out and out it up on your bulletin bird or fridge as a reminder of your epiphany you can add your wisdom s you go on.
    ClearBlueOctoberSky likes this.
  8. 1
    Quote from ambgirl2nurse
    ...I have had a serious case of Tunnel Vision. I had become so focused on trying to complete tasks in a timely manner, that in all honesty, not only did it make me lose sight of the big picture, it also made me less focused on what I needed to be doing.

    I am still learning. I will make mistakes, I will learn from them and strive not to repeat them. My immediate supervisors and DON are supportive and I have co-workers that will throw me a life preserver when I need it. My friends cheer me on, and my family doesn't mind me complaining and ranting. When I need a good cry, my dog is there to show me a belly rub will fix it, at least for him.

    This is my reality check. Not a pity party, not a woe is me. This is unique to me and no one else.
    Welcome to nursing!

    Yes, being a nurse is different than being a paramedic (I was in EMS as a volunteer EMT/Paramedic for 19 years). Not better, not worse. Just different. As a nurse, you're probably under greater scrutiny by management and may operate under less independence than when you were a paramedic. That being said, nursing probably offers you a greater opportunity to interact with your patients and their family members than when you were a medic. There may also be a greater opportunity to learn/hone your skills by interacting with physicians.

    As a nurse, your coworkers may be more likely to back-stab you, versus when you were a medic. Such is life....deal with it, and move on.

    A Tunnel Vision/task-oriented attitude is perfectly NORMAL as a newbie nurse. Please don't beat yourself up too much about this. Think back on your approach to patient care when you were a newbie EMT versus your approach as an experienced paramedic. As a newbie EMT, everything was new/scary/threatening/exciting. Once you had some experience under your belt, you were able to step back & see the "big picture" before actually approaching the patient.

    Go polish your fomites, and give your dog an extra snack!
    ClearBlueOctoberSky likes this.
  9. 1
    Quote from ambgirl2nurse

    i am still learning. i will make mistakes, i will learn from them and strive not to repeat them.
    congratulations on your recent accomplishments and for having the knowledge to realize that as time goes by, it will get easier to cope with future obstacles but first of all learn from whatever mistakes you may endure as you move on to better and bigger things....wishing you the very best in all of your future endeavors...aloha~
    ClearBlueOctoberSky likes this.
  10. 1
    Your courage and insight are impressive!

    Good luck... please give the dog a belly rub for me!:kiss
    ClearBlueOctoberSky likes this.
  11. 2
    Great post, thank you for sharing your growth process with us. You sound like the kind of employee/coworker I would love to work with.
  12. 3
    I just came off shift. I really have to say, today, while busy and demanding was a much better day, at least in terms of me. My residents on the other hand are still wanting to go home, upstairs, downstairs, and to work.

    Despite my multiple personalities (after all, I do work in a dementia unit), I felt more put together, more at home, and more, at ease (even though that isn't quite the word I wanted) with where I was, where I am, and what I was doing.

    Tomarrow is yet another new day and I am ready for that challenger. Which also happens to be a mock survey.

    Thank you for all the support, ALL of you have given. Even when we agree to disagree on discussions. It really does help.

    Now, I think I will get my fomites in shape for the mock survey tomarrow. And the belly rubs were much appreciated.
    CrufflerJJ, Altra, and nursel56 like this.


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