I am a new nurse. I am out of orientation. It lacked A LOT in quality and continunity. There is still so much that I didn't cover and that no one seems to realize I don't know. I have told them I don't know some of this stuff, but they just tell me that all new nurses feel that way. DUH, there is a reason for that!
I went back and really read this whole section and I hear the same thing repeated over and over. " I am overwhelmed, scared, overworked" " I fear that I will hurt someone because of my lack of experience".
I too want to quit. I've never been a quiter. In everything I have ever done I have been told about how responsible and capable I am. I had two days from hell last week and ended up working a 16 hour day with no breaks. I finally left at 16 hours with very little charted. I was so close to tears that I couldn't breathe. When I gave report, the oncoming nurse ate me alive for my "totally inadequate" report. It was the last straw. I talked to my AUM and she said not to worry, the oncoming was a total B and did that to all new nurses. She also said that sometimes one just has to realize that at the end of the day if everyone is breathing, everyone was safe and all the meds were passed it has to be enough. I told here that I couldn't work with this type of pressure. She told me that everyone feels this way the first year. My question is " WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?????"" Why is this acceptable? Just because it has always been this way doesn't mean it's ok. I emailed my UM and told her that I was in over my head and didn't feel like I was ready for this many patients with this type of acuity. She emailed back that "the expectation is that all nurses have this many patients at the end of 90 days." I haven't been there 90 days yet. They just sort of stopped orientation when my precept. left. I don't care what the expectation is. She told me that I needed to use my resources and flag the other nurses when I needed a break. HELLO, I was using my resources, I was looking up what I didn't know and asking for help. Everyone was handling too many patients that day and they couldn't help. We were down to one NA for the whole unit, as two called in and one quit. We were doing their work and our own. One nurse did drop everything and may God bless her. She kept me from just running off the floor. She worked longer so that she could help me. I will never forget that kindness and I will always try to be the nurse who lends a hand. At any rate, everything that could go wrong went wrong and I really thought that one patient would die. She got her meds late because she was the last person on the hall and the other 5 were higher priorities (sicker). I was trying to hit the most needy first, but in the process was late getting to her. Her blood pressure went sky high and I feel so bad. It all ended ok, but at the end of the day, I don't want to live like this. Just saying that it's always this way for new nurses isn't an answer. The sad part is that I love nursing. I have been told by staff and patients what a great nurse I am. (yeah, I know, don't let it go to your head). I have the "right stuff", but I need time to get up to speed without killing them or myself in the process. :uhoh21:
Nov 7, '07
Why on earth would you work a 16 hour shift with no breaks? While the AUM had a point in that sometimes you just have to be thankful that you and your patients survived a shift, I find it a bit disturbing she downplayed your concerns about the ****** nurse you reported to--- there is no excuse for that sort of behaviour and should not be condoned.
I hope things settle down for you soon.
Nov 11, '07
I can feel your pain. I work on a very busy tele floor. I am just now coming off orientation. I had a long orientation with a terrific preceptor. All the nurses on our floor have been nothing but supportive. Yet I still struggle to get it all done without feeling VERY overwhelmed.
I guess what bugs me the most is I can't be the kind of nurse I want to be. I love taking care of the patients and talking to them. But I'm told I talk to much and need to get in/out FAST. I have a hard time remembering all the details of my assessment unless I jot notes or chart right away and sometimes the pts sx overlap so much it's hard to keep them all straight in my head!
I have decided that I need to remember Maslow and make sure all the physiologic stuff is done first and if I am having a great shift THEN I can move forward to the psyche... but that's disheartening because I want to have it ALL done the way "I" want and that's just not possible right now.
What is most important is dealing with your patient's condition and responding to changes. I don't really know what the answer is. At least with nursing there are lots of employment options. I'm just trying to give it time and realize it's a big job with a lot of responsibility and I have to grow into it. I have great charge nurses who have all said "ASK" if I get behind and they will help me. I feel blessed for that. The next few weeks will tell the tell!
Nov 11, '07
I had ten days of orientation. I'm an LPN. I work on a busy cardiac floor. Boy, do I ever know exactly what you're talking about. I've been doing a LOT of soul-searching lately about where I want to be. I've looked at other options. But the other options I've looked at involve little to no patient care nor practice of skills. Something that helped me recently was realizing that for me, a lot of the stress had to do with the disparity between my expectation of what nursing would be like and reality of what nursing is like. Once I adjusted my expectation and accepted that this is nursing today, I felt a lot better. Not that it's right; change NEEDS to happen. But expecting myself to live up to these lofty expectations that are not at all realistic does not help me make it through the shift. I do the very best I can with what I have, I ask for help when I'm in over my head, and I always, ALWAYS put patient safety first. That's about all I can do until I become the experienced nurse that someday I will be.
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