So overwhelmed! I can't do this - page 2

I'm a new grad RN, and am 2 weeks into orientation to my unit, a step-down ICU. Will have 4 pts. No CNA's, pass all meals, beds, baths, etc. Great preceptors, but I feel so incompetent! I have... Read More

  1. by   DolphinRN84
    I'm wishing all the best for you. I'm a new grad as well and will be starting my new job soon. Good luck! And keep us updated!
  2. by   shill
    :studyowl: "please slow down and take care of yourself!!! see your doctor about your bp asap! try to switch to a slower paced unit--i don't care if i get flamed on this, but new grads should start off sloooowwwwly and not in a unit like icu, micu, nicu, etc. i pray that you can get it together soon, and please don't push yourself too hard! good luck in your future, and don't feel bad if you end up leaving nursing. that degree can lead to other less stressful avenues in life, such as: doctor's office, informatics, insurance verification, check it out before you give up!"

    i agree with the above. for one thing, your hospital apparently goes along with the quote," throw them to the wolves" because that's just what they're doing. normally, as a general conversation from other nurses that start after getting out of school, state that they have to go through a course, as i did, with a couple of weeks in med surg, telemetry, icu and then did a six-week orientation in er. i don't blame you for feeling overwhelmed. you can do all the training, teaching and hands-on learning, and you will still never know everything. there is always something new to learn. it almost sounds like your hospital is looking for a lawsuit to walk in, and the one that really gets screwed is you, and your license will be out the window. so i would probably go to your leader, and tell them flat out, "look, i really need more training elsewhere in the hospital, that will help better your confidence in taking on patients in the icu". don't get discouraged, the medical field is so huge that it can cover the alphabet from a to z.

    remember,you went to nursing school because you wanted to become a nurse, you did a lot of hard studying, learning and testing and you got your rn degree. if they don't see it your way, and let you the go, then there are not worth working for.
    i could go on and on, but i'd only get madder in madder...... best of luck to you, and do what you feel is really a right.
    you go girl!
    sherry

    ps.doesn't your hospital have a lawsuit going on right now? if not i foresee it in the future.
  3. by   RNAlmost10
    Maybe you should try just a med/surg floor, where things are less critical. You wouldnt feel so overwhelmed! You can work so many places, doctor's offices, home health, hospice, etc. So maybe you would work better in a less stress environment! Hope the helps.:icon_hug:
  4. by   mh356
    Give it a few more weeks because right now everything is new and it is quite a shock adjusting from school to the real world.
    Does your hospital offer an employee assistance program or some type of counseling service? This would not require insurance and is free to hosp employees. I think it would be helpful to have someone to talk to. Before this forum I had no idea that all these emotions were pretty normal for a new grad. Journals are good too, but its nice to have feedback. Good luck!
  5. by   SoundofMusic
    I am with those that say to start out slow. I am a firm believer in this after being burnt out in ICU after a few short months. It was NOT for me as a new grad. I feel nurses need to get their nursing thing down before they attempt to learn the ICU pace and skills/thinking. It is an art in itself.

    In the ICU, I also felt the nurses respected the nurses who came to them with at least some experience, if not five plus years. It was just a whole lot less work on their part to orient such a person.

    Good luck and take care of your health, first and foremost. Can't be a nurse long term if you ruin your health.
  6. by   shortlittleRN
    Quote from SoundofMusic
    I am with those that say to start out slow. I am a firm believer in this after being burnt out in ICU after a few short months. It was NOT for me as a new grad. I feel nurses need to get their nursing thing down before they attempt to learn the ICU pace and skills/thinking. It is an art in itself.

    In the ICU, I also felt the nurses respected the nurses who came to them with at least some experience, if not five plus years. It was just a whole lot less work on their part to orient such a person.

    Good luck and take care of your health, first and foremost. Can't be a nurse long term if you ruin your health.
    What she said. I was in the ICU for 8 wks and couldn't handle the stress and quit. I've just been offered a position in oncology. I have a personal interest in oncology so I'm hoping this will be my niche. There is a cancer institute being build next door so there are some opportunities to further my advancement. I hope this is it. I don't want to move all over the place to feel my comfort zone. Good luck in whatever you do.
  7. by   Zookeeper3
    As a preceptor to new grads into the ICU I PROMISE you that every single last nurse feels this way. It is stressful, exhausting and overwhelming for several months. You should have a 12 week orientation. by the 3rd month... you should feel confident in more and more things. it can take 6 months before not wanting to vomit before work and longer before you break out a sweat with a crashing patient.

    I promise this is normal. Set one realistic goal for each shift, start a journal. look back each week and you'll see progress. Do NOT set the goal that you will get out on time. That is not the priority. ie, you'll have all your assessments and am meds done by 1030am. Something like that.

    While you go through this stressful transition in your career, you need to care for yourself at home... yoga, a walk each day, scrapbooking, art lessons... SOMETHING that give you growth and personal acheivement outside work, and YES you can make time for it... cleaning the house is NOT a priority now.

    take care of yourself, demand a good orientation, stick it out 6 months and see. trust me, a step down is a wonderful place to start but you are now a novice and need to allow yourself this uncomfortable time. Provided you care for yourself too.
  8. by   Nurseinprocess
    This thread is 1.5 yrs old ! I wonder where the OP ended up by now?
  9. by   imanedrn
    Quote from Bluestem
    I'm a new grad RN, and am 2 weeks into orientation to my unit, a step-down ICU. Will have 4 pts. No CNA's, pass all meals, beds, baths, etc. Great preceptors, but I feel so incompetent! I have forgotten nearly everything i learned in school and am constantly worried that something will happen to one of my patients, an I won't know what to do or have seen it coming. I am struggling with everything, meds, machines, assessments. I feel like I just can't handle the stress, and fear I can't catch up in time! And I want to talk to my boss about it, but am unsure if I should. I do have anxiety that leaves me unable to focus. Over the weekend (not working) my bp shot up to 147/94... my day off when I was trying to relax! I usually run absolutely normal if not lower. All day I could feel pulsations in my head like a vessel is about to blow. I think my body is telling me to quit... And we tell our patients to avoid stress

    I think I need to change careers, but I dont know where to start. Right now, I don't look forward to going to work AT ALL! I hated nursing school, thought it would "Get better" in the real world. I feel like I've aged 10 years in the past 2.

    Is there anything else that I can switch over to as an unexperienced nurse that is less stressful?
    Thanks, and sorry for whining!!
    You're working in a stressful area. Why not try switching to something less stressful - an area that seems interesting? Acute care is always stressful!
  10. by   Curious1alwys
    Quote from shortlittleRN
    What she said. I was in the ICU for 8 wks and couldn't handle the stress and quit. I've just been offered a position in oncology. I have a personal interest in oncology so I'm hoping this will be my niche. There is a cancer institute being build next door so there are some opportunities to further my advancement. I hope this is it. I don't want to move all over the place to feel my comfort zone. Good luck in whatever you do.
    I remember your posts. GOOD LUCK in your new job Short, I hope this is the right fit for you!
  11. by   Curious1alwys
    Quote from Nurseinprocess
    This thread is 1.5 yrs old ! I wonder where the OP ended up by now?
    Oh man, don't you just hate that! A CLIFFHANGER!

    Well, back in April 07 she was working 12's and wearing Ted hose so I say she stayed with something!!:wink2:

    The feedback still helps the other new grads. I know, I am one of them! Thanks for the replies anyway y'all!
  12. by   shlru0404
    Wow, this takes me back to my first two weeks. You are very right...they stink. It was very scary, I was scary! I am in week 10 now and as one wise RN said, my response to the stress is better. The job is still the same, but I got better at dealing with it. All the best in your adjustment period.

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