Am I really an RN

  1. 1
    So I graduated 2009 and have been working for 7 months. I keep telling myself that I love it because I'm learning so much, but I really hate Med/Surg. I feel like I'm lying to myself and one supevisor told me I came across aloof until she got to know me. Then she realized I was just quiet by nature, this was the same supervisor that told me I was not organized. There is always a bit of truth to every comment, but as a new grad I already feel that I don't know what I'm doing half the time.
    I have 5 patients on average and feel like I never get out on time and don't get paid for it, because I feel it's my fault for not charting in a timely mannor so I punch out on time to avoid OT. Every time I start to feel good about myself someting knocks me right back on my ass. I got a complaint, probably more because the supervisor sent out an email to the floor stating we should get good and bad negative feed back that the patients send via hospital surveys. And I got a note that made me look stuiped and unsure of what I was doing.
    I was really embarrassed and felt awful that the patient perceived me this way. I started obsessing over it and haven't been able to sleep, I'm starting to question if I come across like that to everyone? Do I come across unorganized, aloof, like I don't care, or unknowledgeable? Does anyone else feel like this? Do I really know what the hell I'm talking about or doing?
    showbizrn likes this.
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  3. 13 Comments so far...

  4. 4
    Allow yourself more time. 7 months is not long in the course of a career. Is there a nurse that you truly admire that you could bounce some questions off of? It's not really a good idea to wait to chart (and off the clock) until you are so tired you can't remember. At least write something down. You can always amend it with a late entry. Those patient surveys can be a pain in the behind. I recall getting one from a woman whose epidural catheter was caught on her bedrail and pulled out. When I told her what seemed to have happened, she accused me of lying, because she had an epidural with her baby and IT didn't fall out. BAD survey for me. You are disorganized at first and then intermittently during your whole career you will have one of those days again. They get farther and farther apart thank goodness.
    (I'm shy too, though some people perceive me as snobbish and aloof, I'm not, I just talk a lot to cover gaps.) 36 years later I still feel like a newbie some days.
    Believe me it gets better soon.
    mamaluna, Faeriewand, showbizrn, and 1 other like this.
  5. 3
    Well as far as you coming off aloof...you just have to work on that. I was called into the office by management one day and told to smile more. So I smile every time I walk in the patient's room....even if I'm not happy. We have to remember it's patient perception. You may be a really good nurse and do all of your procedures well...but you don't smile so the patient thinks you're mean and doesn't want you as a nurse. As a 1st year nurse, you're already overwhelmed trying to put everything together. Eventually you'll figure out a routine that works for you and leave on time. I wish I only had 5 pts on the floor. As a floor nurse on cardiac tele, I would get 6 or 7 patients sometimes...that's why I'm in the unit now...no more than 2. Eventually I got my routine down...but it takes a year or more to feel comfortable as a nurse. It gets better with time. Management stinks...they pretend like they were never bedside nurses...don't let it get to you. Ask good nurses at your job for advice, tips/tricks if you have to. You'll be okay.

    P.S. I know jobs don't like incidental overtime. However, if you're there working, by law they're supposed to pay you. If you clock out, sit down to chart, go help a patient and something happens to that patient....your butt is on the line and management will throw you under the bus. Once you're off the clock, you're not supposed to be at your facility.
    mamaluna, Faeriewand, and showbizrn like this.
  6. 4
    Have you read Patricia Benner's book, From Novice to Expert? It's a classic, like 25 years old and used to be required reading for many programs. Perhaps it has fallen from favor now but as a new RN I found it invaluable for many of the reasons you are struggling with now. Benner acknowledges a basic fact that is not directly addressed in nursing school; all new RN's face a steep learning curve. They each start fresh in a role with huge responsibilities and greatly individualized tasks they may or may not have seen or done before. Their RN cohorts may not be willing to mentor them. Benner believes that it takes about 5 years to move from a new novice nurse to expert. If you change specialties-you may find yourself back at novice again although you may move through the stages faster. Rather than have this make you feel bad about your skills, this should give you hope; all nurses go through these feelings. If they don't, they probably aren't paying enough attention to their skills! I remember feeling some pride as I started gaining confidence-you will too. And of course, many people will move through the stages faster/slower depending on their skill sets/spplication process. I would recommend you read this, its not a very thick book, easily available on Amazon or from a student somewhere. I borrowed my copy out otherwise I'd have offered you mine.....If all else fails, you might want to change out of med-surg ...good luck!
    mamaluna, Faeriewand, showbizrn, and 1 other like this.
  7. 5
    ((hugs)) if you truly don't like med/surg...start looking for something else- AFTER your 1 year, otherwise all that work won't count for anything.

    Do not work off the clock- no matter the reason- you should get paid for the work you do. They can't expect a new nurse to always get out on time. 5 patients to chart on is a lot... but you'll get it.

    Yes- you are really an RN.. don't put yourself down.

    As far as appearing aloof... something we were told in training that really stuck with me...How you come accross is 90% perception..and 10% intention. Pay attention to how others might see you- even if that isn't how you mean to come across.
    mitral, Faeriewand, showbizrn, and 2 others like this.
  8. 0
    Thank you for the ((hugs)) It's funny even from cyber space it feels like you care =)
  9. 0
    Thanks, this helps me feel better =)
  10. 4
    Wow you're post reminded me of myself a long time ago! I too hated med-surg and felt like I was always messing things up and working over to get caught up. We also had two nurse managers on the floor and one told me I was too quiet and needed to be more outgoing and she herself was outgoing and then I had another evaluation from the other manager who said I was doing a good job and was just fine but she was more quiet so I didn't feel quite so bad for being myself. However, with patients you'll just have to try and be more friendly since one complained but just smile more like someone else said-it really works. How soon are you allowed to transfer to a different area? We only had to work six months and to the day of that six months I applied for a different floor, found I loved it and fit in really well there. Of course you're an RN-you just haven't found your niche yet. Hang in there!
    mamaluna, Faeriewand, showbizrn, and 1 other like this.
  11. 3
    yes!!! you are really an rn.
    you're a newbie at 7-months
    like one colleague said
    it takes 5-years to really hone your skills.

    if you hate med-surg,
    try to finish one-year
    so the experience is acknowledged
    by a recruiter or at your next interview.

    a new grad on a busy med-surg unit
    is harrying
    (even for alot of veteran rns)
    so we understand your feelings
    of disorganization, fatigue and overwhelmingess---

    most of us have been there
    you'll get through it!!!

    i admire your courage and honesty

    much success to you!
    mamaluna, Faeriewand, and Pneumothorax like this.
  12. 1
    Pshaw every one starts slow at any job. School teaches you what and how to learn everything you need to know. Nursing is so much customer service. smile and ask a question that is innocuous and shows you care even/especially when you do not.
    Faeriewand likes this.


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