Hi. I'm a new grad, yesterday was my last day of orientation on a busy surgical floor, I start on my own tomorrow, and I'm looking for some reassurance. I had great preceptors, and six weeks of orientation, but I'm still not completely confident ( especially on days when there is so much going on ), and I didn't get experience w/ everything that I'll need to know about. I don't think I'm going to be completely abandoned now that orientation is over, but I'm still real nervous. Anybody have any stories to share to ease my mind a little? I'd appreciate it.
Mar 3, '01
I've recently been in your place and just wanted to say you wil be fine. Ask any experienced HONEST nurse and they will tell you it took them at least ONE YR to feel really competent and confident. This is not to say that you cannot be great in less than a year, but I have been told this "magic 1 year" number too many times to ignore it. We all feel like we are not ready to bee turned loose in the beginning. Just remember to use the other RN's,LVN's Assistant's and con't forget RT's and Unit Secretaries as resources.There are many people on your unit who can be of help. Nurses typically all care for pts well being and won't let you or your patient "drown".Hang in there!
Mar 4, '01
Of course we want to share horror stories. The first week off orientation on a med/surg unit, a busy non-telemetry one I found myself being the only (RN)GN on staff, the rest were LPNs and nurses aids. This was a few years ago but needless to say as a GN I was put in charge. There was a small telemetry unit at the end of our unit so I had to get that charge nurse to listen in on all calls to doctors as I couldnt take telephone orders yet nor could I sign off orders so the next shift had to do that. I could take off the orders and note them but couldnt sign them off. You know what though I did learn to do only what my scope of practice allowed, when the other nurse wasnt available I told the supervisor to cover me or send someone else to do that. I stuck by that by telling more than one doctor that I couldnt take his phone order and he would have to call the supervisors office to do that.
I am guessing that since I was already a paramedic they thought I would just do what I was allowed to do under that title....NAHHHH I worked hard enough to get that GN and wasnt gonna lose it before it became an RN.
Yeh I could make critical decisions, and I could assess any patient quickly and make suggestions as to what should be done but I didnt have that RN after my name yet. And I didnt have the skills that come with experience in handling a large number of patients and needs. (That is why I went to a med/surg floor first after school and glad I did)
I didnt refuse that assignment and I was put in charge more than once as a GN. I felt that I had the skills and ability to perform most of the duties, the ones that I couldnt do involved the legalities of doctors orders. I made sure that there was a note to the supervisor every shift that I would not do those things not within my scope of practice. I also made sure that the staffing sheet in the supervisors office stated who was responsible for overseeing me during the whole time I was there. My nurse manager was on my side the whole time with all these issues and that is probably why I agreed to this assignment more than once.
Thats the kinda crap you run into during these staffing shortages. This one wouldnt be so bad except that 50% of the nurses working now will be the patients in the next 10 years and no one is there to replace them. This baby boomers thing has messed up the higher-ups hasnt it?