First job anxiety, can you give me tips and the right mindset to overcome it?
by willowRN Mar 12, '11 | 1,930 Views | 5 Comments
I'm gonna start my first job experience, and I am very nervous. I'm afraid I'll look stupid. Well I know I know some things but having no experience before on my own leaves me wee bit too restless and palpitating. Thank you so much for everything.
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To be honest if you're a new grad understand that no one really expects you to know anything. Most people are understanding about what it's like to start your first job out of school. And also be aware of the fact that all your learning really begins with your first job. Just go into it as a sponge, soak up every little thing you can learn. Watch your coworkers, ask them if you can help them do things so they can teach you how to do it better, etc. It will be hard at first but don't get too discouraged. Every day you will learn things and it will get easier. Good luck!
Take a deep breath before you start. Try to relax your tense muscles. Don't rush around trying to look smart, take a few extra moments and get organized. My first days as a nurse I followed a RN who was in her 70's and had really bad artheritis. She walked with a limp and everything took her a long time, because she hurt. I was taking her spot, because she was retiring. She was a very lovely nurse and I really liked her. But she could run circles around me. Why? Because she was organized, she obviously knew her stuff. She would go into a room, for instance to replace a indwelling cath, and she had all her equipment. She had done the procedure a million times and it was quick and easy for her. I however, trying to emulate her, trying to look smart, could easily run to the room and get started, only to realize I forgot the syring to empty the ballon. Well, I figured a quick run back and I still will have it done in a jiffy. Well when I got back I realized I had nothing to put the water into from the ballow - another trip. It took me forever. But, it didn't take me long to relize my pride was getting in the way of doing my job. So, I started to say to myself - I am chaning a cath, what equipment do I need, and then double check that, then I woiuld run to the room. Of course it took me a while to perfect my cath skills. I am still learning, there is a new post on how to insert a cath with out pain, and I learned from that (after 18 years).
Don't worry that you have to stop, before you start, and do a quick inventory. Most of us all had to do this too. Actually it will save you much time, and eventually it will be second hand.
It's normal to be nervous, as its a really big step in life! My biggest suggestion is that you use the knowledge and skills you have from school, but to also ask a lot of questions and use your fellow staff members. When I first started I made sure I asked a LOT of questions, even if I thought I already knew something. One of the biggest mistakes a new RN can make is trying to do more than they are comfortable with.
The older RNs will help you get through the initial stage, thats what we are here for.
Everyone hates to feel stupid in a new job, however the words, "I don't know...but I will find out." or "I don't know I am new here." Should be said frequently by a new grad or even the most experienced nurse in a new position.