Floor Nurse Stress

  1. hello all,
    I am a recent new grad working on a renal/med/surg flool. I have a patient load to myself with 6 patients. It is all going well...but for some reason I always feel like I am behind and just have trouble being productive and speedy. I am slow but I feel like I am thorough. Any advice to controling the overwhelming "frazzle" of such a busy unit??
    SthRNBelle
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  2. 10 Comments

  3. by   NeuroICURN
    Quote from SthRNBelle
    hello all,
    I am a recent new grad working on a renal/med/surg flool. I have a patient load to myself with 6 patients. It is all going well...but for some reason I always feel like I am behind and just have trouble being productive and speedy. I am slow but I feel like I am thorough. Any advice to controling the overwhelming "frazzle" of such a busy unit??
    SthRNBelle
    Hey SthRNBelle! Cute username, that's really creative! I was just in your neck of the woods not too long ago. My sister just moved up here from Jacksonville and I was staying on Topsail Island before we moved her up here.....gawd I love that place!!!!!!!!!!!

    Anyway, I just wanted to tell you that what you're feeling is COMPLETELY normal, no matter where you work, or what your patient load is!!! All new grads few frazzled for a few months. However, fear not....it will get better once you find your own routine and "get in the groove" of things. What I found that helped me when I was new was to approach it systematically and try to adhere to a certain routine of doing things. It will take time, but it does get easier, trust me!

    Good luck! Let us know how it's going!

    NeuroICURN
  4. by   meownsmile
    Yes, it is pretty normal for someone fresh on the scene to feel frazzled. BUT,, one thing i have learned is if you let yourself get frazzled the more frazzled you become until you get totally overwhelmed. Take things one at a time as they come, try not to get to involved in more than a couple things at a time. I know a med/surg floor can get completely chaotic but if you let it get the best of you you will be crispy before you know it.
    Try to slow down a bit, think things through and take one bite of the load at a time. It will all get done eventually unless you let things take you over then nothing gets done completely. Hang in there.
  5. by   nurseunderwater
    Take a deep breath

    One thing that I learned from a preceptor just last month (i was refreshing my license after not working for 8 years) was to make a chart with Pt names across the top and times along the sides....in each block she wrote meds/tests/treatments etc at the proper times....it really helped me to keep track of what was what so much so that I've incorporated it into my own system....

    Welcome to the wonderful (really) world of floor nursing!!! :hatparty:

    xxoo
    Kate
  6. by   Farkinott
    I empathise with you cos starting in this job is hard and you don't often get the support you need. One strategy to help is to prioritise your work.. What is important and what is not? I have on occasion told my 6 patients that no beds will be changed unless ABSOLUTELY necessary. They will go with the flow if you communicate with them. If you are showering, don't try and get everyone done early in the morning. Can one or two wait for a shower until after lunch? If you are behind in doing your regular vital signs? For those with a chest infection/COAD or the like, a quick temp and O2 sats will suffice. If any old dragon nurses try to give ou a hard time just rationalise what you have done. Remember you don't go to work to do bad you go to work to do good. If anyone gives you a hard time tell them to eat your shorts!
  7. by   VivaLasViejas
    Remember, you are working in a 24-hr-a-day facility......and there WILL be another shift to pick up where you left off. Very few nurses like to leave a mess for the next nurse, but there are times when you bust your butt for 8 or 12 hours and still cannot get everything done; don't be too hard on yourself if this happens every now and then!

    It sounds to me like you're doing a GREAT job, especially for someone so new. Keep an eye on those veteran nurses who seem to have it all together---they can teach you a lot about prioritizing and organizing your workday. (I'm still learning too, and I've been a nurse for 7 years........there are always new ways to get things done!)
  8. by   twinRN04
    hey! what hospital are you working at in wimlington? my sister just moved down there this week and she starts on monday at new hanover!
  9. by   Tweety
    Don't compromise thoroughness for speed. Organization, etc. will come with time and gets better. Accepting that you really can't do it all and still be a good nurse at the end of the day will come with time as well. Be gentle with yourself, and don't let anyone bully you.

    Good luck!
  10. by   tiroka03
    I remember my first days on the job as a brand new nurse. I was so excited and had gotten almost straight A's in school. But, it only took my 10 mins to realize that my schooling as good as it was, didn't really prepare me for floor nursing.

    The nurse I followed for the first week was 75 years old and had artheritis really bad. She walked slowly - with a noticeable limp. But, she could run circles around me. She would give me a an easy pt and take a hard one. She would be finished and drinking coffee while I continued to slave away on the easy one. The thing I noticed about my mentor was she was organized, but afterall she had been doing this for 50 years. She would know exactly what to bring to do a dressing change or instance. I thought I did too. But, I was always forgetting something thing or dropping something, having to run back and get more supplies. I believe I put on more miles running back and forth the first few months than I'd like to admit.

    Now it's 8 years later. When I am the nurse to "train in" a new nurse, I always tell them about my first week. Then I try to teach them organziation. It is one of the things that will give you the time you seek. Also your skills will improve and become automatic. At first I double checked and triple checked everything. But, now the information is pretty well set in stone. I spent a lot of time following techs and others trying to figure out the gaps in my education, - I still do, but, it doesn't consume me the way it used to.

    When your in a room, forget everyone else for the moment. I carry a clip board around with me all the time. I keep charts of anything which gives me trouble. I use it to write down all the little things that need to be done at some time during my shift, so I don't forget. This frees up my mind to do whats in front of me. I refer to it often, and it has saved me many times from forgetting a detail which could bite me in the rear later.

    I see other new nurses doing things that help them. One nurse I worked with wore a painters 1/2 apron around her waist. In it she put a little of everything she could forget. It saved her tons of steps - the very ones I ran when I first began. She took a lot of flak for wearing it, but it helped her. I still get weird looks for carrying my clip board - but, it's a tool more valuable then my stethascope. My advice is to sit down and look at your problem areas and find solutions. Then revise those solutions on a regular basis. Before long, you will be flying free.

    Good Luck
  11. by   OneRN
    Quote from walkmygardenpath
    I remember my first days on the job as a brand new nurse. I was so excited and had gotten almost straight A's in school. But, it only took my 10 mins to realize that my schooling as good as it was, didn't really prepare me for floor nursing.

    The nurse I followed for the first week was 75 years old and had artheritis really bad. She walked slowly - with a noticeable limp. But, she could run circles around me. She would give me a an easy pt and take a hard one. She would be finished and drinking coffee while I continued to slave away on the easy one. The thing I noticed about my mentor was she was organized, but afterall she had been doing this for 50 years. She would know exactly what to bring to do a dressing change or instance. I thought I did too. But, I was always forgetting something thing or dropping something, having to run back and get more supplies. I believe I put on more miles running back and forth the first few months than I'd like to admit.

    Now it's 8 years later. When I am the nurse to "train in" a new nurse, I always tell them about my first week. Then I try to teach them organziation. It is one of the things that will give you the time you seek. Also your skills will improve and become automatic. At first I double checked and triple checked everything. But, now the information is pretty well set in stone. I spent a lot of time following techs and others trying to figure out the gaps in my education, - I still do, but, it doesn't consume me the way it used to.

    When your in a room, forget everyone else for the moment. I carry a clip board around with me all the time. I keep charts of anything which gives me trouble. I use it to write down all the little things that need to be done at some time during my shift, so I don't forget. This frees up my mind to do whats in front of me. I refer to it often, and it has saved me many times from forgetting a detail which could bite me in the rear later.

    I see other new nurses doing things that help them. One nurse I worked with wore a painters 1/2 apron around her waist. In it she put a little of everything she could forget. It saved her tons of steps - the very ones I ran when I first began. She took a lot of flak for wearing it, but it helped her. I still get weird looks for carrying my clip board - but, it's a tool more valuable then my stethascope. My advice is to sit down and look at your problem areas and find solutions. Then revise those solutions on a regular basis. Before long, you will be flying free.

    Good Luck
    I'm in the same boat as the OP, except I'm on a stepdown floor. Nevertheless, your post really spoke to me and provided me with encouragement.
  12. by   gypsyangelrn
    Congrats on making it!! I have been a RN for 28 years....and still remember my 1st job.....I felt like you did. After changing jobs numerous times through the years and being a traveling nurse, the beginning of any new job is very stressful. Just learning how things are done and where things are can create that "frazzled" feeling.

    Don't let it get you down. Remember that you have alot of knowledge...believe in yourself. The externals will come. The suggestions of the previous posters are great....I fill my pockets will little things....tape, alcohol pads, etc. and list priorities on my care sheet. Your speed and organization will improve with time and becoming comfortable with your unit.

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