How do you get pass the first day fears

  1. Wow, I got my first nursing position this week at one of the local hospitals. It is a med/surg floor on 11p-7a. I really didn't want nights and would have rather had 3p-11p, but I took this because I have student loan which needs to be paid.

    I am so filled with fear it is unreal. I should be happy, but I am scared. Is this normal? My husband is more excited then I am. I really thought I would have reacted different to getting this job.

    Will the headache and flipping stomach go away? How did you get pass these feelings?
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  2. 16 Comments

  3. by   fergus51
    You are completely normal!!! The nurse who precepted me in my first real job told me that any nurse who says she wasn't nervous for her first job is either dellusional or lying. I say just show up and don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it. I am sure you'll do fine if you just remember to breathe. Good luck!
  4. by   purplemania
    Normal anxiety - it will go away when your confidence builds. You are having to adjust to a new role, new environment, etc. and probably not wound down from being in school. Keep a little diary at end of shift to record what you learned today. Just notes. Later you can look back and see what all you accomplished. Do not be afraid to ask questions. Even grouchy people know something and one day you will look back at all this and say WOW! BTW-I graduated in Memphis too and later moved. Still miss the music.
  5. by   nur20
    HELLO NEW NURSE, YOU WOULD NOT BE NORMAL IF YOUR STOMACH WAS NOT FLIPPING. THEY REALIZE THAT YOU ARE NEW. DON'T BE AFRAID TO ASK QUESTIONS AND FOR HELP IF YOU NEED IT. THE ONLY DANGER IS IN PERTENDING THAT YOU KNOW SOMETHING THAT YOU REALLY DON'T. SOMETIMES THERE'S SOME GOOD SOUL THAT WILL TAKE YOU UNDER HER/HIS WING TO HELP GUIDE YOU.LET US KNOW HOW YOU ARE DOING. WE ARE HERE TO SUPPORT YOU.








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    Last edit by nur20 on Sep 29, '01
  6. by   Scarlette
    Hi Wendy!!

    I know EXACTLY what you're going through....I start my first nursing job on Monday and I'm SCARED TO DEATH!! I've been sick to my stomach this past week, can't sleep, can't think about anything else!!! I'm glad I'm not the only one feeling this way! I'll be working 7pm-7am on the med/surg floor also.

    My boyfriend keeps saying that I'm acting weird and that I should be happy....well, I am very happy but at the same time scared, nervous, excited....everything wrapped up together.

    Feel free to pm me and we can be nervous and scared together. LOL
  7. by   Totone656
    Scarlette I was sure it was me. I feel like at any moment I am going to burst into tears.
    My mind keeps telling me this normal, but my heart just keeps the stress as high as it can be.
    My husband just keeps telling me to remember the count....ya know Count DeMony from History of the World. I know he is trying to get my mind off of what will be happening Monday. He has been very supportive to a fault.
    fergus51, purplemania, and nur20 thanks for the support. I just don't feel like I know a durn thing let alone know enough to care for 15 patients. Gee, so much for graduating with a 3.45 GPA cause right now it doesn't mean a thing.
  8. by   frustratedRN
    i was scared at first too. its a lot of responsiblitly and i was worried that someone would uncover my terrible secret. i was sure i had no clue what i was doing. id look at the other nurses and they all knew what they were doing. id look at my fellow students and they all knew what they were doing. what would ppl think when they found out i didnt know what i was doing...lol
    i soon found out that i DID know what i was doing. many times BETTER than some of the older nurses.
    confidence comes with the experience.
    youll get through your first days just fine. its hard for sure but its also cool because you will have the opportunity to see how much you know...of course you arent going to know it all.
    most, not all, nurses will help you and you ask questions. follow your instincts.
    if you arent sure about something ask somebody.
    i have been discouraged by some of the staff on my floor for calling respiratory to ask a question about breathing treatments (dont bother them) only to find they are extremely helpful.
    i dont hesitate to call pharmacy to ask things either.
    or any of the other ancillary departments. i have NEVER once not been helped or been brushed off by any of them.
    your instincts will tell you what to do. you need more to learn hospital procedure and how it applies to care.

    whether or not you realize it, in school you are taught more than clinical tasks....you are taught to think like a nurse.
    you will come to rely on that.

    good luck ....enjoy your first days...they are going to go by fast.
    let us know what happens....
  9. by   laurasjj
    I really don't have any advice for you, since I'm still a student. But I'm from Memphis and am wondering which hospital you're starting at and what floor?

    Good Luck!!
    laura
  10. by   OzNurse69
    Congratulations on your new job! As someone who has been in nursing for quite a few years, and preceptored many new grads, I have found that the ones who are terrified of making mistakes learn faster, listen longer and make far fewer mistakes than those students who graduate thinking they know it all. I would much rather mentor someone who was frightened of what they could do to a pt, as they consider the consequences of their actions and don't just accept the books and rush in like a bull at a gate.
    I think from your attitude that you will be a wonderful nurse. Don't expect to know everything about everyone on the first day, and keep asking questions. I still do, and I have been doing this job for 15 years.
  11. by   frustratedRN
    oz...that was wonderful.
    wish i had you for my preceptor
  12. by   Totone656
    OZNurse99, I sure hope you are right. After the first 2 days of hospital orientation I now know I do not know a thing! Tomorrow is the first day of the 2 day nursing orientation to the hospital. I have been unsuccessful in trying to get in touch with my Nurse Manager, so I am not sure where I go from there.

    The headache is gone and has been replaced by heartburn.

    Laura, I will be at the Germantown hospital.
  13. by   shannonRN
    i have been a nurse for a year and a half. i started on a rehab unit and left that floor to have surgery. only three months ago i started a new position on a med-surg floor and i was feeling the exact same way...i still am!!! in my opinion, being nervous and asking questions shows that you do care and want to do the best that you can. i hope that i will never lose my curiousity and desire to be the best nurse that i can be. and if that day comes, i hope that someone makes me leave the profession. just this evening i had a patient take a turn for the worse and i turned to my colleagues. thankfully they were all wonderful; so helpful and supportive. yes, i felt like i should have known more, but i also have to tell myself that i don't have the experience that i have and they need to understand the same thing. i agree with frustratedRN...confidence comes with experience. good luck with the job!!!
  14. by   frustratedRN
    now wait a minute....you know a LOT about nursing....you just dont know anything about working at that hospital....there is a difference.
    all those policies and procedures will come in time. of course you are learning a LOT of NEW things but that doesnt mean you dont know anything. YOU DO OR YOU WOULD NEVER HAVE PASSED YOUR BOARDS.
    take your time and learn your job. my (real) manager advised me not to join any hospital commitees for 6 months. she said its going to take me at least that long to learn my job.

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