I'm afraid that I'm a bad nurse.

  1. 1
    Hello All:

    I am a relatively new nurse (practicing 8 months). At the time I started my first job, I entered with the excitement and enthusiasm that accompanies most new endeavors. Although nervous and extremely stressed, I persevered through my first few months with few incidents.

    But I find myself consistently plagued by a sense of dread. This feeling that I am missing something. During my shift, the tasks seem overwhelming. Tasks.... Even with CA fantastic 5 pt ratio, the needs of my patients can be too much for me to hold. I wish I could pull up a chair, converse with my clients... be in an environment that isn't wound up so tight at the hilt... anyone get my drift?

    Perhaps Med/Surg just isn't my niche.

    I have considered searching out opportunities outside the hospital. Perhaps home health, primary care, or even pursuing an advanced practice degree.

    I know this post is a bit dis-jointed. And maybe it's just the rain outside talking. But I'm desperately afraid that someday, all the little things that I've missed because I've felt so under the gun are going to come crashing down. I don't want to be that nurse.

    Anyway, any thoughts are appreciated. It's good therapy for us all.

    thesimpsonslover1 likes this.

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  3. 23 Comments...

  4. 4
    You are brand new, give yourself a chance for it to slow down. Right now everything is a whirl wind. You want to be perfect and are probably comparing yourself to exp. Nurses. Just do the best you can, ask for help and ask questions. One day, you will find everything has slowed down. You will look around thinking, wow, I had such a good day. Got most things done and in a good time. That point comes to everyone at different times. But it will come and you will be glad you stuck it out. Peace!

    *clarification*. Slow down does not mean a slow down in work load. It is a football term associated with new quarterbacks. It is when they start to see the field more clearly and in effect, everything slows down so they make better decisions, and confidence is increased.
    Last edit by Chin up on Mar 20, '11 : Reason: Clarification
    anon456, PurpleLVN, raincitynurse, and 1 other like this.
  5. 1
    As a home health nurse of 8 months I definitely have time for converstation with my patients-but prepare to take a pay cut.
    Not_A_Hat_Person likes this.
  6. 0
    I think that is normal. I feel the same way! Try doubling your patient load ( I had 8-10) . I hated always leaving feeling like I did not do a good job, or couldn't physically keep up my job even without taking breaks or even bathroom breaks.

    I changed jobs, left med surg. I work in a clinic now and LOVE it! Just keep looking, you need to find something that is a good fit for you. But I do not regret any of the time spent in med surg, I learned so much! You could not pay me to go back though. Just look around, try a different type of job.
  7. 5
    Quote from dankimal
    I wish I could pull up a chair, converse with my clients

    This right here, says to me that you are a great nurse. good luck.
    Kaley1, miranda819, leslie :-D, and 2 others like this.
  8. 0
    I have been doing this job for a lot of years and I rarely go home feeling like I didn't miss something. I think it's part of the job. Can you ask for a review from your peers to see what they think?
    Cut yourself some slack. You have only been a nurse for 8 months and med/surg floors are busy. You have to multi task a lot.
    Have you thought about ICU? More intensive but less patients?
  9. 0
    Thanks, everyone. I know it will get better, and relative to my first few months (see my previous posts) I am doing much better on the floor. And I have no regrets regarding the invaluable experience med/surg had given me, and to missladyrn, I have often wondered how anyone could handle more than five! My hat's off to you!

    Cheers to you all!
  10. 1
    I have though about ICU, and I have seriously considered it. But part of me (perhaps the "grass is greener syndrome") is looking outside of acute care altogether and leaning more towards primary care. My nursing program kinda shortchanged me a bit in that arena, but we were in a rural area with little clinical space, so I am looking at shadowing opportunities at local clinics and seeing if that's a better fit. Regarding home care, it sounds like a dream come true, but before I am eligible for most positions I would need a few more years in the hospital.

    So we'll see. My year review is coming up and my DON is fantastic. I feel completely comfortable bringing this up with her.
    leslie :-D likes this.
  11. 0
    You are not a bad nurse. You are a new nurse. Simple as that. I had that dread for over a year. And it reemerged at one point for me actually.

    I started in med/surg, tele floating. i hated it. I wanted to get to know my patient, their diagnoses and help heal them. But I had no time to do that. I was med pushing and charting and trying to get control of the crazy patients. Then after 4 months I was offered a job in MICU. It turned out to be a good fit. with 2-3 patient (only 1 on CA!) I got to know my patients inside out, use my critical thinking skills, help them, help their families... may it be high pressure and really crazy at times, it was the kind of crazy I craved.

    So take some time, find out what kind of nursing is for you. ANd again, for the record, you are not a bad nurse.
  12. 0
    You can't get less stressed than extended care with a home care client, but as stated before, expect a pay cut. You can talk with your patient to your heart's content and their tolerance level during an eight hour shift.

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