I'm scared, is this normal or should I run?

  1. I've been an LPN for 3 years now all of which has been spent in LTC. I am taking my RN boards in about a month and I'm not sure where to go next. The nursing home is not for me, I do know that much. I love the hospital setting, especially the trauma ICU where I spent many clinical days. However I'm scared... Really I'm scared of any setting thats different that what I'm doing now. I've learned very little in my 3 years, it seems like any time someone starts to get "bad" we just sent them out. Everyone tells me this is a normal feeling and once I am on the floor with my preceptor it will all start to flow and ill learn more than I ever imagined. But what if I forget something, what if I run a drip at the wrong rate or misinterpret someone's symptoms? Any advice, are my feelings/thoughts normal or should I stay away from acute care?
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    About Kgibson089

    Joined: Sep '12; Posts: 4; Likes: 1


  3. by   Sun0408
    Stop, you are putting the wagon before the horse. If you land an ICU job you will not be alone, many offer long orientations with classroom time not counting the time of the unit working side by side with your preceptor. You will not be expected to manage drips right from the start so you would be eased into it. And finally, you are never alone. You will have co-workers, charge nurse, MD's etc to ask, guide and help you through the "bad" pts that are crumping.

    It is challenging and yes you will learn a ton. If the ICU is where you want to be, go for it. I had one year floor experience before I transferred to the ICU and haven't left. I love it. Fear is normal but it should push you to learn more, not stop you in your tracks..

    Good luck on the NCLEX :0 Oh and you have learned more than you think, you know meds, time management, prioritization. I'm sure you know when "things are just not right with your pt" same things will carry over to any ICU or acute care unit..
  4. by   healthstar
    In my nursing orientation I learned that the best nursing school I attended taught me nothing about reality, it was all imaginary. School prepares you to pass boards not become a nurse, no skills of survival! Good luck on Nclex! Make sure you know how to prioritize and do lots of questions , READ rationales!
  5. by   nrsang97
    I totally agree with Sun0408. You wont be alone. You know more than you think.
  6. by   fmxkrazyone
    The floor that you are hired to work on will create an orientation based upon the focus of their unit. If it's a cardio floor you will go through intense cardio training and classes. I just started on a neuro floor and I've been going through many classes and my orientation has been focused around neuro assessments, subtle symptoms, etc. I've been a nurse for almost 2 years but I feel like I'm starting over on this floor, but it's a good thing because they are showing me the way they want things done. I also do a lot of studying on my own time about common meds given on that floor, things to watch out, stuff like that. Don't be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone, there is a huge world out there as far as nursing goes. Good luck on your boards!!
  7. by   anotherone
    I have usually been a worrier and too scared of the unknown. i am a super underachiever. i always worry about, what if? i dont like to be lost or not know everything so i settle a lot in life and try not to change or venture out. sometimes i really regret it and all the time i waste/d because of those feelings. time that keeps going and will never come back meanwhile i just get older and older. i find it more difficult to change as time goes on. i work in med surg and worry about being too skillless ir stupid to go somewhere else. in icu you will still get an orientation and wont be alone. can you keep the ltc job prn , just in case? that is what i would try to do.
  8. by   BSNbeauty
    I went to ICU from LTC so I know the feeling. I'm currently in the ED, and its the same as the previous posters have said. You are never alone in a code or when a patient goes bad. Stick with the basics. If your pt. is overly axious maybe they can't breathe? Get help if you get a gut feeling and cannot quite think it through.
  9. by   rehric00
    First off, good luck on NCLEX!! Do plenty of Q's, thats the best way to prepare!

    About the ICU, I am a new grad as well. I have a BSN and I have taken/passed boards. Throughout my last semester of school, I KNEW I wanted to work in the ICU. I knew of several girls that worked in the ICU right out of school. Yes, they are doing fine too. I had my heart set on it. However, the closer I got to graduation, the more terrified I became. Now mind you, I have several years CNA experience and I graduated top of my class and I probably would have functioned OK in the ICU, I decided to go with some general med surg and get my feet wet.

    You say you have years experience as an LPN in LTC.. That is not to be discounted, however, I would suggest "learning to be an RN" on a med/surg unit first. Maybe within the same organization that way, by the time you are ready to transfer, you have a good hold on the facility, the docs, the policies, and way things flow. I am very happy that I did not jump right into the ICU and that I am going to get a good rounded experience from the med surg unit. Then in 6 months, if I decide to transfer, I will feel that much more confident that I "know the flow" of the facility. It will make the already stressful introduction to the ICU not as bad.

    Whatever you decide to do, good luck!
  10. by   Kgibson089
    Thank you all so much for your comments. And as sun0408 said I do still have to pass boards and land the job first. However it makes me feel better to know that I will have support no matter where I'm at whether its an ICU or MedSurg floor.
  11. by   mindlor
    All normal feelings. Follow your dreams and your heart and do not let self doubt or external naysayers hold you back.

    Soar with the eagles.

    Best of luck!!