In need of advice/encouragement

  1. I'm a new grad RN. Working for about five months on a med-surg unit primarily ortho/neuro but basically we get a little of everything. Also as a "floater" I've experienced oncology and renal floors as well. My problem is that I'm feeling extremely overwhelmed. I went into this profession thinking I liked helping people. However I find myself barely spending five minutes at a time with my patients and the rest playing catch-up with my meds and Dr.'s orders not to mention any other crisis that arise. Then there are those that don't want your help- hostile, combative and cofused patients. On occasion I come home miserable wondering if I gave adequate care to my patients. I've talked to some of my colleagues who tell me it gets easier after you find your own "routine". The others seem too stressed out themselves, not to mention the Dr.'s. I was taught to ask questions especially when in doubt but at times made to feel inadequate when I do. I'm thinking I made the wrong career choice. I dread going to work each day/eve/night. Has anyone else ever felt this way? Any advice appreciated!!!!
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   njohnson
    I am a first semester nursing student enrolled in an ADN program. I have worked as a CNA and CMA in nursing homes and I have seen some of what you are going through. The LVN's in nursing homes have bearly enough time to pass all their meds. I don't know how anyone expects them to get done all that should be accomplished. In this day when med errors are so serious, they're just too easy to make because of the rush, rush, rush. I think the only way to change these circumstances is to encourage more people to join the nursing profession. Everyone is so understaffed and with the baby boomers nearing retirement age, things don't look good for the future. If we can get more people interested in health care, maybe we can fix staffing problems and be able to get back to the true idea of nursing:caring for patients. Good luck to you.
  4. by   haddair
    Shami, I do believe that the nursing staff is right. Once you get a routine I am sure that things will smooth out. Maybe you should think about getting out of the med-surg unit but you might want to give the unit a few more months (up to a year) before you transfer out of it. Honestly, I am only a junior in RN school and I am already having certain doubts. But then I remember why I got into the profession and I stick in there. I know that I love helping people and that it does bring me a sense of satisfaction. Hang in there girl and if you decide that med-surg isn't for you then switch units. Remember why you got in nursing and then decide if this was the right career choice for you.
    Originally posted by shami:
    I'm a new grad RN. Working for about five months on a med-surg unit primarily ortho/neuro but basically we get a little of everything. Also as a "floater" I've experienced oncology and renal floors as well. My problem is that I'm feeling extremely overwhelmed. I went into this profession thinking I liked helping people. However I find myself barely spending five minutes at a time with my patients and the rest playing catch-up with my meds and Dr.'s orders not to mention any other crisis that arise. Then there are those that don't want your help- hostile, combative and cofused patients. On occasion I come home miserable wondering if I gave adequate care to my patients. I've talked to some of my colleagues who tell me it gets easier after you find your own "routine". The others seem too stressed out themselves, not to mention the Dr.'s. I was taught to ask questions especially when in doubt but at times made to feel inadequate when I do. I'm thinking I made the wrong career choice. I dread going to work each day/eve/night. Has anyone else ever felt this way? Any advice appreciated!!!!
  5. by   TravelingTexan
    Nursing is stressful. period. All units, all variations. But, with time comes more confidence in what you are doing. And that helps. Having someone to talk to about job related stress also helps. You are not alone. Give yourself a little time before you back out all together.
    And DO NOT stop asking questions. Consider the source of that sarcasm and condescension, and remain secure in the knowledge that by continuing to ask questions that you are still growing and learning. The very people who are giving you that attitude will one day turn around and see a secure and knowledgable nurse where a nervous grad once stood.
    Remember that there is no way to learn everything there is to know about nursing overnight, or even in the time it took you to get through nursing school. If you are going to be a good nurse you will still be learning after you have been at it for umpteen years.
    Hope this helps.
  6. by   Mijourney
    Hi shami,
    You're expressing the frustrations of many a nurse early in their career. I noted that you wrote in your post that you float. Curious. Is that standard where you work for new grads? Do you enjoy floating? Are you working in the same hospital you did your training in? Do you like the areas in which you work? What was your favorite nursing course in school? I think that med-surg is great for establishing a foundation, but I feel you should request not to be floated until you get your feet planted and your confidence up. You could request this on the grounds that it would help your efforts to improve the quality of service to the customers. Hopefully, it will help you as well by decreasing your frustration level and potential for a full blown burn out early in your nursing career. Do you have a mentor? Have you discussed your frustrations with any of your former nursing instructors? Best wishes. I hope you can stick this out.
  7. by   shami
    Thank you very much for your responses and advice. It helps to know that there are others that feel the way I do or have gone through it and have come out stronger and wiser. I'm still hanging in there. Thanks again!
  8. by   NurseJenn
    I am an RN five months out of school and work on a 42 bed medical and tele floor. I am fortunate to be working with a great group of nurses that have taken me under their wings. It does get easier everyday, but there are some days that I never come up for air. I have refused to float at this time, and find it easier to work in the same place, with the same people, and same DR.s. May be you should give up floating for awhile, and find your routine in one place. I also always ask myself at the end of the day if I did the best job that I could have possibly done. If the answer is yes, I try to forget about the past day, and tackle the upcoming one, praying it will be a calm day.
    Don't give up, you are probably doing better then you think!
  9. by   macie
    I also am a somewhat new grad having now worked a med-surg unit for a year. I agree that at times it becomes extremely frustrating and you feel as if the main reason that you are there-to care for pts.-has been forgotten by the system. However, I encourage you to stick with it! I've found that some days you just have to tell yourself that one person can only do so much and go home knowing that you did the best that you could for your pts. Hang in there! and Good Luck!!

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