New Grad Reality Shock

  1. :uhoh21: I have been hearing a lot lately about what REALLY hits you when you graduate and how much there is that you don't know and will need to learn. Can anyone tell me their experiences with reality shock out of school and/or why it happens......and/or tips on how to deal. It will be nice to know what to expect when I get out there. I am graduating in December this year and VERY nervous!! I'm thinking OMG, I am gonna be a nurse? Responsible for someone by myself!!!:chuckle
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   Ortho_RN
    Well I can't say I have had "reality shock".... But I have learned that the "perfect" way you are taught in school, is no way how it is done in the real world... There just isn't enough time, you learn the short cuts and of course you are still aseptic/sterile whatever you need.... but you do learn to cut corners...
  4. by   jemommyRN
    The only thing that I've heard is that the nursing school teaches you the "perfect scenario" i.e. the doctor does this, the nurse does that. But the reality check is that it just doesn't go like that. Don't be scared because wherever you work, you'll get the hang of things.
  5. by   KimRN03
    There is a reality shock when you finish school, but it is nice to finally be in charge of what you are doing. I really didn't feel like a nurse until I was completely responsible for my own patients. There is nobody standing over you to make you nervous. Just ask questions if you are unsure about how to do something. Every good nurse knows that you don't stop learning once you graduate. There will be things that you don't know and that's allright! Not even the doctors know it all. You may even get a chance to teach some veteran nurses something. I taught a nurse of 25+ years how to put teds on correctly. She had no idea there was a right and a wrong way to put them on. So, just relax for the time being. Enjoy the rest of school!
  6. by   meownsmile
    I agree i think the reality shock comes when you realize what they teach in school just "aint so". Very little you are taught by the book will follow the book in the real world. Learning your own routine/skill implementation is actually a relief. Just dont throw these comments at your instructor because even though they know this, they would rather you not find out until after your out of school. DEAL?
  7. by   NewEngland-RN
    The jitters are only natural. Book/academic knowledge serves as a rough template for the real world.
    If your lucky you will find an institution that will support you with (good) preceptorship etc..A supportive environment for a new grad makes all the difference.

    I remember (back in the day).I was a new ADRN.My first job was as a staff RN which magically became charge nurse after about three days on the job-Damn! I didnt think I was that good! Well, It was a pretty sobering experience to say the least and I certainly got my feet wet.

    So dont sweat it. A little trepidation is only natural.

    Good luck.

    Fast Eddie...
  8. by   VivaLasViejas
    It's been my experience, both as a new grad myself and later as a preceptor for new grads, that "RN" stands for Rookie Nurse the first year :chuckle

    Yes, it's quite intoxicating to finally be on your own.......but also scary! The first year is when you learn the difference between books, school, and real life: let's face it, NOBODY has time to fold the washcloth into leaflets when preparing to do pericare.......you're lucky if you can find a spare minute to run and get the packaged bath sheets out of the warmer, rather than use the ones that have been sitting on the patient's nightstand for two days.

    The first year is also when you'll make probably 80% of the mistakes you will ever make in your career, and learn 90% of the day-to-day stuff that happens in a hospital.....including the politics :stone . You'll overreact to some situations, and underreact to others; you'll give way too many breaks to aides who should be called on their lack of a work ethic and demand too much from those who already work hard; you'll take too much crap from management and not enough from that crusty old LPN who's forgotten more about bedside nursing than you'll ever learn.

    But once you've gotten past that first year, you're smart enough to know that you'll NEVER know it all........and believe me, within five years of getting your degree, your education will be obsolete! That's how fast things change in this profession, which a) guarantees you'll never be bored, and b) makes it essential to be open to new learning experiences.

    JMHO.
  9. by   Tweety
    I agree with what you guys are saying here. The "shock" was it ain't like the book says. To me it was also all the stuff I learned became a little jumbled up in my head such as "I know I read about Guilliume Berre, now what is it?", "What is a normal PTT again?". So much stuff.

    Good luck. Somehow we all survive and we each have our own journey. Just remember to ask for help when you need it, and ask questions when you don't know something.
  10. by   ShelleyERgirl
    Quote from mjlrn97
    It's been my experience, both as a new grad myself and later as a preceptor for new grads, that "RN" stands for Rookie Nurse the first year :chuckle

    Yes, it's quite intoxicating to finally be on your own.......but also scary! The first year is when you learn the difference between books, school, and real life: let's face it, NOBODY has time to fold the washcloth into leaflets when preparing to do pericare.......you're lucky if you can find a spare minute to run and get the packaged bath sheets out of the warmer, rather than use the ones that have been sitting on the patient's nightstand for two days.
    JMHO.
    Hallelujah! You mean I don't have to fold the washcloth into four cute little squares? yea, I almost failed my bedbath check off because I couldn't grasp that technique, not to mention the fact that my stupid mannequin's arm fell off onto the floor, didn't exactly help my self confidence either! :chuckle
  11. by   purplemania
    School teaches you the ideal situation, and creates a sort of standard by which you will know if you are measuring up. If you have time, read M. Kramer's book "Reality Shock: Why nurses leave nursing". It was written years ago but the info is VERY interesting. The study she did was patterned after one done on test pilots, and can be done with other jobs as well. The important thing is, be flexible and let it flow.

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