I've been working as a new RN for 2 months now, I am still on orientation. Basically I have 3-4 patients/day somtimes up to 5 patients. I work 12 hours shift, however it is very hard for me to take my break and my lunch because everything seems to be behind. My problem is when I get home from work I still think about my patients and what happens on that day and often it affects my sleep at night. I wonders is it normal feeling? I feel too overwhelming right now, but I haven't thought about quitting yet becuase being a nurse was my dream when I was young. Could you please give me some encouragement and advises how to keep up with my work and my time time managenment.
Thank you very much for your response.
Nov 15, '00
slow down and take a deep breath, clear your head.Are you with a preceptor? or on your own completely? If you're with a preceptor, do they know how to manage their time? (sometimes we don't learn good habits.)
If there is a nurse that you feel has a good "system" ask them to share it with you. It really is all about having a routine in the first part of your shift that sets the whole tone. After I recieve my report, I turn over my paper and write my patients names on the backside about 1 inch apart and seperate them with freehand lines. Then I check the med sheets and jot the times of meds due next to these names. I attend to anything urgent or emergent. If nothing needs urgent attention, I make a quick "chart check" for any pending now or stat orders. If nothing, then I see my patients. Now-- I work intermediate ICU and have years of experience so after a while it all just flows-- but most of all don't get discouraged. There are many days (like the first day back after several off) when no matter what-- you just can't get it together, even for those of us that have done it forever.
Nov 16, '00
Keep working at it. Try to see what it is that gets you behind. For me, it was bathing on nights. I would put it off and put it off and then a crisis would happen and no one would get a bath. Now, I just get them done, and wait for the crisis. Be sure to ask for help when you need it. you do not need to be super nurse and do everything, nursing is a 24 hour job. I do think it is normal to think about the patients and that sort of thing. But you also need some sleep and some FUN! Do you have someone you went to school with (another new grad) who you can talk to? It tends to help to share experiences.
You also seem to have no idea as to how you are doing. Maybe you need to ask your manager/preceptor how they feel you are doing. You might be pleasantly surprised at what they say! Organization is difficult, but eventually you will hit on a system that works for you. Keep your chin up.