New medsurg nurse and struggling

  1. Hi everybody,

    This is my first post on this website ever. I have been reading posts, articles, and forums from this site for a while now since I started nursing school. And now I just decided to join the community!

    A little bit about myself: I graduated in May 2017. Studied for boards for about 2 months after graduation, and then took it and passed in July. I got a job offer as a staff RN, night shift, on a medsurg floor a month before I passed my boards. Now, I have been working this job for a little over 3 months.

    But I am struggling. I have anxiety and I get a tremendous amount of stress the day before I have to work; all day that day and when I drive to work. When I have a two- or three-day streak, I am always so nervous on that first night. I figured that the reason for it is because I know I have to know everything about my new 4-5 patients, or get a new admission during shift change, or get patients that are agitated or very "needy." And I know that I will have to finish my charting later in the shift, well after everybody's sleeping or I have finished med passes, which i don't always finish within the scheduled timeframe. All of this is so frustrating to me. I get very stressed when I am running behind. And it gets worse when I know I am already behind and then something comes up that needs my attention and becomes priority. Then I have to drop everything!

    I guess I didn't realize til now how dynamic nursing is, and with my personality type I am struggling with this very fact. I like routine; I like to know my patients. I hate the fact that anything can happen and I have to be ready for it! That makes me so nervous! My team on nights have been very nice and helpful. A few of them are very proactive of asking me if I need help or if they can do anything for me while I do something else. Like this one nurse offerred she could do chart checks for me while I had to set my attention on an urgent situation for one of my patients. They have been really awesome. But right now I feel so inadequate and dumb and don't know anything. I always have to ask questions.

    Maybe someone here has gone through or is going through the same thing right now? I have been trying to reframe my mindset about my situation and the fact that nursing on the medsurg floor is so dynamic and can change in a snap. (Big BUT for me here) But right now I am struggling; there are days that I would just start crying and question why I did this to myself. Anybody have any word of encouragement? I need some words of enocuragement right now. Thank you!
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   vanilla bean
    Quote from Poofy7
    Maybe someone here has gone through or is going through the same thing right now?
    You are not alone in struggling with being a new nurse. In fact, there is a whole forum on here (under Careers tab) for the trials and tribulations of the first year of nursing. You can find it here. Hang in there.
  4. by   NightNerd
    This is a common experience, but it sounds like 1) you are doing a good job of prioritizing, and 2) your co-workers recognize it! It's awesome that you have a supportive team behind you. Just make sure you are offering to help them in your moments of relative downtime, and lean on them as needed while you gain experience. Trust me, in a year you will be amazed at how much you've learned and the increased confidence and independence you have. Keep on keeping on!
  5. by   Laurenc8900
    It will get better... You are doing the right thing by working nights. Days Can be even more chaotic.

    Don't ever be afraid to ask questions.- you are NOT a bother to others. Everyone asks questions -- even the most experienced nurses. It's better to be safe, than sorry.

    You don't have to stay in that position forever. It's good that you are getting hospital experience- you will learn the most in the hospital setting.
  6. by   Poofy7
    Thank you for the link!!
  7. by   Poofy7
    Thanks! I have noticed that I ask my team if they need help more now. They have been such a good influence to me!
  8. by   NobleD'Amour
    Time management is the biggest challenge for EVERY new nurse. I used to feel so overwhelmed if i was 3 hours into my shift and hadn't charted a thing.... The biggest thing I can say, at least for me, nursing school put WAY too much emphasis on chart chart chart chart chart.... I had a very tough first 5 months of orientation because my priority was based around the damn computer... First and foremost....take care of the patient! Jot notes if need be... I can promise you that it DOES get easier!
  9. by   Crush
    Like the other posters have said, that first year or so can be a struggle but it is worth it. Sounds like you have some great co-workers. Don't be afraid to ask. But be sure to ask them if they need anything when you are able to.

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