New Nurse feeling overwhelmed! - page 2

Ok, so I am a new grad nurse and I love my new job on an Oncology floor. The staff has been exceptional and I'm learning alot. I have about 2 months under my belt, and I have some good days and... Read More

  1. by   Jennerizer
    Everything you're feeling is perfectly normal. I have kept an online journal since my first day of nursing over a year & a half ago just so I'd have something that I could look back on & see how far I've come. The confidence does come with experience. The link is in my profile if you're interested.

    Csiln - don't be afraid to try again. I, too, have worked at a hospital where the staff was just awful to one another. Another nurse & I were told directly...word for word that we would be chewed up & spit out until we quit. Lovely! After 6 weeks, I had enough of it. No one needs to work in those conditions. :smiley_ab

    I work at a hospital now where the staff is 100% supportive of one another & there is always someone willing to help - whether it's with advice or actual hands-on knowledge. It really makes a difference having a staff that is not only supportive, but trustworthy. When I have a patient taking a turn for the worse, everyone jumps in to help all that they can - that's how it should be if you ask me. Don't let one hospital convince you that all hospitals are not an enjoyable place to work, ok?

    Jen
  2. by   HollieRN
    I'm new as well ... I have three whole months 'under my belt'. I work in OB/Gyne. I like OB a lot, but Gyne kicks my butt on a regular basis.

    I'm in the 'perinatal float pool' ... I orient to Pediatrics in a few weeks. I JUST got (somewhat) comfy on OB/Gyne and now i'm moving again

    So ... I feel your pain. Hang in there.
  3. by   Tweety
    Sounds like very typical new grad feelings. Give yourself credit for all you do and all you do know.

    I still go home some days overwhelmed feeling like a total loser dope every now and then. It keeps me on my toes.
  4. by   justavolunteer
    I am 'justavolunteer' and there are times I feel overwhelmed! It can be hard even for me to keep track of all I need to do on a pt floor. (I obviously don't have as much responsibility as a nurse.)
    I have had new nurses tell me, " I feel like I don't know what I'm doing at all". I watch them & think "I should be half as good".
    I have a full-time job outside of healthcare. I get the "overwhelmed" feeling even after all these years when I need to learn something new (computer uses, math formulas, whatever).
    Hang in there new nurses! You will be fine with experience. Besides, it isn't usually someone who's a little nervous who makes a really bad mistake. It's the person who thinks he or she can do no wrong who will drive off a cliff shortly!
  5. by   P_RN
    csiln.....re: tears
    I was an older graduate having worked in a doctor's office for 7 years. School came very easy to me. I was used to being the top of any class. I finished with honors.

    I didn't work as an RN until I got my board scores back. It took up to 3 months. I worked many places-voc rehab., headstart, surgery....and finally just gave up and was a SAHM. Here I was wanting for half my life wanting to be nothing but a nurse and I hated every minute.

    Finally I saw an ad in the newspaper saying tell us your hours and days and we will find you a place to work float/P_RN.

    We had 1 car and lived 45 miles from town. Hubby would work night shift, bring the car home and I'd turn around and go to work 8:30a-5p. Good for me......BAD as far as the rest of the staff felt. I got no help.

    My orientation was Monday sign some papers, tuesday take fire safety, Wed take CPR, Thurs IV class, Friday Team leader team I.

    Oh yes Saturday they called me in to be charge nurse on a floor I wasn't assigned to and they had 1 LPN to help.

    Staff can be brutal to the new person. I was already 90 min into a shift when I got started. Always 90 min behind. They left at 330, and I had to finish up my work by then also so I could pass meds at 5 PM for the second shift.
    I'd never seen an MAR before, never used a med cart,in clinicals our meds were in cubbyholes with the patients name on them....we used drug cards in clinicals 1"x1" cards with the med and time on them. they fit into the front of a metal cup holder.
    Meds got documented on the nurses notes in school . No.


    when I was in school MORPHINE was a tablet you disolved in saline and drew up in a syringe. Did anyone show me different? No it was kick the new nurse.

    And THAT is why new grads feel like they do.


    So the tears. But I learned one thing. How not to be a B________________h to new nurses. I learned that students and NGrads loved to watch procedures. I'd set up a chest tube bazzillion times so I'd go get some new folks and let them watch, then help them catch back up. Do a bed or bath or ambulate while they watched. I already had a reputation as a know-it-all so I answered questions and helped calculations etc.

    I was in was the first group of actual preceptors the hosp, had. Over the years I "raised" several dozen new nurses. Some stayed, some went but I want to say that I hope I never "ate a new nurse". If I did, let me know and I will apologise on the spot.

    I can't work anymore and I miss it. But if ever I can help just PM me.
    Last edit by P_RN on Sep 6, '06
  6. by   kirsnikity
    this is a great thread. i haven't graduated yet, but there are some great tips here. neetnik, you sound very well organized. i'm going to try to create a similar system for myself when i get out on the floor.
  7. by   Lara911
    Welcome to nursing!! I so understand what you say, I'M a nurse since 10 years but just start a new job and feel completely out of the game...I go back each day because I quit my last job...but day by day, it will come, did my first scrubbing on my own today so!! You can do it...we need you so much as a new nurse, accept the support that yours colleagues offers, you need them but they need you too!! Goodluck!
  8. by   CRNAorBust
    I agree with everyone else's response. You really need good patient mentoring in order to learn this stuff in total. I graduated in New York and I tried ICU first right out of school last July and they were NOT patient at all. If you couldn't grasp things in a linear fashion they didn't want you...period. So I had to move to Connecticut to find a hospital that would allow me to feel like I was not catching on (they are telling me I"m on track also) and making some mistakes here and there. You can't learn if you DON"T make mistakes. Hopefully we don't make any that HURT someone but learning means making mistakes. I'm on a med surg floor now and my day goes in two gears walk and run. To be able to get out in time working with 5 or more patients you have to be organized, you need to have fellow nurses who are willing to help when you need it. And you have to just know that there will be some good days and some ****** ones. I hate the ****** ones because one of those i was actually pulled into my managers' office because a PA spoke to her about a BP that I didn't catch. Made me feel pretty bad as you'd expect. Wanted to quit nursing etc etc. But I'm hoping this will get better. The key I feel is to try to hold out for one year. Once that year is past you don't have to explain as much about why you're moving to another position AND you can then move to a position more to your liking or more to your needs if the one you're in isn't working for you. It's a critical period of time for a new nurse.
  9. by   SmilingBluEyes
    We all went through all this as new nurses. I can certainly remember the nerves, anxiety and feeling of knowing nothing (or less than, some days). Just stick with it....keep plugging away. It will come with time and you will feel better. That first year is VERY overwhelming. But it's really supposed to be. You will come through it!
  10. by   MimismomRN
    You guys have read my mind. I am a new LVN struggling now for five months in med surg with 12-14 patients. Most days I cry and want to give up or say what am I doing this for at this age (49). Am I nuts? Do I even want to get my RN really (in school now)???? Most RNs I work with are good, supportive but there are a few mean ones who make me feel like an idiot and I think it makes their day to do so. I hope it gets better is all I can say. There's so much I don't know. Not even sure how to hang IV bags yet, even though I just got IV certified. The orientation was not very good at my hospital. God bless all of us new nurses is all I can say. Thanks to all the experienced, kind and supportive ones. You are my heros. New LVN in California.
  11. by   David31
    Hi, I am also a new nurse of only a few months. I work in an ICU stepdown unit. I feel your pain. The other day I was running all day which we all know about. My health tech advises me of one of my patients b/s level. So I go to hook his IV back up to his insulin drip after he took a walk with a family member. He swings and hits me in the side of the face, closed fist. It threw me because the patient had not shown any agitation all day. I'm not justifying that by any means but the patient has some neuro problems. Anyway, believe it or not I kind of felt like I was failing because I wasn't controlling my patient properly. So that is one experience of mine. But I've also learned a ton so far and have great nurses on my unit. So hang in there with the rest of us and become the best nurse you can. I'm sure you are like a lot of us who are actually harder on ourselves than others are!!
  12. by   777RNThatsMe
    [quote=anne74]I feel your pain. I have about 7 months under my belt. Over the past 6 months I've cried a lot, lost a ton of weight, and felt stupid and grossly inadequate.


    Oh my gosh...that sounds like nursing school!!!!!!(except I gained not lost weight I'd LOVE to loose weight!).... I was kind of hoping that stuff was overwith but..... we'll see..still looking for the right job! (well at least the day shift ...... )
  13. by   caroladybelle
    Quote from nextnursedani

    I have about 2 months under my belt, and I have some good days and some awful days. I feel like a complete basket case on some days because I feel like I know nothing!

    Everyone says that I won't feel comfortable for about the first year. Who can go a year feeling stupid and dumb in many of their choices??
    Dani,
    I graduated from Nursing school in 1993 and have been in onco/hemo since 1995. I work as a traveler and have worked in onco/hemo units in three of the top 15 hospitals in the nation. Including one consistantly ranked number one in the nation. I have managers from my facilities rate me quite well on evaluations.

    I STILL feel like a total dunce at times, and not always comfortable. It is impossible to know everything and keep in line with every MD's preferences. No matter where I go, there will always be new unusual things and different ways of doing things...and new ways to mess up.

    On the day you feel completely and totally comfortable as an nurse, well, you may be stagnanting. Nursing is a fluid profession with new knowledge and skills to be learned, and should not stand still. It is rarely black and white like the tests in school but more often shades of grey.

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New Nurse feeling overwhelmed!