New Nurse feeling overwhelmed! - page 4

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   racefan_24
    I'm a new grad nurse who feels very overwhelmed, as well. I'm so glad to have found this forum and know that I'm not the only one feeling this way. I've always wanted to be a nurse, but have been side tracked into other careers for many years. I've recently fulfilled my dream to become a nurse, but wonder if I'm cut out for it. This thread has been very helpful and therapeutic. Last night I cried all the way home from work and vowed to not go back. After reading all the posts, I feel somewhat comforted and will continue to plug along ........
  2. by   runninggirl
    I am also new and have learned so much, but realize there is so much more to learn. Ask the questions. That is the best advice someone gave me. If I am feeling uncomfortable about doing a procedure, I drag someone in with me. People like to help and you pick up new things from different people. Good luck.
  3. by   canesha34
    I am so glad to read this thread. I have about 3 months under my belt and I always go home feeling utterly stupid. I have been depressed about this job for the last month or so and I am glad to know I am not the only new nurse that has these feelings. I seriously thought that there was something wrong with me.
  4. by   MidMaineNursingGuy
    I'm coming up on 15 months in the ED, somedays are great and I feel like I'm walking on cloud. Other days I have all I can do to remember how to sign my name to a triage sheet. Fortunately the cloud walking days are getting more frequent.

    My advice would be to remember your limitations. One of the selling points for me getting the ED job after graduation was that I have been an Army Medic for 10 years, and with that experience comes both field and hospital care. My co-workers learned of this after my interview and expected a lot from me, which I willingly accepted. Big mistake until I realized half way through my orientation what was happening.

    Your groove will come to you and you too will start having more cloud walking days than writing jibberish.

    Good Luck!
  5. by   steelydanfan
    To All the "NEWBIES":

    We do not expect you to know everything, that is why you are in orientation.
    If you feel that your preceptor does not respond to your needs; by helping you to do a self-evaluation and work out a plan for goal achievement, then find another preceptor. If the second preceptor has the same concerns, then maybe it IS time for you to take a look at your assignment and re-evaluate your skills to find a better fitting speciality. There is no shame in that, as a new grad, you simply don't know the lay of the land.
    But PLEASE don't think that going home at night thinking about ways you could have done something better means you are a failure, inept or will never succeed.
    I have been in nursing for 27 years, and I go home turning things over in my mind every day. There is always room for improvement in us all, but take satisfaction knowing you did your best, and that you will learn from, and not repeat your mistakes.
  6. by   onco_nurse
    I can relate to your feelings of inadequacy. I have been a nurse for seven years; but I'm an older nurse as this is my second career, having done officework for decades! I started out on telemetry, moved to ICU, and just this past October, transferred to oncology. I have a comfort level in oncology that I've never experienced on any other unit; probably because I am older and can relate with my patients better. However, I am only just now realizing a feeling of true competence and comfort in my work. I know that I must keep learning, and I enjoy taking courses, but I didn't believe I would ever feel as comfortable and competent as I do at this time. Stick with it; it will come to you as well...as long as you love nursing and what you are doing.
  7. by   NseEduc
    Remember that you are not alone in feeling this way. We cannot take your feelings away, but know that every new graduate feels/felt the same way. If it helps, look at what Benner said about the first year in nursing. You cannot expect to know everything for the first 4-6 months. Give yourself time and do not be so hard on yourself. And by all means be good to yourself this first year. It is the most challenging year of nursing but I have faith that you succeed.
  8. by   MedSurgMale
    Looking through this forum, there are some wonderful suggestions for making the transition from student to competent nurse/caregiver. It's easy to feel overwhelmed with the rules and protocols of the real world. I'm starting my third week of a four week orientation at a large hospital. I think I programmed an IV pump three times in nursing school with my instructor (a year ago). At work, I've done it maybe twenty times with a staff nurse watching, and it may take another twenty or thirty times before I'm truly okay with it in all circumstances. The more I do it, the more it makes sense. I trust I'll get there. Better to go slow and at your own speed than make a mistake. No one thinks I'm stupid because I ask them to watch me again.

    Anyway, to everything else I would add: don't buy into the complaining and negative energy of some co-workers. Focus on the patients. We as new nurses are naturally enthusiastic about doing good work, and encountering coworkers who are unhappy (schedule, workload, facility, whatever) can detract and drain. They may need to decompress and I can listen as a colleague (without solutions), but it's ultimately my journey into this new intense world and I must keep pulling up!

    Nursing is incredibly hard work. Keep your energy intact! I hope this is helpful.
  9. by   nuangel1
    Quote from DKV46
    I've been a nurse for 25 years and am certified as both a Geri NP and a Psych CNS. Regardless of my experience and credentials, I've been in the novice role many times and still have to manage overwhelm when taking a new position. IT takes awhile to be an expert in any area, your priority is to be safe. It does take about a year to be comfortable in the newbie role regardless of prior experience. Whatever new role that I take on (and I'm taking on a new one in 3 weeks), I remind myself of what I do know as I'm walking into the environment. As the day goes on, I jot down what I should know that I didn;t and look it up later. Slowly but surely your knowledge base and comfort level will increase. I understand your overwhelm. Give yourself a break and try to focus on what you do know everyday vs what you don't ( as has been described). The day will be easier for you with that mindset. You'll never know it all so don;t think that you should or will! Try this approach for prioritizing your learning needs and/or your day( still works for me)...
    3 column approach on index card...(1) What I must know -or do, (2) what I should know -or do and (3) what I could know -or do.
    Best of luck...you'll get there!

    good post .having been a nurse 20 yrs we all have good and bad days ,i still remember my newbie days it was a scary time .you do really need a yr to start to feel comfortable.but be sponge continue to learn from people around you drs nurses staff and pt's .i love what i do .i am a good nurse you will be too. congrats on grad and becoming nurses this profession needs you .no one knows it all you just can't .just strive to do the best you can.
    Last edit by nuangel1 on Sep 18, '06
  10. by   nuangel1
    :yeahthat:
    Quote from cateccrn
    To All the "NEWBIES":

    We do not expect you to know everything, that is why you are in orientation.
    If you feel that your preceptor does not respond to your needs; by helping you to do a self-evaluation and work out a plan for goal achievement, then find another preceptor. If the second preceptor has the same concerns, then maybe it IS time for you to take a look at your assignment and re-evaluate your skills to find a better fitting speciality. There is no shame in that, as a new grad, you simply don't know the lay of the land.
    But PLEASE don't think that going home at night thinking about ways you could have done something better means you are a failure, inept or will never succeed.
    I have been in nursing for 27 years, and I go home turning things over in my mind every day. There is always room for improvement in us all, but take satisfaction knowing you did your best, and that you will learn from, and not repeat your mistakes.

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New Nurse feeling overwhelmed!