Doug and all other new nurses,
I am an old "battle axe"...have been in nursing probably longer than any of you have been alive
!!!!!!!!!! I,too, started out on med/surg and had all the fears you have expressed. I wanted to be in critical care SSSSSSSOOOOOOOOO BAAAAAAAAADDDDD!!!
Back in those days,a new nurse had to be on med/surg a year on the 3-11 0r 11-7 shift before consideration was even mildy entertained by administration for transfer to a specialty area !!!!!!
We worked all of the holidays and were basically the underside of the nursing totem pole!!!!!! However,I can assure you that you will gain skills you will use when you specialize. As a new grad,I couldn't start an IV to save my life...my hands would shake and I would break out in a sweat!!!!!!! After the umpteenth time of calling upon a more seasoned nurse for help and getting lectured about my lack of skill in that area,I became more determined than ever to finely tune my skill of peripheral cannulation. Med/surg IS
"the trenches" of nursing...it gets all of the conditions from which night mares are made!!!!!! And here is the BIG BUT!!!! BUT you will learn to prioritize and delegate during your tour there!!!! I eventually worked all sorts of units...ortho/neuro,peds,post partum,and my skills learned on med/surg were a life saver.
As I moved on to critical care,I continued to use those "basic skills" from med/surg in conjunction with the new skills necessary to work those high acuity areas. My confidence in myself grew and I can assure you...time is a great thing. Remember to be patient with yourself. Hopefully you will have a preceptor (like me!!!) who vividly remembers the first days of being on the front lines of nursing. None of us were born with the knowledge and skill it takes to be a nurse. You will see eyes roll and hear things said to you that should be kept behind lips,but never lose faith in yourself. I have wiped tears from the face of many a new nurse who has proclaimed that as their last day as a nurse. I have listened to their concerns and fears and have assured them that all of this anxiety will be replaced one day with confidence. It takes time. So often we expect perfection from ourselves and,yes we work in a field that demands perfection...we hold the lives of human beings in our hands:yet we forget we are humans,imperfect and flawed yet full of possibilities and capabilities. I wish you all the best that life has to offer!!!!!!!
Keep me posted on your progress...I will always be around for
Good luck Yall!!!!!!
Will keep you in my prayers and in my heart!!!!!!