New to this board!!!

  1. Hi all,

    I am so glad that I found this board. I spent all last night reading posts and have already learned tons!!!! You are all great and supportive.

    I have been an RN for a year. I work on a med/surg floor. Lately I have been feeling very bad about my capabilities as a nurse and my decision to be one. After reading many threads I think I should toughen up a little and consider myself lucky. I found out out ratios are great (4:1 by myself, 6:1 with my own CNA, 7:1 with an LPN. We have a charge nurse that does not take patients. We work 12 hour shift 3p-3A. The ratios are the same for both shifts). I make $21 an hour.

    Sounds good I guess. My main problem is anxiety. I go home every night worrying about every thing I did and wondering if I made a mistake. My anxiety has caused time management problems. I am constantly double checking things over and over and it slow me down. I feel like my patients are not getting good care if they have me and would be better off with a better nurse. I have such low self esteem right now. I do not know what to do. When I go to work, my anxiety level is so high. I am always afraid I will find out about a huge mistake I have made. I just do not know what to do. I started off great a year ago. It just seems to be getting worse. I regret my decsion to be a nurse. I am just afraid I can not cut it. What do I do? I am so confused.
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  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   USA987
    Sorry. I can't really offer any advice. I'm graduating in two weeks...then the reality shock starts!!!

    Just wanted to welcome you to the boards!
  4. by   katscan
    Hi! Welcme to our board! You will get much encouragement here. Anxiety in the beginning of a career is tough-one is always judging oneself during the day. But you have only been a nurse for a year. I guarantee you will feel better later after you "have been around the block a few times", and have some experiences under your belt. Know that no one is perfect.Do the best you can. If you go to work and do your best, what more can you do? Oh sure, you can beat yourself up with all kinds of things, but you must tell yourself that you did the best you could considering the circumstances that day. Unfortunately it is the good nurses who tend to beat themselves up over things and who tend to be perfectionistic. YOU CARE, and you know it. Now, be kind to yourself. Would you treat others the way you treat yourself? NO! Someday, you will be in the position of being the older nurse and you will have more confidence. Maybe you will have to make a change in the type of nursing to give you more peace-there's lots of opportunities out there. I found my niche in school nursing. I couldn't tolerate the floor, or the operating room. I am just too sensitive and critical of myself. I really suffered. But nursing opportunities are wide open and accomodate a wide variety or personalities. You will find your niche!I wish you peace...........
  5. by   jnette
    Stella..
    first of all, WELCOME to the BB ! I'm glad you found us, and I'm sure you will receive plenty of support here.

    You are certainly not alone in your anxiety.. I know LOTS of nurses who have felt less than confident in their abilities, and all will tell you that this will pass. It is a GOOD thing that you doublecheck, and are conscientious ! Try to not DWELL on what you might not be doing, however. Go over your mental checklist, or even a written one and cross things out as you accomplish them, but don't DWELL on the negative thoughts.. they will pull you under.

    The more you dwell on the negative, the more anxious you will become, and the less confident in yourself. Negativity breeds negativity. If you believe your concerns are VALID, seek advice/guidance/feedback from your colleagues or charge nurse. If you just THINK you're not doing as well as you feel you should be, then keep a list of all things you have accomplished and done properly each day..look at yourself in the mirror each day and tell yourself OUT LOUD " Stella, you're a darn good nurse !" and then smile at yourself. Sound silly? Perhaps. But you know what? You become what you THINK ! And what you HEAR.
    So think positive, and seek reinforcement, and leave each day knowing that you have done your very best and given your all... and feel GOOD about it !

    Hang in there !
  6. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I felt EXACTLY the way you did at the same point in my career. I will tell you, it will pass. But you have to do somethings to help yourself. One idea is to take a much-needed break, perhaps. Maybe some good conferences or seminars related to your speciality are in order. NOTHING breathes new life into careers and stimulates the minds the way these can. If you can afford to, travel for one. Out of town. With a good friend/colleague, if possible. Meet new people from around the country who do the same thing but have all new ideas/modalities to share with you! There are many conferences, all over the place. A week or so away from home and work could do you wonders.

    Also, maybe it's time to take stock. Maybe a change of job/area of nursing? Take a bit of time to think WHY you feel like you do and what you can actively DO to change it. It's in YOUR hands, your career and life--- and you can make positive changes or at least change your attitude. I suspect you are a conscientious, empathetic nurse who is very competent, one who just needs to HEAR it and BELIEVE it.

    I wish you well---and welcome to the boards. Glad you found us! Hope my suggestions help. Those things certainly have helped me more than I can say. Good luck.
  7. by   kjseam
    I can't give any advice because I am still a student. I just wanted to say welcome to the board.
  8. by   RNIAM
    I also can't give advice as I am a student but I can offer you a warm welcome and a listening ear. I hope you find the help you need.
  9. by   teeituptom
    !. welcome aboard
    2. you sound normal to me
    3. this to shall pass as you learn and grow in the field
  10. by   MandyInMS
    Hi Stella and welcome
    I think everyone has self-doubt from time to time no matter how long you've been a nurse.It does get better with time though.The more experiences you have, the more confidence you develope..And, ALWAYS be sure to take care of yourself..learn/realize your personal limitations and assets..and strive for your personal best..(((hugzzz)))
  11. by   zambezi
    Welcome to the boards...as others have mentioned, there are many nurses that feel anxiety...I have been out of school about a year also, and i also find myself double checking lots of things all the time or asking someone what they think...I don't consider myself too anxious of a person but i know I have some because I have dreams about work and missing things, but i do the best I can, get second opinions when i need to and ask questions...i don't know what kind of system you use to plan for the day...for me i time out my "brains" for 12 hours, and write everything that i know that i have to do on it, meds, assessments, turns, blood sugar checks, etc...i do this after i have checked in on my patients but before i do much else (this is also when i do my first chart check)...once i have a plan, that takes a big stressor away because i know that i won't miss anything...and if an emergency comes up that i have to deal with and can look back at my notes and remember or delegate exactly what needs to be done...good luck and hang in there!
  12. by   Love-A-Nurse
    welcome to the board. hang in there!
  13. by   purplemania
    I had the same sx of anxiety until I noticed that the experienced nurses were not perfect either. I heard one say she always hoped as she drove to work that she would not encounter a situation she could not handle. You sound normal to me. I would hate to have a nurse caring for me who was NOT concerned about doing the right thing. Talk to someone NOW about this (preceptor, mentor, manager, employee assistance)
  14. by   luvbug
    Hi!! I am pretty new to this board, too. I have been reading alot of posts, and you WILL get a lot of encouragement here. You will read lots of other ideas and thoughts that may help you find new ways of doing things. I used to worry alot when I first started my job, too, but I think it helps to have a close interaction with at least one co-worker--someone you can really trust. You don't have to break any confidetiality rules by talking to this person, sometimes it helps just to get things off your chest. Everyone does worry some, and if you DIDN'T, that could be just as bad!! It doesn't hurt to double check things, either. also, it helps to take some time just for you, epecially before you try to go to sleep :zzzzz helps clear your mind. I wish you lots of luck.

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