Not Ready for being left alone...

  1. I am a 'newer' nurse and just found out this morning that as of January I will be able to be left alone on the unit (on weekends we normally only have <8 patients on nights). I work on an ortho-vascular/stroke unit). I have been freaking out ever since. I'm NOT ready. I work part-time and 1/2 the time I am put on call so I just don't feel like my confidence level is 'up' enough to feel comfortable. There are way too many situations I haven't been in. Every time I work, I STILL have millions of questions that I run by the other nurse that is on.

    I know, I will talk to my manager, but honestly, I know what she's going to say... "I can't play favorites" or "you will have a house supervisor on. I'm not asking to play favorites, I'm just not ready or comfortable. I have been crying on and off all day and my mind is set that being a RN is not what I want to do anymore (which I am thinking is because of how upset I am right now but who knows).

    I tried talking to my husband about it, but he just brushed it off. He doesn't know how I'm feeling... I know come January, I'm going to be a basket case and anxious all the time. Thinking of this happening in January makes me sick.

    If you read this, thank you. Any suggestions, thoughts, advice, support is much appreciated!

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  2. 25 Comments

  3. by   Pompom
    No matter when you are put on your own it is scarey. I believe than many new nurses quit because of the lack of support they recieve, I hope that is not what happens to you. Management needs to LISTEN to the fears of the new nurses and help them along not throw them out of the "nest" to fend for themselves while being responsible for others lives.
  4. by   NurseWi_JennJenn
    Thank you for your post and support.
    I agree that the managers need to listen more.

    I am not ready to give up YET. I certainly will try being there alone but the thought of dealing with the anxiety will burn me out fast. I guess I can try to find a job elsewhere, but I just don't know if that will solve my problems. I just need to get to the point where I feel comfortable as a nurse. Will that happen in the near future though?
  5. by   banditrn
    I remember when I was a brand new nurse - off orientation - the house supervisor was a huge help to me! It seemed like when I was standing there, befuddled about some thing or other - I'd look up, and she'd be coming down the hall.
  6. by   NurseWi_JennJenn
    That's what my mom said too... that the house sup. is only a quick phone call away. Maybe I need to get on some anti-anxiety meds or something and just relax...:spin:

    Thank you for your post! I really appreciate the support!
  7. by   suzy253
    I'm a new RN as well and have been off orientation for some time now. I remember when I walked in one evening (I work 3-11's 24 h/week) and saw my name on the board as a mod leader (we have 4 mods on this floor--a step down telemetry med/surg unit). I thought I would die. I was so scared of being alone but only a few months have passed since then and I'm doing well. You're never really 'alone'.....and I'm still asking the other nurses questions all the time and have gotten over feeling guilty about asking ???'s. They would rather you do ask questions than attempt something you're uncomfortable with.
  8. by   allantiques4me
    Quote from NurseWi_JennJenn
    I am a 'newer' nurse and just found out this morning that as of January I will be able to be left alone on the unit (on weekends we normally only have <8 patients on nights). I work on an ortho-vascular/stroke unit). I have been freaking out ever since. I'm NOT ready. I work part-time and 1/2 the time I am put on call so I just don't feel like my confidence level is 'up' enough to feel comfortable. There are way too many situations I haven't been in. Every time I work, I STILL have millions of questions that I run by the other nurse that is on.

    I know, I will talk to my manager, but honestly, I know what she's going to say... &quot;I can't play favorites&quot; or &quot;you will have a house supervisor on. I'm not asking to play favorites, I'm just not ready or comfortable. I have been crying on and off all day and my mind is set that being a RN is not what I want to do anymore (which I am thinking is because of how upset I am right now but who knows).

    I tried talking to my husband about it, but he just brushed it off. He doesn't know how I'm feeling... I know come January, I'm going to be a basket case and anxious all the time. Thinking of this happening in January makes me sick.

    If you read this, thank you. Any suggestions, thoughts, advice, support is much appreciated!

    you poor girl.I know exactly how you feel.Ive been there done tht.I started having panic attacks and wanted to call nursing quits.I actually gave up nursing for a year.Looking back in retrospect,I didnt realize I could request more orientation.,which I know would have made all the difference in the world. Also the facility I used to work for started mixing patients together,instead of persons with similiar disorders which Ive felt more qualified.Everyone would tell me that I was a very good nurse,but I still didnt feel confident.I quit that position ,searched until I finally found one that Im comfortable with.I sometimes regret not sticking it out at the one facility,requesting more orientation so I could have learned more techniques.but I have a job I love now.Hang in there,dont give up.Im sure you have a lot to offer
  9. by   llg
    I have spent many years of my career overseeing the orientation of new graduates. Most feel uncomfortable as they are asked to function with increasing independence. Some would never come off orientation if we waited for them to feel completely comfortable with everything. Some baby birds need to be pushed out of the nest before they will spread their wings and fly on their own.

    There will always be aspects of your job that make you feel uncomfortable. That's normal. We all have to learn to work well within that discomfort -- and learn to identify and use our resources effictively.

    You are lucky in that you have a couple of weeks to prepare. They are not just taking away your resources without warning. Review the types of situations that scare you. Make a list of your questions and be sure to get them answered before January. Pehaps you could make a notebook with the information you think you will need. Perhaps you could talk with the house supervisors and let them know that you are particularly nervous and will need their support to make this work. Do a few "dry runs" or "mock situations" or whatever you need to practice those skills in which you are insecure. Elicit the help of the experienced staff or nursing educator to help. You know how to learn ... now you need to make a learning plan for yourself.

    In other words ... instead of thinking "I shouldn't have to do this because it is scarey" ... assess your needs and use the next few weeks to do those things that will help you successfully meet this challenge and progress to the next step in your career.

    Good luck,
    llg
    Last edit by llg on Dec 2, '06
  10. by   allantiques4me
    yeah llg,maybe you are right about putting the bird out of the nest.
  11. by   suzy253
    excellent advice llg!
  12. by   augigi
    Not sure how new you are, but I agree that you'll never feel ready to be the person in charge/alone. Can you work more between now and then to get more comfortable? Only you know if you're truly not safe to do this, or if you're just nervous about it. If you feel you will be unsafe, let the bosses know in writing - they then have to do something about it (although it may be letting you go if they have no alternative).

    Otherwise, between now and then, use your nurses on the shifts you work - see what they do, ask lots of questions with regard to who you call and when you call. You will never be "alone" in the facility I would imagine - so you need to make sure you know how to access help.
  13. by   NurseWi_JennJenn
    Quote from llg
    Some baby birds need to be pushed out of the nest before they will spread their wings and fly on their own.
    What great words of advice and support... especially the one above. You don't understand how much the advice and support means to me. I need to hear stuff like this because it really helps. I'm one of those people that would be on orientation forever probably. LOL... I just need to remember and tell myself I can do it... I went to school for 5 years for this and I CAN do it, I just need to get over my insecurities and fears...

    Thank you again!!
  14. by   BrnEyedGirl
    jenn,..when you say "alone" are you refering to being off of orientation, or actually being the only nurse on the floor? i can't imagine ever being left truely "alone", we always have 2 rn's on the floor,.even if it is christmas day and we only have 2 patients (that has never happened, but...) what are you expected to do if you have a code or an admit or any of a million things that could require you to be in a pt's room for an extened period of time?? this sounds absurd if you really do mean alone.

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