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!
Dec 2, '06
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.
Last edit by llg on Dec 2, '06