Reality Shock!!!! Please answer a few questions about when you were a new nurse!

  1. 0 Hello Nurses :wink2:
    My name is Beth and I'm graduating in two months. I am doing a project along with my clinical group on "Reality Shock", and I am polling nurses about their experiences. :typing I would greatly appreciate if you could take a few minutes and answer these questions. Just copy and paste into your reply. You can put a star or 'X' next to your answer.

    Many thanks!!!!
    1. How long have you been a nurse? Less than 1 year 1-2 yrs 3-5 yrs 5-10 yrs 10-20 yr s 20+ yrs

    2. What type of school(s) did you go to?
    Hospital nursing school Community College BSN MSN Doctorate Other degrees

    Care to share your school(s)?

    3. Did you have any experience working in a hospital before becoming an RN? Yes No

    Nurse Aide LPN Other

    4. What kind of floor/unit was your first position?

    5. How long what your orientation/training period as a new nurse?

    6. How prepared did you feel after graduating from nursing school and beginning training?
    Excellent Very Good Good Fair Poor

    7. How prepared did you feel when you finished your training, and began working on your own?
    Excellent Very Good Good Fair Poor

    8. What was your experience(s) with your preceptor(s) like?
    Excellent Very Good Good Fair Poor

    9. In your opinion was your training period long enough? Yes No

    10. Did you experience “Reality Shock”as a new nurse? Yes No

    11. Please describe in a few sentences what your first few weeks/months were like:

    12. What would you recommend, or what advice would you give to new nurses?

    Much gratitude for taking the time to fill this out!
    "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over an over and expecting a different result." -Albert Einstein
  2. Visit  LoveActually profile page

    About LoveActually

    36 Years Old; Joined Jan '09; Posts: 53; Likes: 45.

    16 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  LovePurple profile page
    1
    Hey, I sent you a private message with my response. I hope it helps! Best of luck to you!
    LoveActually likes this.
  4. Visit  oryxandcake profile page
    1
    Many thanks!!!!
    1. How long have you been a nurse? 3-5 yrs

    2. What type of school(s) did you go to?
    Community College and currently finishing BSN in college

    Care to share your school(s)?
    VCC and Douglas College
    3. Did you have any experience working in a hospital before becoming an RN? Yes

    LPN

    4. What kind of floor/unit was your first position?
    Long term care/Dementia
    5. How long what your orientation/training period as a new nurse?
    1 month (it was only to be two weeks but I requested more time)
    6. How prepared did you feel after graduating from nursing school and beginning training?
    Good

    7. How prepared did you feel when you finished your training, and began working on your own?
    It will always be overwhelming. But I was lucky to have some mentors who really helped me along. I think I felt as prepared as I could and was just ready to giv'r!
    Very Good

    8. What was your experience(s) with your preceptor(s) like?
    Very Good

    9. In your opinion was your training period long enough? Yes

    10. Did you experience “Reality Shock”as a new nurse? Yes

    11. Please describe in a few sentences what your first few weeks/months were like:
    Overwhelming! So much new information and different styles of nursing. I had to find my own niche and what worked best for me. There were a lot of challenging personalities and the need to please people was there. But after two months I knew my routine and new the people I worked with and could hold my own.

    12. What would you recommend, or what advice would you give to new nurses?

    Be confident in who you are and what you know. People will try to tell you otherwise but it's important to be able to trust your gut and if all else fails, follow policy Also, don't be shy - ask questions - always
    LoveActually likes this.
  5. Visit  twinmommy+2 profile page
    1
    Quote from LoveActually

    Many thanks!!!!
    1. How long have you been a nurse? 3-5 yrs
    2. What type of school(s) did you go to?
    Community College
    Care to share your school(s)? Prince George's Community College

    3. Did you have any experience working in a hospital before becoming an RN? No

    4. What kind of floor/unit was your first position? Med/Surg

    5. How long what your orientation/training period as a new nurse? 3 months

    6. How prepared did you feel after graduating from nursing school and beginning training?
    Good

    7. How prepared did you feel when you finished your training, and began working on your own?
    Very Good
    8. What was your experience(s) with your preceptor(s) like?
    Very Good

    9. In your opinion was your training period long enough? Yes
    10. Did you experience "Reality Shock"as a new nurse? No

    11. Please describe in a few sentences what your first few weeks/months were like: It took a few weeks to start to get the hang of the time management required, but then started to get the flow of things and within a few months was taking a whole assignment myself under the guidence of my preceptors (i had several)

    12. What would you recommend, or what advice would you give to new nurses? always ask questions
    hope this helps
    LoveActually likes this.
  6. Visit  SFDRN profile page
    1
    1. How long have you been a nurse? Less than 1 year

    2. What type of school(s) did you go to?
    BSN

    Care to share your school(s)?

    3. Did you have any experience working in a hospital before becoming an RN? No

    4. What kind of floor/unit was your first position?
    telemetry/med-surg

    5. How long what your orientation/training period as a new nurse?
    should be 8-10 weeks (still doing it)

    6. How prepared did you feel after graduating from nursing school and beginning training?
    Good

    7. How prepared did you feel when you finished your training, and began working on your own?
    hasn't happened yet, but I feel that I will be marginally good (not better than that)

    8. What was your experience(s) with your preceptor(s) like?
    Very Good

    9. In your opinion was your training period long enough? No

    10. Did you experience "Reality Shock"as a new nurse? Yes

    11. Please describe in a few sentences what your first few weeks/months were like:
    Being totally overwhelmed with information; not feeling confident about skills; not knowing/understanding policies/procedures of the unit; lacking clinical judgment skills that are only gained through trial/error/many years on the job; feeling petrified that I am going to harm a patient by inadvertently making an error


    12. What would you recommend, or what advice would you give to new nurses?
    Try to practice as many skills as possible in nursing school; rehearse SBAR communication with doctors; make the absolute most out of your clinical days--this is the only time in your life where you won't be totally responsible for everything. And make sure you understand how/when/why charting is important.
    LoveActually likes this.
  7. Visit  taz628 profile page
    3
    1. How long have you been a nurse? Less than 1 year

    2. What type of school(s) did you go to?
    2 year ASN, plan to return to university to complete BSN

    Care to share your school(s)? Bloomsburg University (Bio major), Thomas Jefferson University - Danville (ASN), back to Bloom?

    3. Did you have any experience working in a hospital before becoming an RN? Yes - Candy striper =P

    4. What kind of floor/unit was your first position? Special Care Unit - kind of like ICU step down, but still critical care

    5. How long what your orientation/training period as a new nurse? 16 weeks

    6. How prepared did you feel after graduating from nursing school and beginning training? Fairly prepared, all my clinical rotations were in the same hospital I was hired at


    7. How prepared did you feel when you finished your training, and began working on your own? Very Good


    8. What was your experience(s) with your preceptor(s) like?

    Very Good to Excellent, depends on the preceptor in question

    9. In your opinion was your training period long enough? Yes

    10. Did you experience "Reality Shock"as a new nurse? Yes

    11. Please describe in a few sentences what your first few weeks/months were like: My reality shock was in realizing that it was ME who was now totally responsible, and that *I* was in charge of my patient's care. I spent a few weeks in a med/surg floor learning time management, then 4 weeks between ICU/CCU to get critical skills. After orientation was over, it was MUCH easier than I had expected it to be. My coworkers were very supportive and I've learned so much.

    12. What would you recommend, or what advice would you give to new nurses? If you feel overwhelmed, don't sweat it too much. Take a step back from the situation and reassess your priorities. Just as patients get better, patients get worse and it's NOT your fault when that happens. Don't be afraid of doctors/residents - most of them are very nice and NEVER start a phone convo with "I'm sorry to bother you..." because it's their job to be bothered. After awhile being on your own, you'll soon find out that your gut can be smarter than you realize and make sure to pay attention to what it says.
  8. Visit  travel50 profile page
    1
    You probably have your questions memorized by now, so I will just post answers.

    1. 26 yrs
    2. First an associate's program. 18 yrs later I returned for the BSN.
    3. I was a nurses' aide for 18 months before starting nursing school.
    4. My first position was as a staff nurse on a med-surg floor.
    5. I had an old nurse go with me for 3 days, then I was sort of on my own. I always knew I could go to one of the other nurses for help.
    6. I discovered that I was not as prepared as I had thought. I was painfully shy, and this was not the hospital where I had worked as an aide. I was afraid of the doctors, afraid to ask questions. I had no idea how to help doctors with procedures. I was comfortable with meds and patient care.
    7. Since my "training" was only 3 days in my new job, it did not help at all.
    8. I never had a preceptor.
    9. Good grief, no!
    10. No. My mother was a nurse. My two sisters who are much older than me are a physician and a NP. I grew up in and around hospitals. I heard all their tales, so I knew what to expect. I think other new nurses I was around did have that reality shock. How you are taught to do it and how it is really done are often very different.
    11. Can't answer this one b/c I really had no reality shock. I cannot tell you what an advantage it was to grow up in a medical family. I can only imagine how scary it would have been otherwise. I had just grown up hearing what you do if....how in the world we got it done....etc. My mother used to say, "Be durned if I'm jumping up from my chair just because a doctor walks into the nurses' station. I work harder than he does!" I knew all about difficult patients, difficult families, ridiculous regulations, mounds of paperwork, etc
    12. Have a good preceptor. Find doctors who like to teach and never hesitate to ask them lots of questions. And don't beat yourself over the head when you make a mistake, b/c you will.
    LoveActually likes this.
  9. Visit  jmgrn65 profile page
    1
    1. How long have you been a nurse? 10-20 yr s
    2. What type of school(s) did you go to?
    Hospital nursing school
    Care to share your school(s)? Kettering College of Medical Arts

    3. Did you have any experience working in a hospital before becoming an RN? Yes
    Nurse Aide
    4. What kind of floor/unit was your first position? Cardiac Surgery stepdown tele

    5. How long what your orientation/training period as a new nurse? I think 4-6 weeks cant remember that long ago

    6. How prepared did you feel after graduating from nursing school and beginning training?

    Very Good

    7. How prepared did you feel when you finished your training, and began working on your own?

    Very Good

    8. What was your experience(s) with your preceptor(s) like?

    Good

    9. In your opinion was your training period long enough? Yes
    10. Did you experience “Reality Shock”as a new nurse? No

    11. Please describe in a few sentences what your first few weeks/months were like: then just anxious about rather I passed nclex or not. then you waited weeks to find out.

    12. What would you recommend, or what advice would you give to new nurses?
    To always ask if you don't know, not asking makes you look poorly.
    LoveActually likes this.
  10. Visit  truern profile page
    1
    Quote from loveactually

    1. how long have you been a nurse? less than 1 year 1-2 yrs 3-5 yrs 5-10 yrs 10-20 yr s 20+ yrs

    2. what type of school(s) did you go to?
    hospital nursing school community college bsn msn doctorate other degrees

    care to share your school(s)?

    wake tech community college in raleigh, nc

    3. did you have any experience working in a hospital before becoming an rn? yes no

    nurse aide lpn other

    i was the secretary of the respiratory care dept at egleston children's hospital in atlanta


    4. what kind of floor/unit was your first position?

    telemetry

    5. how long what your orientation/training period as a new nurse?
    3-4 months

    6. how prepared did you feel after graduating from nursing school and beginning training?
    excellent very good good fair poor

    7. how prepared did you feel when you finished your training, and began working on your own?
    excellent very good good fair poor

    8. what was your experience(s) with your preceptor(s) like?
    excellent very good good fair poor

    9. in your opinion was your training period long enough? yes no

    10. did you experience "reality shock"as a new nurse? yes no

    11. please describe in a few sentences what your first few weeks/months were like:
    i remember the first time a patient called out "nurse!" i looked around for one before it dawned on me that *i* was the nurse! it took a while to get my routine down pat, but once i did it was much less stressful.

    12. what would you recommend, or what advice would you give to new nurses?
    be willing to learn and don't be afraid to ask questions. dangerous nurses either don't ask questions or don't know they don't know!
    hope your project goes well
    LoveActually likes this.
  11. Visit  Penguin67 profile page
    2
    1. How long have you been a nurse? Less than 1 year 1-2 yrs 3-5 yrs 5-10 yrs 10-20 yr s 20+ yrs
    19 years and some change


    2. What type of school(s) did you go to?
    Hospital nursing school Community College BSN MSN Doctorate Other degrees
    BSN for initialy licensure, later obtained MSN and DSN

    Care to share your school(s)? University of Alabama at Birmingham (x3)


    3. Did you have any experience working in a hospital before becoming an RN? Yes No

    Nurse Aide LPN Other Nurse assistant on adult oncology floor for 2 years

    4. What kind of floor/unit was your first position?
    Pediatric ER

    5. How long what your orientation/training period as a new nurse?
    6 weeks (it sounded long back then, and it sounds too short now)

    6. How prepared did you feel after graduating from nursing school and beginning training?
    Very Good (still in honeymoon period)



    7. How prepared did you feel when you finished your training, and began working on your own?
    Very Good


    8. What was your experience(s) with your preceptor(s) like?

    Preceptor was the charge nurse, so I was shuffled alot to other nurses who I learned alot from

    9. In your opinion was your training period long enough? Not at all

    10. Did you experience "Reality Shock"as a new nurse? I didn't think so at the time, but obviously, loking back, I certainly did.

    11. Please describe in a few sentences what your first few weeks/months were like: Fall and winter in a busy pediatric ER was extremely busy. I had alot of experiences that I still recall today that formed my learning and I share some of these stories with current students. I was moving on the learning curve, and so desperately wnated to be the best nurse that I could be. I learned alot of valuable lessons from staff I worked with and saw the unit go through some leadership turmoil.

    12. What would you recommend, or what advice would you give to new nurses? Take all the time given to you for orientation. Look for every new learning experience that comes your way. Ask questions from the experienced nurses. Observe how everyone does things, know the policies and procedures, and begin to define your own practice with the "rules" in mind/ Don't get discouraged after a few months on the job. We all went through that and you'll be fine like we were. Stay out the the unit gossip and focus on your job. Be nice to the newer employees and nursing students who come to your unit.
  12. Visit  oncnursemsn profile page
    2
    many thanks!!!!
    1. how long have you been a nurse? 20+ yrs

    2. what type of school(s) did you go to?
    hospital nursing school community college bsn msn doctorate other degrees
    adn, bsn, msn
    care to share your school(s)?
    prince georges community college, the catholic university of america and university of cal san francisco
    3. did you have any experience working in a hospital before becoming an rn?
    not a lick, i worked as a chef

    nurse aide lpn other

    4. what kind of floor/unit was your first position? adult med surg: ortho/neuro

    5. how long what your orientation/training period as a new nurse? 12 weeks

    6. how prepared did you feel after graduating from nursing school and beginning training?
    i don't think i even realize how little i knew and how unprepared i was.

    7. how prepared did you feel when you finished your training, and began working on your own?

    fair again, i don't think i realzied how little i knew.

    8. what was your experience(s) with your preceptor(s) like?

    poor my preceptors were older (i was 20) and they were very burned out, not thrilled with me- they were from trinidad and weren't happy to have this young naive new nurse to train.

    9. in your opinion was your training period long enough? yes
    this was 26 years ago and the pts weren't as sick as they are today
    10. did you experience “reality shock”as a new nurse? yes how we were taught vs how the "real world" operated was very different. there was no way i could practice with my 13 pts as i was taught.

    11. please describe in a few sentences what your first few weeks/months were like:
    i was so disorganized and didn't know how to prioritize tasks. i didnt get off on time and i worried about things that i forgot. did i chart that pain med? it was a full year before i didn't go to bed and wake up thinking about my previous shift.
    12. what would you recommend, or what advice would you give to new nurses? work in some sort of healthcare while in school! i didn't and it was a huge liability. i teach today and can tell immediately who of my students are cna's or unit secretaries. (don't work too much though.) take a job that has the least amt of stress if possible, ie, dont start off in a critical care unit as a new grad. get 1 good year at 1 hospital before looking elsewhere- work full time or close to it for consistency. the pts today are sicker, in the hospital shorter time and go home with services- sicker then when i graduated.
    hope this helps and good luck!
  13. Visit  KeechieSan profile page
    2
    Many thanks!!!!
    1. How long have you been a nurse? 3-5 yrs

    2. What type of school(s) did you go to?
    BSN

    Care to share your school(s)? I'd rather not.. sorry.

    3. Did you have any experience working in a hospital before becoming an RN? No

    Nurse

    4. What kind of floor/unit was your first position? A 36-bed telemetry/IMC unit.

    5. How long what your orientation/training period as a new nurse? 12 weeks.

    6. How prepared did you feel after graduating from nursing school and beginning training? Fair

    7. How prepared did you feel when you finished your training, and began working on your own? Good

    8. What was your experience(s) with your preceptor(s) like? Very Good

    9. In your opinion was your training period long enough? Yes

    10. Did you experience "Reality Shock"as a new nurse? Yes

    11. Please describe in a few sentences what your first few weeks/months were like: Stressful, overwhelming. My very first twenty minutes of my first shift with my preceptor he handed a patients kardex and said "ok, go". I had no idea what to do. All those years of school do not prepare you for actually having to be responsible. You really don't know what nurses "do" until you graduate and work.

    12. What would you recommend, or what advice would you give to new nurses? Relax. It'll get better
  14. Visit  LoveActually profile page
    0
    Hey Everyone ~ Just wanted to say thank you SO much for your replies- they are SO helpful, much appreciated and full of some really great insight!

    Beth


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