When to give up?

  1. I'd just like some advise from all of you with experience in nursing. I'm a new grad who started working on a renal/med-surgical unit at the end of January. So far, my orientation has been miserable. I'm overwhelmed which makes me frustrated and makes it hard to stay focused,not to mention that I'm not very fast with skills and I find myself trying to catch up all day. The majority of the time I don't take lunches and yet stay over charting for about an hour. The feedback I'm getting from my preceptor is not very positive, even when I think I've had a good day. Nuring school was good for me and I passed with a 3.0 avg. but yet the reality of floor nursing is a challenge!!!!I go to work with a stomach and come home in tears almost every day. I'm starting to bring it home and it's beginning to affect my personal life. I'm ready to turn in my stethescope and call it quits!Maybe nursing just isn't for me....
    There's got to be something else out there that I can do with a BSN.
    Any advice is WELCOME!

    nrs-jlm
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  2. 21 Comments

  3. by   Stargazer
    jlm, you might want to ask a moderator to move this thread to General Nursing or the Graduate Nurse Forum; I think you'd get a lot more response, as this problem isn't unique to renal nursing.

    Most new grads go through some stress and an adjustment period. There is a learning curve involved and most new grads tend to be slower with skills and can feel inadequate and out of their comfort zones.

    That said, if you are coming to work with an upset stomach and going home in tears every day, that's not normal. However, you shouldn't automatically assume that every hospital job would be like this one or that you aren't suited to nursing. How much of an orientation did you get? How supportive is your preceptor? What is the general mood of the staff on your unit--are they happy or unhappy? Is the unit adequately staffed? Is your preceptor or any assistive staff available to help you with tasks until you get up to speed? Has your preceptor actively helped you to improve your organizational skills and task speed? Have you talked to your manager? Does s/he agree with your preceptor? How about other staff members? Any other new grads you can talk to, either at your hospital or elsewhere? How are they doing?

    While still in my ICU residency just out of school (and having an overwhelmingly positive experience), I talked to a former classmate who told me she and another classmate had ended up on the Telemetry floor of another local hospital and felt like they were getting eaten alive. 4 months after graduation, they were already burned out. They both quickly moved on to other units and were much happier after that.

    Maybe you're just on the wrong unit; or have the wrong preceptor for your learning style or personality. It happens.

    Yes, there are plenty of jobs out there for BSN-prepared nurses. However, a year of bedside experience is still the best prep you can have for almost any job you go on to, either inside or outside the hospital, clinical or nonclinical. Try to do a little investigating and then sit down to analyze what the specific problems are and go from there. It's way too soon to throw away your whole nursing career, especially after you've invested so much time in your education. Good luck!
  4. by   Darlene K.
    Originally posted by Stargazer
    Most new grads go through some stress and an adjustment period. There is a learning curve involved and most new grads tend to be slower with skills and can feel inadequate and out of their comfort zones.

    Maybe you're just on the wrong unit; or have the wrong preceptor for your learning style or personality. It happens.
    I agree completely. Although med/surg is a great place to get your basic experience, it's not for everyone. Perhaps you need to think about which area of Nursing you are most interested in.

    Don't give up, you will find your place.

    Good luck..
  5. by   CCL"Babe"
    I agree with StarGazer. Try another unit, another preceptor, what ever it takes. Your health and happiness are most important.
  6. by   nrs-jlm
    Thank you all for your replies. I guess I was pretty emotional the day I posted the original message (bad day at work) and was ready to just give up. After giving it lots of thought..I'm not!I've talked to my supervisor and I am going to try and hang in there for 2 more weeks. My supervisor, preceptor and I are going to have a meeting to see what can be done. She suggested the same thing many of you did: a different shift, unit and/or preceptor.I'll keep everyone updated!It's so nice to be able to share our experiences with fellow nurses...it really does make a difference!
    THANKS AGAIN!
  7. by   Stargazer
    Nice to see the follow-up. Keep us posted.
  8. by   Rapheal
    nrs-jlm,

    I sent you a pm.
  9. by   sixes
    I had the same problem but it was in a nursing home. I went to work in knots and came home in tears.
    I hung in and it got better. I love the elderly and I had to learn to cope with personal feelings.
    I'd get breakfast meads passed on time to start lunch meds and at the end of my shift I had to do all the paper work.
    Hang in it gets better
  10. by   Chaya
    nrs-jlm:

    There is a common perception that it takes about six months before a new grad is up to speed, so you're not out of line if you've only been on the job for a couple of months. I am also "time-challenged", especially when I am in a new environment. I found my niche in Rehab, which I intended to be temporary. This would be a great environment for you, at least for the time being. There is a slower patient turnover, so you will have some continuity from day to day. Also, the patient population is medically complex; you will see almost everything eventually, plus you will usually get to care for the same patient and thus perform the same procedures repeatedly.

    Good Luck-Don't quit yet!

    Chaya
  11. by   nurseJLoo
    you can sit around and do careplans all day theres plenty of what i call office type jobs for RNs
  12. by   sjoe
    "I've talked to my supervisor and I am going to try and hang in there for 2 more weeks. My supervisor, preceptor and I are going to have a meeting to see what can be done."

    Excellent. Much better than just quitting or moving elsewhere, at least at this stage of things. Good practice in problem-solving, which you will find useful no matter what you wind up doing.
  13. by   blue280
    nrs-jlm,
    I ran into the same problem that you are having. It was hard to tell if it was me being so new or if it was the unit (ER). I loved it there but after some soul searching, I did move to a different unit and I'm much happier there. Please don't give up, patience is key
  14. by   cokie
    i too started on a renal unit. take it from me....THAT IS TOUGH. i had the same experience that you did, and i moved to another hospital into med-surg/telemetry. the staff that oriented people were specially trained. spent the first day with no pt., just looked over the paperwork, manuals, where to find stuff, who to ask if one has a question. please don't give up on nursing, just look around and you may need to try a few units before you find your niche. renal may not be for you. they usually have multiple problems and can be very unstable, depending on where they are in their dialysis cycle. plus, the old leaky machines, i always felt like i was going to go flying on my keister.......before you take on a desk job, write up a pros and cons of floor nursing, and maybe move on.

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