LOST IT AT WORK TODAY? IS THIS EXPECTED?

  1. DESPERATELY NEED ADVICE FROM RN WHO CAN REMEMBER HOW IT WAS WHEN YOU FIRST STARTED OUT AND WENT THROUGH ORIENTATION. TODAY, I LOST IT AND HAD TO LEAVE THE FLOOR. AFTER I HAD A SMALL CRY, I WAS BETTER. I DIDN'T RUN UP AND DOWN THE HALLS SCREAMING, BUT I DID HAVE TO GET AWAY TO CRY. WHAT THE DEAL? IS THIS JUST EXPECTED? IS IT THE STRESS OF TRYING TO LEARN A NEW PROFESSION? I LOVE NURSING AND REALLY DON'T MIND THE HARD WORK, BUT I AM ALMOST OVERWHELMED BY THE AMOUNT OF ACQUIRED KNOWLEDGE THAT MUST BE OBTAINED ON THE JOB. IT SEEMS EVERYTIME I TURN AROUND, I AM ASKED WHY I DIDN'T DO THIS OR THAT. WE'LL NO ONE TOLD ME I HAD TO DO THAT DOESN'T CUT IT. ALSO, I FEEL LIKE SOMETIMES I AM IN SLOW MOTION....AND I WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO TAKE THE FULL PATIENT LOAD LIKE THE SEASONED NURSES. ANY ADVICE WILL BE APPRECIATED.

    REDLIME_99
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   MollyJ
    It's been 21 years since I was a new grad, but I can remember feeling very overwhelmed at times. I went to work in the hospital I trained in (diploma grad) so my transition was not too traumatic. We went to work after a 2 week orientation. But I remember feeling the heavy weight of responsibility and feeling like I had a lot to remember. But let me tell you a secret. Back then, people would be admitted for GI work-ups and so some of our clients were pretty self-care, but got a bowel prep the night before their procedure. They weren't RN intensive patients. I don't think tri-lumens had been invented yet. There wasn't the profusion of IV meds that you would find on the average med-surg floor. We were busy because there were new post ops (and 7-10 day post-op abdominal patients) but I think the floor of today has a lot of acuity and alot of labor intensive technology (it can be labor intensive if there is a snafu).
    Sorry, I digress. You can see I am really OLD. ;-) Anyhow. Be nice to yourself. It will start to fall into place as you develop more routines. Take some slow deep breaths. The first year I think is really challenging because there are so many "firsts." You'll make it. Exercise, network with other new grads and old classmates. If they're honest, you'll find your feelings aren't rare or unusual.
    Good luck.
  4. by   jen622
    WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF NURSING!!!I STILL GET A GOOD CRY IN THE BREAK ROOM NOW AND THEN, NOT FROM BEING A NEW NURSE ANYMORE, YOU'LL FIND OTHER REASONS!
  5. by   jef
    Don't be too hard on your self!!! I think everyone gets stressed beyond their max at times. But different people deal with it differently. Make sure to take care of yourself outside of work, i.e exercise, get enough sleep, eat right, have fun... It makes it easier to deal with the stresses at work. I have been a nurse for 15 years, have been the "new kid on the block" several times, and sometimes still feel the need to cry after a rough day. Hang in there - it will get better!!!
  6. by   scllern
    I am not a new nurse and I still cry once in awhile. I remember walking in your shoes. Give yourself time to learn. I find it helpful to get to know someone on the unit who is really experienced. Usually, if you ask they will be willing to help you grow.
  7. by   lmgnurse
    I remember being a new nurse. The nurses who were orienting me looked upon me as an extra set of hands, and I didn't really get a good orientation. Just hang in there, there are somedays when you will be overwhelmed and some when you will feel like you did a great job. With time the good days will outnumber the bad.

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  8. by   Tleeves
    I just transferred from a bone marrow unit, to working in the ICU, whole new setting, whole new set of skills to learn. And I am feeling overwhelmed all over again, thinking "will I ever be competent?" But little by little, the comfort level comes. I tis hard being in a profession where mistakes can be disastrous, even kill, we all lose it sometimes. Hang in there, we have all been there, we will all be there again. We feel for you.
  9. by   mn nurse
    Shortly after I finished new grad orientation, I received a call from a neuro surgeon in the middle of my oncoming shift report. He gave me pre-op orders for a crani scheduled first thing the following a.m. I finished report, made my rounds, fed my patients dinner, and then remembered I had this patient to get ready for surgery.

    I couldn't find those orders anywhere! Finally, I had to call him (at home) and explain what I'd done, and ask him to repeat the orders. He hung up on me, and magically appeared in the hallway of my unit about 45 minutes later. I, too, have had the experience of crying at work!

    That was over 10 years ago, and although my organizational skills improved rapidly after that incident, I still occasionally find things to cry about at work.

    New Grads, hang in there! Even though you completed formal schooling, your education is just beginning. Let your more experienced coworkers know you'd like to observe procedures, be notified and participate in rare disease or equipment situations, and, if you're feeling uncomfortable or uncertain in a situation, ask questions! Most nurses will listen to a situation or go take a look at something for you if you ask them to.

    Also, ask your manager if there is anyone you could connect with in a mentor arrangement. I've worked in facilities where this arrangement is in effect for at least a year post graduation, and lots of people find it helpful.

    Remember this experience when YOU'RE the experienced nurse, and some other poor soul is crying in the break room. Some day, you'll have the opportunity to help somebody else through this! Hang in there!
  10. by   Roach
    AAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!

    My boss wanted to know why I don't want to work three 12 hour shifts in a row. My answer is "Because I always cry on the third day, I'm too tired and get overwhelmed much easier." Hee Hee.

    Hang in there. You can do it.

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    Roach
  11. by   LAS
    Please do not be so hard on yourself, they can not teach you everything that you need to know in nursing school. It is OK to cry, sometimes you have to. Hang in their there will be better days
  12. by   jbresolin
    I work with nurses who did and sometimes do cry as part of their coping with the job. You are someone who has strong feelings--good for you. Don't loose touch with them, they will enable you to touch others and understand them. Nurses can become numb after contact with continous intensity and not realize what has happened to them. Guard your sensitivity as a gift and titrate your involvement at work to tolerance. Develop outside interests.
  13. by   Tara
    SLOW DOWN. You can only do one thing at a time. Prioritize your task and take it easy on yourself. Ask for help and when people ask you why you didn't do something give them an answer that is logical. It is hard to understand your situation. Maybe if you were more specific on the details. A lot of the stressors in nursing are learning how to deal with others. You will get it and try not to let anything upset you. It sounds like you are just learning the ropes. Hang in there.

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