Not feeling so great after first day precepting

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    So I'm graduating with a BSN in December. I've always done super well in my classes and clinicals. Today I started my senior preceptorship on a Telemetry floor. It just happens that my preceptor was the charge nurse for the shift. That meant no assignments for us. Instead, we spent all day covering other nurses when they went on break. I felt extremely overwhelmed. I was expecting some kind of orientation to the floor, some guidance from my preceptor on how to get started. But all of a sudden I'm helping her take care of a new set of patients every 15-30 min. I was so overwhelmed, because I'm not used with their charting system (I had never done paper charting up to now), didn't know where to find supplies, and I didn't really feel good about passing meds to patients I knew very little about, even though my preceptor was checking all meds. Then at the end of the shift my preceptor says: next shift just come a bit early, check which assignments I will have and pick any 3 of my patients to be your primary patients. I don't feel ready at all!! And to think that in a few months I'm potentially going to be a RN.... I don't know if I'm ready for this. It just became real, all of a sudden: instead of doing the work I used to do during clinicals (with the perks of prepping a day before, having the clinical instructor on site to help with whatever), I'm just going to have to start really taking charge of everything. Has anyone felt unprepared/not ready/overwhelmed/anxious so close to graduation?
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    I was a HUC on a med/surg floor and we were the preceptor floor for nurse residents. My advice is to make a list of everything you need for your 3 patients after you take report and check them off as you finish each med pass, dressing change, etc. My friends who are experienced nurses do this, and they also suggest finding a routine that works for you and stick to it. Then when you're interrupted multiple times during the day, you can go right back to your where you left off. Nursing is nothing like clinicals, it's stressful, busy and overwhelming. However, it's wonderful to leave at the end of the day and know that you provided excellent care and truly made a difference. You're about to embark on a lifetime of learning and no two days will ever be the same. A year from now you will look back and realize how far you've come. Good luck!
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    Quote from about-to-graduate
    Has anyone felt unprepared/not ready/overwhelmed/anxious so close to graduation?

    Yes, pretty much everyone.

    It gets better in about a year, and yes, you can make it through that year. If this were not true, all the nurses you see at work are doing a really fabulous job of concealment.

    My friend Esme has some good brains sheets to help you get organized. Print them out and see what works for you.
    SoldierNurse22 likes this.
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    Though I am in my senior year I can honestly say that that feeling is normal. I spent my summer on an internship however it was treated more like a preceptor-ship and it was overwhelming! It was hard because like you I was use to computer charting and with computerized charting comes the luxuries of having labs posted and highlighted whether they where low or high. At the facility I did my internship they had only paper charting and labs where delivered in our box in the med room and nothing was labeled low or high so I really struggled with everything that was not considered basic (and even some of the basics). I felt like a moron! Still kinda do. So don't feel alone, many have made it through tougher circumstances than ours. With these challenges we will hopefully grow and become great nurses!
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    It's super overwhelming. I'm in my 7th day of my preceptorship, and I gave a pt. a flu shot, and she got a fever. At first I didn't think the flu shot could of caused the fever since the temp was taken just after administration. I thought developing a fever after a flu shot would take a little time. Therefore I didn't share it with my preceptor or the PA. They did know I gave it, but I wish I thought of it when asked "What could have caused the fever?". I feel so dumb! I'm battling nerves and being a novice. I want to be a great nurse, and hopefully I'll get there.
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    It gets better. I'm on my 5th day of preceptorship in a very busy E.R. We might care for up to 15 different patients during a 12 hour shift. The first day was absolutley nuts, with me running everywhere trying to find stuff, trying to operate the equipment, learning the charting. The second day I was finally able to think. Every day since has gotten better. I now take care of 2 patients at a time from start to finish, ranging from stubbed toes to a full codes. When it gets crazy, I stop for a sec and take a deep breath. I think about what I need to do (I make lists like it's going out of style), and then figure out which is the most urgent. It helps keep me feeling sane and in control. If I have questions, I call for my preceptor. Haven't killed anyone yet, so I guess I'm doing ok! haha
    krisiepoo likes this.


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