So I accepted an offer for an LTC facility, working on the night shift (which has me SO freaked out). I swear to you all: I did well in school, I passed NCLEX with flying colors, and I have spent the last 4 months (post NCLEX, not working as a nurse) volunteering with Medical Reserve Corp and at a hospice. But OMG I don't feel like a nurse at all! Whenever I think of school, I'm like, "I didn't even DO anything!! I just did meds and assessments! I can't start an IV, I can't even draw blood!" I feel positively useless and panicked.
Orientation starts next month and goes for 4 weeks. So far, I've been trying to prepare by doing medication problems online, reviewing my old books/notes, and reading AN, lol. I did order a couple geriatric-focused textbooks to help me focus my nursing skills to suit the facility. But... what else can I do? What should I be prepared for??
I just know that going into the night shift is going to mean a lot of responsibility and autonomy. I want to do this right. Obviously the facility knows that this is my first nursing job, and they wouldn't offer my the position if they didn't think I was competent. But, god, I just really want to succeed!
So, if anyone out there has general advice, or even just "I wish I had done this before I started as an LTC RN" I would appreciate it!
Congrats on the job! I work in LTC as well. I didn't read all of the replies, but I would suggest forming a good relationship with your co-workers. Teamwork is crucial in LTC, so it's best if you have a rapport with fellow nursing staff. Don't be afraid to pitch in if you have down time! A lot of nurses in LTC (at least that I've seen) are unwilling to help with personal care (toileting, bathing, etc). If you're willing to lend a helping hand to the CNAs, they will appreciate you and respect you in return! Be an advocate not only for your residents, but their families as well. And don't forget, document, document, document! Something as simple as a telephone call to a family member should be documented in the progress notes. CYA! And don't worry about not being able to start an IV or draw blood. I worked on tele and med-surg before I returned to LTC. I rarely started IVs and never drew blood! There's a lot that you don't learn in nursing school. As others have said, you'll learn as you go. Nursing is a forever learning field! Be nurturing and compassionate and you'll do great!
Last edit by lilsnfrn on Oct 24, '13
: Reason: spelling