How long did it take until your anxiety went away

  1. Hi everyone, I just wanted to know how long did it take until you stopped getting anxiety at work as a new nurse. Thanks
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   Rose_Queen
    Not sure what specialty you're working in, but a common saying in the OR is that it takes a full year to start feeling like you know what you're doing. I'm sure it's similar in other specialties.
  4. by   flutist
    My anxiety lasted the first few months at my first nursing job. Then I got comfortable of that floor and the anxiety decreased a lot (didn't completely disappear). Then I switched and it again took a few months to get comfortable. I was a few months in and started to get bad headaches/migraines and then it would set off the anxiety and then that would set off the headaches again. Took me going off work for a few weeks and some counselling to get it back under control. Then I started to get comfortable with my position and the anxiety pretty much disappeared. Last year I added another area of practice and was anticipating my anxiety going up as it had with each switch of nursing positions but I was surprised that my anxiety was pretty low. I think that I had finally started to get my confidence as a nurse and it made the transition this time easier.

    The point is that as I got more comfortable in nursing, didn't matter where I was working, my anxiety lessened. I still do get a bit of anxiety before a shift. Most of the time it is related to the uncertainty of what my day is going to look like. I'm not sure what pts I will get that day, who I'm working with etc. But it's not interfering anymore. I'm soon going to add emerg to my list of practice areas and we will see how that goes.

    Stick with it. It does get easier
  5. by   stepwintention
    Hi!

    I've been working about 8 months as an RN. Here are some tips that helped me get over the weak knees in the beginning. I still get nervous at times, but that tsunami of info can be overwhelming. So hope this helps.

    1. Three words. HIT THE GYM. Getting it out is huge. We see life and death on a regular basis. Coping is huge.
    2. Study up what you don't know. Drill and you will be confident in your areas of weakness. ie. If you don't know cardiac meds or IV pushes, grab your hospital policy and memorize the top 10 meds you push.
    3. Get a mentor who is not on your unit that you can vent to and won't judge you.
    4. Nursing is a practice, it is ongoing. There is always more to learn. When I don't know what to do, I take the scenario and put it into a test question. It takes the emotion out of it so I can think clearly

    best of luck!!!
  6. by   rnsheri
    Hi! Congrats on your new endeavor! stepwintention has some good ideas and flutist could've been me. Going into nursing I was completely new to the healthcare field. I had previously worked food service to help tuition costs. I was a disaster. To cheer you up... During nursing school, I was terrified to go into the sanctity of a patient's room. I somehow broke an automatic BP cuff in my most dreaded clinic rotation... maternity. I spilled ice water on a new mom. Grades? Grades were fine, but I was so self-conscious I psyched myself out. I had kind teachers who believed in me.

    Medication was a huge help. My senior clinicals went more smoothly. When I got a job, of course, I was back to square one. I didn't know anyone and by god they knew everyone! I felt like a speedbump impeding traffic, afarid to talk or not talk. Everything flew by without me really comprehending. Organization was a fantasy word. At first I rotated with various nurses but my primary preceptor really helped a lot. Some tough love, but always there to support me.

    Anyway, here's some things. I hated practicing IV's because I wasn't always good and got the stink eye from patients a lot. It hurt my feelings when they would dismiss me for "someone who knows what they're doing". My preceptor made me stick anyway. I'm pretty good at IV insertions now, even though I faked coincidence at first. Calling doctors was a nightmare, but I learned that sometimes when you call a doc at night you get burned. It became the expected thing. The docs weren't giving me any rewards, and if I messed up, you better believe I knew it. Skills come with time, and ease with people you just acquire through comfort and your own personality. It is 80% easier to communicate with and treat patients when they feel safe. I also cut up with them when I can. It eases tensions.

    I have a long way to go. But I can walk in a room now without worrying about possibly urinating on myself. I'm proficient in a lot of skills. And no one guesses that I was painfully, pitifully shy. I doubt I'll ever be 100% confident, but I don't want to be. I always want to ask the questions and do the best thing by the patient. I do feel good about where my career is at and who I am as a professional. Give it between 6 months and two years (depending on your personal advancement). Best of luck!



    1. Three words. HIT THE GYM. Getting it out is huge. We see life and death on a regular basis. Coping is huge.
    2. Study up what you don't know. Drill and you will be confident in your areas of weakness. ie. If you don't know cardiac meds or IV pushes, grab your hospital policy and memorize the top 10 meds you push.
    3. Get a mentor who is not on your unit that you can vent to and won't judge you.
    4. Nursing is a practice, it is ongoing. There is always more to learn. When I don't know what to do, I take the scenario and put it into a test question. It takes the emotion out of it so I can think clearly

    best of luck!!![/QUOTE]
  7. by   PixieRN1
    Fifteen years in, and I still get it. It's never disabled me, but I'm just being real.

    The only thing that has changed are the exact things that make me anxious have changed widely over the years...

    Thoughts of coding kids and babies used to terrify me...once I (sadly) became proficient in that, something else would swoop in to cause me anxiety.

    While my anxiety appears to be ever present, I can say that my coping skills are much more robust than they were as a newer nurse. Build your tool box of coping skills now to help weather the storms that inevitably will hit.

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