Will be off orientation and I'm nervous and need advice!

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    I’m a new grad on a Med Surg unit, and I’m about to go off of orientation….and I’m nervous as hell! I feel like all I'm doing is completing tasks (and not being able to even get to some of them)….and I barley get a chance to interact with any of my patients! When doctors stop me to ask how my patients are doing….I never have any answers…family…the same thing! I hate not being abler to feel I’m making a difference! I also feel that I have no guidelines with my preceptor and organization as to what I’m supposed to have done within my orientation. I hear from most of the nurses on my floor “Oh don’t worry…you’ll learn,…you’ll have no choice”! I just don’t feel very supported! I also expected id learn a lot more in nursing school, but school almost seems to have not prepped me very well! What’s worse is that I have an anxiety disorder that during school I stopped treating! I feel like I’m getting waves of panic…the kind that makes you feel as if you’ve just figured-out that you have been buried alive! I’m in my 40’s, and you’d think I would be old enough not to be worrying so much about these things and take them one day at a time…but I don’t know where if the job is just that tough and that’s just the way it is…or am I making it that way! When I try to talk to other nurses about it….They just kindly say…welcome to MedSurg! Can someone give a new nurse some perspective? I would appreciate any advice, and to know that maybe I’m not loosing it! Thanks!
  2. 3 Comments so far...

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    Since this is almost a month later, you're probably more in the swing of things now. But here's my perspective:

    My first two years of nursing was AWFUL. I spent the entire time scared to death, and would go home every night (morning, actually) and stress about everything I'd missed, or could have done better, or didn't know. Patients would thank me for my care, and all I could think was "If only you knew everything I had WANTED to do for you this shift, you wouldn't be nearly so grateful with the little I was able to get to."

    But as a seasoned nurse, I will say that yes, you WILL learn all the things you mentioned. As I mentioned earlier, it was a full 1 1/2 to two years before I was comfortable with my job and didn't feel like I was going to kill someone every shift. But eventually you find that you will get it. What helped me more than anything was teaching others - either new nurses or nursing students. That will really reinforce to you that you know more than you think you do.

    Just a couple extra thoughts: nursing school cannot teach you even a fraction of what you need to know for your job, especially if you're going into med/surg. A good nursing instructor will impress upon you that the information you learn in nursing school is foundation only, and the majority of all your knowledge will be learned on the job.

    Also, you will ALWAYS have days where you feel like you're running from one task to another (and unable to get to them all). The time you'd rather spend teaching a patient about their JP drain that they'll go home with is instead eaten up by having 3 diabetics and a patient with q 1 hour pain meds. But the longer you work, the fewer of these days that you'll have.

    Hang in there!!!
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    I could have written this post! I am starting my first shift on my own tomorrow night and I am so nervous I can hardly stand it! Praying it all goes well.
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    Quote from jess_b
    I could have written this post! I am starting my first shift on my own tomorrow night and I am so nervous I can hardly stand it! Praying it all goes well.
    Don't forget utilizing a brain sheet...plug in "brain sheet" in the search bar and choose one.

    Good Luck!


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