Can't get it right.

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    I am 19 years old and I got my LPN license 2 months ago. I'm having a lot of trouble. First off no one respects me. I'm soft spoken. The Aids and other nurses walk all over me. I work 16 hour shifts over the weekends and am charge nurse. I'm responsible for 30 patients. I am overwhelmed but i need the weekend doubles because I'm going to school and I have a son. I need the week to study and c my kid. Between fatigue and having 30 people with multiple needs I keep leaving holes in my documentation. The doctors say I don't give them enough information over the phone or prompt enough. I try to look up things before hand, but it feels like I just can't get it right. I have been sat down with my boss twice now. she hasn't written me up yet. But I'm worried I'm going to loose my job. Every time I think I'm doing things right. It turns out that nothing I did was right. I'm trying so hard, sometimes I just don't feel old enough or smart enough to be a nurse. I keep having to ask questions and i think the other nurses are getting irritated. I'm a slow learner and am having a hard time catching onto things. I have low self confidence and feel inadequate in everyway. Any advice?
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    It sounds to me like you are in over your head. Is it possible to work the same hours but not in a charge nurse capacity?

    It seems like you aware of what you need to work on and/or what is causing you problems.

    When I first started as Nurse Lead (our term for charge nurse), I carried a pocket notebook with we EVERYWHERE. I wrote down everything. And I mean everything. At the end of the shift, I would go through my notebook and make sure I had handled everything. I also had the notebook in my hand when I would have to make any phone calls. A little preparation in advance eases problems down the road.

    It also sounds to me like you need to dig down and find your self confidence. You are beating yourself up a lot. You passed your boards, you got the job. Work on not being so soft spoken.
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    I also think you're being too hard on yourself. You never would have graduated from nursing school or passed the nclex if you were as "slow" as you make yourself out to be. You should be proud to be a licensed nurse at the age of 19.

    With that said, given that you're
    only 19, you're going to have to work extra hard to present yourself as a mature professional. People are going to have a hard enough time taking you seriously. Cut out the "text" talk and slang (no more "I need to c my kid"). Don't show your emotions, keep them bottled up. Don't go to pieces when you make a mistake. Just keep going. Even if you're afraid, don't let it show. Trust me, aides sensing you're afraid is like sharks smelling blood.

    In other words, toughen up, or at least give the impression you have. Your problem isn't that you're not "good" enough, it's that you're not assertive enough. Maybe not the advice you want to hear, but it's the best course of action.
    AheleneLPN and sunny3811 like this.
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    It will be ok. Buy a book called chartsmart to help you with charting and get a notebook, what I have in my notebook are the patients that I need vitals on, patients that are on abt, medicare, labs, patients who left for appointments, patients that need skin assessments or quarterly assessments, family members I need to call and any patient complaints about illness or whatever and what to call the doctor for. This helps me with all my charting at the end of my shift( I never chart before because something always happens, but everyone is different). Some doctors are just mean and it does take time to get use to LTC it can be overwhelming. I was attacked every day by my unit manager( I was written up my first week and she still didn't tell me what I did wrong. she was eventually fired, she was too busy passing out write ups to everyone, she was way behind on her work), other LPNs, and nurses. Once I started speaking up they starting respecting me. I dont know why we have to go through this hazing. Just try to remember if you have a coumadin lab you need the dosage they are currently taking and what were the last lab results before you call the doctor. It will become second nature after you work there for a while and find a little speed, and the ability to multitask
    LPNKY2012 likes this.


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