So I graduated in Sept of 2012 and got my licence in Nov 2012. I started my first job as a nurse 2 weeks ago. When I went into nursing it was for a purely selfish reason. I love the feeling of knowing I help people. I enjoy comforting people and making their days just a little brighter. Thats why I went into nursing. With my new job at a LTC facility, We get 16-20 pts a nurse, I thought I would be doing this. During my first walk through of the facility EVERYONE was so nice and seemed helpful. I was told I would get 4 weeks of OR. She made it perfectly clear that is all the time I would get so don't ask for more. I went for my first day of OR and had no clue what to expect. The person who I was following was really nice. The first morning med pull (8ish) she handed me the pills and directed me at who was who. By the second med pull ( 10ish) I was on my own. I had no training on their computer for med pull and had no idea who was who! She said I did a great job and had me pull meds for the day and the next 3 days by my self. I was so over whelmed!! When I asked for help she said its okay to ask I am here to help but would groan when she had to get up from the desk. She then at the end of the shift told me I was not charting and going to get into trouble. I had no clue how to chart in their system!! Plus I though you did head to toe assessments on every one and charted it. But here you only chart on the PT who have UTIs, Infections, who have fallen with in a week, a new admission or getting skilled therapy. They also want certain info for each one. They are not all the same. Again I am very over whelmed. I feel like I spent my whole time running around throwing pills at people and not doing what I wanted. Which was to get to know them and helping them. Oh and if a Aides don't answer the light within 6 mins the manager yells at you, the nurse for not keeping track of the aides. ( Yes I got yelled at!) This week my 3rd week I have to go to a different floor with different rules and policies because everyone has to float between the two. I feel so over whelmed and cried every day to work and home. Today is my day off and I have to go back tomorrow and just want to cry because its so much to take in. Does this get better!? What can I do???? Thanks in advance for the advice and letting me vent.
Feb 2, '13
Speak to your supervisor. It will take time - as a new grad my first couple weeks were rough but once you get into routine, it gets easier
Take notes, try to arrive a bit earlier to study charts, pictures and other nurses working their routine. You can do it
Feb 2, '13
I don't say this to discourage you at all but to be honest your experience sounds pretty typical.
First of all, 16-20 patients in LTC is wonderful. In many places you have 30. Secondly, the reality sucks but the truth is the biggest percentage of your time is passing meds. It's boring and monotonous but there isn't much time left over to do much else in most places, especially when you're first starting.
I precept sometimes and I find the only way to do it is to just have the new hire start passing the meds. I have had them watch me for a couple days and it's useless. Jumping in is the only way to devlop any kind of proficiency with the med pass. Now, when I precept I stay right by their side at the cart the whole day until they are proficient and confident and about to be on their own. If you really get four weeks of orientation that is wonderful! An experienced nurse can expect a couple days, a new grad a couple weeks MAX at the facilities I'm familar with.
Head to toes on everyone in this setting is simply not practical or even necessary. You have to sort of put school to the side. You have to learn how to do focused assessments and prioritize to make the most of the couple of minutes you have with each patient. Getting to actually know patients is going to happen in time, but not right away.
You do have to speak up and demand to learn how to use the computer or whatever you need to do to chart. You don't want to end up off orientation and not knowing how to chart.
Hang in there, it does get better.
Feb 2, '13
This was me a few weeks ago. I was on my own for the first time tonight. I had five weeks of or. They would give me more if I wasn't confident. It takes time to learn patients. I had cheat sheets(who gets crused/hole/tube) and other things. I'm responsible for six patients head to toe while I work my two day bailor. It's not at all what school prepares you for it's so much more. Take notes and don't be afraid to ask a question even if you think it makes you sound stupid. ASK!!
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