Advice for the new nurse entering Med-Surg - page 18

by RNPATL

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Here is your chance to give some advice and counsel to new RN's and LPN's entering their first clinical job as a nurse. What advice would you give them? I am going to make this a sticky so that it is always available on the... Read More


  1. 0
    Hi! I'm at my 3rd and last month of new grad training. My preceptor is worried because according to her standards, I'm still not ready. The thing is ---- I asked a lot of other new grads in our unit and they told me that it took them 6 - 7 months of work before they became totally comfortable and confident in their work. Another nurse told me that he felt that his life was just crazy and hopeless for a year and then, after that, things got better.

    As for me, I feel that yes, there are so many things that I still have to learn but I have found my routine and I'm gradually learning time management and prioritization.

    For example, my patient was scheduled for ct scan and I forgot to call the technician first before sending the patient down to radiology. Kudos to me though cuz at least I remembered to send along the patient's signed consent form, unlike the last time.

    what do you guys think? how long did you become completely comfortable at your job?

    i'm just a little stressed out because she kept saying that i'm not ready and maybe, she's right but then, sometimes, I think she's just a perfectionist. Do people expect new grads to be perfect afther 3 months of training?
  2. 0
    I feel the same way I'm going on my 3rd and last month.and I do not feel ready... not even with my routine. My preceptor doesn't really tell me I'm not ready, I'm the one who tells her I'm not ready. I don't think that 3 months of training on a Med-Surg floor for a new grad is enough. I feel stressed everyday. I feel like I try my hardest to do my best...but I still need my preceptor to help me out because I end up getting behinde. I have alot of trouble just carrying out the orders in a timely manner... and when I know I have an admission coming it throws me off. I really hope and pray I can get through this because I just feel like it is alot to learn in so little time.
  3. 0
    Quote from ilovenana
    I feel the same way I'm going on my 3rd and last month.and I do not feel ready... not even with my routine. My preceptor doesn't really tell me I'm not ready, I'm the one who tells her I'm not ready. I don't think that 3 months of training on a Med-Surg floor for a new grad is enough. I feel stressed everyday. I feel like I try my hardest to do my best...but I still need my preceptor to help me out because I end up getting behinde. I have alot of trouble just carrying out the orders in a timely manner... and when I know I have an admission coming it throws me off. I really hope and pray I can get through this because I just feel like it is alot to learn in so little time.
    i understand exactly how you feel. in my case, i'm comfortable with my routine. and i do get stressed if a new order / an admission pops up but most of the time, i can catch up with my work by the time my shift ends. my concern is that i only hope that people in my unit are willing to answer my questions. that is all i can ask from my co-workers.
  4. 1
    At 3 months on the floor, it is perfectly normal to feel as if you are not ready to be out on your own. It is virtually impossible to be exposed to everything in your orientation that will equip you for the remainder of your first year of nursing. Unfortunately, most facilities are experiencing critical nursing shortages and pretty much rush new grads onto the floor for ratios; if you are able, ask for an extension in orientation.
    ilovenana likes this.
  5. 4
    Well I have been on floor as a new grad for a little over two months and was told among many other barbs that I should be running, not figuratively mind you, but literally. I would not be permitted to ask any questions but in the event that I dared, I should think long and hard about those questions carefully and in advance so as not to make myself seem incompetent and that I was taking beyond what was considered an appropriate orientation time. After all, I had graduated from nursing school and passed the NCLEX intimating i suppose that I was just lucky to have passed them... but an attack on my alma mater was a little hard to swallow but I just sat there determined to only listen. I certainly did not want to be disrespectful but I suspect the manager might have had a bad night or something so I decided to turn the other cheek and I actually sat there and said a silent prayer for her and I both as she continued to tear into me over my "not getting all" it in the 2 months. I received very high marks on all of my med surg clinicals, some of the highest in my class and was inducted into 2 honor societies not to brag but only to to assert that I am not bad at learning or following orders or direction if they are given clearly I will absolutely carry them out. I am beginning to think that maybe it is like being a prospect in a motorcycle club where you are just insulted and condescended just to see if you will crack and how much you will take without becoming what could be deemed as insubordinate. I am, I must admit, quite surprised that our experiences are somewhat similar and would encourage you all to just hang in there. I do not plan to quit or give up as that is not in my nature and probably not in yours as you would have got this far either.
    We should just continue to write to each other about our experieces and then one of us should sit down and write an article for AJN or Nursing and from the perspective with the ordeal behind us and to offer our pain as insight for those following us into the field. I find it is easier to pray when I feel persecuted that to respond with any malice or resentment and try to think of everything I am grateful for rather than complain about. It is hard for me to do this, believe me, but it has always worked for me.
    Good luck to us all and God bless us all!
    D_a_n_a_h, nurse_becks6, elprup, and 1 other like this.
  6. 1
    Quote from HoosierMale
    I would not be permitted to ask any questions but in the event that I dared, I should think long and hard about those questions carefully and in advance so as not to make myself seem incompetent
    ...
    After all, I had graduated from nursing school and passed the NCLEX intimating i suppose that I was just lucky to have passed them... but an attack on my alma mater was a little hard to swallow but I just sat there determined to only listen. I certainly did not want to be disrespectful but I suspect the manager might have had a bad night or something so I decided to turn the other cheek and I actually sat there and said a silent prayer for her and I both as she continued to tear into me over my "not getting all" it in the 2 months. I received very high marks on all of my med surg clinicals, some of the highest in my class and was inducted into 2 honor societies not to brag but only to to assert that I am not bad at learning or following orders or direction if they are given clearly I will absolutely carry them out. I am beginning to think that maybe it is like being a prospect in a motorcycle club where you are just insulted and condescended just to see if you will crack and how much you will take without becoming what could be deemed as insubordinate. I am, I must admit, quite surprised that our experiences are somewhat similar and would encourage you all to just hang in there. I do not plan to quit or give up as that is not in my nature and probably not in yours as you would have got this far either.
    this happened to me too! the older RNs would make snide comments about my clinical training to the point that i feel like i'm really stupid but i know i'm not. i've always been a good, smart, hardworking student. thank you so much for sharing your experience. i thought it was just me.

    it really is true when they say that nurses eat their young.
    newrngrad likes this.
  7. 0
    Just a thought....has nursing always ate their young? Why do you think that is? Is it too many females in one profession? Is it a kind of bullying that has moved through the generation of nurses?
    Or is it related to a difference in training...toady vs. a decade ago vs. years ago.
    I was told when I was a new grad by an older nurse, that it wasn't my fault I had trouble adjusting at first. They had alot more hospital training in the old nursing programs (diploma and hospital trained,) compared to the new BScN programs. Or is it a not so nice way, to toughen us up?
    I really don't know the answer, so I am throwing it out there, why do you think nurses eat their young?

    Btw, I took me a good year to get comfortable as a nurse, but I also had to adjust to two new positions in my first year at two different hospitals. This is my third new job in just over a year with all the layoffs (plus I wanted permanent full-time.) I have just transitioned to a new position on a new floor in a new hospital, and it was so much easier then when I first started as a new grad. You gain alot more confidence and strength through the new grad struggles, and that can definately be drawn on when things get tough on the job.
  8. 0
    Not all nurses eat their young. But unfortunately some do. I think low self esteem makes them that way....
    Just ask questions, look up any dx, tx, or med that you don't understand. Learn time management from your experienced coworkers. Find a mentor, and listen to what they say. Remember that they aren't perfect either, but will be able to guide you to right resources, and will be a shoulder to cry on when things go wrong. Hang in there, it does get better, even if it seems daunting now. We were all the new kid at one time, so keep that in mind. And go to any inservices that you can, they are learning experiences.
  9. 5
    a good site for information:

    http://www.bostonscientific.com/proc...1002/seo.serve cardiac, kidney, urology, vascular, lung/airway, gyn, digestive disorders, cancer, brain conditions, chronic pain
    snowflakeprincess, NaKcl, MauraRN, and 2 others like this.
  10. 0
    I have an interview for a medical floor, which I am very excited about. I have read everyone's advice and they are great!!! I know that if I end up getting the job and working I will definitely freak out... but I know it takes time to feel completely comfortable. I love nursing and can't wait to start my career.


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