Feeling defeated, lost and stupid.

  1. I'm new RN off orientation a few weeks. I work days and it's crazy busy. Yesterday I didn't have time to chart until the end of shift. I was there until 10 p.m. exhausted physically and mentally.

    I'm now stressing about the crappy job I did charting my shift. JHACO is supposed to be visiting this week and I'm a nervous wreck worrying they will pick apart my documentation. We chart by exception, but I feel I didn't chart anything. If a patient was in a pain I don't make a separate note because I figure it will come up on the MAR when I documented their pain scale, etc. after giving pain pill. And anyway, honestly, my days are just one big blur.

    I'm feeling very stressed, overwhelmed and I don't know if it's because I'm working days or if it's because it's Med Surg and I'm feeling so stupid, lost, and behind all the time. Should I move to working nights?? I hear it's much slower pace. At this point I feel like a darn robot and I don't really know what's going on with my patients and scared to death I'll get fired from this job or worse, lose my license. This is just now how I expected it to be, but I'm mid 40's, worked very hard for this degree and wouldn't know what else to do.
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    About Bonnie86

    Joined: Sep '10; Posts: 56; Likes: 18


  3. by   tokmom
    What is your nurse/pt ratio?

    Sorry to hear that you are having a rough time. You need to cut yourself some slack though. Being off orientation means you are still working on a routine, right? Given that, some busy days are just that..a blur!

    As for JACHO, if you are charting per policy what can they say?
  4. by   Bonnie86
    Our ratio is 5 patients, but a few days ago I was given 6 patients. Five is stressful enough for me. I have been gotten after a few times for different things like leaving an admission for night nurse (patient came to my unit at end of my shift. I was already swamped). Discharges taking way too long when ER is backed up with patients. I just feeling very overwhelmed and like I'm going to walk in one day and be told I no longer have a job.
  5. by   sophie09
    oh-hugs-. i know how you feel.every nurse knows how you feel. don't give up. do you get a really good report at start of shift? you should be able to look at your report sheet, and have a pretty good image of that pt. Use a really good documentation Brain sheet that covers all the basics, and don't rely on memory for anything. chart any chance you get, don't wait till the end of shift. Ask the nurse you most admire for any tips and timesavers. i load my pockets with everything possible-saline flushes, alcohol swabs, etc. I do my easiest pt assessment and meds first, that way i feel like i've accomplished something right away(unless of course someone is unstable, then i see them first). Check my iv pumps and fluids right away too. hang in there.you sound very concientious, and that is very good
  6. by   brandimelendez
    Don't worry, things will get easier. I just hit my one year mark as a nurse and there has been many times I felt the way you do. Give it some time. You will learn to handle everything soon. You will learn to organize things in a way that benefits you better. Time management comes with time. Keep your head up.
  7. by   tokmom
    six can overwhelm anyone. It will get better though.
  8. by   westieluv
    I can't imagine starting off as a brand new nurse on day shift! Most new grads start out on nights, and while people tend to exaggerate how slow things are at night, it is different and here's why: you can have a super busy night, patients crashing, admissions, doctor calls, etc. but here's the thing: there are almost no doctors making rounds, there are no meals to serve and monitor, patients are not leaving the floor for tests or surgeries unless it's an emergency, many patients don't sleep at night, it's true, but many also do, and instead of 20 people in the nurses' station there may be 6-8.

    I admire you for hanging in there, but if things don't improve, you might consider moving to the night shift, at least until you get your sea legs. It helped me immeasurably to start out on nights and I ended up preferring it to days. The few day shifts that I have worked have left me wondering how they can get anyone to stay on that shift!
  9. by   Bonnie86
    THanks. I am considering night shift. My manager pulled me into her office recently and asked how things were going. She said some of the nurses have told her I seem very overwhelmed. True. She was really nice about it and asked if I wanted to go back to orientation, but I declined. She had to run to a meeting, but I mentioned night shift to her. I worked night shift all the nursing school. I'm not 100% sure I want to feel like a zombie again from bad sleep. Wondering if I should just look into another area of nursing altogether.
  10. by   veronica butterfly
    Hang in there, Bonnie! Med/Surg days feel crazy to everyone and it sounds completely normal how you're feeling. Keep in touch with your manager about how she thinks you're doing, or if you had a preceptor, can you get support from them or have them check your charting? I think we all stayed late to chart when we were first new, but 10 pm sounds too late, I always hit a wall with charting about 1/2 hour after the shift is over. Are you working 8 hour days or 12 hour days? I worked evening 3-11:30pm when I was first new to Med/Surg, I thought that was the perfect shift. You get enough experience to learn things, see pts when they're awake, and then it (usually!) winds down by the end of the shift when everybody goes nighty-night... How you feel right now is very normal, don't be too hard on yourself!
  11. by   Bonnie86
    I'm working 12 hour days. My preceptor moved another floor (oncology). I asked to go with her and was up there about a week, but then they needed nurses on Med Surg so back I went. Thanks for the words of encouragement.
  12. by   Nightshiftsk
    Night shift can be a slower pace but you also have much less support staff. Also when pts start sundowning. It is just different not necessarily easier. Also need to put on big girl pants to wake up that nasty dr in the middle of the night - not all of them mind you but all hospitals have them. Good luck whatever you do. It really does take a year before you start to feel comfortable in a hospital in my opinion. I was very overwhelmed and then a year had passed and I was doing ok. Hang in there it does get better and if it doesn't might take a look at the unit/hospital you are working.
  13. by   occrn21
    After reading some of these posts, I felt some of that anxiety creep back in. I worked on a busy PCU floor for over a year, and often felt overwhelmed and defeated at the end of the day. Even though the hours flew by and the weight melted off me, I felt like I rarely had a minute to catch up. Charting sometimes kept me a couple hours past the end of my shift. That was tough, especially after being physically wiped out, trying to focus on charting. The worst was knowing I would be returning the next day to the same chaos. There were even times on my days off, when I was called in to fix my charting. I certainly don't miss the floor, but have the utmost respect for those who stick it out day in and day out.
  14. by   veronica butterfly
    12 hour day shifts are KILLER! (I just got home from one!). Day shifts are invaluable for experience and learning though, I hope you try and hang in there for awhile. It will get better, I promise!!

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