Coming off of orientation and I feel like I'm gonna loose it!

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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!
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  4. 9 Comments so far...

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    i think you have set the bar way too high on yourself.
    this is creating a lot of unnecessary stress.
    my goodness, you've only ended orientation very recently.

    so you don't feel alone, i suggest reading first yr of nsg forum.
    you may want to ask your preceptor for some feedback.
    you are about to
    the deepest learning curve of your career.

    most likely, you will feel overwhelmed for at least, the 1st 6 months....but give it a year.
    if you can manage to prioritize, master time mgmt and organizational skills, and keep your cool...
    you'll do well.

    i would also suggest seeing your doc about resuming tx for your anxiety.

    i wish you well.

    leslie
    bluelion likes this.
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    i know how that feels! ns only gives you the bare minimum knowledge/skills needed to go forth as an rn, period. the rest is ojt. learn to do good assessments, check your lab values every morning, make sure you get a good report (ask questions, etc), and always ask for help. listen to docs and ask questions if you don't understand. trust me it will come to you.

    i did 1.5 years at an acute rehab and now just went into tele; so i truly understand how you feel. it is a whole other world. i was feeling really comfortable once i learned rehab an now i am out of that comfort zone. i have been told that it takes 2 years for a tele rn to feel comfortable (5 years for icu!!!) so just hang in there. you will make mistakes, we all do; just make sure not to make big ones.
    bluelion likes this.
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    If you feel you need more time on orientation, just ask. I can tell you, however, you will not feel 100% confident. It is ok... nobody does right out of school, and it is a good thing because you definitely should ask questions.

    If you don't know, just ask
    bluelion likes this.
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    You need...wait for it..."The BRAIN".

    Get you a cheat sheet and make out a list. When you write things down at first, there is a greaterchance of retaining it.Work with that until you get a routine.

    It happened to us all. Use what talents you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best.You will get to a state of proficiency and being expert with continuous practise.
    bluelion likes this.
  9. 1
    you're in our 40's? learning new skills?

    think about how that works for a minute. new synaptic connections need to be created. this takes longer, requiring more repetitions as we age. a man in his 40's is going to learn slower than a man in his 20's. truth.

    so create a coping mechanism. get yourself a pocket notebook in which you can create a tablature, allowing you to integrate your patients into a system that catalogues their admission/diagnosis/condition/treatment/response to treatment, etc. this coping mechanism will allow you to order your thoughts externally during the time it takes for your brain to develop an internal "notebook".
    bluelion likes this.
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    Boy, do I feel what you are saying! I just graduated in Dec 2010 at the age of 42, I turned 43 in January, took my boards a week after my bday and started working as a RN a few days later. Like you I feel like nursing school did not prepare me for "the real world".

    I got 12 weeks of orientation on day shift, only to find out that I was going to nights. So I asked for more orientation for nights. I got an additional 2 weeks with the option to go longer if I felt I needed it. I didn't ask because I knew I would never "feel ready" so I just bit the bullet.

    I have come to understand that it's going to take me a long time to feel comfortable if ever. And that I need to speak up, not let the "older" nurses take advantage of me and to not be afraid to ask questions! Take advantage of their wisdom and knowledge. I ask questions all the time. I'm sure I get on the other RNs nerves but hey, I'd rather do that than harm my patient.

    Don't be afraid to ask the docs questions too. Some of them love to teach. Listen to them, you will learn alot.

    I'm not sure if your hospital has a Mentor Program. Mine does for new grads and it's wonderful. I am able to call/text/email/go see my mentor for any reason - to whine, cry, celebrate, etc. If you have a mentor (preferably another RN that is not associated with your floor) take advantage of having them there for you and listen to their wisdom, advice, etc. It is well worth it.

    Good luck to you (and to me! LOL)
    bluelion likes this.
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    Thank you all for the support! I'm in the process of getting better tx for my depression/anxiety. I have also just decided to ask questions, many questions! I feel a bit better, but most days I still feel lost! Any continued advice is so very appreciated! Thanks! PS, My synaptic connection feel so fried...if they are the at all! lol!
  12. 0
    my advice..get some exp. under your belt and get off the floor unit asap!
  13. 0
    Quote from bluelion
    My synaptic connection feel so fried...if they are the at all! lol!
    You have connections? I'm envious...

    Seriously, check these out:
    Get back to the fundamentals- how do you best learn?
    http://otec.uoregon.edu/learning_theory.htm

    Followed by looking at your stress-survivor personality type, and identifying your strengths.
    http://www.thesurvivorsclub.org/ (website)
    http://www.amazon.com/Survivors-Club...6416689&sr=1-1 (Book)


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