Ok my background:
I have 1 year on a med/surg unit.
I just started a new job (across the ENTIRE country) in a trauma 1 hospital in the SICU. This is week 4 on my 20 week orientation.
ICU has been my dream job for YEARS! Since I was in high school pretty much.
I recently developed an anxiety disorder. (recent as in 2 years ago) My anxiety problems are rare, only 3 "episodes" in the last two years. Episodes for me revolve around big changes in my life and typically last a few weeks.
Obviously moving across the country, starting a new job in an ICU, is a BIG change for me. So my anxiety has been through the roof for about 6 weeks now, although the last two weeks things have calmed down a lot, and I am coping well.
I am having some serious second thoughts about continuing to work on the SICU. Although everyone is very supportive at this hospital, and very nice to work with. I lucked out with the very smart, drill Sargent, baptism by fire kind of preceptor. She teaches me A TON but can be very overwhelming and intimidating most of the time.
Obviously just being in the ICU is intense, stressful, terrifying, overwhelming, and just plain hard to handle!
Last week, I cared for a VERY sick neuro trauma patient. My preceptor of course just threw me in and told me to take care of him. She backed my up when sh** hit the fan of course and explained many things to me, but it all got a little to intense for me. Mind you, I had NEVER worked with the charting system, was totally lost on that, never worked with vents, or titrated drips, or dealt with ICP's, or really any of it besides turning Q2hrs! I ended up having to take a 20 minute sobbing in the backroom break three fourths of the way through the shift. After crying, I got it back together and finished the shift out.
This week has been much better for me, I was able to care for two critical but stable patients and do nearly all cares alone, including the charting!
I know that feeling terrified and overwhelmed is normal, but I worry that I can't handle the stress. I have very little confidence in myself. My anxiety problem has really taken a toll on my "can do, go out on a limb, wanna be in the action" personality traits. While in nursing school I went to every code, wanted to see the sickest of the sick, be in the action, learn everything... But now, I panic at the idea of running a code on someone. I get nervous when I'm left alone with my ICU patients. I have a difficult time sleeping/eating the day before my shifts. I get overwhelmed and scared much more easily. I feel like my general anxiety is so much on a day to day basis that I can't handle any new scary things and end up getting so overwhelmed. And In the ICU everything is new and scary.
I have had a total of 6, 12 hour days on the unit. Somedays I think I have it together and I feel really confident that I can do this job, But other days I just feel like giving up and going to work in a doctors office.
My problem is that I have wanted my dream job for so so so long and have worked so hard to get here. I don't want to give up on myself. I want to be here. But feeling this anxiousness and feeling terrified all the time makes me not enjoy my job AT ALL.
Any words of advice? Encouragement?
I'm not giving up just yet, I keep telling myself that things will get better, I will gain confidence and that I can do this!
I feel like my anxiety disorder is ruining my chances of achieving my dreams, I refuse to take medications, but do see an anxiety specialist on a weekly basis.
If you haven't already.. check out this site. Its funny and goes through a lot of the basics. index
Its a clicky to icufaqs.org
Last edit by Sun0408 on Feb 7, '13
: Reason: missing information