New Nurse....HELP

  1. Hi I am a new grad, I passed my boards in July and work in a small community hospital. I don't even really know what to say besides, I feel like nursing school was just the beginning of a long road of learning, which is a good thing, but right now I fell like I know NOTHING..... There are a couple of thing I should have probably picked up on that I didn't, And I think I am questioning the safety of my patients, I just want to be the best nurse I can be (Geez that sounds like a slogan) but seriously I don't know if I am doing that. Help.....Thanks for listening, I'll appreciate any advice

    Gina
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   reyna
    i have the same problem...but posters here assured me everything will be fine...just breath deeply, check your meds, never make the same mistake twice and ask questions...they'd rather be with a newbie who ask questions than the one who asume she knows everything...good luck to you
  4. by   ICUBecky
    hey! don't be to hard on yourself. nobody expects for a new nurse to know everything. it takes time. heck, i've heard nurses in my unit who have been there for 20 years and say that they are still learning.

    i have been a nurse for 1 year and i am just now entering a comfort zone. i've heard from all my other nurse friends that it usually takes about a year to become comfortable and i think they are right.

    it takes awhile to develop a system. your own time management and organization skills will help. Reyna is soooo totally right. always, always, always ask questions!!! that is how i got through my first year and i still continue to do so. go home from work, or on your days off,and read about one of your patient's diagnosis, medications, procedures, ect... you will learn a lot this way. i'm not saying to study for an hour or two, take 15-20 minutes and then go out and have some fun!!! you're not in college any more!!

    don't worry!! you'll do fine.
  5. by   ERNurse752
    You sound like you could be me right now! I graduated in May, and I passed boards in July too. I worked in Cardiac ICU and ICU as a student, and I just started my RN position in the ER. It's new and scary, and I feel like I don't know anything a lot of the time. Other nurses tell me I'm doing fine, but it's hard to believe them when I'm afraid I'm going to miss something and kill someone!
    Everyone always tells me that they were scared to come to work the first 6 months or so, and that it took a year before they felt comfortable and enjoyed coming to work. So I guess we just have to hang in there and keep coming back for more! Someone told me before that nursing school doesn't teach you how to be a nurse, it teaches you how to learn how to be a nurse. Like the others have said so far, we have to check and recheck meds, and ask questions. Good luck!
  6. by   Doey
    Okay, what you all are going through is perfectly normal. When I graduated 24yrs ago I felt the same way. I remember thinking they are crazy if they let me take care of patients, I don't know anything. Sure I passed all the exams and my boards. Yes I passed my clinicals. But I felt I couldn't put it all together. We learned each body system seperately and the diseases that went with them, but what happens when someone has more than one thing wrong with them? (and they always do!). Then what do you do. When I did my first med pass I was a nervous wreck. Gave my first injection? Thought I was going to need one!! I felt then that I would never get used to doing all the tasks and would be nervous and freaking out inside everytime I had to do something. Well believe me it does get better. It does take about a year to feel really comfortable. You will develop your own style of doing things and prioritizing. It comes with experience and repitition. If others are telling you that you are doing okay, then you probably are. The important thing is to always ask questions and never stop learning. Even after being in nursing for as long as I have I still ask and am still learning. It doesn't mean you're stupid it means you're putting your patients first. Also, watch how other nurses handle things and listen when they are talking with the doc or each other. You can learn a lot from that. You all sound like the kind of "newbies" I would like to work with. Hang in there and have patience, and don't be too hard on yourselves. With your attitudes and awareness you'll do fine. Good luck!!
    Last edit by Doey on Oct 3, '01
  7. by   Totone656
    :::::::::::::fluffing up confusion couch::::::::::::: Come on over here Gina and sit with me. I am in day 3 of orientation and I am sooooooo confused. From exception log for hours worked to what my schedule will be (which I have been attempting to get since Monday of this week.)
    Today in nursing orientation I was handed 5 self study for everything from what an Advanced LPN does to Chemo adminstration. I realized what we learned about blood transfusions was ZIP! Talk about feeling inadequate here. Everyone here on the boards have said the feeling will pass, but I sure don't feel like it. Overhwelmed and scared are my 2 main emotions I am having.
  8. by   Ltkristarn
    Poor thing Like everyone else said it takes about a year to feel comfortable in your nursing practice. And your right, you may be out of school, but the learning is never over. After I graduated and passed my boards I took about three months off from "learning" and yr and a half later... I try to take at least one nursing/CEU course a month, through either the hospital or my nursing association. I believe that the best why to get over the "scared" feelings and to arm yourself/protect your patients, is to educate yourself. I knew I wanted to get into cardiac nursing, I took every course I could think of to get me there, basic arrythemia interruptation, advanced arrythemia interrupation, telemetry certification, ACLS, advance EKG interrupitation, etc... Plus, I went out and bought all the little nursing books and read those. Not only did I feel more comfortable in my practice, but I was teaching others how to read rhythms, but that doesn't mean I have stopped educating myself. Now taking course for my CCRN- lol. It never ends, which is good I believe. The health care field is an ever changing and challenging field to be in- arm yourself and your patients by being the best. Not talking about just technical nursing, but compassionate nursing as well.
    You'll make it!!!!!!! Give yourself time and a year from now you'll be amazed by yourself at how much you really do know, believe me- I was.
  9. by   deespoohbear
    You will get more confident as each day passes. You will learn new information with each patient. Be sure to speak up when you feel you are in over your head!! Don't let them force you into going on your own until you are comfortable!!!! you know more that you give yourself credit for!! After 7 years as a med/surg nurse, I am still learning things everyday. At our small hospital I sometimes have the opportunity to ask a doctor why he is ordering a certain drug or certain treatment for a patient. Usually most of them will give me an explaination of why they ordered a particular treament. That is how you learn, just keep asking. Good Luck, you will get there!!
  10. by   semstr
    Hey, don't worry, I guess we all felt that way!
    Sometimes still do you know. Doesn't matter, be honest, say it and talk about it with your fellow nurses.
  11. by   stephi57
    As has been said so well already, ask, ask, ask! Keep your eyes & ears open. Read charts. Look up anything you don't know and even things you think you do know. Thank your coworkers for sharing--ask the "seasoned" as well as the new. I'm fortunate to work with some wonderful people and we often ask each other to put another eyeball on something or doublecheck an exam. If it's been a while since doing a procedure with a certain doctor, we will say that it has been a while and let's review before starting. I'm still learning and I love it!
  12. by   RNforLongTime
    Let me tell you that your feelings are completely normal. I have been an RN for over 4 years now and there is still much that I do not know. I think you'll be ok, the new grads to worry about are the ones who are complacent and think that they "know it all" and don't ask questions. They usually fail.

    There is a great book out there, written by a nurse called "Your First Year as a Nurse: making the transition from Total Novice to successful Professional" by Donna Wilk Cardillo, R.N. The ISBN number is 0-7615-333-8. I found it at Borders for $19.95.

    I suggest that all new grads read this book as it will offer you tips and suggestions on surviving your first year as a nurse.

    Good Luck,

    Kelly
  13. by   GinaJ
    Well thank you all for your great advice, I certainly do feel better,
    I do ask plenty of questions, I definitely don't have a problem there. It is nice to hear that everyone else has felt this way too at one time or another. Hope to hear from you all again soon.

    Gina
  14. by   bgkrider
    Gina - The state apparently thinks you know what you are doing. I know what the test is like and if you passed it I think you can feel good about your abilities.

    Many hospitals have a buddy system with new nurses. If your hospital does not have such a system, maybe you should suggest it.

    The other thing is to just ask questions. I think nurses generally appreciate the value of someone who is interested enough to ask questions as opposed to someone who thinks they know everything or is too timid to ask a question. That is part of what charge nurses are for or nursing supervisors. So have confidence in yourself that you have met the state criteria for being a professional and take another six months to get comfortable in the role. I am sure you will feel much better soon. That is the way we all learn and adapt. You will too.

    Best of Luck

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