Newly qualified... are my feelings normal?!

  1. 0
    Hello ladies and gents,
    I'm new to allnurses.com and was wondering if any of you lovely people had some advice for me. I qualified in the summer of 2012 when the whole world was going Olympics mad (!) and started a job at a large teaching hospital on an older peoples general medical ward. I have always loved the speciality, during my interview I was asked 'why do you want to nurse older patients?' and I replied truthfully, "I enjoy the challenge of an older peoples ward, I like the fact that they have many existing conditions that need to be managed... and to honest, I like the fact they don't always do what you say. Older people aren't afraid to challenge your practice!"

    To cut a long story short, I really enjoy life on my ward. Its a big place, 38 beds, and we're almost always full to capacity with a waiting list for beds. The majority of staff I work with are fantasic, hard working individuals.

    But some of the issues I've been struggling with, for which I would like your thoughts and/or suggestions are as follows.

    I was told at my interview I would have a preceptor, someone to show me the ropes and to guide me through my first few months. I trained elsewhere in the country to where I now work so it was a big step. Basically, a preceptorship hasn't happened. I have reminded my line manager several times about it but nothing occurs as yet, and I've been in my post coming up three months now. Its been hard, I won't lie, to adjust to life as an RN rather than a student. I feel on the whole I've coped well, but I could still do with some support and feedback about my work.

    Time and time again, I ask myself 'am I good enough?' Several patients have given me really good feedback and I've had lovely comments from relatives since I've been here but is that enough to show I am truly good at my job? Last night a patient said, 'you are one of the best nurses I've ever met' and that really touched me. But still... all this self doubt, is that normal folks?

    I worry like all other newly qualified RNs I suppose about messing up with drugs, procedures, discharges etc etc... Touch wood I've so far not made any catastrophic mistakes. But what happens if I do? I'm terrified of losing my registration and being struck off. Care work and nursing is all I've ever done. I'm only 24 but if the worst was to happen, what would I do???

    Please do reply to this thread if you can sympathise with my thoughts. Just like to know I'm not alone is all!

    Lots of love



    Laura
  2. 10 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    Is it normal to feel like you do then I would say yes as a new grad. However your manager is failing you by not providing a preceptor for you. Is there another RN there that you can talk to in regards guidance and support?
  4. 0
    Hello silverdragon

    Its a difficult situation; my manager is a lovely male nurse who is currently fulfilling the role of two ward managers (one post being vacant, as yet unfulfilled) so is under enormous amounts of stress. I've reminded him about my preceptor, but don't wish to keep nagging him when he already has enough on his plate. I've mentioned it to matron also, who just said 'oh yes, we'll have to get you a preceptor sorted won't we?' and that was several weeks ago.
    There are some lovely RNs on my ward, I get along with almost all of them (there are a few I'm yet to make my mind up about!) but how do I approach a potential preceptor for help? Will it look as if I'm admitting I'm struggling? The ward has had a few newly qualified nurses leave in recent weeks (no doubt due to the lack of preceptor situation not helping) and I don't want to be the next one to go. I want to be here. I just need some support.
    Trouble is I'm THE biggest perfectionist I know. Its something I've been aware of since I was a teenager. I'm never good enough at what I do, and its hard to ask for help (although I think I am better at it than I once was). In my head it often seems like, if I ask for help and support, I'm admitting I can't cope. And my biggest fear is being seen not to be able to do my job. Can anyone relate?
  5. 0
    I used to work on a cote ward and in general my experiences and that of my fellow nq peers was a lack of precptor ship. Is there a band 6 who can be your precptor. Do you have practice trainers who you can approach. I'm sure that your l&d are aware of you ward manger dual role.

    Sent from my GT-I9300 using allnurses.com
  6. 0
    Hi Laura, i agree with ayla2004, I would ask a band 6 for help and ask their opinion of your practice. If your manager didn't feel you were competent or capable in any way you wouldn't be there. They must have confidence in your abilities and your own practice. Rememer that old reflection model everyone has learn't about?? Im certain you reflect day in day out in your head and you seem very concious of you delivery of care. I qualified in Sept 2011 and I think it's normal to doubt yourself and question everything you do, but thats normal and something we should do. The decisions we make are not easy and to doubt and reflect is part of practice. You said you haven't made any mistakes!! Well thats brilliant, considering you haven't had a preceptor. I had a preceptor for 6 months. I didn't see much of her, but the team knew i was on preceptorship. Don't expect too much of yourself and when in doubt, you know what to do. Ask your team and you will learn for the next time. Take your time and you will be fine!!!

    You sound like you are a fantastic new nurse!!!!

  7. 0
    Hello Lindsay, thanks for your kind comments!!

    You're right, I think I do reflect constantly in my head. Actually just this morning I was helping a care assistant with a bedbath and afterwards I thought, could that have gone better? Should I have explained x y z more thoroughly?
    Reflection is so important isn't it? I hated it as a student but its with time I've learnt to realise that actually, we do it all the time so it isn't really such a bother!

    I've had such a trying few days here on the ward. One patient who is notoroisly difficult and downright rude to the nursing staff has made many personal comments about my appearance to me, as well as saying that I'm useless and thoroughly stupid. Its comments like that that really do hurt the most. I can cope if the patient is demented, confused etc but when they are in their right mind I do struggle to let the words bounce off me.

    I was chatting with matron earlier today, and she said that its entirely normal to feel the way I do. I just need time, time and more time. She thinks I'm good at my job, and sister herself told me I was a great nurse and had fabulous potential to go far. I'm clinging to these comments right now! I adore nursing, but sometimes I wonder if my skin is thick enough to take some of the nasty comments I hear from patients. My self esteem is pretty low anyway, (I was bullied terribly as a child and teen) so when I'm told that I'm not doing a single thing correct, that I don't care and that I'm ugly (no exagerration, these were the comments I heard this morning) I just think... why? Why do I bother?

    I'm sorry guys, I'm just feeling a bit low today after a very stressful shift! Bear with me and thanks for letting me vent. Its hard, y'know, none of the friends I see socially are nurses and no one in my family is either. Its a tough job, and venting to my loved ones I don't always feel is right as in the nicest possible way, they have no idea! Soooo glad I found this forum!

    Laura
  8. 0
    Well it sounds like you are right on track according to what your matron had said.
    With regards to the nasty patient, they are A. Probably jealous of your kind temperament which is something they don't have and B. just plain nasty. I work on a psychiatric intensive care unit and just last week I was call a 'fat ugly ****' I'd like to think I'm neither and this person was mentally well, just nasty. I told him that's his opinion. When he didn't stop calling me names I told him I wouldn't be talking to him until he stop being so rude and a male nurse took care of him.

    I would tell your patient to stop being nasty and if they can't ask someone else to do the caring! It's so hard, I know I have it all the time. You learn to deal with it. Unfortunately people can't be nice so I think what a horrible life they must have to be nasty to others. Please don't let them upset you. You will adapt. I hope the people who bullied you are suffering karma somewhere. You have proven you are a successful nurse who's on her way up to be an even more brilliant nurse. You should be proud if yourself!!!

    Lindsey.
    Last edit by Silverdragon102 on Apr 4, '13 : Reason: changed to all **
  9. 0
    The hospital should have and should use zero tolerance and the patent should be told this and if necessary removed (if possible as well) I remember 2 patients where I used to work removed from my ward and hospital for these reasons aand after been adequately warned by management this would happen if they didn't stop
  10. 0
    Hospitals are poor at confronting nasty people who happen to be patients for fear of complaints. The best practice I know is to if possible never deal with that kind of patient by yourself have a witnesses. Of course this isn't always possible. Do document rude uncalled for comments, tell medical staff shift leader/sister lead nurse you are concerned patient people aren't as rude to those in navy or medical staff.

    Sent from my GT-I9300 using allnurses.com
  11. 1
    Quote from nurse.laura1989
    Hello Lindsay, thanks for your kind comments!!

    You're right, I think I do reflect constantly in my head. Actually just this morning I was helping a care assistant with a bedbath and afterwards I thought, could that have gone better? Should I have explained x y z more thoroughly?
    Reflection is so important isn't it? I hated it as a student but its with time I've learnt to realise that actually, we do it all the time so it isn't really such a bother!

    I've had such a trying few days here on the ward. One patient who is notoroisly difficult and downright rude to the nursing staff has made many personal comments about my appearance to me, as well as saying that I'm useless and thoroughly stupid. Its comments like that that really do hurt the most. I can cope if the patient is demented, confused etc but when they are in their right mind I do struggle to let the words bounce off me.

    I was chatting with matron earlier today, and she said that its entirely normal to feel the way I do. I just need time, time and more time. She thinks I'm good at my job, and sister herself told me I was a great nurse and had fabulous potential to go far. I'm clinging to these comments right now! I adore nursing, but sometimes I wonder if my skin is thick enough to take some of the nasty comments I hear from patients. My self esteem is pretty low anyway, (I was bullied terribly as a child and teen) so when I'm told that I'm not doing a single thing correct, that I don't care and that I'm ugly (no exagerration, these were the comments I heard this morning) I just think... why? Why do I bother?

    I'm sorry guys, I'm just feeling a bit low today after a very stressful shift! Bear with me and thanks for letting me vent. Its hard, y'know, none of the friends I see socially are nurses and no one in my family is either. Its a tough job, and venting to my loved ones I don't always feel is right as in the nicest possible way, they have no idea! Soooo glad I found this forum!

    Laura
    Hi Laura, you sound like a very conscientious, reflective practitioner and that's a good thing.

    Your matron and sister have given you positive feedback, so you will be doing OK

    Your feelings are normal, could I ask what patient have you cared for that you were pleased with and felt it was worthwhile, there will be many I am sure.

    The elderly patient you took time to listen to about her life, the patient in pain you reassured, maybe placed a comforting hand on. That's why you do it, don't just reflect on the negative experiences, reflect on how much better your patient would have felt in clean sheets after a lovely wash. How comforting the time you spent caring for that person would have been.

    You will always get people who are nasty, make sure your matron is aware, to the patient say you are genuinely sorry that they feel that way, not in a sarcastic way but in a truthful way because that's how you feel.
    remember the only person who has power over your emotions is you, don't give that power away by allowing the negative comments of an individual who its known to behave badly affect you.

    It is important to learn what we can improve, it is also important to recognise what we do well and reflect and learn from that
    Silverdragon102 likes this.


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