New RN broke down in tears

  1. I'm a new RN in my 4th week of orientation. I'm feeling so stressed and overwhelmed. My preceptor expects me to perform like a seasoned nurse at this point, and I'm just not there yet. There are no techs during my shift, so I don't have any help in toileting patients. Don't get me wrong. I do not think that I'm above toileting patients, but when I have new admits, tons of meds that need to be passed and a million other things to do, it becomes overwhelming when I can't delegate tasks to anyone. The other nurses are busy with their own work and my preceptor is never around when I need her.

    What's sad is that the doctors on my unit are much more supportive of me than the nurses. I broke down in tears for the first time today when I returned home. I'm starting to question whether I can be a nurse and juggle a full patient load. I feel like I know absolutely nothing in the grand scheme of things.
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  2. 7 Comments

  3. by   lmccrn62
    You sound like a new RN. Your comfort level and abilities will increase over the next 6-12 months.shame on your preceptor for making you feel that way. Be patient it will get better!
  4. by   adamRn79
    Your preceptor should assist and nurture your learning. Stick with it. When I started on the floor I didn't know how to do basic things like IV pumps, after doing it twice, it's cake, you just need time.
  5. by   Quicksilver77
    Thank you so much to both of you for your kind words. I'm doing a lot better now. I can juggle 6 patients quite well, though there is still a lot that I have to learn!
  6. by   sandseaandstone
    I'm a nurse that's from ED and went to labor and delivery. It's a totally new ball game and lingo. I'm in my fifth week of orientation and they split my shifts into two eights and two twelves between two preceptors and then when they aren't there, I'm passed off to whomever is available. It is making my orientation awful. Nobody knows what I've done or what I can do. One of my main preceptors is awesome and one makes me run behind her, watching her work (doesn't help at all). I have asked the awesome preceptor why I can't do three twelves with her and quit being shoved around and she looked pleased, but startled. Apparently, they are starting this "new" way to train people by dividing up the shifts----I'm the first one (Yay!!! NOT.) So, my point was--- I felt the same way that you did when I was given two couplets (a couplet is a mom & her baby) and a fresh surgical....first the nurse I was with was following me when I did vitals (really?!?) and then she disappeared for two hours doing a triage. I made cards for each one of my patients (stapling mom/babies together) and then mapped out all vitals that needed to be done, what time each person could have more pain meds, and any due medications. It helped a ton. I feel the same way with helping patients to the bathroom....but I found that I can only do what I can do and just keep plugging away.....good luck!!!!!
  7. by   IndymamaNrn
    I can totally relate. I am in my 4th week of orientation. Last week, my preceptor and I were floated to a med surg unit. It was a totally different feel. I was starting to feel comfortable on my own unit, but to be thrown into a new one with my own patients was quite overwhelming. Unfortunately, it broke me and I lost it later with my preceptor. At that moment, she told me to put my stuff down and follow her. She led me to a room on our unit that is no longer used for anything. She explained to me that this is where she comes when she is upset and needs to cry, cuss, scream or curl up in a ball. For me, that was the best. To not only know that I am not the only one who loses it, but nurses that I work with and admire have their moments too. Hang in there. We are all learning and will eventually become those awesome nurses that the newbies look to for guidance and support.
  8. by   Quicksilver77
    Quote from sandseaandstone
    I have asked the awesome preceptor why I can't do three twelves with her and quit being shoved around and she looked pleased, but startled. Apparently, they are starting this "new" way to train people by dividing up the shifts----I'm the first one (Yay!!! NOT.) So, my point was--- I felt the same way that you did when I was given two couplets (a couplet is a mom & her baby) and a fresh surgical....first the nurse I was with was following me when I did vitals (really?!?) and then she disappeared for two hours doing a triage. I made cards for each one of my patients (stapling mom/babies together) and then mapped out all vitals that needed to be done, what time each person could have more pain meds, and any due medications. It helped a ton. I feel the same way with helping patients to the bathroom....but I found that I can only do what I can do and just keep plugging away.....good luck!!!!!
    Ugh, changing preceptors all of the time does suck. Yes, it does help to see how different people work, but it is tiring having to update a new preceptor on what you've learned and can do. I'm glad things finally settled down for you. The hardest part is trying to get a routine down!
  9. by   Quicksilver77
    Quote from IndymamaNrn
    I can totally relate. I am in my 4th week of orientation. Last week, my preceptor and I were floated to a med surg unit. It was a totally different feel. I was starting to feel comfortable on my own unit, but to be thrown into a new one with my own patients was quite overwhelming. Unfortunately, it broke me and I lost it later with my preceptor. At that moment, she told me to put my stuff down and follow her. She led me to a room on our unit that is no longer used for anything. She explained to me that this is where she comes when she is upset and needs to cry, cuss, scream or curl up in a ball. For me, that was the best. To not only know that I am not the only one who loses it, but nurses that I work with and admire have their moments too. Hang in there. We are all learning and will eventually become those awesome nurses that the newbies look to for guidance and support.
    ::hugs:: I'm sorry you got overwhelmed! Learning that even the most seasoned nurses become overwhelmed and need to cry at times was one of the most surprising things I learned during my first year as a nurse. Nursing is very demanding and it can be difficult to juggle many patients, admits, discharges, etc.

    Thankfully, now I have two years of experience under my belt. I'm still working on the same unit. My coworkers are much better now (there has been some firing and hiring since my original post). My unit has become more like a family. I'm now a charge nurse, which brings a whole other level of stress, but so far I'm managing it. I still have days where I feel overwhelmed (7 patients-3 of which don't speak English), but I've survived. Given my rough orientation, I make it a point to always make time to help my coworkers, especially the newbies.

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