Nursing student not fitting in as PCT

  1. Hey everyone,

    I am going into my senior year of nursing school and accepted a PCT job for the summer. I worked one during the school year on a med surg unit and aside from the lack of staff, it was fine. I am now on a Rehab unit where the patients need total assistance.
    But for some reason I feel a little lost at this job. I know everything I'm supposed to do, but time management is nearly impossible. At clinical, I'm very efficient and multitask well. But no matter how hard to I try at this job, I feel like a failure. For instance, 3 patients might need to be catheterized and get ready for therapy within an hour. And who knows how many call lights will go off or how many accidents will happen.
    Its difficult for me because I hate asking the nurses for too much help, but without them it wouldn't be possible to do a lot of the tasks that need to be done.
    I'm only here for the summer but it's frustrating to me because I want to be like the older PCTs who can do the job with more ease.
    Does anyone have any suggestions on what I can do? Maybe it's just a sign that this isn't my area?
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   llg
    I think you need to get over your aversion to asking for help. You are new in the position and it is not reasonable to expect yourself to function at the same level as experienced staff. You need to let yourself "be new" for a while as you acquire the new skills needed in this new job.

    Is there someone in your new work environment that you could discuss this with (educator? manager? senior staff nurse?) ? I do NOT suggest unburdening your soul to them or anything -- just having a professional conversation about realistic expectations for your performance. Say that you know you are new in the job and that you would like to improve your skill and efficiency. Ask them for some guidance as to how much help is reasonable to request -- and ask for some feedback as to whether or not you are progressing as they would expect a new tech to progress.

    Seek the information with a positive attitude, demonstrating that you include self-improvement as a normal part of everyday practice. Ask for a little advice and support because you want to be the best you can be. But never expect yourself to be perfect and to never need help. That's not normal or healthy. We all have a things to learn, ways we can improve, etc. Accept that and make a plan to move foreword.
  4. by   Nursestef2
    Quote from llg
    I think you need to get over your aversion to asking for help. You are new in the position and it is not reasonable to expect yourself to function at the same level as experienced staff. You need to let yourself "be new" for a while as you acquire the new skills needed in this new job.

    Is there someone in your new work environment that you could discuss this with (educator? manager? senior staff nurse?) ? I do NOT suggest unburdening your soul to them or anything -- just having a professional conversation about realistic expectations for your performance. Say that you know you are new in the job and that you would like to improve your skill and efficiency. Ask them for some guidance as to how much help is reasonable to request -- and ask for some feedback as to whether or not you are progressing as they would expect a new tech to progress.

    Seek the information with a positive attitude, demonstrating that you include self-improvement as a normal part of everyday practice. Ask for a little advice and support because you want to be the best you can be. But never expect yourself to be perfect and to never need help. That's not normal or healthy. We all have a things to learn, ways we can improve, etc. Accept that and make a plan to move foreword.
    Yeah, I think it's just going to be an adjustment because at my previous job, patients were a lot more independent and I didn't have as much responsibility, so I didn't need much help ever. I worked here for a very short time during summer break last year and the unit I'm on now was the most hectic.

    I'll probably give it a while longer before I talk to someone since yesterday was my first day out of orientation. The nurse made a comment yesterday that I did a good job under the circumstances because the things that made the day crazy were out of my control.

    I definitely do not enjoy Rehab nursing at all and felt this way last year too. But the internship is only for about 6 more weeks so hopefully with a little more time I will become more confident and efficient.
  5. by   passthehaldol
    This is the real world of nursing unfortunately. Resources can be limited and staff are overworked. You need to ask for help. You better believe the nursing staff will ask you for help if they need something, so why can't you do the same? Good luck!
  6. by   BSNbeDONE
    comment deleted...realized the date of initial thread.
    Last edit by BSNbeDONE on Jul 28 : Reason: moot point

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