Started first travel assignment. Totally stressed, is it just me?

  1. 0
    Help. I just started my first nursing assignment and I am totally stressed out, I feel like my patients are in danger because I am trying to figure out the policies and procedure of this new place, instead of concentrating on patient care. Now I'm scared that I am not cut out for this? Is this normal? What was your first travel nursing experience like? Did you have any severe stress? Does this happen at the beginning of every travel assignment? How long does it take to "get in the groove? during each assignment, or do you ever?
  2. Get our hottest nursing topics delivered to your inbox.

  3. 13 Comments so far...

  4. 2
    Policies and procedures are not that much different from hospital to hospital. Trust what you know. What is different are practices. What paperwork must be filled out when, who is responsible for what, and general flow. That should have been covered during clinical orientation, but it can be hard to absorb it all, all at once. If you can survive a couple of weeks, it should be smooth sailing from there, all will become clear. What you are feeling is not all uncommon, and it happens to new staff members too. Expectations for travelers are higher. Try to find an ally you can ask questions and help you through. You could also come clean with the manager and see if she provides assistance and some additional orientation.

    Good luck, and try your best to hang in there. Things will get better. It is very, very unlikely your license is at risk. It is only at risk if you are taking on clinical duties you are not qualified to do, not if you miss some documentation or can't figure out the computer. Get the basic nursing stuff done, meds and procedures on time. No doubt that I am in a very different practice setting than you, operating room. But every travel assignment I go to, I do stuff I've never done before. Flow is enormously different, and staff tasks are too at every new assignment. But I find focusing on nursing basics always gets me through.
    GleeGum and AWanderingMinstral like this.
  5. 0
    I think I know what you are feeling. Not unusual at all! I think we expect to much of ourselves particularly with our first travel assignment. You know how to give good patient care...focus on that for now. The p and p's will unfold shortly. Patient safety is number one for now. In a couple of weeks you will chuckle at your current feelings. I am rooting for you!! Chin UP!!!
  6. 0
    Thanks all for the words of wisdom and encouragement, it helps alot to know I am not alone in feeling like this
  7. 0
    Quote from NedRN
    Policies and procedures are not that much different from hospital to hospital. Trust what you know. What is different are practices. What paperwork must be filled out when, who is responsible for what, and general flow. That should have been covered during clinical orientation, but it can be hard to absorb it all, all at once. If you can survive a couple of weeks, it should be smooth sailing from there, all will become clear. What you are feeling is not all uncommon, and it happens to new staff members too. Expectations for travelers are higher. Try to find an ally you can ask questions and help you through. You could also come clean with the manager and see if she provides assistance and some additional orientation.

    Good luck, and try your best to hang in there. Things will get better. It is very, very unlikely your license is at risk. It is only at risk if you are taking on clinical duties you are not qualified to do, not if you miss some documentation or can't figure out the computer. Get the basic nursing stuff done, meds and procedures on time. No doubt that I am in a very different practice setting than you, operating room. But every travel assignment I go to, I do stuff I've never done before. Flow is enormously different, and staff tasks are too at every new assignment. But I find focusing on nursing basics always gets me through.
    Amen, NedRN! Great advice! In all honesty, I don't worry myself TOO much with the logistical stuff. As a traveler, you're hired to provide competent nursing care. While PART of that IS policy and procedure, you CANNOT be expected to master all of that with, say, a day of orientation. Good luck!
  8. 0
    Hang in there! It will get smoother. I have 5 weeks left in my first assignment (I extended, so my total time here will be almost 6 months). It took several weeks before I felt comfortable, and now I'm nervous about starting over in a new place. That's what we signed up for though, right?
  9. 3
    I just started my first assignment in Connecticut -- maybe not the best choice for the winter months -- but the hospital is great. I was incredibly nervous as well. But, I quickly realized, emergency medicine is the same, regardless of where you go. You're going to treat flash pulmonary edema the same way, regardless of where you are geographically located. As silly as it may sound, my biggest challenge was figuring out their IVs. They were just different than anything I had used before and felt like I had two left hands trying to get them started. I'm sure I looked like a moron. Like they had said in previous posts, trust what you know. You know a lot more than what you give yourself credit for. Before I left for traveling I kept telling my co-workers, "I don't feel like I'm smart enough to do this"...their response was simple. In the middle of a true emergency you don't stop and think, your body just takes over because you've done it so many times. I've only been up here three weeks and the new-ness quickly wore off. You'll do great, just trust what you know!
    GleeGum, sheronep, and RNWhit07 like this.
  10. 0
    Policy and Procedures? What Policy and Procedures? LOL I don't worry about those one bit. I do ask on certain procedures what the policy is, and I expect someone to tell me the right way, but I do patient care and thats all I strive to do and do it well. Charting comes second and anything else comes after. Traveling is great, I don't have to go to meetings or anything! Less stress I think......
    Quote from lupe
    Help. I just started my first nursing assignment and I am totally stressed out, I feel like my patients are in danger because I am trying to figure out the policies and procedure of this new place, instead of concentrating on patient care. Now I'm scared that I am not cut out for this? Is this normal? What was your first travel nursing experience like? Did you have any severe stress? Does this happen at the beginning of every travel assignment? How long does it take to "get in the groove? during each assignment, or do you ever?
  11. 0
    How are you doing, Lupe? Feeling better now that a couple of weeks have passed?
  12. 0
    It's not just you. My first assignment was so bad that I ended up taking 3 months off to recover. Needless to say, I NEVER did another assignment ion the floor. EVER.


Top