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Dealing with anxiety as a new nurse

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So I just started a new job at a health facility/LTC facility and I am very thankful with getting a good paying job so close to home. The only thing I'm struggling with is the anxiety of it all. The LPNs at this facility are responsible for everything including their own wound care. We have around 60 + residents so as you can imagine its stressful. How have other nurses dealt with the anxiety of a job with so much responsibility? I find myself entering a panic just a few days ago when I tested a resident's BG levels and they turned out to be in the 500's. I went through everything as the other nurses instructed but still find myself messing up (forgetting to fax a doctor for a suggestion of a new order, ect). Just yesterday I was taking care of a terminal resident and performed wound care and it was a stage 4 pressure ulcer. I kept panicking, entering cold sweats, feeling bad, and seeing how it got to that point. I'm imagining that events like those are what help new nurses develop in to more competent nurses? I know that it takes about a year to truly become competent as a nurse (or that's what they tell me), but how do you guys deal or have dealt with stress until you get past the first year?

I have been a nurse for about 10 months. I suggest finding a mentor where you work. someone to talk with. You will be okay. Take your time, breath.

First off, you have to believe that this is normal. Being a new nurse is hard and nothing like school. Anxiety is normal. I tend to handle my stress better when I am organized. Find a report sheet you can write in more info than the experienced nurses would need to. Make check lists of what to do in certain situations such as a fall, new wound, high blood sugar. Most importantly, and I cannot express this enough, ASK FOR HELP! My first job as a nurse was in a nursing home and I honestly don't know how I would have survived the first year without my unit manager. She was an enormous help and a wealth of information. I soaked up anything and everything she was willing to teach me. Reach out to seasoned nurses as well as your fellow school buddies. They may have learned a new tip, trick, or skill that you guys could swap stories on.

hey, what u are going thru is perfectly normal.. you should not be so hard on urself! Great job in finding a job, that means they see something in u to be their nurse! Ive been working for 10 months, first job out of lpn skool. My first weeks was scary but NO ONE KNEW!. You have to keep it together hun... don't let anyone know that ur nervous because some ppl love to see you fail. I use to add reminders on my cell to alert me to do certain things. for eg. if at 3 o clock ur suppose to do wound care etc etc. im still a new nurse and I say to myself if other ppl could do it, then so can I !!!! believe in urself and carry on ------->

Thanks guys. I did what you guys said and found two mentors from first and third shift that help me out. Like you guys they are very encouraging and on Friday the nurse from first shift volunteered to stay over a few hours and help me organize and get myself together. Almost like a life raft in a drowning situation. So since Friday I did what you guys said and started being VERY detail oriented on the notes that I write down when I start my shift and during my shift for reminders. It did help alot and during that shift I felt more in control. Only thing that has me concerned is that I still have yet to tackle a new admit on my own. As for the paperwork, which is my biggest obstacle right now, I did start doing a check list to keep in check. I learned a few new tips and tricks as well. I don't know why but the paperwork aspect of everything is the most intimidating. Regardless that nurse from first shift is going to follow me on Monday to evaluate how I handle medpass combined with other aspects of the shift. Now this is two weeks of the job on my own. I hope they dont see her teaching me as a sign of weakness and fire me...Wish me luck guys. I am really trying my hardest to improve and overcome the stress and anxiety at work.

Edited by Knuckles31

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 15 years experience.

Regardless that nurse from first shift is going to follow me on Monday to evaluate how I handle medpass combined with other aspects of the shift. Now this is two weeks of the job on my own. I hope they dont see her teaching me as a sign of weakness and fire me...
How did this part go, now that it has presumably happened?