Did I choose the wrong career? Hopeless new grad

Nurses New Nurse

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I don't know where else to share this too and I have a really hard time asking for help at work.
I'm starting to wonder if I chose the wrong major. I keep questioning is nursing really for me. 6 months into being a nurse has been one of the most traumatic times of my life. I want to like my job and enjoy what I do but I'm starting to realize more and more things of this job that's getting hard for me to handle. 
I started off in the ED. I enjoyed the work however as a new grad I struggled to grasp everything and needed to get some more experience under my belt. Also I was bullied by my preceptors and my managers. Leaving the ED was HARD. I felt like I had failed and that I was moving onto something I didn't wanna do which was bedside. Someone at my work made a comment saying that acute care nurses were stupid compared to critical care and this has not left my brain.  I'm now on a ortho trauma unit that's also medsurg and I have enjoyed my time as my coworkers are so sweet and supportive. Now that I'm on my own I can't help but feel this overwhelming feeling of guilt and shame. I feel like I'm not doing enough and that im a *** nurse. I work nights so most of my patients are sleeping. I have nights where I am super busy and I can't sit down and others where I am caught up and can help others. Lately I feel like I feel like I made a mistake by becoming a nurse. I moved out of the er within a week and started orientation as soon as I moved then was on orientation for about 4 weeks finally on my own by second week of April. At first I felt like I was doing fine with it and I continue to complete all my tasks on time. I'm scared to get higher acuity patients because I feel like I'll fail. I try and imagine myself in many different scenarios to try to practice and create a plan. I know that many skills and the nursing process gets easier with experience which I keep telling myself I just have to get the experience. Is the first year really this hard or is it just me? Does it get better? If so how? Would having skills and experience make it easier for me?  Im hopeless and I feel like I chose the wrong career. I've dreamed about being a nurse since I was a child and now that it's here I have never been so unhappy. I don't know what to do. I know I'll keep working my job as I need a min of one year experience to transfer anywhere. But is anyone else struggling with this. I have never felt so alone  

I think you're putting too much pressure on yourself, I'm sure you're a great nurse! You want to do well and that's important.

It's really not possible to know it all in the first year or even few years, after 10 years I still recognise my limitations, try to develop my skills and ask for help when I need it.

Likewise you don't need to know your specialty right away, there will be plenty of opportunities to change again in future if you want.

The experience will come, if you have support from your colleagues you will eventually become more confident with high acuity patients.

Specializes in Emergency Department.

I suspect you didn't choose a wrong career. You started off in probably one of the hardest places you can as a new grad - the ED. When you're a new grad and you're starting there, you have to learn how to basically be a Tele nurse and also how to become an ED nurse at the same time. Yes, I mean that. It's hard to learn both because in the ED you may be called upon to basically be a Tele nurse because you'll be holding patients waiting for a bed in-hospital. The learning curve is very steep and it's not like anything else in nursing. 

I've been an ED nurse for about 10 years now and I'm, quite frankly, very good at what I do. Yes, I could transition to a Tele floor but I'd quickly get bored there. Same with going to an Ortho floor. If I went to the ICU, I'd have a steep learning curve but I'd survive. While I can take care of those patients, I'm NOT an expert at it. 

Every so often we have floor nurses come to the ED to care for our "holds" that are awaiting an in-patient bed. It's usually an eye-opener for them because they do see what we do in the ED. It's not that floor nurses/non-critical care nurses are stupid. They're not. Often the floor nurse is just oblivious to how other departments function. ED nurses, in particular, do get criticized by floor nurses (including ICU) because "we" don't do our assessments the same way they do.  Floor nurses (to me) are amazing at their time management. How they get all the stuff done that they're required to is just astounding to me. ICU nurses amaze me with their knowledge of their drips and how in-depth they get to know their patients. 

OP, you're being too hard on yourself. Seriously. You're very early in your career and you're still learning. Give yourself a couple years where you're at and when you look back at where you are now, you'll amaze yourself with how much you've grown. You're a beginner nurse that is learning how to be a nurse and it sounds like you have a great group of fellow nurses that are helping you learn to become a good nurse. Lean on them and learn from them and you'll eventually find yourself being that nurse that the new grad comes to for advice. 

Specializes in MedSurg Tele.

The first year in any specialty of nursing is a huge learning curve. It does get better! Even after 25 years I still learn because medicine is constantly evolving. I have worked trauma level 1, ICU, surgery, and currently in MedSurg. Don't listen when anyone says acute care nurses are stupid because I have learned more in acute care and never worked so hard here than I have in previous roles. Acute care is very broad spectrum and builds a huge foundation of knowledge. I think the key is finding what specialty you like and having a great support system of coworkers to lean on for those first couple years! Good luck! I'm sure no matter what area you choose you will do great!

Specializes in Risk Mgt / Patient Safety.

No, you have not chosen the wrong career, you are merely trying to find your niche. Keep working and getting experience. Continue to perform your assessments and question the providers if you have any questions at all. As a retired Risk Manager, I encourage you to ask questions for clarification of orders. Use your intelligence to find those computer errors

ER Nursing is a calling. Don't be upset if things didn't work out there. Keep on keeping up, you'll be fine and will soon realize that you are making a difference.

Specializes in C-EFM, L&D/Postpartum/AP/PACU.

You are definitely being too hard on yourself. I get wanting to leave the ED if people were jerks to you, and I'm not suggesting you should have stayed and subjected yourself to such treatment. At the same time, if the ED is your dream, don't be put off by a week of not catching on. A week is no time at all. With experience under your belt, you could easily go to the ED again later and be successful. 

Also, don't let those ED turds intimidate you. They get scared and clueless too. You should see them (and the ICU nurses) get flushed and panicky when one of our OB or postpartum preeclampsia patients end up there. The fear is palpable, also funny and delicious! 😂

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