New to the ER and feeling humbled

  1. So, starting this January I finally made my transition to the ER. I have been wanting to work the ER since I graduated in 2014. I started my RN career in LTC for 9 months and then I moved to a cardiac PCU for over 2 years. I learned a great deal on my PCU floor, but I felt my learning experiences were growing stagnant and it was time for me to go.

    Thus starts my journey in the ER. It's been great for the most part. I've been on my own for about a month now. I have a great team who are all very helpful. My manager seems very nice and helpful as well. Anyways, what I am getting at here is I seriously thought I would know more/be better than what I am. Maybe I'm just being hard on myself (I tend to do that) but I honestly thought my floor experience would project me so much farther than it has. Now if a STEMI comes in I'm not flustered at all! I just can't shake the fact that this has all thrown me for a loop. I absolutely love the ER environment, and the broad scope of things I am learning though. I know this is where I'm meant to be.

    My peers and manager tell me I am doing good. Has anyone else had a similar experience where you just felt basically brand new all over again. Sometimes I almost feel like the docs and other nurses are judging me for not being as quick on my toes as others (esp the docs). I try to tell myself I felt like this when I started my PCU job, but I honestly thought with floor experience I would feel more confident than I do.
  2. Visit Stella_Blue profile page

    About Stella_Blue, ASN, BSN, LPN

    Joined: Apr '13; Posts: 200; Likes: 173

    6 Comments

  3. by   TruvyNurse
    I wouldn't fret. ER is a whole other world. It sounds like your teammates are appreciative of your efforts. Keep working and keep learning. A year from now you'll laugh.
  4. by   JKL33
    Quote from Stella_Blue
    So, starting this January I finally made my transition to the ER. I have been wanting to work the ER since I graduated in 2014. I started my RN career in LTC for 9 months and then I moved to a cardiac PCU for over 2 years. I learned a great deal on my PCU floor, but I felt my learning experiences were growing stagnant and it was time for me to go.

    Thus starts my journey in the ER. It's been great for the most part. I've been on my own for about a month now. I have a great team who are all very helpful. My manager seems very nice and helpful as well. Anyways, what I am getting at here is I seriously thought I would know more/be better than what I am. Maybe I'm just being hard on myself (I tend to do that) but I honestly thought my floor experience would project me so much farther than it has. Now if a STEMI comes in I'm not flustered at all! I just can't shake the fact that this has all thrown me for a loop. I absolutely love the ER environment, and the broad scope of things I am learning though. I know this is where I'm meant to be.

    My peers and manager tell me I am doing good. Has anyone else had a similar experience where you just felt basically brand new all over again. Sometimes I almost feel like the docs and other nurses are judging me for not being as quick on my toes as others (esp the docs). I try to tell myself I felt like this when I started my PCU job, but I honestly thought with floor experience I would feel more confident than I do.
    It will come together!

    What you're not realizing is how this experience might be different (not necessarily worse, but definitely different) without that year of med-surg experience. There is zero doubt in my mind that you have accumulated some knowledge and experience that is working in your favor in a big way - it's just that the overall situation is a little overwhelming right now so you're not very cognizant of the things you are doing well and the knowledge/experience you are utilizing. The stress is kind of overshadowing that. But it's there.

    I would feel like a fish out of water big time if I went from ED to M/S. That's just how we feel in new environments where expectations, routines, etc., differ.

    With regard to the portion I bolded - - you know, anyone who says they don't try to take stock of the abilities and needs of someone new to the workspace is possibly not being 100% truthful. First of all it's human nature, second of all the concept itself is reasonable under the circumstances. Unprofessional behavior such as condescension is not okay, but something like asking you a clarifying question or giving a tad bit more instruction on something (and other similar acts) are not "judging." If it's a matter of a doc saying, "Why hasn't ____ been done yet?" - in my experience most times they truly want to know the answer - because it might be anything from "the patient refused," to "that's a non-formulary, we need a different order," to "lab analyzer is broken," to "I didn't get to it just yet." They're fine with the answer, it's just that they've learned that they need to know the answer because it might require them to do something different.

    If they aren't treating you unprofessionally, please do not make trouble for yourself where there is none. It's one of the bigget mistakes one can make in the situation you're in. Be pleasant and appropriately confident, use good communication skills (verbal and non-verbal). The ED is one of the best places to develop good professional relationships with medical staff - - in my experience they are pretty likely to be goal-focused and down-to-earth. So expect the best as far as they are concerned and I bet that's what you find.

    Hang in there, everything will be okay!!
    Last edit by JKL33 on Apr 15
  5. by   ProperlySeasoned
    I like your word choice - humbled. You are not inept, you are simply aware you have much to learn. That is a wonderful state of mind. Imagine the growth that comes from a position of humility.
  6. by   ruby_jane
    Quote from ProperlySeasoned
    I like your word choice - humbled. You are not inept, you are simply aware you have much to learn. That is a wonderful state of mind. Imagine the growth that comes from a position of humility.
    Beautifully said. And in the ER you are quite literally seeing something new every day. In a year you will be on top of the wheels, as opposed to feeling like you're under them.
  7. by   Pixie.RN
    Every nurse I worked with who transitioned from somewhere else to the ED felt like a brand spankin' new, green new grad for a while. You are approaching it well, just keep going! <3
  8. by   Stella_Blue
    Quote from Pixie.RN
    Every nurse I worked with who transitioned from somewhere else to the ED felt like a brand spankin' new, green new grad for a while. You are approaching it well, just keep going! <3
    That is almost exactly what it feels like
    I absolutely love the learning experience though. It definitely has kept me on my toes. For the most part all of the Docs have been super helpful, there has just been 1 or 2 who may have a more standoff-ish approach.

close