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Feeling incompetent

Nurses   (481 Views | 7 Replies)
by Krks Krks (New) New Nurse

100 Profile Views; 7 Posts

Has any new RN out there ever experienced the feeling of incompetency when you get on your first job and you feel like you forgotten everything you learned in school?

time management for me hasn't been a problem to get ahold of, it's been what seems like a lot of lack of knowledge to be able to make nursing judgements for my patients. Feel like I forgotten the disease processes for some health issues and core  symptoms and lab results  to make any nursing judgements  much less understanding my patients and to have a good report off for the next shift. 

I mean you have to sit down and really readthrough a lot of progress notes and history to understand fully what's fully going on your patient .... Am I wanting to know too much? Right now my shift reporting is not that great .... I feel like I need to know so much more about my patient and I feel like there's not time to do that.... Plus the EMR system where I am at is so visually tedious takes up so much time....I think some of this is some of the reasons why nurses don't care for clinical floor work or maybe I'm just not cut out for it..,

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7 Followers; 3,337 Posts; 23,173 Profile Views

Every. Single. One. Of. Us.

 

You're in good company.

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7 Posts; 100 Profile Views

So why am I feeling like I have lost motivation and steadfastness to go to work??

 

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7 Followers; 3,337 Posts; 23,173 Profile Views

Because nobody likes feeling like they suck and might kill somebody. 

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1,702 Posts; 17,742 Profile Views

How long do you expect it to take before you feel solid?

 

This is not my field of expertise, but as far as I know, you are a novice nurse.  Apparently some Benner character took the time to delineate stages of development for nurses.

"The Novice or beginner has no experience in the situations in which they are expected to perform. The Novice lacks confidence to demonstrate safe practice and requires continual verbal and physical cues. Practice is within a prolonged time period and he/she is unable to use discretionary judgement." 

If this sounds like you, then apparently you are perfectly normal.  A new grad who feels like he/she does not meet this definition is actually scary. 

I am going to step out on a limb here, and presume to speak for other experienced nurses- We prefer a new grad who is scared over one who is scary.

 

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Katie82 has 25 years experience and specializes in Med Surg, Tele, PH, CM.

541 Posts; 4,729 Profile Views

Feelings of incompetency? We all did. School can give you the "book learning" and skills, but what you learn in school in no way prepares you for the "real world". Don't be discouraged, it will come. More and more hospitals offer (insist is a better word) a 4 - 6 month orientation program to new grads, then an additional amount of time in Med/Surg before transferring to other floors. If your does not, I would look for one that does. It could make a difference for you. 

 

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"nursy" has 40 years experience as a RN and specializes in ICU, ER, Home Health, Corrections, School Nurse.

193 Posts; 796 Profile Views

You learn to prioritize your thinking.  In a given moment you don't need the pt entire hx, you need the ABC's :  airway intact, are they breathing OK and are their heart rate and blood pressure adequate.   OK, so they are not dying at this moment.  Next, quick basic head to toe assessment.  Awake and alert?  Oriented?  Moving all extremities?  Good urine output?  last poop?  skin intact?   IV sites intact?  No blood anywhere?  Good.  Then basically you are using provider orders to keep all of the above in optimal condition.  If you forget some basic pathophys  look it up on Dr Google.  

This is hugely symplifying the process, but these are the most important basics.  You should be getting the most important info like hx and  progress from shift report.  Yes, we all want to have a complete picture of our patients, and when you have time, you can peruse the record and fill in the blanks.  The point is to have an orderly process to your thinking, and not feel like every patient has this mass of medical data that you have to absorb right now.

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nursex23 has 2 years experience as a BSN, RN.

60 Posts; 1,274 Profile Views

When I first started, I thought it was such a unique feeling. I thought there is absolutely no way that's it's normal for anyone, much less a nurse, to feel like this. Those feelings slowly dissipated and then one day, after about a year, I realize I no longer felt so incompetent, overwhelmed, etc.  I still had some instances where I was like "duh" when I missed little things but I no longer felt like I was dangerous. Give it time and like the previous poster said, prioritize. Good luck to you! 

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