First day as PCT...need to vent :(

Nursing Students CNA/MA


So it was my first day as a PCT at the big local hospital..this is my first job after getting my CNA certificate. I just felt so overwhelmed today.. Like with all the medical abbreviations I felt so lost! And, I just felt like I didn't know what I was doing...and let me tell you...that is not a good experience :(

If anybody has any words of encouragement and or advice, or even if you would like to share you experiences as a PCT/CNA I would greatly appreciate it. Im feeling so down and just trying a way to stay positive.

Today was my first day too! I am not a CNA though only and NA- I have no prior certificate so today was just really getting oriented and observing.

I don't feel completely comfortable either just yet, but it was my first day! You are not going to know everything just in one day. It takes some time.

Try to ask what the term for something was again if they mention it too fast. Also, I am going to get a small notepad to keep in my scrubs and write down all the terms... I can get caught up in them too. Heck, before this week I didn't even know what ambulating and incontinence meant.

The computers are the death of me. I am young and am supposed to be all computer literate, but that seems to be the part I understand the least!

Do they give you a few days for observation?


Its good to know that I am not the only one going through this..

We have two weeks of orientation/training..I have been in orientation all week, but today was my first day actually with the patients and on my floor.

It takes time. There is just so much to learn and most of it you only learn from experience.

You have so many patients and so many tasks. You have to not only learn what to do, but how to prioritize it! Also, each patient is unique. You can each have three patients with a broken hip, but each one will need different care and approaches!

It is overwhelming at first, but you can't let it stop you from facing each new day... because you simply have to face it in order to gain the experiences in order to improve.

You will be slow, disorganized and make mistakes. You learn from all of this.

Right now, just focus on being safe and the rest will come.

You are definately not alone.

Good luck :)

Specializes in ER, Med-surg.

After a while, you'll pick up the medical abbreviations, I would suggest that you find a book and study up on them, you'll find them wherever you choose to work. Any job is overwhelming when you first begin. Did you get an orientation? I would hope that they wouldn't put a new CNA on a floor without an orientation. I don't care how much experience you have, it takes a good while to get used to how things run in a facility. You'll be fine!

The first day on the job is usually very stressful! Make sure to ask lots of questions on things you don't understand. :hug: You'll get used to it after a few weeks. Chin up!

I used to work as the Australian version of a CNA before becoming a nurse, it was very hard and first, people don't see just how hard they work.

My advice is like everyone else's just stick at it before you know it you'll get in your groove and become proficient and efficient in your duties and tasks.

Work hard, do your job well, network with your charge and unit manager and who knows maybe they'll hire you as a nurse there one day

i was a CNA for years before I became a nurse. Don't worry about not knowing all of the abreviations right away. Like the other said, takes time. When I started out as a CNA, it took time for me to learn the job and all of the abreviations. When I am in chargeI most concerned that my patients are treated well and that they are given good care by my CNAs. I encourage them to ask me any questions that they may have at any time. Also if they need me to help them with something or show them something, they can always come and get me. :)

Does your facility offer any medical terminology classes? My employers offer these classes (free of charge) for new MCT's/PCT's/CNA's. Try getting in touch with your unit educator or the education department.

Specializes in ICU / PCU / Telemetry / Oncology.

1st day and you're overwhelmed?? YES, that's normal. Don't expect to be an expert and know everything overnight. As long as you know this you will be fine. It takes months before you feel comfortable with the basics.

Totally normal to be overwhelmed.

In my hospital, if you aren't able to get everything done, let the nurse know. Write down the abbreviations and study them later. Focus on patient safety in the beginning (don't drop anyone!) and learning what the normal vital sign ranges are.

In my area it's nearly impossible to get a hospital CNA job without prior experience, so good on you. Be quick on your feet and observant and you will learn tons.

Good luck!

Specializes in hospice.

I will agree that it is normal to feel overwhelmed on the first day. Heck, I'm 7 months in and still spend a fair amount of time being overwhelmed. However, the abbreviations.... dang my CNA program absolutely drilled us on those. There was an entire page we had to memorize and we got tested on them. I thought all programs did that but I guess not.

This was the text we used and it has a comprehensive listing of abbreviations: Hartman's Nursing Assistant Care: The Basics (9781604250145): Hartman Publishing Inc., Jetta Fuzy RN MS: Books

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