I'm a brand new grad in a residency program and just started this week on the floor with my preceptor and I'm already wondering if I can really handle the work.
I'm an older nurse and this is a second career for me -- I'm not as fast as others on the floor (will I ever be?!?) and I find I'm overwhelmed with the tasks I haven't had much practice with, e.g., changing IV tubing, PCA pumps -- generally everything!
I'm so used to being in a working environment where I can master the skills within a short period of time, but this -- well -- it just seems like I can never get my ducks lined up in a row!!!
I had some good experiences during my nursing school preceptorship and one (thank goodness I have at least one advantage) thing I got a lot of practice with and learned how to do well was starting IVs....but that's just one skill!!!
I have been told I have a "wonderful manner" with patients, but when will I feel like I know what the heck I'm doing?????
Are there any older new nurses out there who feel the same way? Does it get easier? Do you get faster? Do you ever stop feeling overwhelmed? Do you ever stop feeling nervous (sometimes just plain scared!)? Do you ever wonder what the heck you're doing in the nursing field?
Any tips on organization? Any tips on getting down the IV lines (there are sometimes SO MANY on just one patient)? Any tips on PCA pumps?
OK -- enough rambling and venting -- thanks for listening. Any words of encouragement and tips on successfully learning the technical skills is greatly appreciated!
Aug 29, '06
Hi: I, too, am a fairly new nurse. This is my second career and I'm what you would call "older". It's almost as if you were telling my story...I was successful at my previous position, organized and effective, but nursing is a whole different story! I remember my first week (I work in a burn ICU) and I thought I'd never make it. Luckily, I have had very good preceptors who time and time again tell me..."it will take you a year to start feeling comfortable." Well, I feel a little bit comfortable one day and then those old feelings come back...will I make it? But, I've chosen to believe them when they say "a year" and trust that they'll continue to help me a long when needed. You'll do well, everybody tells me us "older" nurses are an asset. I'm just learning to be patient with myself. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, they really helped me realize that I'm not alone!
P.S. I label all my IV lines first the line into the pump and then as close to the patient's IV site as possible. This has saved me many times! We have new-fangled PCAs and I just whip out my little instruction sheet and follow it exactly!
Last edit by kellerpatty on Aug 29, '06