defeated.

  1. that is the best word to describe what i am experiencing right now. i'm sure this is not the first time a new grad has posted on here during their orientation, but i don't know where else to go. i have had 13 shifts under my belt now on a med/surg floor and i don't feel like things are getting any better. i'm an old new grad it has been a long time since i've been in a hospital. i have also never had such a physically and mentally demanding job and my so-called ability to be detail oriented and organizing doesn't exist anymore when i am wrapped in the tornado of changing orders and pt needs. on top of that, i have so much anxiety that prevents my ability to focus or have any logical thought process. i'm that tragic new grad. in my time off, i have been stressed out trying to figure out the disease process for my patients or replaying things i could have done differently. it hasn't benefited my growth at all, so then i tried to just decompress completely in hopes of being clear-minded back at work. that also has not worked. i continue to be unfocused and disorganized. the day continually gets away from me and i have so many loose ends by the end of the day that i often end up charting up to 2 hrs after my shift is over. i have no other solution in my mind other than to try to build more structure in my day. i have made myself a new spreadsheet that breaks down my day hour by hour and allows me to better track things that are done on a daily basis (vitals/IOs/etc) and events that occur throughout the day (BP 80/45 --> actions taken). if i can structure my day successfully, i hope this moves me in the right direction. all along i have felt that i have been received false positive reinforcement and last night that proved to be correct as my preceptor expressed my lack of progress. and i don't disagree. i would just like some honesty here as to whether or not i just need more time or i am just plainly not able to handle this particular floor. if i'm dumb, someone should really tell me that so i don't continue to jeopardize my patient's care or life. the little confidence i had in my ability has shipped out weeks ago. and i am so close to throwing in the towel. but i also waited so long for this opportunity to become the nurse i want to be. all i can do is keep trying, but i don't know if that's enough.
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    About sogreenrn

    Joined: Jan '08; Posts: 47; Likes: 13
    Research asst/Lab monkey

    9 Comments

  3. by   netglow
  4. by   CharleeJo.RN
    oh, honey...first of all, take a deep breath and just let your body relax. maybe you should go get a professional massage?

    Second of all, i know EXACTLY where you're coming from. I had all those same feelings at my first job as an LPN. i felt stupid, incompetent, unable to do what everyone else was doing. i cried during my lunch breaks, on the drive home, and was so frought with anxiety at the idea of having to go back there. my supervisors were breathing down my neck 24/7, meticulously picking apart everything i did and threatening my license at every available opportunity (you didn't fill out this form right, its your license on the line, bla bla bla). i seriously felt like an abused puppy there! i would spend hours after my shift catching up on documentation (they were 12 hr shifts, so i usually ended up there 15-16 hrs). I lost every OUNCE of self-confidence and had zero faith in my abilities. I was utterly, completely defeated. I thought "i can't do this. i'm not cut out for this. all my good grades in school didn't mean anything. all my praise from friends, family, instructors - what were they thinking? i suck. i'm a failure. omg, what am i going to do?" i wanted to quit that position every second of my day there.

    and you know what? it was such a horrid experience, and the atmosphere was so damaging to me, that i could not possibly succeed. i failed miserably. i made poor judgment calls and let my anxiety and fear get the better of me - i literally couldn't think straight, and it was error after error. i felt so pressured to do things fast, that i lost track of the most important thing - to do things right and safely. in my situation, i wasn't a safe nurse there, because i was so overwhelmed and riddled with insecurity that i couldn't possibly be successful.

    i should have quit, but it was my first nursing job, so i tried to stick it out. i eventually got fired, after only 3 months of being there. enter a whole 'nother world of defeat, depression, bottom-of-the-pit despair. now i REALLY felt like a failure. it took me a lot of time and self-growth to get through that period, but you know what, i did. and i finally looked for another job - worried that no one would hire me b/c of that experience - but someone did. i made really good $ there and i finally was a GOOD NURSE. holy crap! my pt's loved me, most of my coworkers did too, and management really really liked me. they were actually - gasp - (quote) "impressed" with my skills and confidence. where did that come from? and suddenly, i was a self-assured and smart nurse. if i didn't know something, i'd ask or look it up. i sought help when i needed it. i gave my best to my pt's and didn't do anything i wasn't comfortable with it. and somehow, through it, i became the nurse i always knew i wanted to be.

    fast forward over a year, and i'm at a different position now - (no, i didn't get fired from the last one i moved and received a GLOWING recommendation from the DON) and now i'm working at a place that could very well be my dream job! it's a little early to tell but hey it just may be. and you know what? every few days i receive praise from my supervisors, how they're so impressed with me, how i've excelled expectations, how they're so glad i came to their practice.

    quite a 180 from the first job to this one, huh? i know this is a very long story - sorry - but i just felt like i had to share the details with you. NO MATTER HOW HARD IT SEEMS, HOW IMPOSSIBLE IT FEELS, you *can* do this. if you truly feel that this position isn't one where you can be successful and achieve your potential, you need to consider moving on. even though it felt to me like the worst failure ever, them firing me was the BEST thing that could have happened to me. because it gave me time to restore faith in myself and remove myself from all that negative and oppressive energy there - i may have spent a week locked in my house and with my phone off because i was too ashamed to speak to anyone - but i got through it. and look where i am now. happy as can be, working with and for people who appreciate me, and in an environment where i can actually be the best nurse that i can. be the nurse i want to be and know, deep inside, that i am. i still have moments of "am i dumb? shouldn't i know that?" but for every one of those, there a few redeeming moments

    so, i hope somehow this all helps you see that you're not alone and that yes, you can get through this and come out on top in the end. just do what is best for YOU and try not to let anyone take your faith away from you. You've come so far, and you have so much to give to others. You will find your path and blossom into the nurse you want to be. Best of luck to you.
  5. by   slave_diverRN
    From reading so many similar posts on this forum, its safe to say that EVERYONE feels this way at first. Even if you were a seasoned nurse, changing jobs is tough, but when you throw in all the responsibility a nurse assumes it can be overwhelming. It WILL get easier.

    A year from now, you wont have to spend all your time off researching nursing, you'll get to have a life . . . and relaxing a bit will make you less stressed at work too. Just keep doing what you're doing, trying to figure out "your system" and what works for you. It sounds like you are working this out as you reflect on your day....keep doing that if its productive. If that reflection makes you more stressed out, stop and just thing about it weekly or monthly. Start out your 'list' with THINGS I DID RIGHT TODAY before you beat yourself up about things you can improve upon.

    Soon, you'll start to identify little "time wasters" that you can eliminate (like having to back for something you forgot), you'll also learn to anticipate what things you'll need later and get efficient at doing multiple things when you step into a patient's room. This time saved is when you'll chart, so you don't have to stay late so much.

    Are you orienting with another brand new nurse? If not, stop comparing your progress to the other more experienced nurses.

    Ask other nurses about their 'systems' and find things that work for you as you develop yours.
  6. by   EricJRN
    I was in the same boat as a new grad - probably worse. I was pretty horribly disorganized and slow. When I heard I was getting an admission, I'd just bank on being there until 8:30 or 9:00. Now, five short years later, I'm at a bigger hospital with sicker kids, and I'm about to move into an educator role. I've found my niche. Definitely do not feel like you have to give up.

    It sounds like you could definitely benefit from more frequent feedback. Is your preceptor easy to work with and communicate with, or do you think a change of preceptor might help?

    It's a difficult balance when you're trying to study for work in your spare time. I remember leaving work after twelve hours and wanting to know more about the things I had encountered, but not having the energy to much besides crashing on the couch for two days.

    Hang in there and keep us posted!
  7. by   sogreenrn
    i completely appreciate all the feedback that i have gotten. thank you all for taking the time out to talk me off the ledge. i went back for my 14th shift and while it was the craziest day i have had and i still stayed super late, i got through it somehow. the people i work with are amazing, pitching in whenever they see me drowning. and let me tell you, i was drowning by 8am! i always wrap up with my preceptor at the end of the day, so i'm getting frequent feedback but what can she say when i continue to have the same problems shift after shift. i haven't improved my organization, delegation, prioritization enough for her to give me any new input. there are times when she gets short with me. i can handle most of it, but some comments like "that's nursing 101" are really discouraging. still i suck it up because she truly has good intentions. when i consider all the hard work she has put into training me, i don't even appreciate the under handed comments that people have made about her. all i can do is keep chugging along. i'm continuing to tweak my routine here and there. hopefully i will make it through this on top. i'll write back w/ updates when i'm on my own. in the meantime, lots of love to all of you for the support. i love allnurses.com!

    :redpinkhe
  8. by   pockunit
    Do you have a good brain to use on your shift? I can't get through a clinical without mine.
  9. by   sogreenrn
    My brain is getting more organized finally, but some things slip through the crack still when I forget to write it down.
  10. by   WillowNMe
    Deep breath.

    Last night was my second shift off of orientation, and as i told my mom... I felt perfectly inadequate, but strangely enough I fortunately still loved it and was able to leave on time. I chalk each day up to a learning experience, and let me tell you, I have had some big ones... IE: when a know it all EMT asks if she can disconnect a drip on a new admit, check before saying yes because it could be something like, I don't know, say Heparin? Yeah, lesson learned!! but ifni continually beat myself up for that... What good would it do me or my patients?

    For organization, I have been very observant of my co-workers. I ask around... Like asking to see their brain sheet, asking how they would have handled that prioritization, etc. I seek feedback 100% of the time, so I am not loaded down at the end of the day. I asked my preceptor how I did overall, but I checked in through out the day. I don't know how your system works, but I chart as I go. Notes and everything - I just pending them and add as the shift progresses. Last night is a prime example... Had to call day shift to tell them I forgot to input drainage from a pts JP drain... Whoops... Embarrassing! But alas, I live to tell the tale.

    I apologized once to my preceptor... Told him I was sorry for being off of my game. He chuckled, looked at me and said, "Game? What game? You don't have a game yet or else you wouldn't be with me!" I try to keep that in mind.

    I try to remind myself to take everything in stride, the world wasn't made in a day, and it's taking a village to raise this idiot I make sure to express appreciation for those tha helped me, even a little, and sometimes I take it a step at a time.
  11. by   JRP1120, RN
    Quote from sogreenrn
    My brain is getting more organized finally, but some things slip through the crack still when I forget to write it down.
    I'm currently on shift number 11 of my orientation being precepted by a wonderful nurse of 35 yrs who has it together and then some! I'm trying to devise my own shift brain because I'm a visual person that needs to write things down so I won't forget. However, my preceptor doesn't use one at all (she writes stuff all over her papers willy-nilly on each pts sheet and somehow manages to never miss a thing!). I just cannot do it that way and she gives me a hard time (eye rolling, laughing at me, etc) when she sees me trying to write stuff down in my own systematic way I've explained to her I need to do things this way at least until I get more comfortable in knowing the ropes and what's needed, etc for each of my patients but truth is, I need a brain sheet and once I find/make one that fits me, I'll probably continue to use it! She's an awesome teacher but I'm beginning to see signs of her getting impatient with me; it's almost as though she expects me to remember at her level (and she's already got me taking a full-patient load of 5 (the most we have on our floor). The 35 yrs of expertise is wonderful and I have learned tons from her and will continue to I'm sure-I'm just not so sure that a nurse of 35 years who's set in her ways can adapt to a new nurse trying to learn certain things in a way that's not her own. Sigh! We'll see how it continues to go-hope she understands me and my ways of learning like I've tried to understand and adopt some of her ways of teaching.

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