I'm a very new nurse just a couple weeks off orientation & on my own now.
The funny thing is that I don't even feel like a nurse!!
I feel that I spend sooo much time administering meds--am meds, prn meds, iv meds, pain meds, new orders/stat meds, insulin, IVFs......that I don't have much time for anything else!
I rush around constantly with my 4 to 5 patients that I'm not able to spend the time that I'd like to with them. And not time to just spend chatting, but to actual become more involved with their care. I want to feel more knowledgable about their cases & that I might even be able to provide some valuable input from a nurses stance with the medical team here & there!!
I'm having a reality wake-up call from nursing school when you were able to study everything about your pt prior to your assignment & then you'd have all the time in the world to spend with the patients & go over their dx, hx, labs, etc!!
(I also feel my knowledge level is going down hill like all that nursing theory is just slipping away.....although I do try to look things up when I get home from things I've come across during my shift)
I guess this may be just a vent. I've been feeling discouraged that I cannot do more with my time....I've been doing what I can though, but it doesn't seem like it's enough.
Perhaps as I gain better time management skills & become more efficient as a new nurse I will feel things coming together for me better. I'm sure my experiences now will also help me provide even better care in the future.
It's hard to believe that I felt like I was more of a nurse when I was a student!! Can any other new nurse relate??
Thanks for listening. MrsMinor
Dec 9, '05
Oh wow, can I ever relate to you! I've been an RN for 5 months now & take today for instance: I work on a med/surg unit in a hospital & today I had 5 post-op patients who all had either abd or vaginal hysterectomies & all I did all shift long was see who had pain or nausea and who couldn't pass gas or poop and then I'd go grab the appropriate pain or anti-nausea meds, simethicone, sennoket, etc...and then all the IV pushes, IV antibiotics, etc.! I feel like the only other thing I did today besides give meds & do my initial assessment on each pt was that I kept checking them all for vaginal bleeding, since they all had the same surgery. So yes, I agree with you that it's very frustrating to spend 90 % of our time giving meds. I was just thinking the same thing you said in your post that I feel like half the stuff I learned in nursing school I have forgotten, cuz who has time to sit and discuss labs, tests, etc? Although I wish very much to become more involved in all aspects of their care. That is why I applied to grad school to become an NP. But you are definitely not alone in how you feel! I feel like I'm getting faster and more confident in what I do, but sometimes the day is so stressful cuz of the acuity of the pts, that no matter how fast you move, it's still so busy! Like today, I noticed I wasn't the only nurse who was stressed out. All the other more experienced nurses were saying how busy it was and that they barely had time to sit down to eat. It''s probably cuz we had so many post-op pts who all needed something at the same time, all the time! Geez!
Last edit by christvs on Dec 9, '05
Dec 17, '05
I have been working for 6 months now on a tele unit, and I feel totally overwhelmed at times with med passes.
My last shift consisted of an ICU appropriate pt who was quickly sliding down hill (they shipped the pt to the unit on the following shift of course!). Constant needed suctioning, was in isolation, venti mask, fs, IV's, two drips, and was starting to bleed out when I was getting ready to leave! 2nd pt was post heart cath who had restraints w/ short term memory loss who ended up running down the halls naked and urinating, threatening to beat us all up (got punched once and had to go through this twice when the dtr untied the pt). Then had another GI bleeder constantly getting up to bm but needed assist because the pt vagaled and fell before. 4th pt another post heart cath who arrived with chest pain, had do go through the whole protocol with that. Luckily 5th pt was a walkie talkie that just needed pain meds all night, but gosh, the way my night went I barely spent 3 minutes w/that pt.
Needless to say I had to rely on my charge to do my chart checks, and I still needed help just passing meds. Never got a lunch and only went pee once! I felt guilty because I couldn't spend more time trying to critically think about my first pt because I knew the pt was going down hill. Would call the dr and feel like an idiot because in report my history was so shady on him, but who had time to go through the thick 2 volume chart when you needed to assess and get the situation taken care of stat, and then of course be told you are an idiot because you didn't know blah, blah, blah. And then feel like an even bigger idiot because what you were originally calling about was in fact actually happening and did you really explain the situation accurately when you called the dr the first time?
Gosh, will it really get easier? Will we actually be able to critically think as well as just run around and pass meds?
But I must say, venting does help!
Last edit by chachh on Dec 17, '05