Feeling Overwhelmed...

  1. I just graduated in May and started on a medical floor July 1st. A month into my orientation, I am feeling completely overwhelmed. I am even questioning whether or not I chose the right career. I don't feel school adequately prepared me for the transition from SN to RN. I had no idea how much paperwork there is, how many policies there are to memorize and on top of that I still have not even gotten to perform all of the skills we learned in school on real patients. I just feel completely overwhelmed and like I don't know anything at all!

    Does anyone else feel this way? If so, how do you handle it?
  2. Visit rachel h profile page

    About rachel h

    Joined: Nov '01; Posts: 189; Likes: 12
    med/surg RN- mostly med


  3. by   live4today
    Rachel....(((((hugs)))))) Things will become more familiar to you as you go along. Don't be so hard on yourself...Rome wasn't built in a day either....and neither were any of us.....as it took nine months for us to look like something worth being born. :chuckle

    You will make it....just relax, take it slow, think before you respond to any given situation, don't get in the habit of rushing around trying to do ten things at once....you are still in the learning stage of nursing right now. I know what a shocker it is to every graduate nurse to enter the "real world of nursing" because school is school, and real world nursing is real world nursing. You'll be okay! Just know that we all had orientations....or should I say "rude awakenings" like that which you speak of. It is quite overwhelming to say the least, but you'll survive it just like most of us have already. :kiss

    The paperwork is surmountable to say the least...but DON"T LET THE MONKEY BITE YOU....in other words....you are the only one who can control the stress thrown at you. paper is paper....human is human....humans control paper....take one sheet at a time and do what you must to it...I promise you the other 300 sheets of paper will lie there and collect dust until you......or someone else......picks it up and does whatever to it.
    Concentrate on organizational skills, being punctual to work, taking good notes to help improve your skills each day, and do NOT be afraid to walk away into a corner somewhere and SIMPLY BREATHE....in and out...slowly...as you regroup. :kiss
  4. by   meownsmile
    Overwhelmed is not necessarily the word id use for my orientation process. Im just getting completely frustrated.
    You arent alone at all.
    I was no way prepared in school for the things i will be doing on the floor. My instructors were more concerned about passing meds, doing baths, and assessments. I was a LPN for 8 years and dont feel i needed concentration in those areas.
    My preceptor feels the need to sit and do discharge paperwork while i run the floor doing assessments(dont need practice at this), she calls the docs, take orders, etc. These are the things i feel i need to be doing a full month into my orientation.
    The comment was made to me last week that i would need to prove myself. Well let me do some of the things that i will need to prove myself on, before i go off orientation. Give me a break, why should i go in with discharge paperwork for a patient that i didnt even complete. Shouldnt she do her own legwork?
    I am just about at the end of my rope all the way around.
  5. by   huggietoes
    So agree with you meownsmile! My orientation so far has been hellish at best. I have been passed around to so many different preceptors that I lost count at 10. One preceptor will insist I take charge and narc keys, the next day a different preceptor will tell me I am not allowed to. Each preceptor does treatments/skills/assessments their own way, when I perform these tasks the way I was trained and according to policy I am berated for "trying to be perfect" I was literally screamed at for bringing the fact that I found errors, including med and documentation errors to my preceptor's attention, I was told off when I refused to administer a med when I was attempting to explain that the outdate was over 3 days ago and no one bothered to call to renew the order. I have been screamed at by MDs when I report that a med has been withheld for over 5 days because of parameters, however, noone had informed the doctor. Their only concern is sitting at the nurses station and shout about their sex lives, new hairstyle, how drunk they got over the weekend, etc. while patients and families are within earshot. Since I have been there 4 patients/families have threatened legal action due to slipshod nursing care. Yet the nurse manager just warns them to keep their indiscretions out of plain view of the powers that be, never tells them instead to clean up their act. I really feel that if I stay I will become complacent, start doing things the easy way, instead of the right way and that scares me!
  6. by   NurzofFaith
    I graduated in May, began interning in June and passed boards in July. I just got my paperwork for my license yesterday. I have to say my experience has been positive for the most part..plus or minus a few things.

    I have a 4 yrs or so of medical background and worked as a student nurse extern during school, all this was great experience but it doesnt truly prepare one to be a nurse. I think just like everyone else that has posted I feel overwhelmed and at times totally out of my league!! My instructors told us that nursing school was the foundation upon which we build..boy they weren't kidding.

    I have had a great preceptor and feel that I am lucky to not have been juggled around..a few of the other new grads on my unit have experienced this also..its just not a good environment for learning. We just like the patients need consistency. I am very vocal when it comes to what I can and cannot do or what I feel confident and doing..and what I dont. I refuse to do anything that will endanger my patients or my license..my preceptor has been great in that respect also. He knows my abilities and has high expectations but I dont feel they are too high.

    My biggest frustrations...knowing who to call when I need things for my patients, knowing where things are, fighting with the computer..LOL and one negative RN..who on my first day said he didnt understand why new grads thought they could come play with the BIG boys...UGH!!!

    I do feel I am learning but feel there is so much more and I fear that when it comes time to do those things I wont know who to turn to.

    I was told it takes a good year to feel comfortable in the new shoes I am wearing...being a RN is a big job.

    I also decided long ago that if any part of the job was to the point of making me miserable...I would hit the door. Life is to short to put up with that kind of crap. The best advice I was given: Be kind to yourself, be patient with yourself and learn all you can. One great RN told me that!!

    {{{Hugs}}} I truly hope things continue to improve for all of us!

  7. by   rachel h
    Oh Thank you everyone! It is so reassuring to know I am not alone. It's so convenient that in nursing school they leave out the part about making the transition from SN to RN...
  8. by   shay
    I swear I think there's a really good book out there for GN's about transitioning from SN to RN in the first year. In fact, I think someone referenced it in this forum before.

    I am so upset to hear so many of our GNs are having a hellish orientation!!

    Guys, part of it is that most of you are on medical floors, which in and of themselves are just about THE most difficult floors in the hospital. It's not YOU, trust me.

  9. by   Mkue
    I'm hearing from many RN's that you really learn on the job after orientation. I hope things start going better for you.

  10. by   sjoe
    One word: RELAX. No one becomes an expert in only one month. Take things as they come, do your best, don't obsess about it, don't eat junk food, and do some active stress management every day (aerobics, jazzercize, swimming, etc.) Look around you. These other nurses all managed to make it somehow. So will you.
  11. by   Nicunurse_RN
    You guys are making me nervous!! I start orientation on monday 8/12. The first week is 7-5 (mon-fri) doing paperwork, tests, iv techniques, blood draws, etc. I then start on the floor the following week. I'll be in tne NICU, so i'm expecting to have to adjust and learn new concepts that we did not emphasize in school. I did not even think about becoming familiar with all the paperwork, policies, etc...
    I hope it is not as stressfull as i'm imagining it will be. Wish me luck! Good luck to all the other new grads!
  12. by   night owl
    God bless all of you and thank you for being part of the nursing profession! :kiss
  13. by   zambezi
    *Just wanted to add a positive note*
    I am a new grad and really love where i am working...it makes me so sad to read of these awful orientations because this is what makes others not want to go into a profession that can be so great...the people on my floor are very good to me, i have one main preceptor but i have followed around and questioned many others...i know that if i have a question i can ask almost anyone...the doctors are also great, since i work in a specialty critical care unit, we usually see the same docs but they all know that i am still learning and let me assist, ask me what is going on, etc...i cant imgaine precepting in a horrible place...i still get nervous/scared etc and wish i knew everything right now, but i know that is not realistic, i go home a night sometimes and think of what i forgot to do or what i could have done differently, but i learn from every experience...

    for those that have not graduated yet, there are some wonderful places to work, look for one that fits your needs...for those that have a crappy orientation, stick in there and remember to support those that come after you, we are the generation that can make changes for the better...GOOD LUCK...
  14. by   micro
    been there and done that.....
    and the fact that there is some new nurse eating going on out there.........
    hey, just hang in........
    stand your ground.........
    do not expect yourself to know it all in a day.....
    be confident in yourself to know it is okay to ask for help and to ask questions............

    this too shall pass........
    you have entered a tough, but a very surmountable career, my friend,