So now, I am working on a med/surg type floor as a new grad. Just finished my first week of orientation. So far it seems to be working very well for me. My preceptor is really supportive and the staff member are all really great. However there's so much to know...regular patient care, skills, policies and guidelines, and all those various forms of documentation. Does anyone else feel as overwhelemed with all we have to do and learn? I have been reading up on the information, but there is just so much and I know I won't remember how to do everything.
Oct 29, '06
Hi, I am nearly at the end of my first year in nursing and like you, in the beginning, everything was overwhelming. It does get easier, due to repetition. What I find most helpful is to ask when the need arises, as reading up on things and committing to memory does not always work because when you get nervous (because you are not sure or dont know), I find that I dont remember anything I have read anyway.
The other thing I find really useful with the doucmentation bit is to type up a list of forms and things to do on the computer (in small print), print it out and then laminate it into a card and carry it around either on your lanyard or just in your pocket or even just have a notebook. That was what I did when I was unfamiliar with the discharging patient process. It worked well and after a while, I didnt need to refer to it anymore.
Hope that helps!
Oct 29, '06
Also has anyone ever had days when the patient and/or family member knows more about the patient conditions and treatments than you do? That happened to me today. The patient himself had told me a few times on what to do. Felt kind of wierd. But on the upside, the mother had known I was an orientee and told me I was doing a good job.
Nov 5, '06
Right now I feel that in some ways I am getting better. I am getting to the point in which I pretty much use my preceptor as a resource now. However today there were incidents where I felt I needed my patient with me whenever I went into a certain patient's room. To keep a long story short, it involved a million g-tube meds, a clogged g-tube, and a family member with a lot of character. So most of the g-tube meds were due in the morning. Since my preceptor had seen me do g-tube meds all the time, she was comfortable with me going in and letting give it on my own. HOWEVER, that was also when the g-tube clogged up. I had never dealt with a clogged g-tube before, so I did not really know what to do. I tried flushing the tube and injecting some pressure (but not too much) from the syringe to hopefully unclog the tube. Didn't work. Luckily my preceptor came back in. However, the patient's family member came in around the same time and saw me unsuccessfully work in the tube, and started criticizing everything. She wouldn't have let me take care of the patient until my preceptor told her that we were caring for the patient together. Anyways, my preceptor had to take over and work on unclogging the tube. Even for her, it took nearly an hour before the g-tube cleared up. From that incidence on though, I did not feel comfortable going into that particular patient's room without my precepter with me at least in the background. Anyways unclogging the tube threw the whole day off track. I was late assessing the other other patients, therefore late in charting. Luckily though my two other patients were some of the sweetest people. But because I got behind, my preceptor had to help me quite a bit. I charted the assessment, treatments, etc. However my preceptor went ahead and updated the careplans for me. She also helped give a few meds to my patients and paged docs for me several times. I know right now I have my preceptor to fall back on when I need help (I try not to use her as much). But does anyone have any tips and advice on how to handle situations that don't go exactly as planned and how to handle difficult patients and families for when I'm on my own? There's just so much to know and learn but very little time to read up on it. Sometimes I feel like I'll never get the hang of things.
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