I feel useless

  1. I'm a new grad LVN just started on a surgical floor. The average pt/nurse ratio is 6:1. I just completed my 7th day with my preceptor, and I'm only at 3 pts, and I still have a hard time!

    It just seems like for every single little thing that stops me in my tracks and forces me to make a decision, I have to go ask my preceptor. I do this because I don't want to endanger the pt, talk BS to the patient, or risk my license. I feel bad because there are some things I've been shown a couple of times, but I'm still not sure, I still need to clarify.

    I have no idea how these other nurses cope with 6+ pts and are able to chart etc. I never have time to bathe my patients. Sometimes we have an aid, but she doesn't always get to everyone. I just feel really bad about it.

    I see everyone else having such a hard time, and I feel so bad because I want to help out, pull my weight, but instead I have to weigh them down more by asking them to sacrifice their time to basically do my job, demonstrate to me what to do.

    Things like checking Doctor's orders etc. I always have to get the charge nurse to read the orders to me, as they are pretty much always a scribble.

    I just feel bad, you know.
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    About Skwidward

    Joined: Oct '05; Posts: 105; Likes: 22


  3. by   TheCommuter
    Here's a hug. (((HUG))) :icon_hug:

    I'm sorry you feel the way you do, and I hope you feel better with the passage of time and grace.
  4. by   deeDawntee
    Oh my, you have to give yourself a HUGE break here.....
    Surgical floors are notoriously heavy and you have been at it for ONLY 7 days!! And you are already taking a 1/2 assignment, I would say that it pretty darned impressive!! Of course, you will still have questions and there is no shame in asking the same questions as many times as you need to.

    Don't worry, we all have been new, no doubt the nurses you are asking questions, well remember their own days as a newbie. You are exactly where you should be. It will all start coming together and the things that you now have to really concentrate on will become second nature.

    Be patient with yourself!! and a lot kinder!! It sounds to me that you are doing great!
  5. by   Skwidward
    Thank you both.

    That's much appreciated
  6. by   kiszi
    One day, all of a sudden, some of those scribbles will pop out at you crystal clear! especially if it's a doc whose handwriting you see a lot. It's kind of weird when it happens.
    But don't feel bad if you can't read all the orders... sometimes I'll have an order that takes 3, sometimes 4 nurses to piece together. It's not your fault MD's all apparently failed Handwriting 101!
  7. by   Piki
    Hang in there. I too am a new grad on a surgical floor. I am getting close to being done with orientation but remember those first few weeks feeling very overwhelmed. Things over the past few weeks have started falling into place, and now I take the whole team of patients and just ask my preceptor questions every now and then (instead of constantly). You will gain confidence in how things run.

    But I must say that is a very heavy average patient load!! Day shift runs 4:1 or 5:1, evenings basically the same, may pick up an extra pt from 7-11 from one of the 12 hour RNs... but when a day nurse has to have 6 pts even THEY don't like it... 2 weeks ago I came in and my preceptor was assigned 6 patients. Between those 6, we discharged 3 that a.m. and picked up a new admission. I told her if I had been on my own, I would have cried. She told me she felt like crying when she came in before she knew I was assigned to her. That made me feel better. On days, the RNs typically do not have time to help do the a.m. care, so if the aide can't get to it, maybe evening shift will get those bathed that didn't. It's too much to expect when you have 6 patients, to get all those morning meds in, sometimes you have 7:30 meds (for us thats protonix, synthroid, blood sugars, insulins) and followed by 9 a.m. meds, and 10 and 11 a.m. meds, only to start doing the 11:30 blood sugars and insulins. No time whatsoever if you have that many patients to help with a.m. care.

    Hang in there!
  8. by   NicuNurse807
    It seems like you have a very heavy assignment! How long is your orientation? Is your preceptor expecting you to take a full patient load? Starting as a new nurse was one of the hardest things I've ever done and it DOES take a while to feel comfortable but you will. When you least expect it everything will just click. Hang in there!!!!!!!!
  9. by   Nicky30
    I am a new grad too. I work in a small country hospital and we rotate to different clinical areas. For the last two rotations I have recieved no orientation at all, and on my first day shift in my current ward I was responsible for 11 patients with one EN to assist.:uhoh21: This is a normal occurrence in that ward.

    I am sick of whinging about it so now I just get on with the job at hand. I pray that nothing ever goes wrong or I miss anything.

  10. by   carrie13
    I am a new grad and will be starting orientation in 2 weeks. I've been talking with many of my classmates about their orientation experiences and not one person I talked to has had more than 1 patient in their first 7 days. One of my classmates has been on orientation for almost 6 weeks and just now got bumped up to 3 patients. I think you are doing extremely well to be able to take half of an assignment after only 7 days of orientation!

    Hang in there....you are doing fine! Good luck with the rest of your orientation!
  11. by   KJB_65
    You are not useless. It's only your 7th day. You truly can't expect yourself to be able to manage 6 patients yet. I had been a nurse for 5 years before I ever worked in a hospital. I had a month long orientation with a preceptor on nights and never had more than 5 patients. It took me a while to be able to even handle 3 and b/c I had been a nurse for a while, I think more was expected from me. I had been doing dialysis so I might as well have been a brand new nurse in med/surg. Remember this: every nurse you work with was a new nurse at one point and every nurse you work with was new to that job at some point. Give yourself a break. Things do get easier. Time management comes with experience and what works for one nurse doesn't always work for another. Dont feel bad about needing help. We all need help sometimes no matter how much experience we have. Hang in there. I promise it will get better.