Is this normal

  1. I started orientation in July.

    It is over soon.

    I am overwhelmed, stressed out,and feel like an idiot most days.

    Is this normal?????
  2. Visit MelissaCT profile page

    About MelissaCT

    Joined: Jan '02; Posts: 134; Likes: 3
    Family Nurse Practitioner
    Specialty: 7 year(s) of experience in L&D, Ambulatory Care


  3. by   kittyw
    I feel like that in the clinical area ... but I notice that what I feel like an idiot about is changing....

    I'm constantly puting myself (and being put) in more challenging areas, so even though I still feel overwhelmed at times, it's about things that I wouldn't have even tackled a few months ago. And those things that stressed me out in the clinical area a few months ago no longer bother me.

    Of course, there are things that didn't stress me out before that now do (isn't ignorance bliss?? lol).
  4. by   meownsmile
    Dont feel like you are alone. Orientation is never long enough. Just dont hesitate to go to your co-workers for help, ask questions. Even if you have asked the same question before.
    Feeling stressed is part of going off orientation, and you will be fine as long as you do ask questions. Feeling like, as you say an idiot is normal too, but you will find when you ask questions there will be some on the unit that dont know the answers either and they have been there quit a bit longer than you.
    I have called other units asking questions because noone i was working with knew the answers. Dont be afraid to use any and ALL resources available to you. Using resources doesnt make you look dumb,, makes you look like you are concientious enough to find the answer, and not let it go.
  5. by   Enabled
    Melissa, Welcome to you and all the new grads and those that have already passed the NCLEX. For those about to take it good luck from an old timer. This is a normal feeling to be overwhelmed. Try to relax as you are being bombarded with information day in and day out. Even after you finish orientation you should still have a resource person that you are assigned or someone that you have already found you can trust or that is really on the ball and likes to teach. There is always one nurse who will remember what it was like. Do not ask a year old grad as they are still in the learning process. There are 2080 hours in a work year and that includes two weeks vacation which I include as new grads usually find themselves critiquing everything they have done prior to the vacation. It was mentioned that ignorance is bliss but it won't get you away for the legal aspect. Remember in most state Nurse Practice Acts you, once you pass the NCLEX, are considered to do things as a "prudent nurse" Unfortunately, it is a big jump from GN to RN and it can take place overnight.
    I don't want to scare you but you might want to consider liability insurance. This is not to insinuate that you will make a mistake that will cause problems. Many nurses carry it for peace of mind. I have carried it for 20 years. It not only covers you at work but if you come up on an accident. You are now more than what would be covered under the Good Sam law. A DPM many years ago was the first on the scene and he told EMS that he was a DPM and he was sued because the was a "doctor" and EMS did not assume care.
    Also, if someone has an accident such as tripping in your home you can be sued and homeowners insurance will help but if you are a health care professional you should have known not to have scatter rugs so that someone could trip and break their ankle. CAUTION is the word. Patients are claiming all kinds of things now even if they don't happen as we are a sue happy society. It takes time and money for lawyers to straighten the entire mess our. Hospitals usually find ways of distancing themselves for the least infraction in a procedure takes place and there is a negative outcome. PROTECT yourself. I do not sell the insurance or recommend any particular company so as they say do your homework.
  6. by   Agnus
    Ok I am not a new grad. To answer your question it is very normal. I'd worry about you if you did not feel this way.

    I'll tell you a secret. Ask questions. Run things by a more experienced nurse. It is those who don't ask that we worry about. We do not expect you to know everything. You only look foolish when you try to act like you know. We know you don't remember every thing. It is OK to ask the same question twice. God you have to learn and remember so much as a nurse. None of us know it all.

    If you are up on somthing a more experienced nurse has forgotten or doesn't know respectfully fill her in. We know you are fresh out of school so you are more fresh on al lot of information.

    You are doing fine. Look around try to find someone who is a good nurse cultivate a relationship.
  7. by   NewGrad Colleen

    I am a new grad and I just started my first job in September. I am going off orientation next week (ohmigod) and I too feel like you Melissa . I am always stressed out and I know I am supposed to feel this way but it is still hard. I have the basic skills I need to be a competant RN but I still feel at a loss when it comes to little things about assessments and calling MD's and all the paper work. I know it will get easier and everyday I learn something new but it helps that I am not alone. One day we will not be new grads!!!
  8. by   ancella marie
    Hi there!
    Your questions made me look back at how I was when I am new at my job. My first year especially the first months were so stressful that I would always focus on the thought that I won't be new forever - that somehow I would learn the basics and be competent just like the others.
    Take things one day at a time. Learn things by heart and be patient - in time things will be okey.
    Goodluck! I hope you can share bits of news as you go along.
  9. by   Enabled
    NewGrad Colleen, welcome to the world of professional nursing. In no time will you be just zipping around like the rest of us. I know that school is nothing like you are experiencing now. It is the same for every new grad and has been since the Fred Flinstone years. Good Luck and if you are not sure find a nurse you can ask. There are many who like to teach and missed their calling. Some day you will be the oldie and in remembering this experience will give you more chuckles than you can imagine. I know right now you feel like everything is coming down on top of you that is normal so step back and take a few deep breaths of in through your nose and out through your mouth. You would tell that to any anxious person whether it be patient or not. You will also find that your patients will teach you more than any textbook will. Just give it some time and all will be right with the world
  10. by   neuroRN
    Allright, first of all pat yourself on the back for joining the field of nursing, and for passing NCLEX (after that you can do anything, right?) :-) I graduated in May and have been in my job since June. There are good days and bad days. The thing that has been most helpful is to ask questions, whether it is a nurse, a doctor, a staff member who has been there a while, people are usually eager to share their knowledge with others. I have to admit that there are a few questions I have asked (to doctors in particular) where I have gotten a weird look, but I feel better asking and learning than doing something wrong and making a mistake. Keep smiling and before you know it you will be the nurse people are asking questions to and you can say "I remeber when I was a new nurse..."

  11. by   canoehead
    Absolutely normal, and when I see posts like that I thank my lucky stars that I don't have to go through that first year again.

    You are not alone.
  12. by   renerian
    When I was due to finish my orientation after six weeks on a BMT unit, I asked for two more weeks. It made a world of difference.......don't be afraid to ask for more...........

  13. by   emily_mom
    Do you think it is b/c you aren't just left alone to do it? My husband just started in a new dept and was so unsure of himself until his trainer quit and he had to fend for himself. Sure, he still has probs but he is much more confident when he doesn't have someone standing over his shoulder.
  14. by   shay
    Originally posted by MelissaCT
    I started orientation in July.

    It is over soon.

    I am overwhelmed, stressed out,and feel like an idiot most days.

    Is this normal?????
    Yes. If you didn't feel like that, we'd be worried. :kiss You'll be fine. It'll take a while, but you'll get it.