Melt down #2 on the last day of week #4

  1. Today was not a very good day for me. I spent the last few hours in tears. Our floor got slammed with admissions and with me being an orientee, I got a after another. I was overwhelmed and my anxiety was through the roof! I was running between rooms trying to keep up with new orders, xray coming to get patients, hanging IV bags, starting IVs, giving pain meds, trying to get admission charting done, assessments, calling one point I thought I was having an "out of body experience"! Then a nurse came up to me and asked if I was OK and the tears started to flow. I tried so hard to compose myself but each time someone asked if I was OK, the tears returned. Then my NM appeared by my side as I was looking thru a chart. She asked if there was something she could do to help me. I told her I would be fine, I just needed to prioritize. She says, "No, what do you need me to do? You realize you can delegate tasks if you're sinking." I guess I was so caught up in the fury that I forgot about teamwork! I have spent 17 years as a CNA and was so used to being told what to do...I was trying to "do it all" as an RN. It didn't even occur to me to ask for help! On my 2nd week of orientation my preceptor had told me she wanted my to do everything on my own...I guess I was taking it too literally. Even tho I did lose control of my emotions, I guess I can be proud of myself for successfully starting my 2nd IV & hanging all those IVPBs between all the charting and assessments. The thing is tho, I have now had 2 meltdowns in one week. I don't want to be viewed as a crybaby. That is not how I normally conduct myself. What is wrong with me? I really don't think this is normal. :/
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    About julz68

    Joined: Jan '13; Posts: 466; Likes: 376


  3. by   HippyDippyLPN
    I tend to have that problem so now I say to myself internally "take 3 deep breathes, relax my shoulders, and prioritize like nobody's business" then that is what I would do! I have LTC care experience though but I would start on my most important/urgent task/patient and work my way down repeating that 3 breathes and relax shoulders. Strangely it works! I don't cry and I get work done.
  4. by   TamTamRN-RRT
    I know the feeling of being orientee. It sucks sometimes! I'm going thru it now! Stay strong.. I it will get better! Can't wait to start my first IV
  5. by   sandyfeet
    My preceptor had the same attitude towards me, that I should try to do everything on my own while in orientation. She wanted me to experience that overwhelming feeling while I still had her to jump in if things got critical. Once I got off orientation it took me a while to realize that everyone needs help and it's not a sign of being a bad nurse to ask! Especially since it sounds like you were being overloaded with admissions. Eventually you will be able to look at your assignment and see "tasky" things that you can delegate, and this will make your day flow. You will still want to do your own assessment on a new patient, but for example, someone else could hang an antibiotic for you.

    I can usually hold it together UNTIL someone asks me "Are you ok?" when things are going bad for me, so I understand where you are coming from on that one! Sometimes just grabbing a quick Dixie cup of cold water and stretching my arms above my head can relieve some tension and 'reset' me, so I can refocus on attacking the mountain of things to do. The good thing is that the more you experience things like that, the easier your adaptation will be. And it sounds like you have great co-workers for checking on you and supporting you!
  6. by   LadyFree28
    Your NM gave you valuable food for thought...if you need help, ASK for it...we can delegate, and you are not alone! She obviously wants you to succeed. Learning to delegate is a VALUABLE helps with time management, as well as fosters well keeps you from feeling like you're ready to drown or flame out.

    Keep pushing! You have someone in your corner!!!
  7. by   julz68
    Thanks everyone It was good to have a day off today. I slept for 13 hours! I go back to work Sunday night, so I will be able to relax a while, thank God! Sunday will be the start of my orientation on nights for 2 weeks, then I will be on my own!!!
  8. by   LadyFree28
    Great!! Good luck, you can do this!!!!
  9. by   julz68
    I just checked my phone messages, and my NM left a voicemail asking if I had time to reflect on my day...she said she knows I had a rough day on Wednesday and she wants me to call her back to let her know if there is anything she can do to make things better for me. Seriously? Is this normal, or do I have one of the best managers ever?? Im gonna call her in a bit as soon as I figure out what to say
  10. by   silverbat
    Sounds like a terrific NM!! KEEP HER!! Seriously, hang in there, relax and ask for help. Also, when you are having a good shift, and you notice someone having a not so good shift, jump in and offer to help. This is good teamwork and a good way to learn as well. welcome to our crazy nursing universe!
  11. by   LadyFree28
    There are a TON of nurse leaders that care for their team. I think on AN, you may read a TON that say otherwise, and that can stick with plenty of people.

    This is a GREAT thing! Give you NM a call or hopefully you can meet her face to face with a follow-up. Continue to stay active in your success, there are people that want you to be successful!
  12. by   julz68
    I did talk with her and told her that although I was very overwhelmed on that day, I was grateful for the experience as it helped me to learn and grow as an RN. She reassured me that she was always available to help me if needed. I also thanked her for being an awesome leader and it meant a lot to me to know that she sincerely cares about her staff.
    I think I will be very happy working on that unit....even more so once I start nights!
    Thanks to all of you for your encouraging words as well! AN rocks!