Need some encouragement..

  1. Hi everyone,

    I'm a new "baby" nurse graduated may, took boards in July started about 2 weeks ago in an "internship" program. The past 2 weeks have been a little rough and I'm already feeling frustrated. The 2nd week my preceptor told me she thought I wasn't as far along as I should be and reported this to the education department, which made me feel about 2 inches tall. I thought this was very unfair CONSIDERING I've only been on the floor in the nursing role 2 weeks (a mixture of orientation training and floor time ~3 days with her.) In any case in my mind I thought that was ridiculous decided not to let it get to me and move on.

    I worked the beg of this past week to and I just again an continuing to feel depressed and frustrated. The one day I took 2 of my own pts. Problem was when I needed help with things I wasn't 100% confident with I would have a hard time finding my preceptor as she was off busy with her pts. To her credit it is a buussy flloorr. At the end of the shift in a rushed state she finally reviewed my charting (I had some areas I wanted a second set of eyes to review but I was feeling a little uncertain I had charted things correctly.) We quickly reviewed and I went home. Of course after the fact I was thinking about things and I realized I forgot to go over with her one section that I'm not sure I did correctly and I've been worried about it ever since. IT just makes me mad YES it is my fault I Forgot to point it out to her; BUT I just feel like she's rushing soo much that I'm not getting some of the time I need to make sure things are done correctly. On one hand I am glad to have my own pts but I feel I STILL do need some guidance at this point.

    On top of this I always wonder "what" the other people on the floor think of me - do they think oh their is the slow?? intern who can't keep up. I really like the floor itself; it's an area of nursing I'm very interested in but I feel after this my chances of ending up there because of what she has said our slim. At work I always try to be positive and to not let it show my feelings but I need to vent here. I'm just feeling so negative about everything, like she doesn't like me the floor doesn't like me.. I know I need to keep pushing on and hope for the best but I Just feel so beat up. Any encouraging thoughts would be appreciated.
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    About healer27

    Joined: Jan '06; Posts: 118; Likes: 2


  3. by   vamedic4
    Hi Healer...
    Rest assured that it is not uncommon for new nurses to feel this way, I promise you you're not alone. Stepping into an important role of staff nurse can be daunting for anyone...and on a busy floor it may seem at first undoable.
    Your preceptors job is to be there for you when you have questions, problems, et find her any time you need to, busy floor or not. It's her responsibility to see to it that the patients you have are adequately cared for just as much as it is yours.
    Don't waste your time worrying about what others think. Nurses can be pretty petty in this area...don't suffer fools when you're just trying to establish your "sea legs". You're new, and that's that. It doesn't mean you're not're just new to the whole process and IT TAKES TIME TO GET IT RIGHT. Hell, I know nurses I've worked with for years who still occasionally don't get it right. Not to worry.

    Give yourself a big hug and know that you can do this, because you can.

    Have a better day!!!

    taking the older one to school
  4. by   healer27
    Hi Vamedic,

    I can't even BEGIN to tell YOU HOW MUCH THAT MEANS TO ME; I just needed to hear that and it made me feel better.. I'm sending you lot's of good thoughts back... I thought I was a pretty thick skinned person but I guess I'm softer then I thought. Thank you again for your kindness! :redpinkhe
  5. by   Chaya
    Sounds like your preceptor was a little pissy, whether intentional or just b/c she was frazzled. Ideally she will be able to provide you with specific, constructive suggestions for improvement. Figure it this way, for every false step you take you are learning to do one thing correctly. So every day there are fewer and fewer things you are messing up on! Try to think things through on your own as far as possible. You will learn to anticipate what kinds of questions might arise ahead of time. Then check in with your preceptor ask her to give you about 5 minutes to "check in" when she has a moment between tasks. Try to go over a number of issues that you need clarification on while you "walk and talk" instead of running to her with more frequent interruptions. (I'm not a new nurse but this approach has made me feel like I was less of a nuisance during my recent career change).
    Good luck- hang in there.
  6. by   healer27
    Thank you Chaya! I do try to think and do as much on my own as possible but so many times I feel like I'm in a "grey" area or a little unsure.. You're suggestion is a good one though to try to accumulate and then ask a bunch of questions at once...
  7. by   whippetgood
    Hi Healer,
    I am in the same position as you. I do not have a lot of confidence and I often wonder what the other staff members think of me as well. I am trying SOOOOOOO hard to get over that! I do think things will get better for the both of us. Your preceptor sounds a similar to mine. I'm going to wait and see how the rest of the week goes, and if things don't improve then I'm going to sit with her and talk about ways we can communicate better. I came home in tears today just feeling awful about myself, and I don't ever want that to happen again. It's not worth it!!!! I know both of us will make it through!
  8. by   ladside
    To all of you 'rookies' out there, guess what? It's not that you are new. You just haven't been in nursing long enough to realize that you will get this same behavior when you go to a new facility. I'm an agency nurse and have been an LPN for 21 years and it is always the same. I was also a preceptor on a med/surg floor. Fortunately for me and the 'rookies' (no offense), I have an overactive sense of humor. My theory is to play as hard as you work simultaneously. It makes everybody feel at ease; even th patients. They are already scared of being in the hospital. One of these days you, too will be a preceptor. An effective technique that I used was to introduce myself as the trainee and the 'rookie' as the trainer. You would begin your assessment of the patient and if there was something that you were unsure of, you look to me (pretend trainee) and ask what do you think I should do in this particular situation. That way, all eyes would not be on you. That would make it much easier for you to learn and gain the confidence of your patient. For now, just smile and win us "old farts" over. Not everybody has my sense of humor; tends to get me in trouble sometimes but so far it has not been with the people who tend to want to sue.
  9. by   CaseManager1947
    I agree with what chaya had to say. It sounds to me like you are like every new RN... still feeling your way thru a new role. To your credit, you want to do it right, and know the importance of seeking guidance on some things about which you are unsure. We all went thru it. I've been a nurse 37 years, and I still remember walking in to that new job, feeling overwhelmed. Believe me, in 1968 you did not have internships. I had 2 weeks of orientation with an experienced nurse, and then I was on my own, 2nd shift, medical floor, only RN on my unit! Of course this wouldn't happen today (???? I hope). You might jot down notes of things to clarify with your preceptor for the next shift, so that you feel more confidant.

    Good luck and keep us posted.

    Morghan, ARNP
  10. by   supernova004
    Healer 27,
    I'm a new grad RN and not feeling too well about myself these days. It seems I've become my own worst enemy and critic. I'm hoping I've reached the anxiety plateau and am now coming down the hill; I have to be because I don't think I can take the negative self talk and doubting much's so embarassing to me that I'm having such a hard time coping!!! I assume I'm being way harder on myself than anyone could possibly be, but I'm paranoid that I'm gonna get tapped on the shoulder and asked to my manager's office for my walking papers. My fears have been getting the worst of me, but I'm ready to go back tomorrow and make a turn around. I say that everyday and I think it's getting better a little every day. I know that the whole day may not be great, but I'm just going to take it task by task. And I'm trying to give myself the support I need instead of beating myself up all the time. I work in a nice org. but I've been so needy for positive support and I'm worried that I have weirded people out... I'll send some good vibes your way.
  11. by   grentea
    If you realize that things really aren't working out with your preceptor at some point, don't be afraid to ask for a change. I did when I was on my orientation and it really helped. My first preceptor was really hard on me and I was really not learning like I need to be. Talk to the other nurses on your unit too and ask them how they would handle different situations. Sometimes during my orientation I stayed glued to the hip of my preceptor but then I realized that there are a lot of really knowledgeable nurses on my floor who are happy to share what they know. Just the other day an experienced nurse asked if I thought a cardiac med should be given with the vitals signs she just took. I told her what I thought and then today I had a similar question for her. So you're never alone even after orientation. I've been doing this for about 9 months now and I've really been feeling more comfortable lately. Over time, you'll find that the daily ins and outs of doing your job won't throw you for a loop so much. I know it's more easily said than done but don't be so hard on yourself. We are our own worst critics. I bet you're doing much better than you think. BTW, what kind of floor are you on right now?
  12. by   EricJRN

    Just wanted to invite you to stop by the NICU/Neonatal Forum any time! Here's the link:

    As you can see, your feelings are common for new nurses - the sense of uncertainty with your skills, the feeling of not measuring up and feeling like people are judging you behind your back - so many of us have been there. In fact, until recently, I had 'Green Neo Nurse' under my username instead of 'Nurse/Medic.' (When I became a moderator here, I decided I had to at least project some sense of confidence. )

    Hang in there! If you're pleasant and try to keep smiling and having fun, the skills will come with time.
  13. by   healer27
    Hi Everyone,

    I just wanted to thank you ALLL so so so so much for the + thoughts, and suggestions. I AM LEARNING every day, I just don't think my preceptor is the greatest match for me. I forget who suggested it but yesterday if I couldn't find her and needed help and couldn't figure out something I just asked someone else around me, the other nurses for the most part are very nice and helpful. With the program I"m in I think I have only another 2-3 weeks with this preceptor then I go to another floor with another preceptor. SOOOO I think I've decided that I'm going to stay with this person BUT talk to education about hooking me up with someone who is willing to be there a little more for me. For example yesterday I asked my preceptor the end of shift to please review my documentation. IN one case one of my pts had some vitals that were out of whack and I wanted to know WHERE to chart an explanation for this. She said just write in your note that the doc was notified and meds were increased as a result. Fine, so I charted that and then later found a screen/are by accident (its all computer charting) that says what doc did you notify blah blah blah, and I'm like why didn't she point me there. So it's little things like that that make me worry and make me feel like she doens't have my back. I am trying to remember, do and understand everything I'm supposed to do but at this stage its tough. And with my charting this really makes me nervous b/c I want to make sure I'm documenting correctly. oh well, thanks again for all the positive input as I said it really has helped. I'll keep you all posted with more. :typing
  14. by   CYMBALS
    Hi Healer,

    Your preceptor sounds like she could be a twin sister of my preceptor. I actually just started on my own, but before that I ALWAYS felt like my preceptor hated me. She would get annoyed with my questions and ignore me when I needed her help because she was too busy flirting with the cute male charge nurse or talking to friends on the phone. Then at other times she would say (in an annoyed tone) "Have you done this yet? Have you done that yet." I put enough pressure on myself, but her pressure at times was just too much. I have worried often (and still worry) that everyone on the floor thinks I'm the stupid slow nurse. It's very stressful, and probably not very constructive.

    You're smart to keep a positive attitude in front of your co-workers (I tried to do the same myself). People will warm up to you, give them time. I always remind myself that in 6 months I will feel differently, and if I don't, then there are other options. Keep you're chin up. You worked hard to get here, and you've been successful so far. This too will come in time.