New Grad Forgetting Assessment Questions

  1. So I just graduated in May and passed my boards in July. I'm starting to realize just how unprepared I am. I keep forgetting to ask important assessment questions and forgetting important information. I volunteer at a free clinic and I was talking to a patient with diabetes. The patient hasn't had his/her meds for a while and was upset because the pharm company keeps sending the application back to us. I was asking the patient a bunch of questions trying to help and someone in the clinic (a non-medical person) reminded me to ask for the blood sugar. Well when I asked the patient just said "high." Instead of asking "how high?" I reacted to the patient continuing to get upset. After the phone call the non-medical person asked me what the patient's blood sugars were and I couldn't answer because I forgot to ask. It turns out that the patient probably doesn't have any supplies (because the supplies are provided when the patient attends an education class and this person had not come in a few months), but I still can't get over the fact that I didn't push from more information.

    That isn't all. I was giving flu vaccinations and this one lady started bleeding after the shot. As she was leaving a more experienced nurse made sure to ask the patient if she was on warfarin or any anti-platelet drugs. I completely forgot to ask the necessary questions after something like that happens. Yes, it was my first flu vaccination in a year, but I can't get over how I always forget to ask pertinent questions. It is like I can't think when I'm talking to people. How could my school allow me to graduate when I still make rookie mistakes? I'm really frustrated.

    Does anyone have any suggestions on how to remember important questions? Is there some sort of exercise I can do or workbook? Is this just something that will come with time?
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    About Aleera

    Joined: Oct '11; Posts: 3


  3. by   Pixie.RN
    Quote from Aleera
    How could my school allow me to graduate when I still make rookie mistakes?
    Because you're a rookie?? Sounds like you are being very hard on yourself. It is impossible to know everything, though goodness knows we try. As you experience new situations like the ones you outlined, just file them away in your information arsenal.
  4. by   JRP1120, RN
    I'm new too and I make myself lists and check-off when I've done them. I write everything down! At the beginning of my orientation I even had to write down a word or two to remind me what not to forget before doing my assessments on my patients or I'd forget now, I'm almost off orientation and already I don't have to do that part anymore...but for me, I still write a lot of things down that the more experienced nurses just know to do. It comes with time and practice. I find that forgetting the little things, even when they are important, happens because I'm new and nervous. When I would stress about this, for me, it would create more stress on my brain and it seemed I'd forget even more. So I just stop, take a deep breath, go over what I'm about to do in my head then write it down. Then it's there if I need the reminder and it gets checked off as I do it. Don't be so hard on yourself! However, I know what you're feeling. There have been many a time, I'd kick myself afterward and say to myself, "duh! How could you forget that, you idiot!" It's all part of being new. And remember, we can be our own worst critics so watch what you tell yourself too...when you do remember things you need to remember, start replacing that "ugh, you idiot" self-talk with a "yay! I did it". Negative self-talk can make things worse. Keep at it and you'll see that things get easier with time. I'm already seeing that. Good luck!
  5. by   xtxrn
    There are clipboards out there with cheat sheet like questions/reminders on them I also made my own with a clipboard, and used clear packing tape to secure them to the clipboard. NOBODY can remember everything about a new job- let alone a whole new life/career

    Hang in there, and relax- learn from the things you forget, and keep getting better
  6. by   turnforthenurse
    You're brand new at this and it will take time! Don't be so hard on yourself