Why is the first year like a prison sentence? - page 2

I was thinking about this today, reading some of the new grad threads. The first year of nursing is very similar to a prison sentence. Really! Don't laugh. I mean, only the 'tough' get through... Read More

  1. by   melissahunter2
    Quote from thrashej
    I was thinking about this today, reading some of the new grad threads.

    The first year of nursing is very similar to a prison sentence. Really! Don't laugh. I mean, only the 'tough' get through it, you just have to accept the fact that you will be overwhelmed, stressed to the max, and darn near absolutely miserable. You likely will have anxiety or depression reaching toxic levels sometime during that first year or immediately after (and God forbid you come into your first year with a tank half empty!). You just have to comfort yourself in the fact that *supposedly* once you get a year in it will all seem easier and you won't be puking before work. You won't be crying on the way home. You'll stop feeling that urge to run out of the hospital screaming during a pt assessment. You'll quit scripting out what you are going to say to your NM when you call in to tell her you won't be in tomorrow...or EVER!

    I just think it is sad that you push through nursing school....where you feel incompetent and unsure of everything...to graduate and enter the real world with some degree of excitement (remember when you were excited new grads?:uhoh21 in starting your new career.....to end up feeling incompetent, unsure of everything for another whole year AT LEAST.

    As a new grad, how are you supposed to look forward to going to work? I agree that only the tough WILL make it that first year because let's be real....who wants to be miserable every day of their life for a year even if it means you will eventually be a better person and have a more fruitful career because of it? A year is A LONG TIME and we all know that is the least amount of time it takes. I know all new jobs have a learning curve, an adjustment period, but in nursing it takes sooooooo much longer, and people could die from your mistakes. I am trying to get a job, my second since graduating, and instead of looking forward to the new experiences I am filled with absolute dread and hope I am not making the same mistake twice. I just hope I am tough enough this time around. I wish I could see the positives and ensure that somehow I will not let this break me. I am not looking foward to that first year, that 'necessary evil'. Uggghh.

    How can you tell if you are just running away from your fears or if you are just being smart and getting out of nursing before you spend one more day miserable? I'd like to know if any of you guys feel the same way I do???

    This is a rant really, but curious.....what are you other new grads doing to cope? Aside from medication.....what do you find helps you deal with the stress?
    We MUST be twins seperated at birth! Exact feelings here. Hang in there!!!
  2. by   Medic2RN
    It's strange, isn't it?? I never equated it to a prison sentence, but I have been counting it down. I have less than 2 months to go.
    All EDs in my area won't even consider an applicant until she/he has 1 year of nursing experience. I was talking with one of the more experienced nurses (my "go-to" nurse) at work and I told her how excited I was to find out what magical knowledge and experience I will encounter in the next 2 months. She laughed when I told her that it would be my 1 year anniversary as RN. I expect to see a glowy aura about me to signify that I have successfully attained that milestone. I hope my aura is a pretty blue color (j/k!)
    To the OP, I don't take meds to cope. I've had to change my way of thinking and unforunately detach a little in order to cope. I always see a lot of things that need to be done for patients, that should be done, that could be done. I'm a "doer" and type-a person - I tend to take my day home with me which doesn't help my family.
    Maybe one day I won't have to work so hard at detaching and being positive!