Will it ever feel better???

  1. Hi there-
    I am not exactly in my first year after licensure, but second. A little background. I worked part time (per diem) for a year and then had to move out of state. After several months of searching, I was fortunate enough to find another job in a similar setting to my previous job. Again, it is per diem, but I work about 2-12 hours shifts/week.

    I still feel very new, (been there for 3 months) have a lot to learn and confidence to gain. Last night I had a horrible shift. So often at the end of the shift, I feel like I don't have enough info for report and can't always answer questions from the next shift nurse in regards to patient's history, etc. I always want to read more history on my patients but time gets in my way. With 8-10 patients, a majority of my time is spent doing patient care and charting on my activities. I pass all of my meds, perform care needed, assess and chart and deal with imminent issues, but I feel like there is so much I don't get to learn about my patients in one shift.
    My question (s) for any experienced nurses:

    When will I start feeling better at the end of each shift? Right now I often leave feeling yucky about myself. I leave feeling like I "didn't do the best job I could". I hate that feeling. I hate leaving feeling like maybe I could have done more during my 12 hours. I also hate feeling like maybe the next shift's nurse thinks poorly of me. Does my confidence just need to grow? This morning I left feeling awful about myself and want to leave feeling good! Various things kept running through my brain wondering if I forgot to do something. Will this just improve with time? I am starting to feel defeated and while still new, not too new at this! (Plus I am second career nurse, so older with a previous career under my belt. Blow to the ego for sure!)
    Thanks for any guidance!
  2. Visit coopman712 profile page

    About coopman712

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 152; Likes: 15
    from US
    Specialty: 2+ year(s) of experience


  3. by   GGirll22
    Take a note pad with you to work to jot down notes not names but notes to give a good report and feel confident.

    Skills take some time.
  4. by   LithEruiel
    I'm the same way...in my 2nd year of nursing and 2nd career nurse. I'm absolutely miserable and there's nothing I can do about it...
  5. by   Clementia
    As an RN with seven years in the field, I can empathize with what you're saying. I often still feel that way -- like I somehow could/should have done more for my patients. Keep in mind that you can only do the best you can do. It's not your job to fix every patient's problems, or make everyone better. I often have to remind myself that I can't fix in one night a problem that the patient took ten years to develop. As time goes on, you'll get smoother and more confident doing nursing care, which will leave you more time to collect information on the patients. In fact, you'll look back one day and say to yourself, "Wow, I'm good at this! How did that happen?" Good luck to you, and don't lose heart.
  6. by   coopman712
    Thanks...I have a report paper we use to take notes on to help with report. I constantly take notes. If time allots, I like to jot down things I will pass along. Invariably I am always asked a question about a patient and left feeling "duh" for not knowing.
  7. by   coopman712
    Clementia-Thanks for the encouragement! I sure hope you are right.
  8. by   megank5183
    I used to feel like you do all the time. This may not be a popular answer, but I think that knowing a patient's entire history is not really an important part of being a good nurse. Some nurses really get involved in their patient's pathophys and want to talk all day about the intricacies of their disease process....but how does that help your patient care? Many of those same nurses suck at patient care, keeping their work space clean, cleaning the patient, developing a therapeutic relationship, etc. You need to know what is normal and what is not depending on your patient's diagnosis, but you don't need to know that they had a lap chole in 98. I get annoyed when I get report and nurse goes on and on and on and on about their history. I want to know what I need to know, if that makes sense. So don't be so hard on yourself. You are probably doing a much better job than you think. Nursing is an inherently tough position....so don't be so tough on yourself. GL honey!
  9. by   NurseDirtyBird
    You work PRN. I've had similar issues working PRN. I ask questions from the previous shift to get the report details I need. They'll start telling me the pt's life story and I stop them. I don't NEED to know that, because I wasn't there yesterday, and I probably won't be there tomorrow. I get the info I need to provide care that day, and pass on what I know to the next shift. If the oncoming nurse asks me questions I don't know the answers to, I tell them I'm sorry, I don't know much about them because I'm not here all the time. They get that. The full time nurses have time to get to know their patients and all the details. They see them for several days, sometimes weeks. I don't. I see them one day, maybe two, and more often than not, they're gone when I get back.
    You're there to provide care for that day, to fill in staffing holes. Continuity cannot and should not be expected of you. If you have the info necessary to provide care for your shift, you're good to go. If some full time nurse has an issue with it, they can work the extra shifts you cover, because you don't have to.
  10. by   evolvingrn
    I don't think you need to know their entire history. Even when i have 4 pts i can look up all of their histories and orders in about 18 minutes. that's a little over 4 minutes per pt. to get their med times, labs, hx and nurse and MD updates. If needed i will go back and look up more, but only if my assessment leaves me confused or i want to see recent test results/prognosis. I disagree with nursedirty bird in that i like to know pyschosocial/life history. i think it helps me be an effective nurse to that pt and gives me good clues in how to approach them. but we do a written summary and mandatory bedside report so its not a huge deal to listen to that as we walk to the room. If i don't know the answer i say "it was a busy night and i didn't dig that deep in the chart" people say that to me too and i don't judge ....we all get it.
  11. by   Esme12
    Quote from coopman712
    Thanks...I have a report paper we use to take notes on to help with report. I constantly take notes. If time allots, I like to jot down things I will pass along. Invariably I am always asked a question about a patient and left feeling "duh" for not knowing.
    The first year or two are the hardest. What you need are good brain sheets.

    brain sheets.......here are a few.

    1 patient float.doc‎
    5 pt. shift.doc‎
    report sheet.doc‎
    day sheet 2 doc.doc
    ICU report sheet.doc‎
  12. by   Ellie S.
    This is a tough field! I have been a nurse for 22 years, and I meet overwhelmed RN's all of the time. Sometimes, I meet Rn's with huge ego's because they are RN's and I am an LPN, but when they truly step into the field, they will be apologetic, and thank me for all of the advice I had given them. I have worked in many different settings, nursing homes, hospitals, trauma centers etc. GGirll22 is absolutely right, it takes time to build skills. What is most important is that you treat your coworkers and patients with respect, and that doesn't look like an issue for you. Here in MN, I've worked with nurses who will go out of their way to try and prove that I lack in a certain part of my job, but I don't encounter that anymore. Have confidence, get rid of any inferiority complex that may be shadowing you, and you will easily develop new skills in time.

    Also! Employers mainly count on you showing up, and not making any huge mistakes that may cost them their's or your license, or that may bring them any investigation or fines. It's important to keep that confidence. I've met many nurses with very poor work ethic, showing up too late for work, unfinished duties etc and they still have their jobs.
  13. by   coopman712
    Thanks so much for the encouragement everyone!
    I am heading in to night and trying to brush off the big girl pants and muster up some extra confidence!

    For the record, Ellie-I have worked with many LPNs whose hands on experience supersedes that of an inexperienced BSN.
  14. by   coopman712
    Just wanted to add that sometimes the questions I am asked are not unimportant or about a procedure 10 years ago, but more relevant to their stay. Some I actually eye roll at myself for not knowing the answer to the questions. For example, had a patient the other night in post CABG with a lengthy cardiac history. He was on a liquid diet and I didn't know why...No procedure scheduled, nothing to do with his surgery. When I was asked I didn't know, I tried to find out with the incoming nurse but couldn't even find documentation as to why. So it isn't like the answer was right in front of my face but I felt like an idiot not knowing. I just knew I had to adhere to the plan for it.