Published Oct 11, 2004
You are reading page 2 of frustrated and overwhelmed
Thank you so much for your post! Yesterday was my second day off orientation and on my own. I ended up getting two admissions fairly close together, had to hang blood, had a pt. on Q4 IVPB, etc, etc. I ended up coming home feeling overwhelmed and couldn't sleep the whole night because I was feeling so anxious about things that happened during the day that I should have done better. I am very hard on myself and a perfectionist and hate when I don't get everything done right and on time. I worry about losing my license because I made a mistake or forgot to do something. I guess all new grads feel like this and we will eventually learn and feel more comfortable. I'm glad you posted because now I know others are feeling the same way as me. I'm glad we have this website to support one another. Let me know if you need to vent more.
Im glad to know other new grads feel the same way I do. Im on my 2nd week of being by myself and dam it is hard . I work 3-11 on a very fast paced cardiac floor. I dont get home till 230pm some nights. Last night was my first emergency as an RN. My pt ended up making it but when I got home all I could think about was if the pt was going to make it throught the night. I am losing sleep over it wondering what else I could have done to prevent situations like that. Im bringing my work home with me and find it very hard to relax
Other than that the N/A's dont listen to me. The doctors talk down to me. Im exausted all the time.
Im just wondering when things will start to fall into place, if they ever will.:uhoh21:
thanks everyone for responding. every day gets a little easier but it is still so intimidating. it is comforting to know i am not alone in these concerns. unfortunately, after work one day i was really stressed and my supervisor could sense my anxiety and has since labeled me as "fragile". i suppose this is a nice way of saying emotionally unstable?? i don't know. every experience, while anxiety provoking, makes me a little more confident - but like some of the posts, i find myself bringing my work home with me. i think about it constantly. i wonder if i truly did all that i could in my 12 hours, if i made any mistakes (even though i quadruple check everything), if i left the night shift nurse with a mess to clean up. it seems that even my days off are spent contemplating the previous day at work. i am so tired of being stressed out. the thing that gets me going is that i truly enjoy my time with the patients. the other day i was running around trying to make sure i had everything ready for an admit coming from the cath lab when one of the patients i had taken care of the previous week before stopped me and asked, "where have you been? i have missed you." stuff like that makes it worth it. unfortunately, at this point the negative is out weighing the positive. but i will keep trying and put off the idea of giving up for another day. the old cliche of "that which doesn't kill us only makes us stronger" really is hitting home right now. thanks again for all the encouragement and good luck to everyone - we can do this!!
Jo Anne -OLD
I feel your pain. 3 years ago I was the new RN on the floor and had all of the same concerns and frustrations that you do. I thought "hey sounds like we work in the same hospital". It does take about a full year to get somewhat comfortable. Of course you don't want to be totally comfortable, always be on your toes. As far as the techs, they are trying you out. If you are firm and matter of factly ask them to do their job they will come to respect you. I see it time and again with each new nurse. In 3 years I have become the resouce person that everyone comes to. I do the majority of precepting. I have a notebook which is titled "Joanna's Brain" and in it I keep lots of useful info like which IV meds mix and proper dilutions and push rates for the drugs, + a copy of all of our protocols. Everyone knows and I think this is why I've become the come to person. I have made myself more valuable by being well-informed. Plus I feel much better having all the info at hand. Good luck!
Thanks for being there for your fellow nurses everyday. :balloons:
I am so glad I found this thread because I feel the same way. I just started on a NICU floor and was suppose to have 9 weeks of orientation. Unfortunatley yesterday the manager said that because censes was high and they were in desperate need for nurses, our orientation was going to be cut for now and we will be on our own much sooner. We will have to wait until January before we can continue our more critical care training. Inside I wanted to scream because I feel very over whelmed right now. There is so much to learn-I always feel so stupid and scared I am gonna mess up. I am scared I am gonna give myself an ulcer over this.
So I now only have 2 more weeks of training left w/a preceptor and then I am on my own. To top things off my preceptor is not too happy being a preceptor-she is not into teaching and just left me on my own. I confronted my manager about this and she decided she wanted to give the preceptor one more chance before she changes her. All that went through my mind was great now I have another day wasted where all I get is dumped on.
Some of the kinder nurses there keep reminding me how it will take at least 2 to 3 years before I finally feel comfortable as a NICU nurse. Scarey!
Then I got more stressed out because I am stuck on days for a while and all I want is to go to the night shift where it's at a much slower pace and i can take more time to learn.
Can you all tell I am STRESSED too!!!!!!!!!!
Please tell me it gets better or at least lie to me.
I am still on orientation and feeling overwhelmed!!! Since I will working in the float pool, I get oriented to all of the med-surg floors and critical care units. I started orienting on a new unit (surgical intensive care SICU), and my second day on that unit I made a med error!! I can say that hasn't happened the whole three months I have been on orientation. There was no harm to the patient but my preceptor did write out an occurence report. My preceptor made me so nervous that day all I did was screw up all day long! I felt as though, he didn't like precepting and didn't think that I was too competent. So I felt like I constantly had to prove myself to him. That got harder after I made the med error. He made it known that he thought new grads had no business working in an Intensive care unit right off of orientation. I was in tears Wednesday because I was so overwhelmed and angry at myself for being so stupid! Anyway, the NM for that unit pulled me aside and talked to me about my day. She did sound supportive, and told me that it takes time to learn and asked what could she do to help me. Well I was in tears when I spoke to her also, so I hope I don't get labeled as a "whiner." Everyone says I am just being too hard on myself, I think they are just saying it to be nice. I do, however, describe myself just like another poster does. She said she is a perfectionist and wants to do everything right the first time. I thought I was the only one who did that! It is comforting to know I am not the only one. I worked there again last night with a different preceptor and felt a little more comfortable than I did Wednesday. I kept saying that after Wednesday it could only get better, cause it sure couldn't get any worse!
Oh how glad I am to know I'm not the only one feeling this way. I have two more weeks before I'm off orientation, but am terrified. I dread every day I have to go to work and it is miserable. I'm questioning whether or not I made the right decision to do med/surg and signed an agreement to work at this hospital for 2 years with no sign on bonus or nothing. I'm not sure I can even make it another month or six months. I fortunately do have other friends who I graduated with that I can talk to that are feeling the same way, but somehow it still seeps into my home life creating tension and stress. If I had known I was going to feel this way about nursing I'm not sure I would have even went to school for it. What a waste. I know this post sounds really negative, but this is truely how I'm feeling right now. I'm just praying it will change for all of us.
Tweety, BSN, RN
Been there and done that. Best wishes. Hang in there.
Thanks for venting, it's all good here and it's important!!! I graduated over a year ago. Luckily I gravitated towards the "good nurses". They helped me through any difficult patient I had in the ER. Soon I got to the point where I could do it on my own. ( you betcha they were checking up on me, haha)
When I left that job for travel nursing a few months ago, They were all about it!!! I keep in contact with them by postcards about my new ERs
. They are soooo proud of me, and everyday i do things that I did only a few times i remember them showing it to me..................
depends on your preceptor, and your willingness to learn things, also your knowledge about patient care.......... safe and responsible people are always respected.
Be confident and up front about delegating. even delegate in the room. soon people will know you are confident and are telling them the correct things to do.
don't worry about a doctor yelling at you........ turn it right back at them............. "i'm sorry, i don't understand what you are telling me to do, please tell me again." just say it,,,,,,,,,,,, they were once new docs and they know.
These are just my suggestions. hope they help.... i'm a pretty quiet person in the ER, but for some reason I fit in. best of luck to you!!!!!
I've been a nurse for a long while now but can still relate to the fears and anxiety some of you new nurses are feeling. My first reaction to reading your posts is how wonderful you all are to be entering the nursing field. It's difficult these days with the high ideals we come out of school with and then try to apply those ideals in a terribly short staffed situation. I was spoiled for 13 yrs. in a job where we had excellent staffing. I got a reality check 4 yrs ago when I moved to a new state. I tried agency (OMG!)..what a nightmare that can be. I am just grateful that new nurses are striving to be the best they can be in these times. Please don't beat yourselfs up when you get home and review your day in your mind. The patients really have no knowledge of what you need to do for them, all they care about is being pain free, assured, comforted, and clean. You really make all the difference in the patients stay, wheither it be too ease them into the next world, or ally their fears of surgery, or teach them good habits in there home lives. I know we have so much more responsibility, but remember you are the one who made a difference in their stay at your hospital. If you are caring, and responsible, your patients will sense this right off. Relax when you get done with your shift and know you did the best you could under the circumstances.
What A nice post, Katemea.
I am off orientation as well. I was a trainwreck the "first day". I felt ill- prepared, unknowledgeable and scared. I made it thru that day....sure, I forgot to do something, nothing major, and I stressed about it for a few hours. I ve been learning how to shut that part of the brain off when I get home. Its not worth it. Stressing does not make you a better nurse, it makes you a STRESSED NURSE!
What I am doing is trying to improve my routine. Each time I work, I do something different to see how it affects the way I perform my job. For instance, The night before, I remember driving home from work and I forgot to total a pt IVmeds on his flowsheet...... I stressed for a minute, but I thought to myself, 'the pt is safe, no harm done'... I just probably piffed the nite nurse off because she had to total my shift and hers... (my bad)
So, because of that, I now take all my bedside charts to the nuses station, sit down and go thru each one. My usual routine was to chart in the beside alcove. I think the new way of taking the charts to the station, where I can focus on each one will work better for me untill I am more experienced....
I think that instead of going home worried all night about something..try to get a system where you can verify the things that you have and have not done. That way you have verified that you have done the task and can wipe it out of your brain! It really works!
You had a bad shift....think of ways to change your routine to avoid the chaos....sometimes you cant, but a lot of times you can......
good thoughts to all of us who are in the trenches!
And thanks to all our mentors/preceptors...we couldn't do it without you guys.....!!!
i definitely know how you feel. i have really come to a point - after having a few days off to contemplate my current situation - and i have realized that all i can do is my best and if at the end of the day i can truly say that i have done my best then i should be satisfied. last week was my first week on my own and i really thought i was going to quit. i really wanted to get out of nursing all together. but after i calmed down i realized that a.) i also signed a contract for a year and b.) this is what i have been working so hard for over the last two years and if i didn't give it a chance all my hard work during school would have been wasted. at the same time, though, it is still very hard to be positive. my husband reached a breaking point last week - basically saying i don't know what to do with you and all these emotions. that was a wake-up call for me. each day i go to work now i have three goals 1.) go to lunch on time 2.) get out on time (which really hasn't happened) 3.) to ensure patient safety and comfort throughout the shift. at this point in my career, i have to take each day as a learning experience - not only to learn about nursing but also to learn about myself, my limits, and my fears. all we can do is our best and venting here and reading words of encouragement or similar stories really helps me get through this difficult time. THANKS for your posts!!
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