I feel lost

  1. I decided to go into nursing after working with the metally handicapped people. I LOVED working with them. I went through nursing school and I am a brand new RN. I worked at my local hospital as I went through school as an aide. Now I am working on a cardiac step down unit as an RN (2 months now).

    I don't exactly feel like it's right for me. I am so wrapped up in the technical stuff and I don't get time to sit and talk with my patients. I feel like I don't have time to be personable with my patients. I feel like I HAVE to keep this job so that I can gain some hospital experience and skills, but I don't like it. I am scared most of the time, and it is not what I wanted or imagined. But if I quit and go to a long term care facility or a home for the handicapped... I feel like I will have lost my chance at learning an amazing amount of information and experience. But I am not quite happy where I am. I'm scared on this telemetry unit. I don't know what to do. Please give me some opinions! Please!
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    About mycatmax

    Joined: Jul '07; Posts: 73; Likes: 12


  3. by   sharann
    Hey, alot of us felt/feel this way so soon after grad. Tele is a tough floor but as you say great technical experiences. I wonder if you would be more suited to work in Psych or even rehab? Just because you cant stand one area doesn't mean there are not loads of others out there just waiting for you to find them!
    Maybe you didn't have enough orientation or maybe this is just part of the "First year freak outs"many nurse have.
    Can you talk to a co-worker or your manager about this?
    My advice: Give it a few more days of thought. Don't quit based on how you feel this minute. Wait, sleep on it, and if the same, then think of moving on. You don't have to leave nursing, just find a better fit for yourself.
  4. by   leslie :-D
    what you're feeling is perfectly normal and expected.
    it takes new grads up to a yr before they feel comfortable.
    feeling overwhelmed, anxious and disillusioned, are the most common complaints.

    i would agree, if you can, to try and stick it out.
    it will make you more marketable in the future, when looking for other jobs.
    during this stressful time, it is imperative you take care of yourself.
    this means getting adequate sleep, eating some healthy food and being involved in enjoyable events when out of work.
    you can always talk to your nm about your stress levels, and see what s/he says.

    wishing you the very best.

  5. by   pocovan
    It sounds like working with handicapped adults is your gift. I bet you could find a nursing job working in the area you are most gifted. You will learn all the skills you need if you are doing the job you love.
  6. by   Dixielee
    Quote from mycatmax
    I'm scared on this telemetry unit.
    If you were not scared, I would worry more about you. Nursing is not for the timid, or the brave! You will gain confidence, and I think it will benefit you to stick it out for a year or so. You will gain invaluable experience that will take you a long way. Your confidence and ability to prioritize will improve over time. Use your experienced nurses as resourses when you have questions. You are still new, and probably should not even be off orientation.

    Give it a little time, listen to other nurses as to how they cope, and good luck. It is very challenging to be a nurse, and I don't think anything can prepare you for it.
  7. by   brwneyegal
    i agree with the other posters who said this is absolutely normal. the first year after graduating is a whirlwind of information and techniques thrown at you. try to make it through the year in the hospital . after that you can go anywhere you want to go. there is definately a place for you if you love the handicapped or maybe you just love spending time with your patient. places to spend time maybe in home health, hospice, or oncology. there are bunches of places you can go with your rn. don't throw in the towel after a few weeks.
    we have all been there and we feel your pain and support you.
  8. by   deeDawntee
    I know exactly what you are saying, I also worked with the Developmentally Disabled and absolutely loved that population and the close relationships that developed. That says a lot about who are as a person and a nurse and keeping that goal in mind is important.

    Of course, only you can make the decision, but as someone who has experienced the same dilemma, I would highly recommend that you stick it out in the hospital setting for at least a year or two. Think of it as part of your overall education. No doubt, as you become more comfortable you will see how important the connections with your patients are in the hospital as well. It is just a short-term relationship, but one that can be very fulfilling as well.

    As far as feeling overwhelmed at work, that is so normal, I don't know what to tell you! I promise that it does get better. For me it is helpful to remind myself that I can only do one thing at a time, when I focus on ALL that I need to get done, I lose focus and that out-of-control, overwhelmed feeling comes into my mind and body. Just focus on the activity you are doing right now, then the next thing etc. Instead of "one day at a time" think "one hour at a time" or even "one minute at a time". It will ALL get done, it always does!!

    :icon_hug: thank you for your compassion!
  9. by   ebear
    I agree with the other posts. Hang in there, girl, you will be just fine! The newbies who have the most problems (and scare me) are the new grads with TOO much self confidence. They think they know and understand it all and will not ask for help til they really get their tails in a crack. Get all the experience you can in the hospital setting and then you will have the confidence to make your decision on the proper area for you! We old timers fully support and encourage you. Grab it by the horns!
  10. by   RN mom of 2
    "Nursing is not for the timid, or the brave!"

    I love that.... Thanks for sharing!

    Most nurses agree it takes a good year to feel comfortable. It's a process. In the medical field you learn by doing, so the more you do the skills the more comfortable and confident you will become. I made the mistake of letting my fears stop me from working in the hospital, and now I'm wishing I had those skills so I could work a couple of days a week. I have young children and only want to work part time. In order for me to get comfortable now I need to work full time, and I'm not sure I want to spend that much time away from my kids. It's easier to bow out, but I think in the long run it will serve you to stick it out. I know you're scared and it feels terrible, but keep telling yourself it's a process and each day you are becoming more skilled. If you are anything like me, your fearfulness is what makes you a good nurse. You are scared to inadvertently hurt anyone, because you are such a caring person. Once you get comfortable with the skills you will gain confidence, and you will still be the same caring person. This combination makes for an excellent nurse. I'd try to stay for one year and then decide what you really want to do. I think Telemetry is a great area to learn many skills, as well as technical experience.
  11. by   YellowFinchFan
    Quote from rn mom of 2
    "nursing is not for the timid, or the brave!"

    i love that.... thanks for sharing!

    ................ once you get comfortable with the skills you will gain confidence, and you will still be the same caring person. this combination makes for an excellent nurse. i'd try to stay for one year and then decide what you really want to do. i think telemetry is a great area to learn many skills, as well as technical experience.

    well said!

    to the new rn - i understand how you feel - i didn't think i'd make it my first year in tele either. i used to count the 'days' i had left till i made my 1 year mark!
    sometime before i made the 'one year' mark i stopped counting the days. something just 'snapped' (ha) or happened to me and i no longer felt sick to my stomach every time i walked on the floor at the start of my shift.

    thanks to the nurses who helped me out (and to the ones who were nasty - well i learned from them too (what not to do) - anyway - very often i heard patient's and their families say "you have been the best nurse we've had here- or - i wish all the nurses were like you - etc...

    i realized that i was making a difference and taking the time (though there are days i can't give them as much unfortunately) and i couldn't believe all the things i had experienced. alot of nurses told me i got the most challenging/unusual patients sometimes - i think it was god testing me actually! i also saw so many nurses like you who just couldn't take it - some left - but those who stayed were transformed by 1 year into confident competent caring "time mgt pros" by the end of their 1st year...
    hang in there - you will be so proud of yourself if you do even if you leave tele and pursue something else....

    things that worked for me:

    find a 'friend' who's new like you so you can vent (but don't gossip!...just talk through frustrations and learning curve) definitely don't gossip - this a dangerous road!

    take some time on days off to read and refresh your memory on patient treatments,meds,conditions so you have a better understanding of how best to take care of your patient.
    i found my biggest fear was "what i didn't know" so i tried to constantly keep up with the fastpaced,varied patients i encountered (this is a never ending task though) lol

    take each 'schedule' (4wks?) at a time - just give yourself small goals like i'll work the end of the schedule and reevaluate. by counting the days i had to make it to one year it gave me some control i think i actually marked my calendar at home like this - it helped me sometimes to cope

    look for positive feedback from peers, your nurse mgr/charge rn ?
    we all need some validation and your patient's and family will probably will give you kudos for a good job i also found certain nurses just made me feel calmer - i tried to be like them - adapt their attitude - it really helped me too!

    i also found that some other rns in your situation actually cut their hours (part time instead of fulltime - maybe only working 2 12hr shifts a week) helped them immensely. before you ever took the drastic step to leave try that option if available.

    and lastly, of course - do things you like to do on your time off, quality time for yourself - family friends ---- it really helps to put it all in perspective!

    good luck...... you will be so proud of yourself if you stick it out.
    Last edit by YellowFinchFan on Sep 16, '07 : Reason: spelling
  12. by   ******guest******
    you know, I batteled with this same thing. New grad, took a position on a pediatric oncology floor. Love love LOVED the patients, never felt like I had time to just talk to them and offer my presence. I--like you--thought that I would stick it out and gain some technical skills. My true love was always psych nursing, but I fell into the trap of thinking I needed to get the nursey stuff down beforeI could pursue my passion. Then something dawned on me--I could work onc for a year and get an amazing amount of experience....and then what? I'd leave hem/onc (because it wasn't my true "calling") and go to psych and NEVER give chemo or do any of the stuff (for the most part) I learned anyway! So I made the switch early on and I'm very happy. but you have to decide what's right for you. If you think you wanna do LTC or mental retardation for the majority of your carerre (which doesn't involve too much tele), then I say make the switch, esp. since you already worked with that population and said you loved it. If, however, you don't know what you want to do, I'd say stay and get the experience because it could come in handy later.
  13. by   mycatmax
    Thank you everyone! I found something about each and every post that i will take with me. I posted this thread a few days ago and i worked during those few days. My night last night was extremely busy. Even the nurse who was taking over for me in the morning was complaining while she was listening to report over the phone... she said, "oh this is a terrible assignment!". And it was a difficult assignment. But I did okay. I feel like i was thorough and that I gave my patients the best care I knew how to provide.

    I think it is going to take me time to get used to the floor and feel comfortable. Kinda like when I did my first complete bath... I was terrified and it took me about an hour to complete. Now that I know people's limbs aren't going to fall off when I move them around, a complete bath will take me only 15 minutes tops.

    I think that once I get a solid routine down, and I start feeling more comfortable with my assessments and KNOWING the charts and where to find information, then I will feel more confident in my desicions like calling a doctor for something.

    The nurses i work beside are wonderful resourses! I ask questions EVERY night. Every one is so willing to help me! I can remember before i started reading questions about "nurses eating their young"; I have never ever experienced this on the floor. I am extremely fortunate to work in this type of environment!

    I guess i really don't know what I want to do later on down the road. I am currently working on a BSN. I honestly do not even know what all I can do with this nursing degree. I do know that right now (today), I feel like I can do this telemetry nursing, and once i gain some experience I bet I can be really good at it. It can just be scary and frustrating when you don't know all the answers.... but then again, there is always some one working right next to you that does.

    I think I will always remember working with the handicapped people and how they touched my life. I think they made me realize how important life was. Working with them was the reason why I wanted to go into nursing. I guess that is why I was thinking about it the other day when I started this thread, and I was remembering how much I loved them... but then again I love all people, they were just the ones who made me realize that.

    So yeah, i think i am going to stick it out in telemetry. I love to learn. Last night was crazy busy, but I handled it well. It gave me hope that I CAN be a good nurse on a busy cardiac floor.

    Thanks again everyone! And if you read this entire post....whew! Sorry it was so long, I was just typing out what I have been thinking about. thanks again!

    mycatmax, cardio RN