What else is there?

  1. I'm a new nurse who just started on a medical/surgical floor at the end of February. It is so overwhelming, and there is so much I still don't know, many days I go home crying. I love nursing, but want to have time to spend with my patients and have the time to ensure I provide safe and adequate care. Are there other options for a new nurse with minimal experience that allows time to be spent with the patients and that is not so busy and fast-paced? I would like to do home health or hospice, but I was told by many you need med/surg experience. Any ideas?
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    About Can't Wait

    Joined: Nov '06; Posts: 25
    RN

    11 Comments

  3. by   crissrn27
    I would give myself a little more time..............if you can last 6 months maybe you could transfer to a unit with a little more 1 to 1 care (like ICU), most places like for you to wait around 6 months for transfers..........if that doesn't appeal to you then at least you can put the 6 months ex. on your applications!
  4. by   anne74
    Med/Surg is definitely not the place if you want to spend more time with patients. I found that out too the hard way.

    You could transfer into an ICU - most are taking new grads these days. I wish I would have done that. You don't need to get 2 yrs of experience before you move onto to what you really want to do in nursing. In fact, I think they tell students that just so they'll have med/surg nurses. Some older nurses don't like having new grads in the ICU, but actually if new grads are nurtured correctly, they can work out well. I think there are nurses who thrive on high volume but less liability (med/surg types) and others who thrive on lower volume (fewer patients) but more intense situations (ICU types). Each area has it's own set of stressors, so you have to figure out which stressors you work with better.

    I lasted on a med/surg unit for 7 months, hated it so much I almost quit nursing altogether, but then transferred to the PACU and I love it now. If I hadn't transferred, I'd probably be a drug rep or something now.

    What your going through with crying, feeling incomptent, etc. is totally normal for every new nurse, no matter where they are in the hospital. You probably won't feel like a competent nurse for at least a year. Try to stay on your unit for 6 months and use that time to determine if the problem is your unit, or just being a new nurse.

    If you determine the problem is your unit, then don't hesitate to look into other places. Don't try to stick it out in a place where you're miserable, or you'll leave nursing for good. Good luck to you.
    Last edit by anne74 on Apr 12, '07
  5. by   Cattitude
    Quote from Can't Wait
    I'm a new nurse who just started on a medical/surgical floor at the end of February. It is so overwhelming, and there is so much I still don't know, many days I go home crying. I love nursing, but want to have time to spend with my patients and have the time to ensure I provide safe and adequate care. Are there other options for a new nurse with minimal experience that allows time to be spent with the patients and that is not so busy and fast-paced? I would like to do home health or hospice, but I was told by many you need med/surg experience. Any ideas?
    Sweety, if you go home crying that many days, get off that unit! You sound like a caring person and there are areas of nursing that are slower paced. Hang in there for just a bit , get the 6 months experience at least and get out. Why don't you look around at the Home Health and Hospice Agencies and ask what exp. they require. You never know what they might say. They may even be willing to let you do a ride along with a nurse or something so you can see if you would even like it.

    But I must warn you. It's not always slow or less stressful, it's just a different kind of stress. Some days I want to pull my hair out!

    Good luck and don't go too crazy.
  6. by   RNsRWe
    Quote from Can't Wait
    I'm a new nurse who just started on a medical/surgical floor at the end of February. It is so overwhelming, and there is so much I still don't know, many days I go home crying. I love nursing, but want to have time to spend with my patients and have the time to ensure I provide safe and adequate care. Are there other options for a new nurse with minimal experience that allows time to be spent with the patients and that is not so busy and fast-paced? I would like to do home health or hospice, but I was told by many you need med/surg experience. Any ideas?

    Yes, I have one: wait it out a bit, give it some time so you can learn, grow, and become more confident in yourself and your skills. Why do I say this? Because I was you

    You have minimal experience, but you're gaining more and more by the day. M/S is fast-paced, varied, and requires lots of prioritizing, time management and critical thinking skills. What you lack now you'll gain soon. Don't give up. I've left crying, and I've left elated. Depends on the patient load and the circumstances of each shift entirely. But I don't think quitting for a new job (and another set of stresses, where I also don't have experience) is necessarily the answer.

    Don't bail. Let yourself gain what you need from this now, and you'll either be able to take EXPERIENCE (not minimal experience, but good solid experience) with you to a new job, or you'll find your niche where you are now. Hang in there
  7. by   NurseguyFL
    I disagree that the OP should leave. Staying on that med surg floor will turn out to be good experience for you if you stick it out for at least 6 months.
  8. by   TrudyRN
    I think you should talk to your boss and say you need to take less than a full load for another short while. Be prepared to tell her why. Tell her EXACTLY what will help you. One patient less? Two? What is it that you need?

    Tell her, very calmly, your mind made up. Don't beg, don't cry, don't ask her permission. State your need. Be prepared to leave if she doesn't agree.
  9. by   Gromit
    I'd be genuinely surprised if you DIDN'T think it was a bit overwhelming at this stage of the game. You're still very new to this, and no matter where you go or what you do, you will need a little time to get used to the role of nurse. Trudy hit it right on the head, you may not yet be ready -and please don't feel bad or afraid to admit it to yourself, and talk to your superiors about it. If the place is at all reasonable, they will understand this and help to ease you into the job. There is certainly nothing wrong with that! But even if you decide you don't want to stay on that floor, most facilities expect at least 6 months before you are 'allowed' to bid to a different floor. Not only does that give you a little time to adjust, it also proves that you are WILLING to give the job some time. Not everyone is happy with their first choice -I was, but I knew where I wanted to go before I hired on . And eventually, when my heart is either better, or exchanged for another one, I expect to go back to my old floor. -Many nurses shudder at the very thought of working on it, but to me its just 'right'.
  10. by   tencat
    I hear you! I'll have 8 months of med/surg under my belt when I am done, but I've been MISERABLE for the last four months of it. I hate to leave before the year is up, but by golly, I hate coming to work and it's starting to affect my health. Thank goodness there are a lot of different opportunities in nursing, or I'd end up quitting altogether myself.

    There are different options such as home health, corrections nursing, state jobs, doctor's offices. Get out and look around. You're bound to find something that you will enjoy.
    Last edit by tencat on Apr 13, '07 : Reason: Wanted to add more
  11. by   Rizpah
    I was a CNA when I went to nursing school. I saw the fast pace of the hospital setting and had no desire to go there when school was finished. I've been at the same LTC facility for almost 16 years total and have worked my way up. No, I don't have EKG experience, I have a heck of a time getting an IV started, but for the most part I LOVE my job. I know my residents, I know the families. In some respects I feel closer to some of them than members of my own family. I like the personal aspect of LTC and I like knowing that I might be making someone's last days on earth a little better. Just my worth. Ask for some guidance from above. He'll lead you where you should be.
  12. by   jjjoy
    In general, the advice to stick it out is solid. If you can, do that.

    However, it's also okay if you can't. You're the one who has to get up each day and go to work and it's your conscience and license, no one else's.

    If you have an idea of what changes might make this do-able, talk to your manager about what you need. It's a matter of fact, not a special request. You're human and imperfect, as is everyone else. If they can't accomodate you and help you build up your confidence instead of demanding a ready-made perfect nurse, then it's their loss when you walk out to take care of yourself.

    If sticking it out will burn you up maybe it's best to get out now and look for a different kind of unit. As another stated, each area has it's own stresses but it might be a stress you're better suited to and find challenging and stimulating as opposed to completely overwhelming. If you force yourself through something that totally grinds you down, you might give up on nursing altogether before finding an area that works for you.

    I wish you peace as you work through this difficulty.
  13. by   Can't Wait
    Thanks so much everyone for your words of advise. I have had the last two days off to think about things, and I know I need to hang in there a little while longer. I go back to work tomorrow and though I have knots in my stomach about it, I know I have to stick it out. It's good to know that I'm not the only one that has felt this way before. It's nice to know there are great people out there to talk to about this stuff. Not everyone entirely understands. Thanks Again!:spin:

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