Getting over the FEAR...


I would like to hear people's experience as a new ER nurse. Were you nervous? How long did you feel comfortable?? How long did you find your "routine"?? How did you keep things organized?? How did you stay on top of the orders while caring for critical patients and keeping composure??

I am a nervous wreck!! I will be starting on my own this week and im scared as hell!! People tell me that "ill be fine" or "you will get the routine" but it I still feel scared. I am not a new grad, but I do feel like Im starting all over again.



8 Posts

Your feelings are expected and I would worry if you did not have these self doubts. Keep your eyes and ears open and solicit advice from everyone. You would be astonished how much you can learn from the ancillary staff. There is a very good book, that I would recommend to everyone that is new or in a new position, it is a study on how people learn and the transitions that take place in the individual as they advance through the levels of any skill acquisition. The book is written by Patricia Benner. Many threads have mentioned this book and many managers recommend this for all new people to their units. I wish you the best and if you can get a copy of this book, it could help get through your newbie jitters.


90 Posts

Specializes in Emergency.

the educator in my ER told me from day one, "give yourself a good 6 months before you start to feel at all comfortable". she was totally right. i was nervous every single shift. the ER is ever changing. you don't know what to expect, and you never know the diagnosis of your patients upon their arrival like on the floors, so you don't know what to expect in terms of them getting better or worse while in your care. they could have pain that mimics sciatica and it ending up to be a dissection. what makes or breaks you in the ER is being able to think quickly on your feet. don't expect to be able to do that right away. you're're going to make mistakes and be slower than most everyone else. BUT, in time that should work itself out. you'll learn how to prioritize your care, what to delegate to other staff, and when you need to ask for help. NEVER BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP!! and please always ask questions. we like it...and we don't think you're stupid if you ask them. however, i highly suggest not asking people "how they do" certain organize their paperwork/charts etc. if you'll get 100 different answers and get confused. you'll learn a way that works best for you. good luck and best wishes!


660 Posts

Specializes in ER. Has 3 years experience.

I agree. 6 months before you feel like you aren't having an MI every time you clock in. :)


12 Posts

I graduated from nursing school in May, 2008 and started in an emergency room in June. They had a 6 month orientation, which is now over. I am now on my own and it isn't a year yet. I still have questions, I'm still slower than the other nurses, I'm not by any means an expert at any of it. I am scared on some days and confident on others. I feel like I am just now in the last month getting into my own groove. Things are starting to click more frequently and it's getting easier. I was just told by my manager that some on the unit question my speed and feel I am overwhelmed at times. That was disappointing because I felt that I have been doing better and that I make a difference on the unit. I have 3 and 4 patient loads and that is hard, but my patients are safe and clinically sound decisions are made because we have an exceptionally good team and we all help each other out. The conversation with my manager was positive and I really felt I had his support. Sometimes the climate on an E.R. unit can be more nerve-racking than the patient care. Though, I also admit that critical patients are scary. Just some rambling thoughts.

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