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How do you get through the first weeks on your own?

First Year   (465 Views 3 Comments)
by coffee&scrubs coffee&scrubs (New Member) New Member

447 Visitors; 7 Posts

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Hi all! So I'm a new grad who started in a medical ICU in the beginning of September. I've had a good (as far as I can tell) orientation with supportive preceptors, lots of interesting patients, etc and I'll be "on my own" the week of Thanksgiving. The problem is, I'm absolutely terrified to be totally responsible for the patients! I feel like there are still so many small things I struggle to remember or do as well as I'd like on my own, and I'm worried that without a preceptor double checking everything, important parts of care will fall through the cracks. I'm terrified of a patient going downhill and not knowing what to do or realizing it quickly enough. I know to always ask questions, grab a second pair of eyes or hands if you need it, and never be afraid to speak up. Do you have any other advice for making it through the first few weeks on your own? I'm not even there yet but I'm already so anxious about it and I'm trying to be as prepared as I can be going in. Thank you so much in advance!

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not.done.yet has 8 years experience as a MSN, RN and works as a Professional Development Specialist.

299 Likes; 4 Followers; 42,894 Visitors; 5,171 Posts

The key to managing your stress and anxiety will come in managing your time and utilizing your resources. Your charge nurse and fellow ICU nurses will prove invaluable. It is an anxious time, when you first go off on your own and it stays pretty anxious for the first year or so after. Give yourself credit for how far you have come and stay humble about how far you still have to go. We all survived and you will too. Good luck!

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314 Visitors; 28 Posts

Xanex! It is super hard the first year or so. Find someone you trust to ask questions when they arise. On my unit we all bounce ideas off each other and it is great for learning. I hope you are in a supportive environment. I was told by a mentor of mine to reflect on every shift and write down something you learned, had difficulty with or effected you in some way. After a few months read through your thoughts and you will be surprised about how far you've come.

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