Published Jul 19, 2005
I'm new to nursing (graduated in May and passed NCLEX in June) and I work in the ICU. Here's the thing, I feel sooo stupid everyday! I was taking care of a patient the other day and his BP and HR weren't stable - they would go way up and then come back down to (his) normal and back up - all day. Only I didn't recognize this - my preceptor had to explain it to me....and it's not just that, I just feel like I'm always screwing up...
Anyway, is this normal or should I give it up now. I mean shouldn't I have learned some of this stuff in school? Please help!
Sara610, Give yourself some time, of course you feel bad about not recognizing the pt. trends, that's why you have a preceptor to alert you to things...point out and discuss things. Remember that all this is new to you, these are real pts. you aren't in simlab. VS tell us so much, you will start to "see" it soon. God bless.
BunnyBunnyBSNRN, ASN, BSN
Thank you for your words of encouragement. I'm sure you can't know how much they mean.
RosesrReder, BSN, MSN, RN
Don't feel stupid because you are NOT. Like someone else mentioned before you will become better as time goes by. Best wishes :)
Hang in there! This is why we go through our orientation. I think it is so intimidating to hear that most of what we will learn will come from working on the floor. Nursing school is so challenging and they teach us so much. However, I think this is the foundation. We have the basic knowledge in a vast majority of areas. However, our work has only just begun. Once we graduate and start working, we apply what we have been taught and also expand this knowledge. Take one day at a time and learn each day. Ask lots of questions and do not let yourself feel intimidated because you do not know everything. You are a smart person, otherwise you would not have made it through nursing school or passed the NCLEX! You have much to be proud of! Hang in there, it will get better.
Its very stressful as a new nurse, especially starting out in critical care areas...hang in there, learn from your mistakes...and guess what, next time you won't miss it..
Tweety, BSN, RN
Don't be so hard on yourself. Just stay open to learning new things. You can't remember and catch everything. :)
Relax. dont put on a show and just remember and learn from your mistakes. Always admit your wrong and always tell someone if you don't know what is going on. You will start picking up on things alittle bit at a time. remember, you are never alone. There will always be someone with you . It is difficult to be in a CCU/ICU as a new grad. because not only are you learning basic nursing skills but you are having to learn more advanced skills. titrating gtts, vents, swans, ect.... just take it one hour or minute at a time. ALWAYS ASK FOR HELP. iF are in a unit where the nurses aren't so receptive to new grads you can always call the supervisor. Lastly : go buy a CCRN book. the one I bought and recommend to all the new and old rns that I preceptor is ( PASS CCRN by robin donahoe dennison) It will become invaluable to you.
Good luck and hang in there. It can be up to two yrs before you feel comfortable. and that is normal.
I agree..dont be so hard on yourself. All of us ICU nurses were "stupid" at one time. Do not expect to walk into an ICU and know everything, because it just will not happen. It takes time to learn it all and actually be able to use the knowledge you gained during your years of schooling. You will make mistakes and then you will make remarkable discoveries. Just always pay attention and listen to all information. Whenever something different is happening in your ICU, ask to watch and/or partake in it. The best way to learn is hands on. Keep your head up you will do fine. As an ICU supervisor, I find the best nurse is the one who can admit their weakness.
At times we can be our own worst critic. Right now your still new to nursing. There are a lot of things you learn on the job that you didn't learn in school. Right now you will find your peers will be an excellent resource of knowledge so don't be afraid to ask questions, thats how we all learn. These feelings you are having right now will pass with time and experience.
Good luck and all the best
Hi!I'm new to nursing (graduated in May and passed NCLEX in June) and I work in the ICU. Here's the thing, I feel sooo stupid everyday! I was taking care of a patient the other day and his BP and HR weren't stable - they would go way up and then come back down to (his) normal and back up - all day. Only I didn't recognize this - my preceptor had to explain it to me....and it's not just that, I just feel like I'm always screwing up...Anyway, is this normal or should I give it up now. I mean shouldn't I have learned some of this stuff in school? Please help!Thanks!Sara
We are in the same boat..new grads in critical care... First day, I cared for patient with Swan... and I know nothing about it.. except what we were tested on NCLEX... I am always afraid that the my preceptor may think that I know nothing!!... I am nervous trying to keeping up with the knowledge by reading about everything in nursing so that I can feel that I know SOMETHING... I don't want to feel so "blank" when going for the rotatiion
christvs, DNP, RN, NP
Hi Sara! I give you a lot of credit for working in the ICU as a new grad. I'm a new RN too & am working on a med/surg floor. I have days that I feel like a really great nurse & other days that I feel like I can't get through 10 minutes without asking the other nurses 55 questions! So don't feel bad. Like the others were saying, I think we just need to be patient & realize in time we will get there, with regards to knowledge & skills. Plus, you're in an ICU with all of those drips, etc! (& I don't even know what a Swan is. What is it?) I'd give myself even more time to absorb things if I were working in an ICU. I bet you're doing better than you think. Good luck. :)
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