I need words of encouragement from nurses.


Today was my first day alone after my training as a nursing assistant. I trained for 2 weeks on a specific floor because I'm in the float pool. At that floor, all I got were compliments and even a full-time job offer from the manager. I was so nervous starting today since it's different going to all different floors, learning where everything is, how it works etc.

I was sent to the pediatric oncology floor. Let me tell you..this was different. I was used to being on that 1 floor that I got so overwhelmed. I was the only NA which I understood because there was only 12 patients. I asked the nurses how it went as far as the vital signs, what is expected etc. I never learned some of the things they were asking me to do. After taking vitals which for some reason, took me forever because they were children. I told the nurses that I was sorry if I seem slow or disorganized. I told them this was my first official day after training and it was taking me awhile to get adjusted. I guess they realized why I was so slow because they all smiled and said not to worry that they would help me out. However, I think my mind just stopped. I was just overwhelmed when I didn't have to. All I did was just take vitals and put in some ins and outs, but I feel like I did such a horrible job. I knew the nurses were bickering about me. At the end, I thanked them and left.

I just wanted to crawl into a hole. I am a quiet and shy person, and possibly, that is why i felt overwhelmed. Please give me words of advice. I'm second guessing myself, and I just feel horrible that I was so useless today.

KelRN215, BSN, RN

1 Article; 7,349 Posts

Specializes in Pedi. Has 16 years experience.

What things were they asking you to do that you didn't know how to do? Different floors allow their NAs to do certain tasks that other floors do not. You could just say "I am not sure how to do that, can you show me?" If they smiled and told you not to worry, I doubt they were in the back room bickering about you. Everyone's been there.

Guttercat, ASN, RN

1,345 Posts

Has 31 years experience.

Ooooh kayyyy, your first day as an NA, and you were sent to Peds??? A floor you'd never worked?


It would have been best if they had started you on the floor you trained on, but don't beat yourself up, they obviously have a lot of faith in your abilities and your common sense (something that is not so easily taught).

That said, I think this was too much to ask of you, float pool or not. In my opinion, it was a bad call on their part.

The good news is, is that the next time you are floated to Peds it will be much less frightening.

Keep at it, you'll be fine!

Specializes in FNP, ONP. Has 25 years experience.

I don't know anyone who expects perfection from novices.

gatoraims RN

2 Articles; 219 Posts

Has 5 years experience.

I think you did a pretty good job if you got vital signs and i&o's. When I worked in a LTC I loved the techs/aids who got vital signs and got my pts ready for the day. Everything that you do just for the one person makes my job that much easier. You did your best in a new situation, be proud.