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sadmurse sadmurse (New Member) New Member

I'm starting to feel like I'm dying on the inside

First Year   (613 Views 4 Comments)
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Dramatic title? perhaps, but I don't know how else to describe how I'm feeling.

Hello everyone, I just needed to vent and ask for advice.

I'm a new grad nurse that has been working since october. I'm working with a specific population that means a lot to me, when I see them I see family that has succumbed to the same plight. My heart is in the right place......and all of my patients love me, one even called in about me because she stated I was so caring. My preceptor has told me I will go on to do "great things for the profession," however I can't help but feel like I'm dying on the inside.

I feel extremely stretched for time, there aren't enough hours in the day to do it all....even with a 12 hour shift. Yesterday I felt like I had an elephant sitting on my chest, my anxiety triggered because the orders would not stop coming in, then on top of new orders from the providers it seemed like everything was going wrong.

I had to stop to prime a tubing because air was in the line.

Then I had to stop to empty a foley catheter and JP drain because I was working with a tech who manages to find the time to sit at the nurses station and chit chat, but she doesn't seem to find the time to empty out these bags/drains.

Then a patient spilled something on her gown, that ate up even more time.

I'm not one of those nurses that calls my techs for ridiculous reasons like grabbing a patient a snack or water, but when I do call them I need them. When I call two in particular they answer the phone with this tone of voice like I'm inconveniencing them.

Even on days where I have good techs I still feel stretched for time. It's my belief that nurses should not have more than 3 patients, but that's an entire different topic.

Are any of you feeling this way? if so did the feelings of anxiety fade? or did you transition into another area of nursing? any time management advice? Please help, I don't want to feel this way.

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Ok, if you have only been working since October then I really think you need to give it time. There is always something to be done and not enough time no matter what floor or population you work with. Unfortunately it is the nature of the beast. At 2 months in you have so much growth in front of you, but it is often hard to see it at the point you are now in your nursing career. Your preceptor thinks you are doing great, try to focus on that and give it a year. Keep a journal and write down something after every shift about what you learned, a positive comment from a patient or co-worker or something that you improved up or struggle with. In a few months read back and I bet you will be amazed at how much you have learned. Where you are now is normal and I would be worried if you felt you hand a great handle on your job right now. Hang in there.

I felt the same way for much of the first year or two! It did get better, much better! I wish I had some time management tips for you but that is still my area of struggle 6 years in.

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There are several ways to manage time, and I am of the belief that time management is the key to a new grad finding their feet.

1. Delegate. You need to delegate more often, not less. Don't let the fact that you want to be "fair" inhibit you at this phase. You are still learning and therefore need more help. You will find your footing in the next six to eight months, but until then, give yourself grace. If the techs are not doing their job then you need to be talking to your manager about that.

2. Brain sheet. Use one if you aren't already and if the one you are using doesn't work for you try a different one. A good brain sheet is a life saver. When I precepted students and new grads, I would have them take a piece of notebook paper. Turn it the landscape direction and make a column for each of your patients. Down the left side of each column, put in the hours of your shift from 0700 to 1900 (or vice versa if on nights). Then after getting report and making sure your patients are all stable, sit down and write in when things are due. Start with the scheduled meds. 0900 - Meds. 1200 - Meds. etc. Got a vanc at 1400? Put it there, then check if a trough is due and put having that drawn prior to hanging. Put BS for when blood sugar is due. If the patient has to be ambulated or you have to get labs or dressing changes, etc, put those on there. If they have to go down for an echo or an MRI or whaever at 1100, put it there. Everything you know for sure is going to happen on your shift that is your responsibility and has a time associated with it, mark it down. Then take a look at your day. You will see patterns when you can cluster your care. You will see openings when you will know you have opportunity to chart. Cross each item off as you do it and your day will flow much better and your anxiety will come down a lot.

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There is nothing wrong with delegating tasks. I commend you for wanting to add the personal touch with the patients, but techs and aides are there to assist with the tasks that they can so that we can make sure that the things that only we can do, get done correctly. What you're feeling is normal, but don't let anyone run you to death so that you're burned out by the end of your first year. Love and hugs to you!

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