Just want to be a good PICU nurse!


I am a new nurse who has been hired into a critical care rotation program as of March. I was blessed to be placed in PICU for first rotation which is awesome because I am think peds is where I want to be. I know that this being my first job I will have a TON to learn and work hard to learn as much as I can each shift. At first I was nervous about everything and then there was about a month where I started to get more comfortable which was nice. Now I feel like I am regressing and not progressing in how well I do each shift. I hope that it is due to them giving me more responsibility and feeling that I can handle more, but fear that I am just not good enough. I have had two days off and have slept poorly and been an emotional wreck about all the things I forgot, or did poorly and am really worried that they will be upset with me when I go back for my next shift. I don't think that any of them put my patient in danger, but can't stop worrying! I am so upset because I just want to be a good picu nurse and one that is safe and reliable. I don't want to give the impression that I am lazy or don't finish my work, leaving more work for the next nurse. I never stopped working and tried so hard to remember everything, take care of what needed to be done, and put everything together, but it just doesn't seem like I can ever do well enough! :( I was so hoping to make a good impression and be someone that they could train and ultimately ask me to stay, but I think it just isn't going that way. :(

I guess I just needed to write this and ask if anyone has any advice! I want to be like all of you seasoned, reliable, and good PICU nurses out there! :)

Annaiya, NP

555 Posts

Specializes in PICU. Has 5 years experience.

A couple of thoughts:

First, are you worrying about not remembering semi-important stuff like missing vital signs or proper documentation. Or are you worrying about unimportant stuff like you forgot to reorder a drip for the next shift, when they would have time to reorder, but you wanted to be nice? If it is unimportant stuff, then you need to learn to let it go. You can't be perfect every day. If it is important stuff, then that brings me to #2.

You said you are worried about things you forgot, which means you need a better way to keep things organized/remembered. Honestly the best way to help with this is lists. If you are forgetting all of your safety checks in the morning then make yourself a list of everything to check so next time you don't miss something. If you are forgetting to chart oral care, then make your self a "before I go home" list and check it before you leave for the day. Put the charting stuff on there that you frequently forget and make sure it is all done before you leave. If you are forgetting stuff like always checking the "5 rights" before giving medication, then you have to slow yourself down and make sure you are being safe.

You sound like you need to take a deep breath, calm down and regroup. You cannot be your best at work if you aren't sleeping well.


9 Posts

Has 6 years experience.

I agree with Annaiya. I had a hard time with this when I first started! I still - 6 yrs later - am a list maker. I can be flighty at times! I think "forgetting" little things here and there are ok as long as its not an every shift issue. So what if you forgot to empty the foley bag this shift - you had a busy day and ran around. Most nurses coming on will see that and understand. And my motto is "I have 12 hrs to fix it". I dont care what you missed, you were busy, the kid is fine. Idont care if the room is a mess. As long as you did your best and werent being lazy its ok.

Side note: not all nurses are like this though :)

Good luck - keep your head up and you'll be fine. People notice the effort!