shoegalRN 16,242 Views
Joined: Dec 5, '06;
Posts: 1,379 (43% Liked)
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Looking back to when I was a new grad, I expected the following:
-RESPECT (meaning do NOT talk to me like I'm stupid infront of pts, co-workers, and family members)
-do not gossip or discuss my "mistakes" with those in your clique at the lunch table.
-do not "micro-manage" by standing in the doorway with your arms folded watching me like a hawk. Then you wonder why I make little mistakes. It's because I'm nervous that you sitting there trying to be intimidating watching me like a hawk with your arms folded across your chest.
-please understand I am trying to build confidence in myself and my nursing skills. If I ask a question for "clarification" (maybe TWICE at the most), this don't mean I'm "not getting it". It means I respect your opinion about my nursing judgment and I want to make sure I'm just as strong as a nurse you are some day.
-please keep me in the loop. If you feel I am not "up to par", do not send a mass email to the DON, the educator, the charge nurse, and other preceptors talking about all my mistakes, but yet, tell me I'm doing "ok". Then the next thing, I'm pulled in to the DON's office to "answer" to your email. If you are gonna do that, at least CC me on the email and give me an opportunity to defend myself.
-please understand just because something is "second nature" to you because you have been doing it for years, it's still new to me and I may be a little slow catching on. Some people are hands on learners and have to do things several times before they are comfortable with it. And I'm talking about within a reasonable time frame (not something like asking the same questions after 2 months on orientation).
-last but not least, it doesnt matter that you graduated from nursing school many years ago, please never forget how it feels to be new. Treat me the way you want to be treated, period.
My secret to burn out was to become a travel RN. I've been a nurse 5 years, with 4 years in the ED and becoming a travel nurse helped me a lot with being burned out. I was becoming very jaded and it got so bad that I just didnt look forward to going to work anymore. Now that I travel, I look forward to the new challenges and I travel to places that provide a lot of activities for me to do on my off days. I have found that I have a love for nature that I wouldnt have otherwise known if I wouldnt have traveled. For my peace of mind, I prefer to hike in the mountains or sit on a beach. And I get to change jobs every 2-3 months so I won't get burned out.
For my home job, I went to PRN status and only work the required hours to keep my status up. And I mean I only work the bare minimum.
I agree with the previous poster. I, too, also started off in ICU, and one week before my orientation was up, I met with the director and asked to be transferred. I have been in ER ever since and I love it!
Sometimes, a unit is just not a good fit, no matter how you try to look at it. I would start putting in applications with other units within your hospital.
You have the good evaluation under your belt, so use that to transfer. If asked why you left the unit, explain maybe that speciality wasnt a good idea to go right into after nursing school. Explain you want to build up your skills and confidence and maybe in a couple of years, go back once you have grown as a nurse. That worked for me.
PLEASE be patient with yourself! This was so hard for me to do. You will not pick up everything on the first or even the second try. You have just graduated from nursing school and you are in the real world now. This means things are a lot DIFFERENT than what you have been told. Embrace this. Remember you are not super nurse and nobody is expecting you to be. Give your own self a learning curve.
Do NOT compare yourself to other nurses, especially experienced nurses. You are brand spanking new, do not worry about "why can't I get an IV on the first try like her", who has been doing IV's for years. Focus on your own journey. Comparing yourself to others will only make you more self conscious.
Do NOT participate in gossip sessions. You do not need to look down on another nurse to make yourself feel better about your nursing skills, or lack thereof.
When you go home at the end of the day, look things up just like you did in nursing school. If you had a procedure you had to do and never heard of it, let alone done it before, look it up. Same with meds. Look up diseases and their pathologies, as well as treatments. This will help out so much when you come across this again in the future.
Do NOT be afraid to ask questions. Keep a notebook with you to write down your questions and answers to them. This way you won't have to ask the same questions over and over. If you ask the same questions more than twice, your preceptor can use this against you and say "she is just not getting it, I've answer the exact same question for her 5 times already".
Act confident. Even if you are shaking inside, keep a poker face. This will help develop confidence along the way. However, don't confuse this for arrogance or being unteachable. If you do not know something, you still have to ask, but do it in a confident way.
Do sit down with your preceptor at the beginning and end of each shift and develop a list of short term goals that should be accomplished during the shift. This could be you handling two patients on your own, plus taking an admit, or you calling the doctor on your own. At the end of the shift, ask for feedback to see if those goals were accomplished. Keep the line of communication open between you and your preceptor.
Do NOT take things personally. If you get constructive feedback from your preceptor, do not take it personally. Instead, look at it like a learning opportunity to make you a better nurse.
Do keep a positive attitude. Be a team player. Use your resources. Relax and try to get the best learning experience you can get.
Do not get discouraged if your preceptor gets the hardest assignments on the unit. It's because they will be learning experiences for you. It's best to have the sickest pts while you have someone with you, then when you don't.
I work the weekend alt plan. I work every Sat and Sun night (12 hour shifts) and get paid for 3 days. Full benefits too.
I'm off M-F. If I want, I'll pick up a couple of extra days during the week, but not often.
I love working Stepdown/Tele! I am an ER nurse but usually get floated to Stepdown or sometimes may pick up an extra shift to help out when short staffed.
Here's what I suggest:
-Know your rhythms like the back of your hand. Especially the deadly ones like Vtach/Vfib.
-Know how to read a 12 lead EKG
-Know where the EKG machine is kept and know how to take a STAT EKG because you will be doing plenty of those
-Know your cardiac drugs, like metropolol, Cardizem, Hydralazine, amiodarone, -prils.
-Know your diuretics and what to look for, example Lasix, look at K+ level
Last but not least, know where your crash cart is and what is in it!
Take an EKG class ASAP! Become ACLS certified ASAP!
Tele pts can CRASH on you really fast! You need to know how to react in case that happens.
Good luck! You will learn so much on Tele!
To the OP: You will be attending the same school where I am taking Patho now. I will send you a PM with some advice.
But for me, I have a B average in the class right now before any quizzes are factored into my grade. I study an average of 16 hours a week on Patho. This is what works for ME:
I do my study guide before class. I just skim over the material, fill out the study guide, do my pre-class quiz and then head off to class. I use a different color pen to add notes during lecture. I also do all the case studies the teacher provide with the lecture. After class, (maybe the next day or so), I'll go over the study guide again (with a fine tooth comb) and I'll reread the chapter again and highlight and underline things I need to grasp a concept on. I'll make up my note cards at this time. During this time, I'll also go to my dandy "Patho Made Incredibly Easy" book for a laymen's understanding. Now, after spending 6 hours or so doing this, I'll take my index cards I've made up to the gym with me and stay in the gym for about an hour just doing cardio. I spend 15 minutes at different machines and I just tune everything out (I also listen to my Ipod at this time) and I'll just keep going through my index cards until I've got it down pat. So, I knock out 2 birds with one stone, I work out and I study at the same time.
Then, the final step is I'll type my studyguide up and I'll type up what I had to fill out in different colors as well as highlight it. (I'm a very visual learner). I also add some things from the Made Easy book into my typed study guide. I'll print it and then take that to the gym with me and do cardio for an hour.
Finally, to make sure I really KNOW everything, I'll fill out a blank study guide from memory. If I can't recall something from memory, then I'll just focus on that concept alone. Again, back to the gym with index cards and/or study guide for an hour. This is just for ONE study guide. Normally, I'll spend about 2 days average on each study guide.
This has worked wonders for me.
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