Published Aug 9
I just started taking patients on my own and I wanted to know how to keep motivated as a new grad.
Every time I am doing something new I get attitude or a grunt from preceptors because I don't know what to do or I ask them to talk me through it. If we are late on meds because the preceptor has to stop & help me they let it be known that it is my fault....
I feel super discouraged and unmotivated....
I don't know if I should ask to switch preceptors?
Hopefully things will get better.
In the meantime, realize that others' reactions do not constitute an issue with you as a person or as a new nurse. Avoid absorbing the negativity, avoid 'owning' the problem (letting it become about you) when it isn't your problem.
And, although I don't excuse the kind of unprofessionalism you describe, it usually doesn't hurt to put ourselves in others' shoes just for a few seconds. It is NOT pleasant to be told that you will have the same patient load plus a brand new nurse to train while perpetually having admins complaining about random minutiae that the nursing staff must accomplish and isn't doing well enough.
There is a systematic problem, with rampant poor treatment of workers while expecting them to be happy, kind and pleasant at work.
Overall I recommend just making it through orientation without worrying whether people are being sweet as pie. And when you're on your own you can make sure to maintain kindness and professionalism as part of who you are as a nurse.
JBMmom, MSN, NP
Motivation really needs to come from you, so try to figure out the things you can focus on that will maintain a positive attitude. At the end of the day come up with three things that went really well. Because if you really think about your whole day, I'm sure there are more than three on any given day. Did a patient respond positively to your interactions? Did you teach them something they didn't know? Were you able to help them out in some way that wasn't just giving a medication? When I walk out at the end of a shift, I try to think of just one way that my patients are better off because I was there. Sometimes it's a challenge. Sometimes it's just because I know I took the time to wash my patient's face with a nice warm washcloth (people often overlook little things like that in ICU). I think sometimes people focus too much on external praise, and that doesn't always come. I don't need a manager, a co-worker or anyone else to pat me on the back. I'm doing what's best for a patient, and they often will never even remember I was there, but I know.
As far as other people, that's hard. Not everyone has weathered the past few years with a positive outlook. Some of the nurses that are now training you have oriented dozens of new nurses over the past few years only to watch them leave within weeks or months, leaving them to start training once again. And we're all in the do more with less crunch from administrations, and that's likely falling a little harder on the more experienced nurses that often have extra responsibilities. Try to become tone-deaf when you have a question. Don't feel you have to apologize for questions, you are learning and deep down they do understand that, but they're just not thrilled with where they are in that moment and it's not because of you.
You'll get through, you're on a steep learning curve, but it will get better! Take care.
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