Need some advice.

Nurses General Nursing



I just graduated from nursing school last year I took my boards this summer and passed. I now work on a medical surgical floor in a small town hospital. While I was going to nursing school I worked in a Dr.'s office for about six years. I knew I needed the experience of the Med/Surg floor so I transferred to the floor. I was with a preceptor for about 6 wks. she was great! Now I work mostly nights 7p-7a. I'm not sure why I feel so out of my element? The other night I had 9 patients with alot of different dx. One of my patients needed PRBC she was anxious and I needed to be there with her, anyway, while I was with her I forgot to hang a bag of antibiotic for one of my other pt's. I felt so bad. Since I started this new job I just feel scared, anxious, and nervous all the time. I get home from work and think what if I made a mistake? Did I forget anything? I feel I dont have what it takes. Sometimes I feel like I'm not confident enough or smart enough. I feel like some of the other nurses just wait for someone to miss something so they can "find fault" some of the other nurses are like that, not all of them but SOME of them. I have wanted to be a nurse since I was a child. It's almost like a reality shock. I knew that it was not going to be easy, but why do I feel lost. I'm starting to question if I am cut out for this. What if I don't make the right decisions about a patient. What if I make a serious Med error and hurt someone. There are just so many things that go through my mind. Hopefully someone out there can give me some good advice. THANKS for listening.

Specializes in ED staff.

First calm down Angel, you are going through something that most all nurses go through. It's kinda like this, when you're in school and when you just get out, you're so full of yourself that it never enters your mind that you might actually screw up. After you've worked for a little while you begin to see that the likelyhood of screwups is good and you start to freak out. Taking care of nine patients at a time is hard, ask for help when you need it. Things will get easier in time, you become more familiar with what needs to be done and when, you learn to delegate and to prioritize. A patient getting an antibiotic a little late is better than them not getting it at all, so don't fret. You'll be ok :))


275 Posts


First of all there is nothing wrong with you as a person or a nurse.

The fact is that you have to big of a patient load and that in its self leads to the emotions and thoughts you are having.

You are not super nurse and neither is anyone else. In order to give care to that many patients you have to learn to focus on the tasks and in some ways forget about the patients to some extent.

This is the reality that you are facing and not the idealistic vision of nursing school.

It is hard to give up that vision of being there for everyone that needs you physically and spiritually at all times that they need. But because of the patient load and acuities sometimes you have too.

This is not your fault and it is out of your control unless you refuse to take that many patients. Not even the best or experienced nurse can be every where and be all things to all patients all the time.

With high patient loads there is no one to yell for help except in emergencies. Everyone else is just as busy.

One thing you can do to help ensure that you have all your tasks completed is to write them down and then check them off as you complete them.

Did you forget the piggy back or just hung it late?

Believe it or not there are a lot of medications given by other nurses that are late. They are usually marked as given on time though. Is this right? no. But it is the reality. There is so much to do and very little help that it just happens.

If you walk into a patients room and they have soiled themselves and their bed, do you just walk out and pass the rest of the meds. No. You clean them up and their bed and many times without help. Then that will put you any where up to 15 minutes or more behind in your meds. It does not take much to make given meds as a late thing especially with that many patients.

Relax and do the very best you can. You are only one person with two hands and one heart.

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