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New Grad who doesn't feel ready....

First Year   (12,050 Views 23 Comments)
by morningland morningland (New Member) New Member

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This is a great post and the take home point is, school+NCLEX preparation and passing NCLEX = your trained as a broad practitioner and to be safe (but de facto your not trained specifically to do much of anything). Nursing is, the more I think about it, very pleasing from a variety perspective. So many options - correctional nursing, hospital nursing, public health nursing, military nursing....the list is a mile long.

Heres the bad news new grads....your not trained to "plug and play" into anything short of a flu shot clinic. Best of luck - John Doe Nursing School (lol)

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missfreda has 5 years experience and specializes in Med-Surg, Rehab, Telemetry.

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Wow! Thanks to all of you for sharing your experiences as new grads! I am a recent grad as of May 2010. I only worked 6 months, then resigned from a Med-Surg/Oncology floor for lack of team work. I was frustrated and felt I couldn't trust the nurses I worked with. I took a break before returning March 1, 2011 to a newer hospital six miles from home. There I find more mature, caring nurses that don't mind helping me and answering my questions or addressing my concerns. Yes, it's still a bit early being there only 3 weeks. But, I am a good judge of character and I feel comfortable with the staff. I am 50 years old and feel like a "scatterbrain" right about now. Thinking is a bit slower, especially critical thinking. I've invested in critical thinking books and anything that can help me along the way. I have my own report sheet and am doing well with giving reports. I review the chart during report so I want miss reporting orders and other pertinent areas. I review History & Physical on my patients to get a better view of their conditions. I even go in a bit earlier to get organized, even if it's just 15 minutes or so. They don't really want you working off the clock... we can only clock in at 07:45 or 5 minutes before. Whatever it takes.... I'm open to do this to give my patients safe, competent care. I love nursing and know it will take time developing the skills I need. I am respectful to my co-workers and thank them for helping me. I get so overwhelmed at times! But, even a smile can give me the will to not give up! Thanks to all the caring nurses that work for the Christus Healthcare System in San Antonio!

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Bezoars specializes in Med Surg, Perinatal, Endoscopy, IVF Lab.

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Well... I am three more weeks away from being a new grad!

Okay, I'm rambling here and I don't know if anyone can relate to what I am saying but it boils down to this:

- I feel like a scatterbrain on the floor sometimes and I fear it will lead to a mistake

- I don't have the basic confidence that I feel I should have for even entry level nursing practice

- I don't know if I have the critical thinking skills I need for this job

Anyone else go through this? Is these just s/s of a person who should not take the responsability of being a nurse?

Okay, so I am at my one year anniversary of graduating and I can totally relate to how you feel. I was top of my class - honor roll... and felt really smart when I graduated, but also knew that I had been taught basically to pass the NCLEX and that the REAL LEARNING was about to start. I always have been scatterbrained as well and unable to multi-task very well. I need to focus on one thing at a time and I'm not a "fast reactor". I tend to be laid back and like to fully assess a situation before I become concerned. Okay... so no critical care for me! BUT, there are other areas of nursing where I fit in well. I excel in bedside manner where others don't - so kudos to me. I also am very patient, so I love to sit and listen to pt's when I can make time... another skill not everyone has. Remind yourself of your talents and know that everyone has them and everyone has weaknesses... work around them and find an area of nursing that suits you.

You did the right thing with the BP meds... I STILL don't have lots of confidence in my ability... even a year later! It's a hard job! And, I agree with the poster who said time management is important but not ore so then critical thinking. CRITICAL THINKING is your most important role as a nurse. All you need is basic confidence to start out and always remind yourself to really think about a situation and not go on "autopilot".

Be thick skinned, and go out there with a teachable attitude and you'll be fine. Nobody expects you to show up on the job with anything but a basic knowledge of nursing principles and the ability to know enough not to kill anyone. They will teach you real nursing from your first day - don't worry. Ask LOTS of questions even if you think they are dumb. Rely on those around you that help you. Never be afraid to get "another set of eyes" on your patient if something concerns you... I do it all the time! Most of the time it's nothing and sometimes you will be so glad you did!

Basically, the next year will be rough b/c there is soooooooo much to learn... but you will love it and those brain cells will work overtime!!! Just do what you did to get through nursing school.... take one step at a time and realize that a year from now.... you'll be WAY more confident and know WAY more. Good luck to you :clown:

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10 Posts; 650 Profile Views

Thanks for your positive reply RNYC. First of all for any new grad. that feels ill prepared, make sure that you know up front how much training you will receive. I have several friends that work at other area hospitals that received 6 mo. or more training with a preceptor. I received about 1 month training with a preceptor which I don't feel is enough for a brand new nurse. I should have been offered more time and I should have asked for it. Our dept. like many others are short staffed and keeping someone on orientation is costly, so in my situation, they were not going to offer more training if I didn't demand it. We work very hard to become nurses, and we should feel comfortable asking for the training and help we need to succeed. As far as the unhappy nurses that seem to want to see you fail, I do try to stay away from them when ever possible. But, sometimes I can't so I put on a smile and remain professional. However, mean, negative comments can really rip away at the confidence a new nurse is trying to build. So, I try to blow it off and remember how much valuable information and experience I continue to learn each day.

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2,801 Posts; 13,301 Profile Views

...your trained as a broad practitioner and to be safe (but de facto your not trained specifically to do much of anything)....your not trained to "plug and play" into anything short of a flu shot clinic.

How come schools don't use that as a recruitment line? :p

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120 Posts; 2,243 Profile Views

How come schools don't use that as a recruitment line? :p

I know huh? lol...I am glad I can laugh about it now. Couple months ago it didn't seem as funny right after graduation! The good news is the following - because nursing is so diverse and encompasses to many different jobs, the likelihood of finding something eventually is rather good. I mean, home health, prisons, federal jobs, private pay, cruise ships...shooting botox....theres so many listings online its silly.

Unfortunately the real $ is only in acute care right now. Maybe someday that will change who knows.

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339 Posts; 5,757 Profile Views

Thanks so much for the comments and stories guys! They really go a long way to easy my mind. I am sure that I will be a great nurse one day and I just need to be patient with myself until I get there.

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339 Posts; 5,757 Profile Views

I know exactly how you feel. That "brain fog" feeling.. I could not have described it better myself. I am a senior nursing student doing my capstone and am graduating in 2 months. For a while I feel like I've had sorta cloudy thinking (it's worse when I'm tried) and it seems like it's significantly worse when I'm at clinical. It worries me more than anything in the world because as you said, people lives are in my hands. I constantly compare myself to other RNs (and even students) and seem to notice that everyone else has sharper memory and ability to recall little tasks and various things to do throughout the shift (without really writing anything down, etc.) I feel like I lack that basic cognitive function and I almost feel stupid. Although I have a nearly perfect GPA, I feel so incompetent when on the floor. So much to the point where I am wondering whether or not nursing is even for me. It's almost like I'm not "sharp" enough for it. This pains me to admit, because I really do enjoy helping people and love being around patients. Sorry for the ramble. It feels nice just writing this out because I feel like my fellow students can't really relate to my level of anxiety and... fear I guess.

You hit the nail on the head... this is exactly how I feel. I don't know what we can do to treat this brain fog but maybe it will go away with time.

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4 Posts; 1,598 Profile Views

Random question, but I am totally serious. Do you eat/drink a lot of things with fake sugar?

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339 Posts; 5,757 Profile Views

Random question, but I am totally serious. Do you eat/drink a lot of things with fake sugar?

not artificial sugar but I do have a really bad sweet tooth that I try and control... why do you ask?

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4 Posts; 1,598 Profile Views

This is probably a bogus correlation, but I eat and drink a lot of calorie free, diet sugars and I read this scary study about the effects of them on a person's nervous system. I wasn't sure if that had anything to do with how out of it I feel when working. But honestly I think it's just the immense amount of stress I feel when out on the floor. It's probably (for sure) a contributing factor. I think we just need to take a deep breath and try to relax! : )

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