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New LPN... taking it all in

LPN/LVN   (725 Views 2 Comments)
by student4ever73 student4ever73 (New Member) New Member

917 Visitors; 6 Posts

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I'm sure I have a lot of feelings similar to other new grads...

I've been a LPN for about a month, working in a LTC/rehab facility. Most of my time so far has been on the LTC unit, though I will float between the two eventually. The orientation has been great, and from what I've been reading on the message boards here, I'm lucky that I've gotten so much time and the staff has been very supportive. I worked there as a CNA while I was in nursing school, so that has been helpful, but I'm in an entirely different role now!

Last week I had the first shift on my own, which was only because the nurse I was orientating with had to unexpectedly go cover another nurse's shift on rehab. I had a brief second of panic, and then thought "Okay, I can do this." I also knew if I got stuck I could ask the RN or supervisor for help... and I ended up needing it.

Four people into my med pass, we had a fall. That was enough to throw the rest of the shift out of whack. While dealing with that, a resident who has regular cigarette breaks became agitated that nobody had time to take him outside and called me and the supervisor a b****. I was also informed by a CNA that another resident, who is diabetic, was vomiting and then her blood sugar dropped. My meds were late. While I was at the med cart, a resident repeatedly screamed "nurse!! nurse!!" as if that would make me get her pain pill any faster than I was trying to. Yet another resident, who regularly calls the police, did so this shift because she felt she wasn't being tended to. She proceeded to swear at the staff and kick the nurses' station desk. (Okay, how many of you are thinking "Welcome to long term care!") The CNAs on my hall were a bit stressed out too.

On the bright side, the supervisor handled the fall paperwork/family/doctor issues, and helped me get caught up on the med passes. Not only did she do that, she acknowledged that we didn't get a lunch break and grabbed a bag of fun sized candy bars so we could eat a couple on the go.

I know I'll get to where I need to be, but still feeling unorganized, slow, and a little scared of doing it on my own. I also know that when I work in rehab I'll be slammed with admissions on top of everything else. I'm still adjusting to the idea of supervising CNAs and am starting to get a little more comfortable with that, but need some work in that area.

Comments? How long did it take you to feel like you had a handle on the typical shift? Any tips for speeding up the med passes? If you worked as a CNA first, did you find yourself getting caught between wanting to help the CNAs out and doing your own duties? For example, taking someone to the toilet myself because it's just faster than hunting down the CNA and not wanting the resident to have an accident. I have no problem with helping transfer or change someone if I go to give a med and the CNA needs a hand.

Looking forward to hearing your stories!

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Jasel works as a Registered Nurse.

6,196 Visitors; 197 Posts

It took me probably at least 6 months before I felt comfortable on my own. I'm glad you got a good orientation. They offered new nurses 20 days of orientation which I quickly realized was just a sly way for them to get 20 days of work out of you -_- You'll get a feel for it though.

Fortunately I didn't get anything too heavy thrown at me too early and as I progressed it became easier and easier to deal with unexpected situations thrown at me. Also realize you can't please everyone and sometimes patients are going to have to wait or be disappointed when things don't go their way.

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