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New overwhelmed nurse on the block

Nurses   (381 Views | 6 Replies)
by Newnurse24 Newnurse24 (New) New Nurse

Newnurse24 has 1 years experience and specializes in Medical Surgical.

50 Profile Views; 4 Posts

Hello everyone, 

I am a new nurse. I completed my nursing orientation and I have two months already of working on my own. I work on a busy med-surg floor (30 bed unit) and my usual assignment is 4-5 patients. I am getting better at handling situations, I made my own spreadsheet where I keep my patients information very well organized and I am being able to keep up with new orders. 
however, I can’t seem to be able to leave work on time! I usually have to stay 40 to 1 hour and half charting and documenting staff. On top of that, there are nursing students in our floor. They always assign me 1-2 students that follow me and want to pass meds while I watch them! 
I am very polite and understanding. I was once a student not that long ago! But having 1-2 students following me and talking to them and explaining stuff to them takes a lot of my time and energy. I know is valuable for them to watch and learn. But doing stuff and talking and explaining is time consuming and I am trying to build my time management and fly through my tasks. Don’t get me wrong, having extra hands when my patients need feeding, toileting, someone to talk to is so helpful! 
when the nursing students are not on the floor, I am still staying late, mostly overwhelmed when I have 5 patients. I do fairly good with 3-4. But 5 patients kills me every time and I get home tired and exhausted. 
I don’t know what to do! I try to get on the floor 30 minutes early! I write everything pertaining to my patients labs, meds, procedures for the day, critical labs, etc.

Somedays, you know just by walking in and seeing your patients that is going to be a long evening! Times does fly at work though. Please if you have any input or words of advice. I will greatly appreciated. I don’t think that I should be teaching at this point of my career. Older nurses on my floor tell me that I am very good and thorough but I am too hard on myself.

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13 Followers; 4,056 Posts; 31,546 Profile Views

15 minutes ago, Newnurse24 said:

They always assign me 1-2 students that follow me and want to pass meds while I watch them! 

This is not appropriate. I would probably handle it one of two ways:

1) Go to your manager pleasantly and professionally and explain that you are not able to provide a full experience for the students and that doing so is not a goal of yours at this time. That your goals are continuing to solidify your routine and continuing to grow in your role, taking excellent care of your patients and continuing to improve your patient management and time management.

2) Don't make a big deal of it but when the occasion arises let the students each have a turn at administering a medication and call it good. If they ask or expect to do more (like administering all the meds due their patients, etc) say, "I need to have you work that out with your instructor. I'm sorry but it isn't something I can personally prioritize right now." Be very kind and professional--but don't say it any other way; don't act guilty about it.

**

I guess the million dollar question is whether or not your hospital expects staff nurses to facilitate the majority of the clinical experiences for students. And don't make the mistake of thinking it's just a lazy clinical instructor or some problem solely with the school. It's very possible that your hospital has various policies that make it pretty hard for CIs to do the role the way it used to be done.

 

 

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426 Posts; 2,040 Profile Views

Your main goal 2 months off orientation should be to continue your own learning, NOT to be teaching nursing students ANYTHING.  I have serious concerns about a nursing school or hospital that allows this.  I agree with what JKL33 said.

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Newnurse24 has 1 years experience and specializes in Medical Surgical.

4 Posts; 50 Profile Views

The nursing students get assigned one patient for each student. If those patients happen to be mine. I get a nursing student for my shift. I don’t feel qualified to have someone behind my back following me around and watching me every step of the way. There is only 1 nursing instructor for 8 nursing students! Yikes! Some of them don’t get to do anything because the instructor is only able to pass meds with 1-2 students per night.

Next time, I will let them know nicely that I can pass some of the meds with them at certain time but not all. 
 

 

 

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Newnurse24 has 1 years experience and specializes in Medical Surgical.

4 Posts; 50 Profile Views

Thank you all so much for all of your input 🙏❤️

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426 Posts; 2,040 Profile Views

13 hours ago, Newnurse24 said:

The nursing students get assigned one patient for each student. If those patients happen to be mine. I get a nursing student for my shift. I don’t feel qualified to have someone behind my back following me around and watching me every step of the way. There is only 1 nursing instructor for 8 nursing students! Yikes! Some of them don’t get to do anything because the instructor is only able to pass meds with 1-2 students per night.

Next time, I will let them know nicely that I can pass some of the meds with them at certain time but not all. 
 

 

 

Then I would discuss this with the nursing instructor and tell her you're working hard to do your primary job and she needs to keep a closer eye on the students with you.  I get that she can't be everywhere but she needs to get that you're still learning and really shouldn't be teaching student nurses.  

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speedynurse is a RN, EMT-P and specializes in ER.

32 Posts; 197 Profile Views

Hi NewNurse,

I absolutely adore students and new graduate nurses, but I am the first to say that precepting can be exhausting and taxing. Everyone needs a break from it from time to time and that’s a very normal need in your job. I know I went through a period in my nursing career where I finally just asked for a break from precepting because I just had nothing left to give. It’s completely OK to ask for a break or time off from precepting! After a few months, you will probably have an entire new energy and be ready to take on more tasks again if needed.

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