Orientation ending...am I smart enough?


  • Specializes in Urgent Care, Research, Care Coordination. Has 9 years experience.

In a few weeks, I will be off of orientation for my unit :eek:. I have an excellent preceptor who has taught me so much. The problem is, I don't totally feel ready but at the same time, I kinda feel she is impeding my progress. My preceptor is pretty darn good, possibly too good :bow:. She is always 20 steps ahead of EVERYONE. So I am set in a whirlwind when something comes up and she takes care of everystep before I can blink. What scares me most is: if she didn't intervene, would I have missed something important? Would I have remembered or even thought of it on my own? :confused:

She's not really getting in my way, but each day I come home with a little less confidence because I wonder "will I ever be able to act so quickly and efficiently like her?" I don't think I'd ever harm someone, but how can I do 10 things of equally priority at once? They offered me an extra week of orientation but I'm not even sure that would do anything for me. I just feel like my brain gets overloaded and lazy. I've never had to think so much in my life!:bugeyes:

I wonder if I am not as savvy as the average new nurse or do others go through this too?:sniff:

Jolie, BSN

6,375 Posts

Specializes in Maternal - Child Health. Has 37 years experience.

Much like taking the NCLEX, you will never feel ready to be off or orientation. But that doesn't mean that you are not capable of doing your job.

Since your employer has offered you an additional week, why not try this? Accept the extra week on the agreement that you and your preceptor will share an assignment, but you will function independently, and she will be available to you only when asked. Spend a few minutes at the end of each shift having her review your day.

Good luck!

suzy253, RN

3,815 Posts

Specializes in Telemetry/Med Surg.

It's normal to feel this way. I remember feeling so not ready when I came off orientation, showed up to work and was suddenly a Mod leader! OMG. It will work out. Give it time. You've gotten this far. Don't be hard on yourself.


203 Posts

Has 7 years experience.

You will do fine...just remember don't get rushed when dealing with your meds...triple check everything... don't be afraid to ask for help...Good Luck...Welcome to the world of nursing...


112 Posts

Specializes in LTC.

I graduated from nursing school in 2007 and have been working in a Nursing home. In Sept 8th I will be starting my new job in a rehabilation hospital in acute area. I'm so scared of being in orientation and having a preceptor. A nursing home and a hospital are quite different. Labs for me are big blur and how to interpret them. I need to brush up this info! In the nursing home I was in orientation for a long time I thought. So I can understand how you feel. I just hope i didn't forget what learned in nursing school. IV's and the IV machine are scariest to me. But I'm trying to be calm, relax and wait until Sep 8th.

Thank you,



977 Posts

Specializes in Med Surg, ER, OR.

I am right there with ya! I have 3 wks left and don't feel ready. I have been second guessing my every move and know that is just a safety barrier of mine. I made my first med error the other day but didn't even realize I made it until i got home, or at least I think i made a mistake. Though I was supposed to give 0.2ml Heparin, but, I think, I gave 0.4ml Heparin (5000u/cc conc). I don't even know if I made a mistake because of the hectic pace floor nurses deal with. Argh!!!


505 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surg, Hospice.

I felt the same way at the end of my orientation. I've been off for about 3 weeks now. My preceptor was very efficient too and I often felt that I missed things because she took care of them before I even knew about them. During the last week of clinicals, she and I made an effort to make sure that I saw every order, talked to the Dr myself, saw the lab reports etc. She accomplished this by letting the charts with new orders sit until I had a chance to note them and directed anyone who came to her about the patient (call from the lab, message given through the unit secretary, even the Dr wanting to ask about the pt) to me instead.

You will not be as fast as your preceptor. It took me more time to do what she was doing for me, but by seeing every piece of information regarding my patients and dealing with all of it myself, I felt like I was back "in the loop" and didn't feel as overwhelmed as I did when I was missing all of the details.

I would take that extra week and see if your preceptor will let you completely take the reins. Once you are off of orientation, you will have to do all of it on your own and really should have the experience of doing so before your orientation ends. It will take you a bit longer to get it all done, but your routine will develop quickly. Like I said before, I've only been on my own for 3 weeks and can already see that my "system" is starting to develop.

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