Pls help a drowning new grad RN...

World Australia


Hey everyone! I'm a new March grad starting my first rotation in oncology ward. Different from other Aussie nurses, I just immegrated to Aus 5 yrs ago with family, and originally came from Overseas. 25 yrs this year. I always had plan and goal setting for my life-- like buying a house before 27; get merried before 30; have first kid before 32-- sounds obssesive-compulsive-- but yes, here I am! It took my plenty effort to complete my nursing uni without failing any subjects-- fairly hard because other peers just need to learn nursing knowledge, but for me, I also need to learn to translate my thought and perspective into English. Anyway, I did it, and every placement, my preceptors and pts said I would be a good nurse. I also got a grad program in a big and well known hospital. My family was very proud of myself, and I thought I finally could look after people and made a big difference for them.

But the reality is, I feel so difficult to communicate with those health care staff. At the oncology ward, staff were supportive, but sometimes we just couldn't understand with each other until they wrote down what they said due to my informal pronunciation and accent. I wasn't confident to do some procedures that I barely did in placement before-- like if I never knew a pt on telemetry, I just couldn't fake I know, coz I just hadn't seen, how can I supposed to know?

And sometimes, just couldn't 'click' in my head although some theory I've learned in uni earlier; sometimes I couldn't response too much when I read a diagnosis-- some seasoned nurse could quickly tell me what need to prepare when they saw the pt on certain diseases. Now I have 4 pts in a shift, normally could just catch the pace in PM shift; but sometimes had to skip the cuppa time to just make all the care plan in AM shift. Feeling other nurses are just so amazing to do their own work and chat and help others at the same time. I almost asked questions everyday, even some simple questions--looked knowing nothing :( And the biggest issue for me is, if I did some mistakes in front of some specific strict senior nurses, I would be mor scared next time when I saw them, and then more tend to make some more mistakes, so next time I would be more scared especially we had a same shift. Which won't happen if there were nice and empathetic nurses around me.

sometimes feel hard for me to get through break and meal time too. Feel didn't know how to talk with them-- they talked kids, pets, husbands and some topics that I was not familiar with, plus the language and culture part, everything for me just became stress and pressure. Sometimes make me wanna escape.

The only reason made me stay until now is all these patients who I looked after. Almost every of them had a good comment for me, and said I have 'empathy', 'kind', 'patience' and 'smile'. One day a pt I had long time ago admitted to the ward again, when I walked by, her family could say out my name and say hi. I was so surprised that they could literally remember me!

Now another one week later I will have to move to the second rotation-- ICU, where I have no any clue and placement experience at all. Now I still feel unprepared and not confident to be a nurse, don't even know how many more mistakes, how I will make there!

sometimes I just feel I'm stupid and not good enough compared with other grad peers. My poor language expression skills (had done my best to practice already) and poor clinical performance and so many mistakes having, which make me have anxiety and dout every day when I have my shift (even before starting the shift). I used to be a optimistic and positive girl who believe the best thing would happen. But since I started this program, almost talked my mum and boyfriend how scared and worried I was. I couldn't enjoy the things I used to like to do, and I started to do things in the last minute. I feel like I am a freak and wiredo......

I don't know what I can do. After every shift I brought my handover sheet home to study those diseases, wrote dairy to summarise my behaviour, tried to learn more professional English words, watching the news and interesting things for social topics....... But whatever what I did, just feel so far beyond......

For a person who has English as second language, it's too hard to survive in the mainstream society in a foreign country. Sometimes we got indirect discrimination more than LGBT-- people put empathy to them coz LGBT knew how to protect their rights via media. But for us, indeed we did our best, but due to difficulty in expressing and presenting, we were labelling with some bad comments. Feel like drowning and lonely.

Another grad, a male Aussie had quited this rotation and stepped down to aged care program. Well, guess I couldn't quit the job, coz I wanna be a nurse for long time, and it's not easy for us, foreigners got a decent job like that. Just wanna some suggestion for keeping to make some through in this grad year.

I will value and appriciate with any advice and suggestion.

Thanks in advance.

The fact that someone else has quit shows you that you are probably not on a very supportive ward. I've had some shocking placements in big, well known hospitals. In fact some are well known for having a bullying culture. It really knocks your confidence, which makes you even more nervous, and make more mistakes. I think you may find it different in ICU. You are not expected to know everything so they will help you more. I really feel for you. Hang in there. I'm an Australian and an older student and I've had some hard experiences that almost made me quit. It will be worth it in the end. Just take one day at a time.

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