First off, let me congratulate you on surviving nursing school and passing your boards! Please believe me when I say - if you can get past THAT, you can truly do ANYTHING you choose! :) I've always said that "if I had the choice between army boot camp and nursing school, I'd choose boot camp in a heart beat!"
Secondly, I like your username. Motivated Nurse. That's an excellent attitude to have, especially in someone new to a career/field/profession.
- I'm still a "new nurse" and I hope I'll always be open minded about learning new things on the job. The day you feel like "now I know it all" is the day you should hang up your stethoscope, retire your nursing shoes and QUIT!
- I agree with the others who have chimed in and said "sounds like it's par for the course". Because it is. Not only are you a new nurse, this is your first nursing job. Add to that, you have the unique pressures associated with the chaotic, dynamic work environment that is the ED!
- Being scared to death is normal. Remember the old saying: "Courage is not the absence of fear, it is taking a step forward when you are afraid." However, what I have found is that as the days wear on and one's confidence and proficiency increase, the fear does not decrease ... but ones ability to face it improves.
- Never forget this: "Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment". I'm including this quote not to further scare you but to highlight the fact that your peers and mentors have also gone through the same trials and tribulations. We've all had our "days" and "certain cases" - both good and bad - that have left an indelible mark on us.
Now that the "lecture" is over , remember to:
* THINK before you ACT. It's better to spend the extra three seconds to think something through than plunging in willy-nilly.
* When in doubt, run it by another nurse or run it by a Doc. The great advantage of working the ED is that you have nurses, techs, Docs, NPs/PAs all working around you all the time. Make use of 'em. Nobody will think less of you for doing so.
* As an adjunct to the above - believe you me, as a "new nurse" I had a hard time with "delegation". And as a "new nurse" I had an even harder time with "asking for help". This is important! You MUST recognise when you're "in over your head" and ask for help!
Just remember, it's NOT about YOU, it's ABOUT the PATIENT!
Keep THAT in mind, all the time. Don't ever think about "but I'll be looked on as someone who can't hack it" or "I'll be percieved as needy" or other such nonsense. The prudent nurse recognizes when s/he is overwhelmed and asks for help. Simple as that. Remember - it's about patient care, not YOU.
* Try to have fun (Yes, you CAN! ) You work in a stressful environment but there's always time for smiles and a light hearted joke or two.
* Don't forget to take your breaks.
If you've survived reading this manifesto this far, I must also commend you for your patience! Patience is a wonderful virtue to posess - especially in nursing!
SO! Stop 'freaking out'. Take a good, deep breath. Calm thyself. And then jump right in!
Welcome to Emergency Nursing!