Reality Shocks!

Nurses General Nursing


I am very curious. I would LOVE to hear of anyone's new grad experiences with reality shock from new grads, "old timers", like myself and everyone in between. Also interested in how you think nursing education needs to change.


338 Posts

Ok reality shocks: here goes:

1. You can put an IV in a foot in the ICU without an order, it isn't a big deal. 2. most RN's, even in the ICU don't want to eat new grads alive- they don't have the time for it, even if they wanted to. 3. learning to operate the safety device on butterflys and IV caths takes longer than starting the IV... smile.gifand the big moment when you say, "yes I am your mother's (father, brother, daughter)nurse" Sort of made me feel a little jolt of say 360 joules.

How does nursing education need to change: Well, I think there should be more clinical time with adequate supervision: Most of the time we were late passing meds, or couldn't do a task because the instructor was tied up with other students (we were about 7 to 1 which i hear is average) Students need to be encouraged more to be independent learners- ie to go out and read something because they feel they need to know it- rather than, "the teacher says I need to look at an article on SIDs, so here I go" I could go on and on, but probably you all wouldn't like that wink.gif


23 Posts

I spent my first six months out of nursing school eating Benadryl at night to help me sleep - I was SOOOOO nervous! I had no idea what I was getting myself into. The one thing I wish they'd taught us in school is how to deal with doctors and place calls to them without looking like an idiot. It took me a long time to learn this. I try to nurture new grads and guide them as much as possible because I remember how scared I was.

Doey, BSN, RN

93 Posts

I think nursing students need to be shown how to be more assertive for their patients as well as themselves in dealing with physicians and administration. We are a separate profession from medicine and independent thinkers not hand maidens. We need to be treated this way but in order for that to happen we have to act that way. Also, what I see in some the new nurses is lack of organizational skills and inability to prioritize. I realize that these skills come from practice, but I think it needs to be addressed in school. I see so many of them frustrated to death, they end up quitting. This definitely is needed now more than ever since there are not nearly enough if any experienced nurses out there to mentor the new ones. I see them driving themselves crazy to get things done when things could've been handled more efficiently. And this is not to blame them. Being a new nurse is scary and tough. It's those doing the educating that need to change.

[This message has been edited by Doey (edited August 29, 2000).]


21 Posts

I have to agree that Nursing Education needs a reality check. They give you one or two patients in the clinical training and in the real world you'll have six or more on a busy med-surg unit. The need to teach prioritizing and real Nursing survival skills are lacking unless you have an exceptionally different program from the norm. Thanks for the feedback, keep 'em coming.


338 Posts

Well now, I had 4-5 patients on a cardiac stepdown floor in my last year- don't most nursing programs do that? We also called the MD's with supervision. I also had to "play charge" for my team of 5 students- now that was an eyeopener. Nanjam, I tried to email you about my school's program as you asked, but it kept coming back as a bad address??? I guess my program was different, although it was pretty much a run of the mill BSN state school thing. Let me know what your email is and I'll send along that stuff. Holly

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