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Week 11 of orientation... Lack of confidence :(

Ob/Gyn   (2,823 Views 10 Comments)
by KJRNBSN29 KJRNBSN29 (New Member) New Member

474 Profile Views; 11 Posts

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So I've been orienting to L&D for 11 weeks now. 2 weeks ago I was with a different nurse due to my normal preceptor being out that day. I was attempting an IV and did not get it. I asked if she could help find a better place to stick patient. She immediately screamed " YOUR GONNA DO IT" I luckily got the IV. Then we went into the OR. She said.. YOUR DOING EVERYTHING... I stumbled over somethings and took a little longer. That same day my manager and educator, along with this nurse sat down with me.

They basically asked if I felt I was going to be ready and if Mother/Baby might a better fit. A little background: I have been a nurse for 3 years, but only have RN experience in a pediatric clinic setting. I told my manager I really want to stay in L&D.

She placed me on orientation for 2 weeks with the nurse I had been with for that day. She said that my other preceptor has been too laid back, and that nurse could push me.. So friday is my last day of the 2 weeks. During this time I have had good days, and not so good days where I'm extremely anxious and stumbling over stuff. I have lost some of the little bit of confidence that I had.

I'm praying that my manager will allow me to stay in L&D or get more time to orient if need be. Any advice for a newbie to L&D?

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13 Articles; 2,058 Posts; 62,021 Profile Views

With a background in a clinic, you're really coming in at a disadvantage. You're basically a new nurse in an inpatient setting. How long are you on orientation? What in terms of confidence are you struggling with (IV, basic patient care, cervical exams, C/s, etc?)?

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NurseNora has 40 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in L&D.

568 Posts; 9,244 Profile Views

What does your preceptor see as areas where you really need improvement? What are you doing well? Ask her if she hasn't told you. If it's just time management, you'll get it with time and experience. Every mistake and fumble is a learning experience (OK, I won't do it THAT way again!). If it's specific procedures, do them a lot. Ask to do blood draws and IV starts. Ask to come in extra to circulate sceduled sections. Ask to do exams on patients with epidurals and intact membranes even if they're not yours. Take the AWHONN Basic Fetal Monitoring class (it's online @ awhonn.org). Make sure your manager knows how much you want this and how hard you're willing to work for it.

A a word of warning. In my experience, newbies often just start feeling competent and that they have a clue and that this just may work out. Then something happens and they lose all the confidence they've built up and fear they'll never make it. Have faith in yourself. You can do it.

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NurseNora has 40 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in L&D.

568 Posts; 9,244 Profile Views

Ask to sit in on some preparation for childbirth classes to learn about some helpful coaching skills. I forgot to mention that one.

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LilstrideRN specializes in Labor and Delivery.

15 Posts; 929 Profile Views

I hope last week ended well for you! I am in week 10 of my 12 week orientation, and I feel the same way you do. I am so worried that I am not going to be ready to be on my own the second week of Feb.

Twelve weeks just doesn't seem long enough. I feel sick on my way into work every day! I have today off, and all I can think about is how sick I feel that I have to go back tomorrow.

Please let us know how you are doing.

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babyktchr is a BSN, RN and specializes in Nurse Manager, Labor and Delivery.

850 Posts; 8,964 Profile Views

Unfortunately, you are not alone. It makes me sad that your clinical management/educators came at you like they did. Perhaps the better question would have been HOW CAN WE HELP YOU SUCCEED??

It's very hard to be a preceptor. It's hard not to jump in and just do and lets face it, its faster to just do it. Somehow, though, we have to pull it together and teach. We need to find the correct balance of nuture and butt kicking to get the job done. It seems you may have been cheated out of some of both.

There is one great truth in OB. Feeling comfortable will take some time. What you feel is quite normal. You have to allow time. One day you will have that Ah Ha moment and things will fall right into place...until the next time. After 20 years in OB I will come across a cervix that had no possible dilation, a doctor who has an out of body experience or a patient that has a bad outcome and all will shake me to the core. Always learn. It is my greatest advice. You will find your groove.

Ultimately you need to decide something. Is this what I want and are you willing to do what it takes to get it. Celebrate little things. Breathe. Find a wingman you trust. Keep open lines with your manager. Give yourself a break. Childbirth is magic. Don't forget to enjoy!!!!

Wishing the best for you in your journey

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11 Posts; 474 Profile Views

Orientation lasts usually 16 weeks. I'm struggling with confidence in IV sticks and OR. Yes I definitely feel at a disadvantage coming from a clinic.

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11 Posts; 474 Profile Views

Orientation lasts usually 16 weeks. I'm struggling with confidence in IV sticks and OR. Yes I definitely feel at a disadvantage coming from a clinic. Thanks so much for all your kind words. The 2 weeks went great. I was hoping to get some feedback from my boss last Friday but she left early. I go back to work in the AM so hopefully everything will go well. I'm celebrating all the things that I have learned. No matter what, I'll keep my head high. I so proud to even have to opportunity to work in this specialty.

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32 Posts; 2,062 Profile Views

Hi there! I am currently in the last week of a 12 week orientation of L&D also :up: It is a lot to learn and overwhelming. If you have a couple more weeks of orientation I would say to ask your preceptor for more sections if that is where you feel like you need more practice. Also, requesting a day to possibly do IV starts in an area of your hospital where they specialize in infusion therapy might help (i.e. outpatient surgery). If you miss an IV a couple of times or have a patient that is a hard stick it should be ok to ask for assistance from a team member. Not that they should be relied upon on every occasion but it should be expected that you may need a hand at times. At least that's how I see it. Keep trying. Let your team members know that if they need an IV started you would like more practice and would like to start it on their patients. Hopefully can see the initiative your taking. I too am excited and anxious to be on my own in L&D but I think the anxiety and nerves will be their for a while since the area is so specialized, unpredictable, and critical. I am sure you are trying your darndest and want to be great at this and I'm sure you will. Wishing you all the best during the rest of your orientation and when you are independent in L&D. Sending good vibes. Please update on how things turn out. :)

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4 Posts; 470 Profile Views

Completely normal to feel this way. I have many years in and remember feeling that exact way for a few months(about 6). I am now very confident(although we all have our days no matter how much time in).. Just allow yourself to feel what you are feeling .. Be kind to yourself(dont beat yourself up) and know it will pass. Remember to try to stay calm in emergencies even if you are a mess inside.. Getting paniced won't help the situation or most of all the patient.. You focusing and doing what needs to be done will:) cry at home later.. oh and doctors are usually only bullies until you stand up to them then they learn they cannot talk to you that way and they usually respect you more for standing up for yourself believe it or not;) good luck and hang in there!! :)

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