Jump to content

What was your first day as a nurse like?

Nurses   (1,134 Views 9 Comments)
by Sassybottom Sassybottom (Member)

4,006 Profile Views; 145 Posts

Remember when you first started nursing on your own? What was your very first shift like?

How long did it take for you to adjust til you felt comfortable and efficient?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

CaLLaCoDe is a BSN, RN and specializes in Cardiology, Oncology, Medsurge.

1,173 Posts; 10,858 Profile Views

My first day on my own was easy compared to my days on orientation. Others have said the reverse. My first preceptor assigned me 2 patients and then decided to go watch some TV in an unoccupied room while I took care of my two and his four, I was not too happy with this situation and told the manager who swiftly took care of this mess and made my preceptor mad at me, but he should have known better!

On orientation I had confused patients pulling out lines, walking to the restroom bloodied when they should have been on bedrest. I had a patient fail after giving her Dilauded IV and after calling the Doc get an order of Narcan and reverse this scary situation. I had a patient's heart rate go crazy 160 ++ heart rate and after dose after dose of verapramil need to be transferred to ICU...

My first days off of orientation were cake, no problems, none...ok, maybe the occassional low BP, but nothing like orientation. I've heard of others suffer Pandora opening her box after orientation, but thankfully not me. I actually felt that the shift leader was purposely dumbing down the severity of my assignment, but later I learned otherwise :0]

I don't think I'll truely ever be comfortable, that's a scary place to be. I always expect the unexpected to raise its ugly head. OK, I am more reluctant to call on others to start my foley or IV stick, but no way am I comfortable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are you a credible source? Add your Credentials, Experience, etc.

58 Posts; 1,997 Profile Views

My first day with patients... I was just trying to get everything done in time. You can't focus on being more proactive, seeing the big picture, etc. You are completely task focused; "get it done and done right."

It's been a year and I go through varying degrees of comfort. Like plateaus or summits. I try to give myself a goal each week. One week I focus on printing my monitor strips. Next I focus on better skin assessments. I&O's. And so on. It's usually task oriented, but it helps me to think of the whole picture. For example when my pt came back from the cath lab this week, I felt spot on with my care and my documentation actually reflected it. I really felt like I addressed all of the possible problems and what I did for them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

njbikernurse specializes in LTC, Sub-acute, correctional.

67 Posts; 1,197 Profile Views

This post brings me back to that day like it was yesterday! I worked as a unit secretary while awaiting my LPN license, so my soon-to-be patients were all waiting for me to hit the floor. The first day I did, it was comical, like they were all fighting over the new nurse. Everyone had a problem. I ran around non-stop for 8 hours and was just sooooo busy that I had no time to stress out. Turned out to not be the right place for me, but I will always remember those residents with a big smile.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

mom and nurse specializes in Acute rehab/geriatrics/cardiac rehab.

512 Posts; 6,900 Profile Views

I had a wonderful preceptor who was more than willing to teach me what she knew and I was coming to work at a place where I had spent my last rotation as a student so my first day as an RN with my preceptor was quite enjoyable.

I was kind of eased onto the floor with two or three patients, then four, then five, then six, then seven, then eight..... let's just say that things got crazy.

My first day on my own as a nurse with about 5 patients I remember I had the hardest time just trying to do everything in a timely manner and complete all the paperwork. The paperwork and patient care was overwhelming (I remember being called to one room for one thing at the same time a patient from another room rode his electric wheelchair up to me and called out to tell me "Hey! I've pooped in my pants!". It was crazy.

I ended up taking the suggestion of a another nurse who had helped in precepting me to make a check list of the three items of paperwork I needed (flowchart, chart, care plan) under each patients section on my assignment sheet and then check off as I finished each. I also learned to write my med times and mark off as I gave each person their meds. For me I discovered , if it is not written down, I could forget to do it..... And I learned to delegate to my CNA (help if I could.... but if I couldn't I took the advice of one nurse who used to tell the CNA working with her "I'll help you if I can. I can do what you can do but you can't legally do what I can do" (in other words, hand out the meds) "so let me do what I have to do and then I'll help you....")... That said... I always try to help my CNAs who work so hard.... :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All_Smiles_RN specializes in Cardiology.

527 Posts; 6,037 Profile Views

MY first shift off orientation was a bit scary. It was like, ok I'm the nurse?? Fortunately, my first week schedule matched my preceptor's schedule so I could always turn to her for support. The first night I worked that she didn't, she called me from home to make sure I was ok. I figured out who was most receptive to a new nurse and her questions, and I would turn to them when needed. I had one pt in with some neuro complaints. When I checked her pupils, one didn't seem to constrict. So I went and got an experienced nurse to see if she saw the same thing. She showed me a trick where turning off the light in the room first, and then checking. I definitely saw the constriction then. The point of my ramblings ;-) is that no one feels comfortable right away. Don't be afraid to ask for help or for a second opinion. Watch techniques used by experienced nurses so that you can become better with your skills. Eventually it will all start coming together. It's been a year for me and I feel comfortable most the time. And when I don't, I ask for assistance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

grace90 is a LPN, LVN and specializes in ortho/neuro/general surgery.

763 Posts; 6,089 Profile Views

How long did it take for you to adjust til you felt comfortable and efficient?

3 years and counting now... still not really comfortable and efficient

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are you a credible source? Add your Credentials, Experience, etc.

35 Posts; 1,379 Profile Views

My very first day was horrible, I just about quit. I worked where there was absolutely no solidarity, no teamwork, it was every man for himself. It was stressful, it was overwhelming and I was so lost. I stuck it out for a while, but when I began to see what the score really was (it was a lot of unhappy people) I switched jobs, my new one was phenomenal, I got to learn from great people what nursing was really all about and I have to say, it's helped make me what I am today. To this day I always remember what it's like to be the new nurse, and I act accordingly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

leosrain has 2 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ICU, med/surg.

92 Posts; 1,489 Profile Views

Remember when you first started nursing on your own? What was your very first shift like?

How long did it take for you to adjust til you felt comfortable and efficient?

My very first day in clinical as a student nurse, it took me and my buddy student nurse two hours to get our patient up to the bathroom to wash and back. In the process my buddy started crying, we lost his hearing aid, and the patient peed on me. Good times! Easy to laugh at in retrospect :)

My very first day after graduating from university they didn't have enough nurses on the floor to orientate me, so I was on my own (fortunately I had worked there previously). I was also assigned a student. It had only been two days since I was a student myself and working with a preceptor, so it was VERY surreal. However, the day went really well :)

I have been done school for about seven months, and I am now just starting to settle in, feel comfortable, and love my job. However, this is with the recognition that I still have a LONG way to go.

Sean

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
×