Published Mar 23, 2003
You are reading page 2 of When to give up?
i too started on a renal unit. take it from me....THAT IS TOUGH. i had the same experience that you did, and i moved to another hospital into med-surg/telemetry. the staff that oriented people were specially trained. spent the first day with no pt., just looked over the paperwork, manuals, where to find stuff, who to ask if one has a question. please don't give up on nursing, just look around and you may need to try a few units before you find your niche. renal may not be for you. they usually have multiple problems and can be very unstable, depending on where they are in their dialysis cycle. plus, the old leaky machines, i always felt like i was going to go flying on my keister.......before you take on a desk job, write up a pros and cons of floor nursing, and maybe move on.
Hang in there; I went thru a lot of the same frustrations in my first months as a new grad nurse in OB. It ain't easy...and I was precepted by some MEAN and NASTY b*****s for RN's who loved to see me take a fall rather than help me learn and avoid mistakes/problems. I used to get horrible stomach cramps and hyperventilate before work each day. I cried each time I drove home after a rough shift with these nurses. I was convinced I DID NOT BELONG IN NURSING, let alone OB! However, I got some good advice from a caring friend and my wonderful husband. Hang in there, keep plugging and find someone willing to work with and teach me the way was essentially what they told me.
Eventually, I was fortunate to find a couple of really kind, experienced RN's who were willing to help me find my way and I REALLY glommed onto their teaching, help and advice. TRY hard to find a mentor (or two) like I did and follow them. DO NOT LET THE TOUGH TIMES GET YOU DOWN and DO NOT QUIT just yet. You need to give it a bit more time and see if you can weather this. 6 years later, I love what I am doing and am glad I did NOT let those monsters get me down. Those tough times really prepared me to be a good nurse under extraordinary pressure. Use this to your advantage any way you can......
Eventually, I became an integral part of the team and even made friends with some of my coworkers. Once they saw I was not going to quit and how motivated I was, they began to get off my back and even respect me a little. Anyhow, I wish you the best of luck! HANG TOUGH!
Tweety, BSN, RN
My first thought was that you are experiencing what is normal. I swear for a solid year or longer I felt that way. Glad to hear your trying to work things out. If you can cut it on that unit, then you can cut it anywhere. Good luck.
Especially, be gentle and forgiving with yourself. Focus on the positives in your day. Some preceptors don't allow new grads to be new grads for long. Your still a newbie. Demand of yourself a break to eat something, no matter what. (I eat finger food on the run, veggies, etc.) Take care of yourself.
jlm,take a deep breath. The floor is a world of difference from school. Look around you and realize that each of those experienced nurses where once in your shoes. You say you are not fast with skills. Speed isn't your goal right now,understanding is. Speed,or your own comfortable pace will come in time.Make sure that you take your breaks,you need the downtime to clear your head just to remain focused.Don't beat yourself up too much,what you are going through is not uncommon, and, sad to say usually part of the transition from student to nurse.Someone on this board(I don't remember who) used to have a signature line that sums it up
"An expert at anything was once a beginner." Good luck to you.
Nrsjlm, many of us older experienced types come home in tears too so don't feel it is 'just you'. Several times through the years I asked myself why I didn't just give up too...the answer is personal for each of us. Its a difficult profession and yes, the first 6 months are worst as we transition to real world nursing.
Sometimes I think it is pure stubborness that's kept me in nursing 26 years...LOL! Best wishes and I hope you find a 'niche'...mine was ICU (and I felt much better after I found that out.) :)
Nrsjlm, I also have a hard time transitioning to different types of nursing. The time factor can be extremely frustrating, even now, if I have a large or really acute or really new group of patients.
Here's how I handled it:
I come home and I list all the things I did that shift that were correct, or that pleased me, or that I thought I did well. People tend to focus on the negative. Well, I simply wouldn't let them. I'd say, "Yes, I know I'm slow at these things, but I'm getting better. The first time I did a line draw, for example, it took me 20 minutes, and now I can do it in 3. Which tells me I'm making progress."
It helps to be a little stubborn and a little myopic-- I don't give up easily because a lot of the things I enjoy don't come easily to me as they have to other people, so I have an extra reserve of persistence.
So I'd run around the unit all day, saying to myself, "I WILL get this right, I WILL get this right," and yes, it took time, but I have gotten better. It also helped when I got off 7a - 7p shifts, which I told my UM that I couldn't handle at that stage in my development, and begged for 8-hour shifts. I finally found my niche on nights, where I have a bit more time to concentrate on my skills.
I hope that helps. :)
Thanks for the words of encouragement. I've actually decided to hang in there and see what happens. I've also asked to be switched over to PM's (3p-11p) to see if the pace is better for me. I'm actually looking into Rehab nursing, CHAYA, I'de like to know more about it. The more I research, the more it sounds like "the place" for me. I think I'll rough it out and get my 1st years experience in acute care and then move on!!!Thanks again everyone!!!!
Hellllllo Nurse, BSN, RN
Hope things go better for you!
But, I found pm shift and nocs to be even busier than days.
In the pm, all the family members come in to visit, and the docs round after they're done seeing pts in their office, lots of orders.
At noc, there's more pts per nurse and no ancillary depts, plus am labs, and OR preps.
I've been a nurse for ten years, and I still struggle at times. It's not you- it's just the way nursing is.
But, changing preceptors, and maybe the routine of a different shift can help.
All the best to you!
Hey nrs-jlm, hope things are smoothing out for you. Sounds like you've got a good plan! The experience you're getting will be invaluable anywhere.
And thanks for the reminder of how tough it can be. We've got a couple of raw new grads on out ICU and I've decided we need to try harder for them. :)
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