Learning how to be nurse on paper? Check. I even got a diploma for that!
Learning how to be a nurse in the clinical setting? Holy shitballs, batman. I have no idea what I’m doing!
Now, I’m probably exaggerating. Ok, I’m really exaggerating. Sorta. 😛 I would consider myself relatively well prepared for new graduate nursing practice. I studied really hard in school, actively participated in nursing-related student groups, made the most of every clinical experience, completed a summer externship program, and worked as a nursing care tech. Basically, I did every single thing I could think of that would put me at the advantage in clinical practice post-graduation.
Best decisions I’ve ever made! I’m heading into week 5 of orientation this week. Most of the first weeks consisted of classroom learning and not actual floor nursing. Snooze! I’m good at learning, I’m very novice at bedside practice. I want more time at the bedside! With the start of this week, the classroom time is phasing out and my time at the bedside will be in full swing. I have 11 weeks of orientation left, so the sooner I can get into full-time bedside practice, the better. I thought I was ready, and my coworkers tell me I’m doing great, but I feel like a crazy person running around the unit when I’m working. I’m having an almost constant freakout session in my mind. Orienting to the ICU has been the most overwhelming. The majority of my experience is progressive level, so working in my progressive/acute unit hasn’t been a huge adjustment. Thank you, sweet baby Jesus. My poor nerves couldn’t take much more! The ICU is where I want and love to be, so I’m glad I’m getting to spend the time there that I am.
Everything might not seem so overwhelming…if I still wasn’t trying to digest the fact that I am a real-life RN. No one needs to double check every. single. thing. that I do. The MD can give me a verbal order and I can act accordingly. I can accept a critical value from the lab. I can perform skills and care for my patient without direct supervision. I can cosign drips, titrate drips, and waste controlled substances. I am a nurse. WHAAA?!! It’s so nice to have that independence, yet so hard to let go of that safety net. Is anyone else struggling with this?! I’m really starting to think maybe I’m just neurotic.
Me. All day. Erryday.
On top of everything else, I have online learning modules from the AACN (American Association of Critical-Care Nurses) to complete. These modules assist the new grad with orientation to concepts encountered in critical care nursing. While the idea seems grand, and in an ideal world they would be grand, they are KILLING me. They take hours and hours and hours to complete (Type A perfectionist…must. make. A. on. exam.) and take up almost every single moment of free time I have right now. Not only that, if I don’t complete them, or can’t pass the module, I can lose my job. Awesome. *thumbs up* I thought I was finished with school. Wrong! Sorry, hubs. (Who, by the way, is heartbroken that I have to spend so much time “working”.)
In other news…my next post (hopefully going up very soon!) will be a slight variation from my usual posts. So stay tuned, I think you guys will really like it! I’m always searching for new topics to blog about, so contact me with what you’ve got! My rambling really can’t be that interesting. I think I have turned into a crazy person!
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