ER nurse and resident knitwit

still low on the learning curve

with one comment

I have always been quick to learn, especially when I am really interested in something. I read everything I can find, I talk to people and ask questions, and I study stuff until I conquer it.  I don’t know if it is the enormity of this field or the fact that I am into my sixth decade that makes me feel so inadequate. I am just not used to feeling so slow minded. Particularly at my age, I have lots and lots of experience in lots and lots of areas, just not nursing.  This worries me, since I only have about a month left of my orientation before I am on my own. I just don’t want to cause any harm to my patients.  I can’t see that one more month is going to give me any more confidence than I have now.

Some days I come home and ruminate over the mistakes I have made and wonder if I’ll ever get it together.  Mind you, I haven’t caused any harm to a patient, just delayed their stay in the ER or made the MD frustrated.  I do things like set up for a pelvic and forget to get the vag light out of the Omnicell, or assist with an LP and not have extra saline flushes in my pocket, or not notice a discharge up for my patient and stop to ask the MD what their plan is for the patient.  It would do my spirit better to think about the things that I have done that made my patient’s experience better, like listen to their story and reassure their fears, like bugging the doc to take their pain seriously and give them some medication, like spending time with them at discharge answering every last question they have.

This job is challenging, hard, frustrating and most rewarding. I just hope I didn’t start too late in my life to make it all the way up the learning curve.


Written by knitwitmama

January 8, 2010 at 11:39 am

One Response

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  1. Those things will come in time. It took me 6 months to feel comfortable and then 2 years to feel really competent after I started specialty training in L&D. The ER can be brutal. Don’t let it get you down. It is sooooo important to have new, fresh nurses in the hospital. You bring so much to the equation that you don’t even know about. You are probably way more patient than the nurse who has been in the ER for 10 years. You are probably listening and bringing new information to the equation.

    What you are going through is completely normal for all new nurses and it will get better. Really, really.


    January 8, 2010 at 1:40 pm

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