My first Official Week as a RN

Week 2 of orientation was first week training on the floor. I orient for three weeks on nights- and then I will switch to days for the rest of my orientation. I managed to get in a small nap the afternoon before my first day- which was good considering I would be at work until 7am the next morning. I pulled up to the hospital well before my shift was set to start. I hadn’t been able to eat anything because my stomach was in knots from anxiety. I did sip some coffee to try to rid myself of the post-nap groggy feeling. I’m not going to lie- it was hard to get myself to walk through the door. I was excited and eager to begin this journey- but also so nervous. I was going to be responsible for people’s lives. I was going to need to know what to do in codes, take care of sick hearts, and figure out those crazy lines on the monitors (plus so much more!) This is what I wanted- but it is a scary and heavy feeling. Luckily- there is a long orientation process to learn how to do these things- because let me tell you- nursing school just skimmed the surface of what nursing is.

Once I hit the floor I slowly began to feel a little more comfortable. My preceptor was very welcoming but moved quick- I was just following her the first day so I tried to listen and take in all I could. During report I didn’t know some of the terminology and things they were talking about- I found my heart racing and wondering “what exactly did I learn in nursing school!?” However, my preceptor assured me I would learn all that and more over the next two months. My preceptor is so wonderful- she is there when I need her, she welcomes (and encourages) questions, she explains everything in detail but manages to not totally overwhelm me. She is a super nurse in my eyes- knowledgeable, compassionate, a team player- the total package!

The first week I mostly focused on learning documentation and charting- and let me tell you- there is a ton of it! And when you are finally done- there is more. Luckily my preceptor provided me with a awesome check list of things that need to be charted and when- my kind of girl! The second and third day I began to do care and chart on 2 patients with my preceptors help and guidance. I gave heparin and insulin injections, IV push meds, hung fluids, gave PO (by mouth) meds, performed assessments, and was slowly introduced to some basic rhythms. We learned EKG interpretation in school- but it was only a day or two class and I have to say it is different on a monitor. I will take an arrhythmia class, have a competency test, and complete ACLS as additional training on my floor which I think will give me a good foundation- because right now I usually feel like I am not sure what I’m looking at. Luckily, my preceptor is at my side and checking everything I do.  I also observed my preceptor work with an Amiodarone drip and two other nurses administer blood. There is so so much to learn!

One of the newer nurses asked on my third night- “do you feel like you are trying to drink water out of an wide open fire hydrant? You’re just drowning and coughing and trying to keep up?” YES!! That accurately describes the feeling! But while it’s scary- it’s also so interesting! Overall, I would say I love my job so far. The nursing staff also has been so welcoming and kind. It was a great first week and I actually look forward to returning to work! I have a ton to learn but I am up for the challenge!

Have a great weekend, friends!