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8 frustrating things about being the new nurse

iStockphoto | ThinkStock

iStockphoto | ThinkStock

Congrats! You made it and finally landed the job of your dreams. But whether it’s your first-ever gig as a new graduate nurse or you’re looking to make a fresh start at a different workplace, being the new nurse is never easy. It’s bad enough you have to learn your actual JOB, but there are plenty of things that can complicate your journey along the way. Here are 8 frustrating things about being the new nurse:

Learning new names

I recently poked fun at this very phenomenon on my personal blog in a post called Me and the New Job. Sure, all the employees have ID badges; heck, you have one too. But how in the world does a person remember 20+ new names a day?

Needing a GPS

Bed 3456 on 13SW. Take the north elevator down two flights and make a right. Follow that hallway down the ramp and take the last elevator up to the 10th floor. Once you get there, bear right immediately at the nurses station and take the next elevator to the 13th floor. Follow the winding loop of a hallway until you get to the T, where you’ll want to take the second left…(does any of this sound familiar?)

Learning tradition versus protocol

We all learn the hard way that most nurses follow protocol…buuuut sort of don’t. I don’t like to call them shortcuts, but let’s be honest here: We all use them. We’re not breaking any state laws or compromising patient safety, but we all find ways to expedite a process. Just be sure you know what the official P&P is before you accept a shortcut as a standard.

Avoiding Sybil (AKA coworkers with multiple personalities)

How in the world can a fellow employee be your best friend one minute and treat you like his or her mortal enemy the next? This goes for all health care workers, not just nurses.

Walking on eggshells

We all know there are some nurses who don’t play well together. Or certain nursing units don’t jive well with other units. Learning these “schoolyard rules” at your new workplace can be exhausting.

Getting used to a whole new phonebook

I don’t know about you, but the operator becomes my best friend at a new gig. Eventually, the phone numbers will click…but it takes awhile!

Transitioning out of the honeymoon period

There seems to be this transition when, all of a sudden, certain employees show their true colors. They go from being inviting and positive to burnt-out harpies. What the heck happened, I will never know. But your work environment goes from being the greatest place known to man to something much less inviting. The honeymoon period length varies every time.

Evaluating your choice

Ultimately, a new job always ends in a decision. Did you make the right choice? Will this job be a good fit? Will you continue? Or will you set your sights on somewhere else? I feel that everyone should wait a minimum of six months before making that decision. You’d be surprised what you may discover.

In the end, it’s just a job–it’s not your life unless you make it your life. Make every attempt to have the two mesh well; just be sure you know where your priorities lie. Best of luck!

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3 Responses to 8 frustrating things about being the new nurse

  1. nurserylinda

    I can relate with being the “new nurse” in many locations of the country! It’s hard and frustrating,and tiring!! Some days you expend more energy trying to get along with co-workers and the surroundings than you do taking care of patients!!

  2. Brandison0707

    Getting rid of the “black cloud”

  3. paul712

    just want say hello to my idol sir Sean… my cooment to your article is try to DO your best… and practice well…

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