Katie Duke: Overwhelmed at Work




From the Katie Duke blog–

So it’s officially been 4 months since I started my job as an ACNP in Cardiology. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t full of anxiety every shift, and additionally if the transition was easy.

It is not.

I had 3 months of orientation and during this time I worked directly with an experienced NP who was honestly very welcoming and warm and knowledgeable. She really helped ease my initial “omg I’m starting a new job” worries. During this time I worked day shift and then 3 weeks of nights and took care of a steadily increasing patient load as my comfort and workflow grew. I shadowed her and familiarized myself with the service and the procedures, the medications and the physicians, their practices and preferences, and the patient population. But that wasn’t the most difficult aspect.

The fact that I was literally brand spanking new and hadn’t been the new person in over 10+ years was really difficult. It left me very vulnerable, very nervous, very humble. I forgot what that felt like because I had been the senior nurse for quite some time, but now I was the brand new NP.

Cue: complete breakdown (outside the hospital of course) ?

I guess at this point I realized that everyone has a first day, a first job, a first week, month, year. I will certainly have a bad patient, a bad decision, and a bad shift. That’s inevitable. But that’s part of life. It’s how we handle these moments that makes us strong. One thing that kept me sane during my orientation was the “up to date” app. All the latest and greatest evidence based information and protocols and practice guidelines.

You can download that here: ?

UpToDate by UpToDate, Inc. –

I use this for everything. It’s always best practice to investigate and research what you’re treating and for new grads this is a must.

So now time finally came for me to be out on my own and I just knew that I wasn’t all the way ready for it. I wanted more learning time. Buuut that’s not possible.

As nights went on I was always so thankful when all of my patients were alive and well (or remotely well) by the end of my shift. I realized quickly that you depend heavily on the supportive staff around you. The nurses were and are my eyes and ears and I am so thankful for the work that is done by them every shift. The experienced NP’s also have given me support with my medical decision making and approaches and it’s something that I have become so grateful for.

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