Neelie, I have so much respect for nurses. There is no way I could handle the stress. I've been called a worry wart too, my mother says I should be rubbed with sandpaper to make my skin tougher!!
It sounds like you are in a difficult spot. New jobs are tough, but they shouldn't have you crying and anxious and depressed. You probably feel a bit trapped because you've just done all that study, but it needn't go to waste. As I said, I am not a nurse but are there areas where it is less stressful to work? Maybe in a little while you can be transferred somewhere more suitable?
Hello, this is Kitt. I was out of town when you posted on the 20th and missed your post. I apologize. :)
I am a RN with 26 years of experience in ICU and ER. I spent the last part of my career managing the ER and Respiratory Care. I am a lot like you and I managed to get through some pretty wobbly times. I also am sensitive and always work better on praise then criticism. Throughout my carreer I drove home in tears many times.
Most of the time it was stress driven and I did not feel like I was as good as the other nurses who just did the job when I was so anxious inside and my hands shook. Starting an IV with shaky hands was not easy. I ended up on Inderal for the hand tremor. It helped. :( But I hated that I needed it.
I have read a lot about burn out and being a bit OCD I always offered to do more, pick up shifts and work doubles...........then into management with no training so I had to learn by the seat of my pants. That is where it started to get really tough for me, I had a hard time reprimanding people, I have a soft heart and I did not want people to hate me or think I was mean.
I hid the stress at work but would cry at home until finely I started to break at work. That is when I gave myself permission to retire.
I was like you, I was afraid and I would repeat my mantra to help me get through a code or whatever the emergency, I would say "I AM A Professional, I Can Do This" You see I loved taking care of the patients, it was the short staffing and high census and dealing with difficult peers that wore me down. If I made an error I was so hard on myself I would cry for days thinking how stupid I was.
So my friend, do not beat yourself up, do not be afraid to change your mind if O R is not where it is at for you. Give yourself permission to be human. You wear many hats in a 24 hour period, try to leave the nursing cap at work. Don't dwell on just work. It doesn't help.
Nursing is your chosen profession not who you are. You are a wonderful and caring person with a life to live.
You are not stupid, you are practicing medicine safely. Be proud of that and soon you will find you feel comfortable with yourself.
In the ER we used to take a lot of verbal orders and they were not written down until after the fact. I would ask 2-3 times for the Dr. to repeat the order and state who it was for as the volumes through the ER were sometimes very large and with more than one patient it would have been so easy to give the patient wrong med, test etc.
It was hard to train the physicians to write the orders down but once that happened it help reduce the stress with that one issue.
Black and white in medication administration is the only way to be. You cannot be off by just a little bit.
Practice being kind to yourself. You are a good person...............you got your license, so you are Not Stupid.