Reply To: New Nurse, discouraged

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If your preceptor corrects your mistakes … say thank you. That is how you learn. If you aren’t sure about a procedure, you should review the steps with your preceptor before going into the room, so you are both comfortable that you know what you are doing. Any corrections of mistakes which have already happened, should be discussed after the procedure, outside of the room, so the patient doesn’t hear it … but if you are about to do something that will harm the patient, then expect to be corrected on the spot. Any corrections at the bedside should be over things that will change what you are doing at that moment … corrections for ‘next time’ should be addressed afterwards.

You will get better at all of the tasks you have to do … 99% of what I know in regards to nursing has been on the job training. Nursing school is pretty much an introduction and weed out process, the real learning happens on the job, so embrace learning how to do things you don’t know how to do, or learning how to do things differently than the way they taught you in nursing school

If the nurse you are working with is riding you in front of patients, you can either go with the flow and get what you can get from the information provided, or take him/her aside and ask that corrections for ‘next time’ be done outside of the patient room and you should only be interrupted during a procedure if you are doing something that may harm the patient.

Good luck, but don’t feel bad for being overwhelmed … you are supposed to be overwhelmed a little bit at first, because you have never done this before.

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