I’m a nervous wreck of anxiety….new nursing grad

I’m a new grad and been working seven months. Here is my experience with it, so far. I’m not saying I hate it. I don’t even know where to begin.

I’ve been a nervous wreck since I started this career. I’ve been told that the first year is always the hardest. Before coming to work or when I know I’m coming to work, I always get this nauseous feeling. I don’t even want to eat. Nurses that have been there longer tell me that it goes away in about a year and a half. I still have it, but it’s getting better. I still have episodes of anxiety every now and then. Let me tell you about the sleep deprivation: I work nights (7a-7p) and my sleeping pattern is a mess. Even on my days off I can’t sleep at night. I usually end up sleeping between 3-6 am and get up around 7am. Like today, I got up at 7 am and I couldn’t get back to sleep. I sleep between 9pm-11pm sometimes, when I’m really tired. When I do fall asleep at 9pm, I wake up at 3am – it’s as if my body thinks I’m still at work.

Every time I come to work I worry about what’s going to happen and who is going to get mad at me that day. When I leave I worry about what I might have forgotten & if I’ll get in trouble and I can’t sleep. Some nurses that I’ve opened up to about this, tell me that they still feel that way after 20 years. Who in their right mind would like to feel this way every time they come to work for 10-20 years? I have a lot of respect for those who hang in there, someone has to do it.

I am so relieved when my days off are coming near and when I think about having to work the next day I feel like I’m going to throw up. I’ve had some good days and bad. I’ve had those days where I just want to rip my hair out. Those ER admits throw me off and I’ve had some family members treat me like I’m a waitress. It’s a good thing I can ask for help when I need it. I’ve also had those days where I couldn’t even go to the bathroom or being so hungry that I shake.

I work at a sub intensive unit. After my probation is over, I’m going to ask for a transfer to a different unit. Maybe it’s because I’m new and inexperienced. Everyday I’m faced with a new situation. I’m always unsure of myself, so I have to be extra careful. As a new grad, they try to give me the most stable or lightest assignment, but in this unit no patient can be considered light. You never know what will happen to them, one minute they’re fine and the next minute they can crash. The stress level is too high. I think need to start taking something for anxiety. I can’t take another day of this.

I’m glad this site is here so I can vent and share my feelings about this. I don’t feel comfortable with sharing this with anyone at work because people talk. After reading all these posts about nursing it feels better knowing that I’m not alone. I noticed that the most posts come from people that work in nursing and McDonalds.