Feeling stupid as New Rn


I’m a new grad, 6 months in CCU so far. Last night I did something so stupid I feel like I want to crawl in a hole and not come out to face anyone at work for months. We just did shift change and I was in assessing my vented patient. He was completely stable, good pressure and pulse. Family was minutes away to sign the papers to switched to palliative care. I realized his pupils were pinpoint and nonreactive. I checked them several times then decided I should let the doctor know before family arrived. In comes the resident and 2 interns. I began to say to them I just wanted to let you know his pupils are no relative and he is Not responsive to painful stimuli. And then I say “so do you want to call it?” I didn’t even realize I said it until the intern listened to his heart and said he had a pulse. Then I kinda felt this weird out of body experience like did I really just say that out loud. We all left the room and a few minutes later I stepped back into the residents office and said something like I want to addend the earlier comment, I don’t know what I was saying, I knew he had a pulse and didn’t mean to say that. But I cannot shake the feeling of being a complete idiot. I’m afraid they will tell other doctors and nurses and everyone will think I am as incompetent as I feel. Any advice on what to do?


Everyone makes mistakes, even if you didn’t this time or you did, don’t take this too much to heart.
Relax, it’ll blow over.

You just started and CCU is not an easy unit, give it time.


I totally know how you feel I have been a nurse for 8 months and literally cried today because sometimes I just feel so overwhelmed


It must have been a humiliating experience. I do know that worse medical errors or blunders occur, but the best thing you can do is to learn from such experiences. I believe you have served clients better before, so that one awkward moment should not change that reputation. I invite you here to see how we may work together in your future professional career development as a nurse.


Do not beat yourself up, we have all done the same thing. I know that I have continued to say the wrong thing at times and I have been an RN for over 40 years. No one will remember in the end. Chin up, kiddo.

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