I'm a new grad, just finished school in December, and was able to secure a position at a women's prison as my first nursing job, after looking for five months. I feel I've been thrown to the wolves. After only my 8th shift (5 days orientation) I was responsible for the infirmary with 35 patients, one LPN (who knew more than I did) and a nurses assistant. It was madness. I hope that it will get easier, but I'm still in shell shock. Every time I enter the prison I pray that I'll get through the shift, and when I exit I breath a sigh of relief. Not to mention that it's like stepping back 50 years ago with equipment that doesn't work half the time and no up to date computer system. Medical records are a mess.
The hardest part right now for me is the criticism I'm getting from the other nurses for being 'too soft,' aka the 'sucker nurse.' I tend to give the inmates the benefit of the doubt when they come in complaining of an allergic reaction or whatever. I don't have 5, 10, 15 years of assessment experience, but I'm expected to be up to speed in a few days.
I'm really struggling right now, and would welcome any nurses advice to me. I did well in nursing school and my clinicals, but nursing school is one thing and the real world of nursing is another. I'd like to practice compassionate nursing and using the therapeutic models that I've been taught, but those seem to be thrown out the window at my institution. I'm not sure what to do. I'm open to suggestions.