New Grad ICU Need Encouragment

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    Hi! I am a new grad in rural 16 bed CCU/ICU and I really need some perspective. I have been on the floor alone about 4 months with a six week orientation that I believe is subpar. No classes on vasoactive drugs, ventilators, surgery, but we did have a class on Cape Holds and primary nursing. It goes without saying that I am very discouraged, I am a good nurse, I watch,listen, learn all the time. I am super motivated to learn from the amazing experience I have access too, but they don't want to teach. Most have worked in same rural hospital over 10 years and resent new grads, even though they would be short beyond belief wthout us because not many are interested in living in my area. I feel targeted every shift report like the day shift is trying to set me up for failure, I am emailed about incompetences in my charting as our facility desires although we have no policies written about them or I was never told about the rule, or we have a protocol hat is 15 years old and no copies of it anymore because everyone knows it. The staff are in long term cliques and we do self scheduling, so even though I am a new grad and realize I have to serve my time is it rational for me to work all 4 major holidays and their weekends. My husband having surgery and I asked off for the day and day after and I was told they are doing me a favor. They are passive aggressive and rather than teach me about my mistakes they all chat about them till I overhear. My hospital orientation was 1 day, so much to learn. Doctors are terrible, I have been cursed at, yelled at, ignored while patient having a new MI, paging doctors who refuse to do anything " because it's not their problem". I am watching pts sit in icu for two months At time because the pt had heart surgery and is 85 and not off the ventilator. We don't send them out, because when we do they die so we keep them the magic 61 days until surgeon keeps his stats up. And I have coded a 92 year old for almost two hours because surgeon didn't want to to come in nd tell family he was dying. We busted his graft site and was bleeding out while I talked to physician 4 times and refused to talk to family. Er doc would not call it. I wonder is all health care like this? Will I always be so frightened to go to work and have nurses batter me about everything, physicians yell t me for an hour about pt being extubated by another physician that was not on my shift. We reintubated him 2 hours into my shift. I don't know if I am really helping others it seems like many nurses just document and ***** about other nurses. I hope I chose the right career. Please give me insight, maybe it's me.Frustrated new grad
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  4. 5 Comments so far...

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    Um no, that is not how it is everywhere. 6 weeks orientation to the ICU is unreal, it should be 12 weeks or longer with classroom time. Being a new grad is hard enough, this is not something you should be dealing with as you find your way. I am not one to say find a new job often but in this case.. Find a new job, one that is supportive of new grads, offers classroom time and has lengthy orientation to the ICU.

    When you interview, ask orientation time and the turn over rate.. Also shadow the unit so you can get a feel for the culture on the unit. I wish you the best.
    KayRN1 and MlbCNA like this.
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    I'm really sorry you're going through this. I don't want that for you. Things are much better in other places. You are dealing with a very unhealthy (read: toxic) work environment. There are many things you can do to improve the interactions, but it sounds as if there is a very entrenched culture of passive-aggression there. Likely, it has been that way for a very long time...and you are the newest to join the dysfunctional crew. It can be changed, but it will be an uphill battle. I would suggest reading the book "Influencer: The Power to Change Anything" by K. Patterson, et al. And take care of yourself...rely on those that fill you so that you can battle those who drain you. Best of luck.
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    I really hope things are looking up for you now. It is stories like this that frighten me about starting my career in nursing. No job is easy when you are being treated like this. Would you mind updating us?
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    I hope you found another job. In Miami we say that they are trying to get your license in hot water. I would run. Job or no job you have to protect that piece of paper.
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    To all those who have posted on this, I am now 1 year out. Although I believe I was baptized by fire, I survived. The unit is still the same, however I am stronger. Still have crazy nights such as a physician screaming the f bomb and gd followed with my name behind it during a code, all the while 4 other physicians and my house supervisor where in the room. I mean crazy cursing throwing things banging his fist on the Bronc cart. I mean out of control.... Unit is still filled with passive aggressiveness, but I found a great group of super skilled and experienced nurses who brought me thru the rough days. I will not say my hospital took my suggestions or offers to teach the new oncoming graduates classes or extend orientation. What I can say is that I FOUND A NEW JOB in Denver at level one icu. So excited and terrified because all I know is my rural icu. We take some pretty sick people but this is going to be such an awesome learning step. I am sad to leave those who drug me thru the bad nights with day shift nurses and who encouraged me when physicians cursed and yelled at me. They were my rocks, but I am ready to say peace to the toxic environment. The nurses I love there are happy to see me go to a better area, they actually pushed me to taking this leap. After a year I can say I feel like an ICU nurse one who had much to learn but now can answer some of those whys and what do I do to the new oncoming nurses!
    NevadaFighter likes this.


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