I have been working on a pedi burn unit for a little more than a year now. My preceptorship went great, I fell in love with burn nursing in spite of such an overwhelming and difficult first year. I love the patients, the wound care, the psyc care, the rehab and the outcomes of burn nursing, but the environment in which I work hasn't been the best. I am 22 y/o and no one takes me seriously, doctors don't listen to me, I was being given the easiest patients, I even had a charge nurse corner me and yell at me for things that had no business in the workplace. I tried being a little more assertive and ask for more critical patients, but when I was given a difficult assignment, my charge gets mad because I have trouble. I would love to learn how to care for more critical patients but I feel I won't ever learn if no one is willing to teach. When I ask for help, my charge does it all for me without even explaing what's being done and why. Night nurses criticize and roll their eyes during report, and I feel that if I can't step up then I will be stuck with the same old issues and never expand my skill set. I thought I wanted to be in critical care, but when there are emergency situations, I have no idea what to do. If I continue to apply myself, will I ever learn?? Should I speak up more and explain what I want? Or should I face the fact that although I love burns and ICU, I may not be cut out for it?
I would love any insight y'all have as well as how your first year in burns went and how long it took you to gain the knowledge you needed to do the job right and with confidence........
Nov 21, '13
I definitely wouldn't jump to the conclusion that you aren't cut out for the ICU or burns in general! Were you a new grad nurse when you started there? I started in a Surgical/Trauma ICU in July. Nursing school in NO way prepared me to work on this unit, but all of my coworkers have been so helpful and so eager to teach. I've learned so much for them and have started feeling confident with even the most critical patients. I still need help and advice sometimes, but everyone is happy to give it. I'm not sure what your other options are, but it sounds like this unit might not be a good fit for you just because the crappy attitudes of the other staff members. It doesn't sound like a good learning environment.
Nursing, especially critical care, is a tough job and you really need the support of your coworkers to not only learn what you need to know but also to have your back for emotional support. It doesn't sound like you're going to get either of those things on this unit. I would maybe talk to someone that you know and trust the most and tell them how you're feeling. Ask about resources and or any extra education that your hospital provides. Show how eager you are to learn. If they aren't more receptive, I would personally try to find another unit where they are more willing to help you out.