Feeling broken and there's no way out...

  1. 6 Hello All, I need you all to lend your help. I am a new grad RN in a very busy ER, I just came off of a 9 week orientation in which I spent one of my 3 shifts each week in an Emergency Nursing course. I felt that I didn't get the best or most out of my orientation because my preceptor simply would NOT relinquish duties and let me do it alone. I would tell her that I can do it, will do it, and need to do it alone but only on my 2nd to last day did it happen. So I asked for an extension and was only granted 1 week more, hence the 9 wks instead of 8.

    I had my first shift on my own yesterday and all was going well, I would ask the other nurses a question here and there, until I got the worst pt ever, who came with barely any info from the paramedics because they picked her up from a hostile environment. The pt was combative and clearly either on something or had a psych issue, refused to talk to us, was screaming, hollering, and lying on the hallway floors. Not to mention she was having vaginal bleeding and just nothing could be done until we sedated her. (She painted the rm & bathroom in blood-literally, climbed over siderails, etc) To make a long story short, the hostile people from whence she came called, then showed up, then her mom called 911 saying we had her dead in the ER and wouldn't allow her to see her.

    The mom turned out to be crazier than the pt, the md there was of no help as he refused to talk to the mom until I got my charge involved. I had every senior nurse that was working in my area helping me. I still somehow managed to try and care for my other 3 pts. After all was said and done, I stayed after my shift and made sure that I had charted graphically to "cya". As I was leaving my preceptor who was one of the nurses helping me said " this is why you needed more time, how are you supposed to ever work alone if you need help from everybody all day long". I feel that NO ONE could have handled that pt alone! (Did I mention that everyone stays there long enough to get experience then leave, the hospital has a constant revolving door, only the senior nurses on the old contract stay).

    I have tried to be positive even when crying my way home after many grueling days. I study on my own time the things I don't know. I'm not completely new to nursing in general as I was an LVN for 13 yrs, but this is a different ball game. I never wanted ER, but have tried to make the best and do my best because frankly this is the only job offer I received. I REALLY want out, but who hires an RN with 9.5 wks experience
    Last edit by Joe V on Jul 25, '12 : Reason: spacing
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  3. Visit  RNRichi} profile page

    About RNRichi

    Joined Jul '12; Posts: 6; Likes: 11.

    37 Comments so far...

  4. Visit  MassED} profile page
    20
    Quote from RNRichi
    Hello All, I need you all to lend your help. I am a new grad RN in a very busy ER, I just came off of a 9 week orientation in which I spent one of my 3 shifts each week in an Emergency Nursing course. I felt that I didn't get the best or most out of my orientation because my preceptor simply would NOT relinquish duties and let me do it alone. I would tell her that I can do it, will do it, and need to do it alone but only on my 2nd to last day did it happen. So I asked for an extension and was only granted 1 week more, hence the 9 wks instead of 8.
    I had my first shift on my own yesterday and all was going well, I would ask the other nurses a question here and there, until I got the worst pt ever, who came with barely any info from the paramedics because they picked her up from a hostile environment. The pt was combative and clearly either on something or had a psych issue, refused to talk to us, was screaming, hollering, and lying on the hallway floors. Not to mention she was having vaginal bleeding and just nothing could be done until we sedated her. (She painted the rm & bathroom in blood-literally, climbed over siderails, etc) To make a long story short, the hostile people from whence she came called, then showed up, then her mom called 911 saying we had her dead in the ER and wouldn't allow her to see her. The mom turned out to be crazier than the pt, the md there was of no help as he refused to talk to the mom until I got my charge involved. I had every senior nurse that was working in my area helping me. I still somehow managed to try and care for my other 3 pts. After all was said and done, I stayed after my shift and made sure that I had charted graphically to "cya". As I was leaving my preceptor who was one of the nurses helping me said " this is why you needed more time, how are you supposed to ever work alone if you need help from everybody all day long". I feel that NO ONE could have handled that pt alone! (Did I mention that everyone stays there long enough to get experience then leave, the hospital has a constant revolving door, only the senior nurses on the old contract stay).

    I have tried to be positive even when crying my way home after many grueling days. I study on my own time the things I don't know. I'm not completely new to nursing in general as I was an LVN for 13 yrs, but this is a different ball game. I never wanted ER, but have tried to make the best and do my best because frankly this is the only job offer I recieved. I REALLY want out, but who hires an RN with 9.5 wks experience
    That nurse that responded to you that way was rude, period. Unnecessary. At some point (better sooner than later), you will have to dress that person down and stand your ground. You had a rough patient and anyone would have needed help, period. We're human and we're all fallible. Don't let those nurses get under your skin, those are the ones that eat their young. We are ALL trying to survive. Hang in there. Some nights are worse than others. I try to take it one shift, sometimes one HOUR at a time, literally.

    PS - try to hang in there at least a year before you leave. It takes time to settle in and it might back down over time. You'll be more marketable if you hang in there for a while.

    Those rude, snarky comments never cease to roll ones way, just try to duck and keep moving. Those that cast those evil stones are just unhappy. Don't let it stick to you!

    Good luck!
    arelle68, jalyc RN, gypsyd8, and 17 others like this.
  5. Visit  aspiration} profile page
    12
    Do not let a nasty preceptor ruin your spirit. She should not be allowed to precept.Hang in there.
  6. Visit  cherryames1949} profile page
    4
    I'm sorry it has been such a rough go for you! The lessons you learn in the ER, even the negative ones, will stand you in good stead for the rest of your career. Nothing will ever seem as hard again. Don't give up. I agree with the above comments. Try your best to stay for at least a year. Best of luck to you.
    jalyc RN, GrnTea, ec2703, and 1 other like this.
  7. Visit  RNGriffin} profile page
    6
    Regardless of who may feel you are wasting their time by asking for advice or assistance( I have a couple of choice words that aren't appropriate for allnurses.com) continue to ask for help when you need it. That preceptor should have adhered to your request to perform the task for yourself and she wouldn't be in the position she "thinks" she is in.
    Hopefully, everything will work out better in the next couple of shifts. You're still new at nursing. Don't feel pressured to know everything, because there are no medical experts. Welcome to the ER!
    gypsyd8, ec2703, hgrimmett, and 3 others like this.
  8. Visit  Wantoknow-rn} profile page
    0
    Well welcome to ER, listen you worry to much that lady screaming and jumping let her do it. One question? was her baker act signed if not does she need it to be? let the dr now and document that you told him. next time don't worry just have her sign AMA and bye. i mean she seemed pretty strong to me on your story so how sick can she be besides been totally cucu. The ER is something you pick up with time is either for you or is not you'll find out ER is not only nursing but war and toughness but is OK to feel overwhelmed. whenever you work again just go chin up and give it all.
    Last edit by Esme12 on Jul 24, '12 : Reason: TOS/txt speak.
  9. Visit  RNRichi} profile page
    4
    For the sake of HIPPA and the fact that I have no other job prospects I can't say all the particulars that went on with this pt, but she was in such a state that she could not sign anything, add to that, she actually was having an issue deemed an emergency. I did transfer the pt after stabilization (EMTALA). But the hours it took to get there...and all the crap that happened in between...good grief! Believe me I welcomed the pts prior to her who wanted to leave AMA, I can have those papers in a jiffy, LOL. It's just that they say "if you don't know, ask", and when I ask or seek help, the person who was my preceptor faults me for it. By the way, I only asked mainly for forms or locations of certain things I was unfamiliar with and help with 1 IV on a baby, which my charge came to help with. I thought I had done pretty darn well for someone who didn't eat lunch till 6:00
    GHGoonette, FranEMTnurse, GrnTea, and 1 other like this.
  10. Visit  tothepointeLVN} profile page
    5
    It sounds like you did the best you could with the resources you have. I have faith that you can apply your 13 years of LPN experience to your current situation. I'm sorry your orientation was not ideal. It DOES sound like you'll have to press forward despite that but I know you can do it.

    You just need some extra strength and attitude to muster through =) Don't let a McNasty Pants get you down.
    GrnTea, Wild Irish LPN, ec2703, and 2 others like this.
  11. Visit  RNRichi} profile page
    0
    Thank you to all that have replied. I really needed some understanding ears Yes, I am thankful for my LVN experience, because I do at least have some nurse's intuition to stand on unlike some where this is their first nursing experience. I'm just wondering if crying my way home once a week will be a constant part of ER nursing, because I'm not a big crier and this is getting ridiculous!
  12. Visit  tothepointeLVN} profile page
    4
    Part of the reason that your crying on the way home is because this isn't a new field for you. It should be just a step up the rung but your feeling all that newness and arkwardness and it feels uncomfortable because your not used to being in the position of not knowing.

    I'm not a crier but I've been in a work situation where they made me feel like an idiot and I lost ALOT of confidence.
    Anna Flaxis, ec2703, MassED, and 1 other like this.
  13. Visit  Maremma} profile page
    4
    I am only an LPN but I can sympathize with going home crying and feeling hopeless. I did the same thing for the first three months of working as an LPN in a rehab/LTC. My training was pathetic too. I didn't have a trainer. I was just handed off to whatever nurse was already working whatever hall they through me down for the day. They mostly all just saw me as someone to pass meds for them while they went and did all the other stuff I was suppose to be trained on but wasn't. One of them I couldn't even find when I had questions! I got off orientation and felt beyond hopeless.

    Hang in there! Even though the "craziness" doesn't seem to ever get better, WE do. We learn something new every day. We add something new to our experience base every day. As time goes on we become more and more confident. We just have to learn to give ourselves a break! it is always a lot to learn and get used to.

    Just because some people "forget" what it was like to be "the new guy" doesn't mean they weren't at one point. They weren't instantly "good at" the job no matter how hard they try to pretend they were. Don't let what they say upset you. People that feel the need to attack other people and put them down have serious personal issues that make them that way. They should never be allowed to affect how you feel about yourself.

    You WILL get more comfortable in your job. You just need to give yourself the time to get there!
    gypsyd8, RNRichi, cherryames1949, and 1 other like this.
  14. Visit  DizzyLizzyNurse} profile page
    1
    Wow you only got 9 weeks of training? I am getting 9 weeks of training for med surg and only 2 days of that was classroom. I'm lucky to be part of a union and work somewhere where people stay for years. Unbelievable.
    Christy1019 likes this.
  15. Visit  iluvivt} profile page
    3
    Honestly ,as I was reading your post I was thinking you were doing a good job with that crazy patient. I had one of those ladies today on neuro..long hx of bipolar and meth use..she was angry...cursing..then remorseful. She was quite the beast at first but with some TLC she was much better. She scared her primay nurse half to death and she was terrified she was going to slug her. So of course, I tell the nurses lets go in together as I often find patients like this tend to respond better with 2 on 1. So I think calling for help was super and it it is what a prudent nurse would do to keep yourself safe and your patient safe.
    Your coworker (x-preceptor) sounds downright mean and has forgoten what it is like to be new at something. You have a right to be there..you earned it..you have a right to keep learning..you have a right to ask for help when needed. So believe in yourself..you will get through it. As for the IV start in the baby..that takes some skill..took me a while to learn that..as a matter of fact we have one IV nurse that will not even touch a child..I get called for all the pedi starts. You also need a good holder for the sart so you needed some help either way. You probably are going to stand up for yourself with this nurse so she will get off your back.
    Last edit by iluvivt on Jul 24, '12
    gypsyd8, GrnTea, and RNRichi like this.


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