Rantings of a young new ER nurse. - page 3

by DaretoDreamRN | 18,048 Views | 26 Comments

I am a new nurse. I graduated in May 2006 took my boards and started working in the ER soon after. I personally do not think working in the ER is rocket science. I don’t know it all and I am not afraid to ask questions. I would... Read More


  1. 1
    Quote from Displaced
    Me: Yes, but next time please feel free to tell me to stop what I am doing and get my ass into room 2 now.
    *LOL*
    Armygirl7 likes this.
  2. 0
    Quote from DaretoDreamRN
    I am a new nurse. I graduated in May 2006 took my boards and started working in the ER soon after. I personally do not think working in the ER is rocket science. I don’t know it all and I am not afraid to ask questions. I would rather ask questions than kill a patient.

    I just got off orientation like two to three weeks ago and I have to say it has been challenging. Not the work…the people. The work is hard and some days I want to cry but I just realized that even experienced nurses feel that way some days ( so they told me). It might not just be as bad as I would feel because I am a newbie. There is so much I don’t know but I am so willing to learn. Some nurses are just big gossips….They sit around and want to discuss how that new nurse will never make it cos she is soooo slow and stupid or how this experienced nurse is sooo lazy and should not be an ER nurse. Some of these “gossip clicks” have only been nurses for like 2 years or at the most 5 years. I just act like I don’t hear cos I’m sure the day I am not working, I will the new topic.

    People tell me that I have to learn to tell the techs and the secretaries to help me cos I cannot do it by myself and I am kind of trying to get used to that. I try so hard to prove myself that I can do stuff. I feel uncomfortable because I don’t want them to think I am a lazy person and I’m always asking for help because I do not know how to do it. I have to admit that the times when I do ask the techs to help me do a work up with me for a chest pain or something else or so they are always willing to help. There is this particular secretary that just really ticks me off. While I was on orientation if the Doctor had additional orders my preceptor will tell me to tell the secretary to put the orders in while I go gave the meds. Each time I would ask her she would give me an attitude about how I need to “learn” how to do it and she was busy (reading a magazine or on her cell phone)...by the way I do know hot to put the orders in. I would be so frustrated that I would go put in the orders in and delay giving the meds and my preceptor will be mad at me. Other nurses told me that she does have an attitude regardless but she dare not disrespect them like that.

    People must have noticed that I like to do things by myself because my preceptor actually made a week where all I have to learn how to do was delegate to people. Anyway four days ago I had to draw two set of blood cultures and hang Avelox for a patient with pneumonia .My hospital has a narrow window period (couple of hours) where the blood cultures needs to be drawn and the antibiotics need to be hung. I was going to draw the blood and I just stopped by to tell the secretary to pls help me put the orders in and she started with her attitude again telling me that I have to learn how to do it and that she was busy (doing nothing). I told her I was going to go draw blood and hang the antibiotic and I was really busy too. She just kept on going on and on and there were like three nurses there including the charge nurse. The secretary said that well she saw me hanging around doing nothing so I should have the time to put the orders in. I asked the charge nurse if she saw me standing around and the charge nurse said no. The secretary then said “Well You need to stop your yapping around and go do some work. Didn’t I say I will put the orders in?” there were three nurses standing right there. I was in shock for a second….then I just walked away.
    I was trying hard not to cry at work… when I got to my car, I just had to cry. Maybe I’m just to sensitive..maybe I need to be way more assertive. I didn’t know nursing would be like this…I didn’t know at all…..
    that secretary needs a slap. Seriously. ha!! I would so give that back to her, then tell her that you are busy doing your job and the patient would appreciate it, and the charge RN, if she would do her job. Walk away. Let her talk behind your back - you don't like her, so who cares. That's how I would roll.
  3. 0
    Quote from UKRNinUSA
    I had a similar experience to you, both when I was new to ER and then when I transferred to the ER at a sister hospital. In the first instance I took a lot from one particular EMT (which I tried to ignore) who thought she was a better "RN" than me. One day, I finally had enough and stopped being polite. I lost my temper and stood up for myself, shouting-"I'm sick of this *%$#@ &%^$@! -- you're the tech, I'm the RN, I'll be the one giving the orders. Got it ?"
    She was really peeved, didn't talk to me for a while, but I was exhilirated and never had any more problems with her.
    The next instance I had the same kind of problem but this time with the unit secretary, who had been there forever. The situation was a bit more difficult because she was related to just about everyone who was anyone in the hospital. I talked (ranted) to the manager about that one along with my frustrations about always getting the crappy assignments. This too blew over - after a while they accepted me and began treating me better.
    Humans are more like animals than we care to admit - if we see a weakness we will jump all over it, if it can work to our advantage.
    My suggestions are: get a self-help book/take a class on assertiveness and mention to your manager that you are concerned about the lack of teamwork from this individual and it's impact on ..........(choose your manager's/ hospital's favorite cause). Good luck.
    I am sure we've all had experiences with either secretaries, CNA's, or fellow nurse's who are determine to push your buttons, if you allow it. It does suck. It's hard to make a change and force people to come along with you. Kill them with kindness. I hate doing it, esp. when a person is downright rude, but kill 'em with kindness. Please and thank you to DEATH. That's what I tell my kids too. At least you'll know you did your best to do the right thing, and in the right manner. They'll feel like an ass for knowingly putting you through the wringer and if they don't care, then stop being as nice to that person. I find I have more around me now that are nice, and far less that are nasty. You just learn that you are not going to take it anymore. It's not fair to be treated that way and it makes you feel bad. Don't react to their negativity or hostility!
  4. 0
    Quote from nursebearfeet
    First let me say that most ER's are trial by fire. not that I agree with that, but your story is one of a million like it. I have my reservations about new grads in the ER. Not because you lack nursing skill but because it takes most people a while to gain confidence in themselves. When you're more confident you feel safer telling snotty secretaries and the like to kiss off.
    My advice, believe in your self. you cant be the nurse, the secretary, the tech, the cleaning crew, ect. next time you tell that slacker to go draw blood and hang your meds, when she informs you that she cant, remind her of what she can do ( your orders), she can like it or shut her trap!
    dont give up, just practice deep breathing exercises.
    best of luck
    that's a good point. If you do the secretary's work, she'll become obsolete.
  5. 0
    Quote from JessicRN
    First of all I feel for you, you are in a difficult situation. I had this happen and I an an old RN (greater then 25years experience) I was just the newbie to this hospital. Some nurses and staff are just mean nasty burned out misable people who take pleasure in making other peoples lives miserable. If the unit secretary is friends with these nurses and you make waves your carreeer will be in jeopardy because they will band together and make your life miserable. They say go to the unit manager and speak to her/him but in my personal opinion and experience all that does is widen the rift. If the charge nurse saw all the secretary being rude to you and did nothing the chance that she or anyone will support is nil to none. Trust me if nurses do not like you and want you out it is soooooo easy to to. I have seen it done many times in my carreer.
    This is the real world answer. I suggest you go to EAP talk to them about it and get their advise. At work watch and see who the secretary is friends with, if it is the charge nurse or the lazy nurses you talk about confronting is useless and will only backfire. Ask for help when the brass (not the charge nurse) is near if possible so if the secretary says no for no reason and is rude in the process, the brass is obligated to do something but she sounds like seasoned witch so she will not refuse with witnesses who she is not friends with. Do not be a pushover but telling her off is useless. Try to find an ally with the other staff if possible. I use to ask them to give the orders to the secretary. Keep a journal and write down anyone who might have heard your conversations with the secretary. Finish your year and then get out and get another job. On the rare occassion this staff member might get used to you and accept you but I would not bet on it.
    great advice.
  6. 0
    Quote from sjt9721
    *LOL*
    most nurses would say "Hey, (your name)" I need an EKG NOW on the CP, Diaphoretic, massive MI in room 2." I can't imagine saying "when you have time...." haaaaa!!! I'm cracking up right now. Has that been said to you? geeesh!
  7. 0
    what wonderful advice... and I *absolutely* agree that people treat you the way YOU ALLOW THEM TO. Hang in there!! I'm still in NS, but the ER is where I want to be, and I'm already trying to prepare myself for what life is like as a new ER nurse.

    Quote from NREMT-P/RN
    People treat you they way that you allow them to. Do not allow this secretary to treat you this way ever again. Tell her your expectations and then follow policy if she continues to be abusive.

    It took some work, but I vowed that I would not work in any environment that left me in tears! I may shed a few from the occasional heartbreak that I witness, but I'll not be reduced to tears from other staff. No exceptions!

    Vow to start today - I WILL NOT ALLOW MYSELF TO BE TREATED IN A MANNER THAT IS UNPROFESSIONAL/RUDE/DISRESPECTFUL BY ANYONE. I do not treat people poorly and expect the same. Include everyone: RN, MD, TECH, AIDE, SECRETARY, PATIENT, FAMILY, ADMINISTRATION. This takes some practice and will test your ability to control your emotions, responses, reactions and diplomacy. Worth it! - If you plan on staying in this field.

    • First, patient care will not suffer because the "order" does not get put in before the labs/medications are given. I would never delay necessary care until I had the order in the computer.
    • Second, the secretary seems to be "pushing" you. Bottom line - It is HER job to put in orders! I can/will put "orders" in when I NEED to, but I will care for my patients first. But, her JOB is one of administrative task support. I'm all for being nice, but nice doesn't seem to be working for you here. Actually, its kinda working against you!

    No discussion on what you are doing or what she is doing (but you can bet that if her cell phone use and recreational reading are interfering with her ability to do her job, it would simply be a WRITTEN administrative issue - EVERY TIME if necessary).

    Example:
    YOU: "There are some orders on this chart that need to be placed in the computer."
    Simple. Direct. No further conversation necessary - you may thank her when you get the chart back if you want.

    This secretary chose this method with her prior communication/issues with you. There is NEVER a good reason for the treatment that has been heaped on you.

    As to your practice of trying not to delegate. I felt the same way at first and found myself near drowning at times. Now, when I work, I work on team building! Patients always benefit!

    And I always let my "team" know just how valuable they are!

    It is a tough job and I admire your fortitude taking on the ED as a new nurse. It does get easier, hang in there!

    GOOD LUCK!
    PRACTICE SAFE!


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