DANGER! I think...??

  1. 1
    Hi all!So despite my happy face in my intro, I'm actually rather upset at the moment. After searching relentlessly for a job for 6 months, I moved to a new area and found one at a small local hospital that is an affiliate of a larger one. I was thrilled. It is a medsurg/er position (float to er when needed). I was excited!I was told in my initial interview that I would be given atleast 4 weeks of orientation and then we would go from there if I felt I needed more. They also said they had never hired a new grad but i seemed mature (im freshly 21). They portrayed the staff to be a family, which sounded kind of nice. Being both excited and desperate, I accepted. The first day wasn't bad although my director made a nasty remark about my scrub top being too tight which hurt my feelings. I didn't wear it again. I'm off subject though. So I had a great preceptor. She was nice and a great caring nurse. Day one ended up going well. Day 2 they sent my preceptor home at 3 and had a "charge nurse" who does only paperwork for the hospital I think come in. I did the pt care alone. To cut it shorter, I ended up having only 9 days (3 weeks) of orientation before my director told my preceptor not to show up at all. I was alone with 7 pts, 6 of the on telemetry, 2 total care, 1 with a coma score of 5-and the only other staff on the floor was a cna who wouldn't do what I asked and left the hospital twice on the clock to go to town. I was overwhelmed so much but didn't even have time to cry. My preceptor had been in the er as my director had told her to be and came back to help me once the director left. I stayed until 9pm with not even a single break. So without further adue, I don't feel this is an appropriate environment for a new nurse. After 3 weeks of on/off orientation, I'm not ready to be the only licensed nurse on the entire floor. Fellow nurses not at the facility have told me to run, it's not worth losing my license. But I may not find another job for months and I have bills I can't pay. And I can't transfer to the big hospital in the system until after a year. I know the first year will probably be the most stressful, but this seems to go beyond stress into unsafe, which I feel is a priority, especially in nursingAdvice would be much appreciated. -frazzled and confused, RN
    fiveofpeep likes this.

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  2. 0
    It does seem unsafe, but since they admitted themselves that they never had new grads, could you try to talk to your director? Maybe pull together some articles about new grad orientation times and safety to give you credence.
  3. 1
    Nothing says you can't apply for other jobs while working this one..what you are describing is unsafe for you and the patients as well as violation of federal laws for workers to have scheduled breaks etc. The should be a Risk Manager for the facility - can you talk to them or someone in HR since your director isn't able/willing to help? The first year in nursing - as any year in nursing - can be stressful but that doesn't mean you have to simply take it, risk your health, the patients health and your license..if this is how nurses are treated I'd hate to be a patient at this facility -
    merlee likes this.
  4. 3
    I worked in a night-shift in a hospital for 1 year under similar circumstances. I left the position because my health was suffering due to the insomnia r/t stress, long hours and yes without breaks as well. Yes we are entitled to them but if your the only nurse on the floor how can you really take them? Your situation is not an appropriate environment for ANY nurse!

    I am in total agreement with Marshall1. I cant stress enough how unsafe your situation is. I have worked with 13 patients and 1 aide who without fail took their breaks but she was always within earshot incase someone coded or fell etc. If i understand correctly, you had one aide and he/she left you alone on the floor? In addition there were duties that you had to perform because she wouldn't do as you asked? IMO this aide should be reported. You should never be left on the floor alone especially with that patient acuity

    Yes, you have expenses. However, think about where you would be if you lost your license. Keep in mind the one that pays the ultimate price is the patient with you close behind. As Marshall1 stated, you can continue to look for other employment. While lower paying jobs may not be what you want, they may afford you the opportunity to pay your bills as you continue to look for work elsewhere. Don't misunderstand, any job where you hold peoples lives in your hands will be stressful. And, yes, that first year in nursing more-so perhaps until you find your way of doing things.


    Best of Luck to you.
    lsphelps1953, GrnTea, and merlee like this.
  5. 1
    Too bad OP is not in TX - our nurse practice rules and regs prohibit putting new grads in independent charge positions for the first 12 months in most instances.

    This sounds like a rural hospital - amiright? I spend many years as a clinical consultant, working with rurals & discovered that they truly are a different world. Very small/rural facilities have special critical access rules to enable them to provide services without the layers of 'safety nets' we have in other areas. And rural nursing is so very different... not unusual for facilities to have one RN who functions as the ED/OB/ OR/MS nurse as well as the House Supervisor & ambulance dispatcher! Rural RNs are cross trained to perform tasks that are usually done by Pharmacy, Resp Tx & lab in larger facilities. I dealt with one 20-bed hospital in which "The OB nurse" had a direct communication (like intercom) installed in her house (!!) so she could be contacted if they needed her.

    That being said, the only way for a new grad to be safe is to work with a qualified preceptor until he/she achieves competence .... just like all other environments. In rural facilities, this can be a very extended period of time.
    GrnTea likes this.
  6. 0
    Talk to someone first before you quit.
    EDs are always hectic but you can't be down there if you don't have experience. And you are jeapordising your license.
    Also talk to your nurses board, they may be able to offer you some advice.
    And you are only 21 - despite what the 'mature' young people on here think, you do not have the experience or maturity to handle very difficult and sensitive situations.
    If the **** hits the fan, they will get rid of you quicker than an explosion of diarrhoea, and you WILL be prosecuted.
    The hospital is probably trying to save money as well by not having a preceptor &
    that is NOT your problem, it's theirs.
    Last edit by NotReady4PrimeTime on Jan 7, '12 : Reason: text-speak/non-standard abbreviations - see ToS
  7. 0
    Thanks everyone for responses. I am planning on seeking other employment without posting this on my resume. I also intend to quit when I go in and feel the pt ratio is too large for me. I hate that my manager comes on the floor and I tell her I've never done a procedure and she gives me a funny look and says "where did you go to school". I nearly cry everytime. I can see advantages and disadvantages. However, I feel like this isn't good for me. Thanks everyone.


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