Don't ever forget that you were once a new nurse!!

  1. please, don't ever treat a new nurse like the nurse that was supposed to be orienting me treated me on my first day yesterday. i just started my first job since graduation, and all the clinical experience i had was from school. the job happens to be at a nursing home. i was assigned to a nurse who apparently disliked me from the very moment she set eyes on me. prior to her arrival, i was with a different nurse who at least explained to me what she was doing, and how the documentation is done at the facility for the different kinds of meds (very different from what i was used to at the hospital during clinicals). anyway, i came with a "willing to learn anything and everything" attitude and had decided that i would ask questions when i needed to. so when the second nurse came, she did not even bother to introduce herself, or ask me my name. so i decided to ask her name, to which she responded without even much as a glance at me. anyway, she would be chatting with someone and the next thing i know she is gone. she never attempted to show me any procedure or explain what she was doing or why. she would not talk to me unless i asked a question and would only give me curt responses. then out of the blue, she asks me to go give coumadin to a pt. so i have no clue where the coumadin is, or where to chart afterwards. so i ask her where it is, and she points to the cart. a med-aid eventually came and helped show me where to get it from. every question i asked was met with a "what do you mean" with a sneer on her face. eventually, with a sneer on her face she asked me if i was a new nurse, i said yes and thought phew! maybe now she will understand where i am coming from. anyway, she disappeared again, and by this time, i only had 3 hrs left to go, and i felt like i had learned nothing from her. so someone else, out of pity, pointed out a different nurse (whom we will call nurse x) for me to follow so i can watch him do the med rounds.

    nurse x was awesome! he explained everything as far as the procedures, let me do them as he watched...when bam! out of the blue, the previous nurse walks toward us and states in my general direction..."i just thought you should know that hall xyz is over there." meaning the hall i was supposed to be working with her. i say ok, then go back to where she was. she looks at me and tells me that she is already done and only has one pt to go (a blood sugar). so the previous nurses had allowed me to do their blood sugars, so i asked if i should do it and she responded with a curt "no!" i follow her in and out of rooms then she tells me.."why don't you go back to nurse x, since that's whom you wanted to be with?" i take a deep breath and figure, let's start over, i don't know what's going on here. so i explain to her that i'm a new nurse, i'm not familiar with their procedures, and that if she could just take time to explain the procedures and policies, i would appreciate it. she responds "well, i can't explain anything to you if you are not here." i say nothing (i had only followed the other nurse after someone suggested that i do so as everyone was feeling sorry for me. btw management was already gone, including my sup, who had assigned me to her...and this nurse was talking and acting normal with everyone else and talking and laughing with them. so she definitely just had a problem with me). i figure if she did not want to help me, she should have told me or the sup. anyway, i ask her what time she leaves, and she responds with a sarcastic "i don't know." i ask her what's next and she says "i don't know about you, but i am going on break," and walks off. when time came for me to leave, she was still around, and since she had come late and told me that she did not know when she was leaving, i was not sure whether her shift was over, or whether she was going to stay on to the next shift (the previous nurse had pulled a double, to cover for half this nurse's shift). so i asked her if she was going to give report and she says mhh hmmm (without looking at me). i let her know that i would like to stay and watch (even though i had clocked out). then i ask if the next nurse is in yet, and who is he/she? wordlessly, and once again without looking up she points to the general direction of 2 nurses. at this point i'd had it...i mean it's not as though i lack self esteem and have to take all this crap from her. so i just tell her that i decided to just leave, as i had already clocked out. she neither responded nor, acknowledged my statement. i thank her anyway, and leave.


    i later found out that she had just come back from 3 days suspension due to her attitude (even though she was telling everyone that she just came from a nice vacation). anyway, everyone there was telling me to ask to follow a new nurse today. i have already lost and wasted one of my 4 days of orientation and can't risk losing any more. but at the same time, i don't want to cause any drama at my new job.


    moral of this long post...please, please remember that you were once a new nurse, you all once had a day 1 on the floor, you all had questions, you all were unfamiliar with policies and procedures at a new job, you all needed someone to at the very minimum be civil with you and take you under their wing. don't ever forget where you came from, and most importantly, please, don't ever forget that you were once a new nurse!
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  2. 20 Comments

  3. by   RainDreamer
    I can't imagine ever forgetting that first year of hell, ever.

    I just don't understand why that nurse had no clue you were a new nurse to begin with. All of that sounded incredibly disorganized. She should have known from the start that she was assigned to show you around, have you help out, and that you were a new nurse so you needed more guidance.
  4. by   missdeevah
    Quote from raindreamer
    i can't imagine ever forgetting that first year of hell, ever.

    i just don't understand why that nurse had no clue you were a new nurse to begin with. all of that sounded incredibly disorganized. she should have known from the start that she was assigned to show you around, have you help out, and that you were a new nurse so you needed more guidance.
    well, i'm not so sure what she was or was not told. i do know that she was aware that she was supposed to orient me. even if i was not a new grad, there was no reason for her to treat me like she did. no one should be treated like that, eve if you don't like them, at least show some common courtesy. but, like my friend pointed out to me...why did they even assign me to be oriented by someone who was just getting back from suspension r/t her attitude?
  5. by   RainDreamer
    I don't know why they would assign you to someone that was "just getting back from suspension". Did you confront her about it? Or just going based on what your friend is saying?

    I'm not trying to defend what she did, the way she acted wasn't professional and no one should have to put up with it. But it sounds like this hospital isn't very organized in how they assign preceptors (because of the fact that she didn't know you were a new grad ..... and for the fact that they assigned you someone that supposedly was just suspended).

    One thing to remember, not all people like precepting new people. And they shouldn't be forced to. Again, I'm not condoning her behavior .... she could have at least tried acting friendly and helpful. But if these people are just given an orientee and they don't want one, then it's not going to be a good experience for either person.

    So now the thing to do is to go directly to the manager/educator, tell them you don't ever want to be paired with this particular nurse again (don't have to go into specifics, just that it's not working out, your learning styles aren't working together, etc) and would like to be with someone else so you can get the most out of the few days you have left.

    Another thing, if by the end of your orientation time you feel like you need an extra day or two, ask for it. If it's truly a good place to work, then they'll work something out with you.

    Good luck to you!
  6. by   underpaidrn
    Not all of us are like this unfortunate soul. Some of us actually like having a new nurse or student. I've been a nurse for a long time, but I still remember how it felt to come onto the floor for the first time and start the "real" work. My first orientation on night shift was the nurse going off handed me the keys, gave report and left. I had to sink or swim. It was a bit nerve racking but I made it. When you go back into work, speak with your NM and ask if you can be assigned to a different preceptor. Just tell her that you would like to orient with several different ones so that you get a "feel" for the different patients and units. You don't have to tell her about the other nurse's attitude if you don't want to. I wish you the best of luck and hopefully, this will be something that you remember when you have been nursing for a while and you see the newbie come onto the floor for the first time. Best of luck to you. :spin:
  7. by   Curious1alwys
    HA! I had a few nurse preceptors like that in clinicals!
  8. by   missdeevah
    well... i am glad that i will not be working the same shift as she is. however, i am sure i will have to take reports from her and i am not looking forward to it. up to this day she does not talk to me. she acts like she can barely stand the sight of me, nor the fact that i exist. i just hope that she does not even try anything funny like get me in trouble by maybe omitting some info in report, or giving me incorrect info. she makes for a somewhat hostile work environment. now with that said, my attitude is that i was alive and well before i met her, i will remain alive and well now that i have met her. i don't waste my time thinking about her at work. actually one of my colleagues drew attention to the fact that she was really staring at me and giving me a nasty look when i went in the next day and everyone (including me), was acting happy and friendly with each other...basically life was going on.
  9. by   KJB_65
    It always makes me sad to hear a new nurse being treated that way. I realize not all nurses like to be preceptors but we WERE all new at some point and too many of us forget it. I will never forget how scared I was and how thankful I was to get someone who not only didn't mind me being there, but loved teaching me. I blame management for placing a new nurse with someone who should never orient another person. You have to complain if you aren't learning. Let's face it, most of what we learn is on the job training. I don't think nursing school prepared me at all for the real thing. I'm sorry to anyone who makes their entrance into nursing under these circumstances but there are those of us out there who love teaching and orienting. I do hope things improve.
  10. by   missdeevah
    Quote from missdeevah
    well... i am glad that i will not be working the same shift as she is.

    oops! i spoke too soon. day one on the floor by myself, and guess who was on the same shift?
  11. by   nyapa
    Quote from RainDreamer
    One thing to remember, not all people like precepting new people. And they shouldn't be forced to.
    Totally disagree with this comment. We were all preceptored once, and I believe we should pass our own knowledge and experience down the line to the next generation. It's hard when you are busy, but it is necessary. I am a new grad RN at the moment, but I was an Enrolled Nurse (similar to an LPN) for many years. I have preceptored both new grad ENs as well as student ENs, and student Aboriginal Health Workers.

    How do ppl learn if we just leave them in the dark to flounder? All of us share equal responsibility, not just those who want to do it...
  12. by   nyapa
    Quote from missdeevah
    oops! i spoke too soon. day one on the floor by myself, and guess who was on the same shift?
    sorry to hear this. why doesn't the management see what is happening here? the staff on the ward certainly know, and so do those on high if they suspended her for 3 days...
  13. by   missdeevah
    i'm really not sure how to handle this other than to do my job to the best of my ability, to so soak in as much as i can and learn, and above all to kill her with kindness. however, 4 seperate people have just walked up to me out of the blue and "warned" (for lack of a better word) me to "watch out" and that she is known to proactively look for and report fault. i take everything sad with a grain of salt. now i know that mistakes that we make can be very costly (monetarily and otherwise), but to proactively look? the last person that worked with her was "fired because of her" (now whether or not this is true, i have no idea. i do know that the employee that was fired probably has to have had some responsibility in whatever it is that happened). but apparently she does not want anyone else working that shift and tries to run them off. they also stopped short of stating that i might end up being "set up" for mistakes. i mean...why do women have to be so vicious toward each other? i go in there, i talk to people, but i mostly just try to do what i'm there to do. i don't focus on all the drama going on. i just want to be a nurse, and a good one at that!
  14. by   sharona97
    I've just come to terms with there are natural born teachers and some who are not. I took what I could from the experience and moved on. Do your job safely and according to procedure and if something looks "like a setup" avert it with tact and documentation. And keep killing her with kindness.

    IMO some folks are so "threatened and insecure" with their own life let alone at their jobs, it makes one feel like they have to watch over their shoulder kind of thing.

    I've given myself the old pep talk on the way to work and ask for guideance during my shift. I wish the circumstances were different for you, but unfortunetly there is always that one it seems. Nip it in the bud and know you are secure in yourself and your work. Best of luck.

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