Reposted this here because I think I might get better responses. If that's a problem someone let me know
This isnít the first time Iíve seen a thread like this but I would love to hear opinions from other people to get a better grasp on reality.
Coming up on February of this year I will have been an ICU nurse for 2 years in an inner city trauma center. I started in the ICU as a new grad and prior to that had experience on the floor for an additional 1.5 years as a student/ student resident. When it comes to the patients I love what I do. There are days itís exhausting and draining and you canít wait for that next shift to come in and give report but I havenít had a day yet where Iíve gone ďI wish Iíd taken a job somewhere else.Ē I also genuinely love being a nurse.
Now, that is in reference to the patients themselves.
My coworkers on the other hand are driving me up the wall. Last night I had a breakdown with a little cry in the report room so I didnít go out and blow up/scream at other people. Iíve been trying to make a concerted effort to take sicker patients as of late to challenge myself. And having spoken with several of the senior partners on my floor, nurses who have 20+ years of experience they agree that Iím ready and encourage me to use them as resources on the floor- which I already do.
Unfortunately the days that those senior nurses arenít in the numbers or on the floor I feel like Iím at my wits end. Iíll be the first to admit Iím not part of any clique on my floor and Iím not there to become best buddies with anyone, my job is to take care of the patient. That doesnít mean that Iím going around kicking someone who invites me to lunch but I honestly think itís more important to turn off the beeping IV channel first before sitting down to watch a movie on the computer.
Having a string of three shifts in a row Iíll just give a quick sample of the things Iíve run into where I swear Iíve backslided into high school.
- Report was given to me on a pedstruck admitted from the OR (who I was encouraged to take) where the nurse had absolutely no idea what was going on, no charting was documented, and all I had to do was check the patient with a head injuryís pupils to see what she was telling me was a crock of s**t (cause are they supposed to be two different sizes?...hmmm). She then refused to take the patient back the next day because she told the rest of the shift she was there until 8PM doing work (while she was chatting with three other nurses as I stood at the door and asked for a glucometer and a clean draw sheet).
- I managed to keep said patient from going on dialysis with myoglobins in the 11,000s, monitored ICPs, drain output from a broken pelvis, Grade II liver, and IVC, drew labs, started him on insulin, kept his temperature normothermic, took him for a repeat CT scan, supported the mother, father, and wife, along with the 10,000 other family members that came in to see him and then some and when people asked if I needed help and I mentioned simple things like ďcould you help me turnĒ and ďcould you go get thisĒ I was refused. The next day after spending an hour scrubbing him down during his bath (he was covered in blood) the family complained because there were still dried flecks on his hands. Granted, when I asked for help, the people who were supposed to serve as ďresourcesĒ were nowhere to be found. I did the best that I could in the time I had.
- The third day with said patient after coaxing pharmacy to send me a medication that was several hours late I notice another patient on the floor has a kangaroo pump thatís beeping empty because the tube feedings are done. His nurse is nowhere to be found and the patientís brother keeps coming to me because Iím the only nurse on that side not eating pizza and Chinese food. Instead of changing the patientís bag I turned the pump off and made sure that he wasnít on insulin before tossing a word down to the nurse and going back to my own work. I get reamed out for not doing additional work to help him when Iím busy as it is with my own combo.
Another nurse who had the same combo (and is in a similar situation- weíll call her Lucy) was going to be reprimanded by her charge nurse that day because she resourced another nurse to help her second patient while dealing with this sick guy. The other nurses? They were watching a football game. But that was ďover-delegatingĒ. Now Iím being told by Lucy that I should report the things Ive been seeing to my nurse manager since theyíre apparently reporting crap about me (I wouldnít be surprised if I heard that when this patient was admitted the nurse I received report from was there for hours helping me because I couldnít handle things- which is a flat out lie.)
But throughout all of this Im thinking ďreally?Ē Has it come down to me tattling on one nurse because sheíll do the same to me and more? Iíve had my ups and downs with my coworkers- the first year I took it really hard when I clashed with different personalities, the second year I decided to start standing up for myself. However now with standing up for myself and a desire to take things further and learn I feel like this lack of support is going to hold me back. Because Im not a part of the ďin-crowdĒ whenever I ask for a challenge Im going to be treading water on my own and it makes me worried my patient care is going to suffer.
This begs the question should I find another place to continue learning? I donít want to leave the ICU/critical care setting and my heart has always belonged in the ED, but Im wondering if this culture is just specific to that area or if there exists a place where people can work together for a common goal and get their heads out of their rectal cavities? I also know jobs are still hard to come by, how long do I have to stick this out? Replies are welcome. Thanks!