Hang in there new Grads and New Nurses it does get better..I PROMISE
So I haven't been on this board for a while. I have been an R.N. for 1 1/2 years now, where I started as a brand spanking new grad in Interventional Cardiology/CCU Stepdown/Critical Care..woohoo although I would have not said woohoo about 6 months ago...I have been reading alot of the recent posts and I feel like that was and still is me.
This board for 1st year nurses saved me from quitting my job numerous times. I came here and still come here to rant, whine, complain, tell how great/horrible my shift was, and mostly for advice from others like me.
I was on here every morning when I got home from work just posting, finding others that posted that I could relate to and for support. I found comfort on this site b/c I could talk about work and problems and know that other nurses were going through the same crap/learning exp. if you want to call them that, that I was and still am going through.
I had a horrible first year as a new RN. If anyone had time one day you can read all my posts about how miserable I was and sometimes still am. But I know one thing I love being a nurse.
I endured all the abuse and nurse eating their young in the worst way, I was chewed up and spit out then rechewed and spit out a few times, like how a cow had 2 stomachs and regurgates their food only to be redigested...haha I don't know if that's true but it's the best one I could come up with.
I had never worked night's EVER in my life and when I went from day shift orientation which was 8 weeks to night shift orientation which was 4 weeks then to permanent night shift last year I hated my life. I hated it up until ... well I still hate it from time to time. It was had to break through with my night shift crew. It was AWFUL...I had no support, I would ask questions and have no one answer me, I was new so I was talked down to from my fellow nurses and MD's, unit clerks and staff. I was CONSTANTLY running in circles, I had no friends or just one person i could talk to. I was laughed at when calling for RRT's or CODES b/c everyone thought I was overreacting. I was also the only white American nurse coming onto the night shift crew in the last 10 years. I was working with a mostly Filipino/Indian staff. I didn't understand their language or why no one wanted to talk to me. I am a very out going person that usually gets along with everyone. I see people for who they are, PEOPLE, hence the reason I became a Nurse.
I was given the MOTHER of all pt. assignments every night. Never had 5 min. to think and had a ton of questions b/c I was a NEW NURSE. When I asked the questions, it was always the same reaction, like I should know the answer, DUH?? Well if I knew the answer I wouldn't be asking in the first place...UGGGGG....and at night I never knew who to call, what MD, resident..I wasn't pushy yet with the MD's to eval. the pt's so I would just say ok when they would not come and then ask what do I do now...what a headache.
I never stood up for my self when it came to assignments or admissions. Like I have had the first admission for the last 2 nights in a row and this is my 3rd night, and I am the only one who had been here for 3 nights in a row, and why am I getting the first admission agian on my 3rd night when this is the first night working for the rest of the RN's I am working with? Why don't they have 1st admission?
I was abused by the day shift RN's in the AM when I would give report. It would take me forever to give report in the AM. I would be grilled with 1000 questions and would not leave until well past 10am...yea 15 hour shifts were common for me...and when I got report at night at the start of my shift the day shift RN's would half A$$ report to me b/c they knew they could get away with it,leaving me with unfinished orders or phone calls that should have been made during their shift and I mean EARLY in their shift, and they would leave me floundering in the AM even though I checked the chart multiple times, for answers and explanations that I felt like an idiot b/c I didn't know.
I was left with blood transfusions that could have been done during the day, on top of pt's coming from the cath lab back to back with arterial femoral sheaths that, ME, the RN had to pull. Which I didn't even know what a femoral arterial sheath was until I started working on my unit AS A NEW GRAD.
I was told my first night off orientation I had to pull a sheath..ok at that point I knew what it was but had not pulled one on orientation. WELL TOO BAD...I PULLED A SHEATH....with supervision of course and having a major anxiety attack...well from that point on I had ALL the pt.'s with sheaths. I was pulling all the time.
NOW there is this night shift understanding that b/c we are 1/2 the staff of days we pull sheaths no matter what. It was about March this year I was about 6 months into my frist year of nursing and I was telling the day shift RN I pulled the sheath on her pt. The nursing educator overheard me say this and said, "Ang YOU DID WHAT????" I said "I pulled the sheath"....like I had done about 30 times before but didn't say that...the educator said to me, " ANGIE you are not supposed to be pulling sheaths until 6 months off orientation." HAHA little did I KNOW THAT, they had me pulling them my first night off orientation4 months ago..I didn't tell her that...She gave me some lecture and a bunch of paper work and then said, "WELL It's you're license if something happens". Then she banned me from pulling sheaths....HAHAHAHAHA This is the main procedure on my floor for night shift RN's post PTCA/RHC/LHC. Well that bann lasted all of 1 week b/c my night shift manager told the educator and the unit director how good I was at sheath pulling...and my night shift manager said to me, "Ang at night we do things differently as you can tell." With in 3 weeks of that conversation I had my sheath pulling certification, the fastest any new grad has ever had...
Well as of last night I pulled my 100th sheath. The most ever for a new nurse in a year and a half on my floor. I even teach the RN's how to pull and have MD's ask if I can help them..
Anyway...recently I had some day shift RN's whine about how I made them put an IV in a pt before they left at night, had she the nerve to say to me, "Ang you need to learn how to put IV's in a pt blah blah blah." This was a month ago. I flipped out on the RN who said this and said, "Every pt. you give me at night has a blown or expired IV that I have to restart, I replace about 5 IV's a night, so don't tell me how I have to LEARN to start an IV, b/c I restart all of yours."
IV's were a thing that I could not get to save my life. I sucked at starting IV's. I MEAN HORRIBLE!!! I tried and tried but I sucked. I finally got it one night, and from that night on I can put a line in anyone. I ,*excited* ,have become one of the RN's that if another RN can't start a line they come to for IV placement, so when that Day shift RN said that to me I was ready to flip.
I have been charge nurse a few times, which is not worth the extra $1 an hour but looks good on a resume. I have become a resource nurse for new night shift RN's. I have also become the night shift cardiac resource RN. I have my senior night shift RN's, who ignored me when I first started, asking me questions. I have learned to stick up for my self when it comes to pt. assignments and admissions. I am no longer passive to MD's bullying, b/c I know the MD's and they know me. I have gotten into numerous arguments with MD's and not felt bad about it. If I have a problem I make SURE someone listens to me, and if I call a resident I make SURE their butt is on my floor to eval the pt. and if not I call until they come eval. the pt, and I don't care if they don't cover the attending taking care of the pt. they are a TELE resident for a reason. I call the MD's at 3am if the residents are being restarted. I call the House MD all the time b/c I am not friends with all of them. Even if they don't cover the MD they still come anyway.
I no longer put up with the BS from my fellow nurses that I did for so long. It was like something clicked a few months ago. I just got fed up and like my one unit clerk who abused the heck out of me, literally I hated her I mean hated her, but now she is one of my dear friends said, "Angie, when did you become a real RN, and grew a pair of you know what? Honey you have arrived. Don't let anyone give you crap, your true nurse emerged and you are damn good at it and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. It took a while for you to come into your own but your patients love you, you give the night shift a different attitude, you laugh, you don't tolerate crap from anyone and you are one of the best nurses I have ever seen."
I also learned the cultures from the Indian and Filipino nurses and what they did in their hospitals in their countries.
My nursing assistants gave me an appreciation award plaque that is engraved with my name that hangs on my wall in my guest room under my College Diplomas..Both my B.S. and my A.S.N. and my dual state licenses in PA and NJ to remind me why I became a nurse.I have been named in the Press Ganey for patient satisfaction, and have been sent cards and the best feeling is when you see a pt. and they recognize you from a previous hosp. stay and remember your name and give you a hug it's the best feeling. My Night Shift Nurse manager has told me numerous times, "Ang if there is a Junior Registered Nurse of the Year Award, I would give it to you." She has also told my director of nursing for my floor about this. She has told me, "Ang you are a good nurse, and you grew and over came the transition of being a new nurse on a critical care floor as your first job, and also the cultural bounds that you faced being the first white American nurse on nights in 10 years working with nurses from different cultures, you did not discriminate or judge, you are one of us, a Nurse. I know it was hard for you moving away from home to an area you are unfamiliar with, no friends and as a new nurse. But you are one of us now"...she told me this last night.
As much as I hated my first year and it sucked ALOT..i have made friends for life..IT TOOK TIME, and I never thought I would say I REALLY DO LOVE MY FLOOR. I will always give my all as a Nurse and people respect that. YEA it sucks at first, I KNOW..and it still sucks most nights but I built a home...
AS NEW NURSES YOU HAVE TO GIVE IT TIME..YOU WILL HAVE THAT EPIPHANY..YOU WILL BREAK THROUGH....I can honestly say some of the people I hated the most..are the best thing that ever happened to me..it has made who I am today ...
hope this inspires some of you!!!:heartbeat
Sorry so long I just wanted to say IT DOES GET BETTERLast edit by Joe V on Jan 18, '14
Joined: Jun '07; Posts: 242; Likes: 606
R.N.; from US
Specialty: CTICU, Interventional Cardiology, CCUNov 22, '08I really appreciate you sharing your experience Angie. As a new nurse on days on a progressive care unit I can relate to your experience. I have been off orientation for 2 weeks, and I feel like many of the nurses think 8 week orientation was supposed to prepare me for everything. I dread going to work. I just hold on to the thread of hope that positive nurses like yourself pass on. Thanks again from a lonely new nurse!Nov 23, '08Thank you for the encouraging thread. I'm glad you stayed with it. You'll be an incredible nurse. Heck, you are already on your way with those awards and record setting. I hope I can be just as good!Dec 20, '08I just wanted to let all the new nurses out there know..IT IS NORMAL to feel the way you do...It will get better I promise!!!Dec 21, '08Thank you for sharing your experience. I graduated a week ago and was pinned 6 days ago.
I have my first interview tomorrow at the hospital where I had most of my clinical rotations. My interview is for the tele floor, I spent my last quarter there. You have shown me that it CAN be done, with some hard work of course. Thanks for the encouragement.Dec 22, '08Thank you for sharing your experience. I just started on my own after orientation, about a week ago now. I don't have ****, but it's nice to know that one can grow some after a while. My biggest fear is that I will always be a pushover.
You have achieved so much since you became a nurse. Congratulations.Dec 22, '08[FONT=Franklin Gothic Medium]Thanks for sharing your experiences! I appreciate you taking the time to write this to encourage new nurses like me.
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[FONT=Franklin Gothic Medium]I call the MD's at 3am if the residents are being retarted.
[FONT=Franklin Gothic Medium]Please think twice about using that word. It is hurtful.
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[FONT=Franklin Gothic Medium]Blessings.Jan 4, '09Hey, I am a new grad and newly registered RN .
This is a wonderful story Morettia2. Thanks for sharing us your story coz for us, newbies, your stories are our inspiration. Cheers to you and all the great nurses out there .Jan 4, '09Great words of encouragement! I can't wait until I can say I don't feel like I'm drowning. I've been off orientation for about 2 months now, I just want to make it to the 6 month mark without having a nervous breakdown!Jan 9, '09hey fellow nurses..just wanted to say hi and being a new nurse is frustrating but what ever you do, DO NOT GIVE UP. You will have sleepless nights, I still do ALL THE TIME. YOu will have those, AHHH HAAA moments, and you will also have those, ERRR GRRRRR moments. But learn from any and everything you do and ALWAYS ASK QUESTIONS. We became nurses for a reason, and please don't let the struggles of being a new nurse make you second guess why we chose this profession, like with any new job, it's hard at first (nursing espically), but you will get it, and it make take TIME but time is on you side. Remember your patients are always your first priority, take care of them and take care of yourselves. If I could do it and the generations of nurses before us could do it, you can do it too!
Happy New Year New Nurses....and if you are feeling really bad just message me. That's what we are all here for, support, and to know that we arn't alone in the struggels of NEW NURSING.
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