Help!! all you experienced nurses!! How to survive orientation??!!

  1. 3 Hi yall, I'm hoping you experienced nurses out there can give me some advice... I graduated in May, and have been employed at a hospital for 3 weeks now, and on orientation. I was told that we are encouraged to take 4-8 weeks on orientation so that "we are not thrown to the wolves". I have been taking patients (I mean, completely, totally being responsible for ALL of their care) since my 2nd day. The nurse I'm orienting with, "Nancy", has been at this hospital for 16 years, and knows everyone. Here's the way it's been going, since the start of the 2nd week, I've been taking all or half her patients (sometimes up to 9), while she spends time gossiping or playing jigsaw puzzles on the computer. Some days, she is very smiley and happy, and doesn't mind answering questions, etc. Most days (4 out of 5) she hands me my MARs in the morning, doesn't speak to me unless she has to, and when I do have to ask her questions, she huffs and stomps off, she sets me up for the doctors (tells them to ask me about HER patients that I know nothing about even though we're SUPPOSED to be working together, yet she hasn't spoken to me all day unless it's ordering me to do something), humiliates me in front of the patients and my charge nurse AND the nurse manager- this is mostly things like, someone asks me a question and before I can even open my mouth to answer, she's yelling out the answer- as if I'm too stupid to think for myself, barks orders at me, and on and on.... I know what yall are going to say- go to my nurse manager, etc.... but "Nancy" is the kind of person that can breathe venom on me and turn around and be all sunshine and roses with the charge nurse. This is a Catholic hospital, and she is very religious, always talking about how God did this or that in her life, asking people about all their problems and telling them how God has his reasons. Don't get me wrong, this is NOT about religion- I think it's great- the stories she tells. It's just everyone sees the sunshine side of her, because she's always acting very caring and such, then she turns around and screams at me. I'm just very frustrated because mgmt tells me (more than once) they don't want me thrown to the wolves, yet, every day so far, I've been COMPLETELY responsible for 4-6 patients, and when I screw up, the person that's supposed to have been helping me is screaming at me when I screw up, and then grilling me as to why I screwed up in front of drs or charge. Also, I don't want to go to mgmt because I will be on day shift, as so she is, and so I dont' want to make enemies, and I really dont' think that management will believe me, because she's ALWAYS nice and "sucking up" to them. Please advise before I go crazy. I have 3 more weeks with her.
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  3. Visit  sparketteinok profile page

    About sparketteinok

    From 'the heartland'; 36 Years Old; Joined Jun '08; Posts: 137; Likes: 178.

    41 Comments so far...

  4. Visit  qt2168 profile page
    7
    I would suggest going to your nurse manager and saying that you would like to be paired up with another nurse because you want to get a diffrent perspective (and STICK with that story if anyone asks) that way hopefully you wont burn any bridges and everyone will be happy.
    'Good luck
  5. Visit  suanna profile page
    3
    I wish I had an answer to your dilemma- I don't. I just wish all the managers, directors, and and preceptors out there would realize that not everyone is cut out for orienting new staff. A bazillion years of experience dosen't make you capable of orienting a new grad to the world of nursing. Someone with 6mos on the floor may be better able to guide you through this transition than your current teacher. After all, you are not trying to become the clinical oracle for the unit- just a capable nurse. If no other preceptor is possible you may want to look elswhere within the hospital for a different position. New floor- new preceptor. If change isn't in the realm of possibility you are just going to have to tough it out and get as much as you can out of the experience. It's encouraging that your post wasn't filled with the "Oh my, I don't know how to do anything" panic that so often seems to be the mantra of new nurses. You are an educated, skilled, competent health care professional. You passed your boards and just need to get the rhythm of the floor down to be a great nurse. Tell youself this every day when you start and again when you leave. Once you get out from under this preceptor try to find yourself someone with a modicum of mentoring skills and work on polishing any rough spots in your orientation with them. I love orienting new staff. I'm a tough preceptor and I expect a desire for perfection- not the achievement of it-just the commitment to try. Good luck!
  6. Visit  sparketteinok profile page
    1
    Quote from suanna
    I wish I had an answer to your dilemma- I don't. I just wish all the managers, directors, and and preceptors out there would realize that not everyone is cut out for orienting new staff. A bazillion years of experience dosen't make you capable of orienting a new grad to the world of nursing. Someone with 6mos on the floor may be better able to guide you through this transition than your current teacher. After all, you are not trying to become the clinical oracle for the unit- just a capable nurse. If no other preceptor is possible you may want to look elswhere within the hospital for a different position. New floor- new preceptor. If change isn't in the realm of possibility you are just going to have to tough it out and get as much as you can out of the experience. It's encouraging that your post wasn't filled with the "Oh my, I don't know how to do anything" panic that so often seems to be the mantra of new nurses. You are an educated, skilled, competent health care professional. You passed your boards and just need to get the rhythm of the floor down to be a great nurse. Tell youself this every day when you start and again when you leave. Once you get out from under this preceptor try to find yourself someone with a modicum of mentoring skills and work on polishing any rough spots in your orientation with them. I love orienting new staff. I'm a tough preceptor and I expect a desire for perfection- not the achievement of it-just the commitment to try. Good luck!

    Thank you- to both of you for your replies and advice- Suanna, I wish I had you as my orienting nurse!! What you said-a desire for perfection, not the acheivement of, is exactly what I am about....By all means, I DO NOT claim to know everything, but I do think I am capable of a lot- that's why this is SO infuriating- because what hangs me out to dry is stuff like- the other day, I asked if we had the little chicken broth packets, or do I order it from dietary?? She said you'll have to order it- I did- twice- still didn't come up. So, I was in report, and she popped her head in about the time I was mentioning that I had ordered the broth to no avail, she leaves and the next thing I know, she comes back in with a cup of water and broth packets!!- she came in the report room to use the microwave... so basically, I looked like a fool telling the other nurses how I couldn't get any broth, and apparently, the packets were there the whole time. I definitely wouldn't have minded making it myself, and WOULD HAVE, had she said, yes, we do have the packets, they're located.......

    Anyhow, thanks for listening, yall, I need to vent before I blow up. It's little stuff like the broth every day, and I don't mind looking like a fool when I really don't know what I am doing, but the deal is, she humilates me over crap like this. I don't a big enough ego to think this is all about me- I think that this is about she wants everyone to know she's in charge, and she doesn't like the fact that, except for crap like this, I am almost capable. I think my skills are pretty good for someone just out of school- I owe that to excellent instructors and preceptors, and to my willingness to look up Mosby's online and go do it. I always double check if I'm not sure about something. I want to be a good nurse, and I feel that she is getting me a reputation as an idiot. It makes me wonder if I was cut out for this. I know I can do the job itself, but I just don't know if I can handle the people.
    :scrm:
    Thanks again for your advice.
    cute_cabbage2005 likes this.
  7. Visit  sunshineyday profile page
    4
    Quote from qt2168
    I would suggest going to your nurse manager and saying that you would like to be paired up with another nurse because you want to get a diffrent perspective (and STICK with that story if anyone asks) that way hopefully you wont burn any bridges and everyone will be happy.
    'Good luck
    Yes this is the "ideal" thing to do...but I wouldn't advise it. I graduated in May also and just left my organization because I had a similar experience with a well connected preceptor. I asked for another preceptor but everyone will know why, you'll be seen as not being "flexible" and "thin skinned" and more people will pounce on you. Good luck...just hang in there! I would have but a lot more than this was going on! Just don't put your license in jeapardy. Keep me updated. *hugs*
  8. Visit  BelleKat profile page
    4
    Try and hang in there,I hate to hear you're that you're having a hard time with Nurse Nancy,you're probably not the only one who knows she's two faced. It sounds like you're doing OK in spite of her and when you're off orientation it will be better. If she says anything about you just bide your time and prove her wrong and if she continues to be a problem I would try to transfer. Some places will let you transfer sooner than 6 months rather than lose you altogether.
    I wouldn't try to talk to her or the nurse manager unless something specific happens.
    Hang in there OK?:flowersfo
    Last edit by BelleKat on Aug 23, '08 : Reason: add content
  9. Visit  dorselm profile page
    3
    You have to speak up for yourself because that nurse does not have the right to belittle you or take advantage of you, I don't care how much pull she has or how long she's been a nurse. I graduate in Dec 08 and I think about this all the time and this is advice that I'm going to definitely have to apply when I'm on the floor.
    Next time she tries to scream on you in front of the patients, you wait until she's finished and let her know that it was not professional and that if she has something to say that she approach you in private. You let her know that you give her respect and you deserve at least that much in return. You must also be consistent because at first she's probably gonna try to blow you off because she'll be thinking that you as a new nurse have no right to stand up to her but you have to stand your ground and not take her mess. If you think 6 patients are too much to take as a new nurse then you need to say so. If the environment becomes too hostile then I suggest you go to another floor or facility because if you can't go to the nurse manager when you have concerns then that's not a good place to be. I hope it gets better for you.
  10. Visit  sparketteinok profile page
    3
    Thank you all for all of your advice, I'm not really sure yet what will work best; it seems every day is a new day for her. It means a lot to me just knowing that there are nurses out there who are supporting me and empathizing. Thank you.
    dorselm, cute_cabbage2005, and BelleKat like this.
  11. Visit  BelleKat profile page
    2
    Quote from sparketteinok
    Thank you all for all of your advice, I'm not really sure yet what will work best; it seems every day is a new day for her. It means a lot to me just knowing that there are nurses out there who are supporting me and empathizing. Thank you.
    You're welcome sweetie,you'll make it.
    :urck:
  12. Visit  isotop235 profile page
    4
    I am a nursing student working at a local hospital with "Nancy's" twin sister. The manager asked me if I was interested in working there as a GN. I now realize that these idiots are everywhere...I cannot escape Nancy, because there may be another Nancy around the corner. My advice is just keep on doing as you are doing and just leave Nancy in the soiled utility room when you go home. Be your own nurse when you are off orientation.
    Last edit by isotop235 on Aug 24, '08 : Reason: misspeliing and grammar
    cute_cabbage2005, romantic, bijou, and 1 other like this.
  13. Visit  DreamingTree profile page
    3
    A couple thoughts popped into my head as I read your post:

    1. If I were in your shoes, I would be gathering information from others. I have a great preceptor who is very patient when I ask questions, but I don't hesitate to ask others for "floor knowledge" type issues. If I was dealing with your preceptor, I would be searching for others who are more sympathetic, and saving my questions for them.

    2. Brush off the times that she shouts out answers before you have a chance. Carry yourself with confidence, and this won't be a problem for you. Same for if she sends a doc your way to ask about her pts. I would just say something like, "Nancy has been providing most of the care for so&so, let me check with her."

    3. This last suggestion is going to sound terrible, but I'd probably appeal to her faith during the more trying moments. Use a little humor -- "Good thing you're a spiritual woman.....you may need to pray for more patience to handle all of these questions..." Probably a better way to phrase it, but the point is to use a little humor to get her to see that she should practice what she preaches. Plus, it wouldn't hurt to throw in a few, "thanks for your patience..." to butter her up a bit. Some may cringe at this, but I'm a firm believer in "you get more flies with honey..."

    Just my thoughts....for what they are worth. Good luck!
  14. Visit  sparketteinok profile page
    1
    Not that it's good that there are more people out there going through this, but it does help to know I'm not alone. Can't say thank you enough!! I think you;re right, isotop235, being the nurse that I want to be when I'm off orientation is what I've been working towards...it's just....dang, it's hard to survive til then!!

    Update: guess what? Today was great- she helped me with a violent patient, and I'm actually getting used to the slams in front of doctors, other nurses and patients- if you expect it, it's not so bad....:selfbonk:
    cute_cabbage2005 likes this.
  15. Visit  sparketteinok profile page
    2
    UPDATE:Hey guess what everybody- it's gonna work out!! Turns out a lot of other people had been noticing the way she has been treating me, and they also said that she has run off a lot of good nurses. I shouldn't have been surprised that I wasn't the first one, and that other people noticed, but it did seem like everyone else either didn't see or ignored it all. BTW, I have been using a lot of honey- please and thank you and I really appreciate that, thank you for showing me, etc.....
    2 things happened today:
    #1. I snapped back (I reached my limit today) at her a couple of times ("okay, I know that, but I was just showing you!!!)- after that, she was downright pleasant to work with. What I said wasn't hateful, but in the same tone of voice she used with me. Then, she was all nice.

    #2. Another nurse on another unit that had previously helped me in clinicals saw me today, and had noticed that I was more quiet than usual, and inquired. I couldn't help myself, I unloaded on her. She insisted I go to my nurse manager, and when I insisted I didn't want to be known as a whiner or troublemaker, she tracked down the NM and made me tell her. Turns out, I didn't have to really say much. I said it had to do with Nancy, and my NM said she can be abrasive, that she'd heard good things about me, and that she felt I was ready to be off orientation. So I'm going with nurse ed tomorrow, house Friday, off Monday, unit sec. Tues and Wed, and off orientation thurs!! YAY!!!! I got the feeling she'd been through this before in regards to Nancy. So, I'm hopeful that my NM will do what she says she will and support me. Just getting me away from her, that's worth its weight in gold.

    So....

    THANK YOU SO MUCH to everyone for all of your support and words of encouragement......

    turns out going to the NM was the right thing to do, after all, even though I hadn't intended to do it.

    Thank you all for taking the time to support me....it means a lot to me..

    nurse:
    cute_cabbage2005 and BelleKat like this.


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