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- by Lauryen828 Apr 11, '12Hi All,
I have been a nurse since December 2011. I want nothing more than to be a Nurse but my first job that I have is awful. The staff is Catty, no one answers call lights, my manager is rarely at work and if she is she is too busy to pay attention to any requests. Our schedule is always being changed and the list goes on. I am not thrilled about working in Med Surg although I know I have to start somewhere and to become an Emergency Nurse Med Surg is a good place to start. However, this floor I work on is making me second guess my decision. Is it too soon to start looking for another job?
- Apr 11, '12 by Ashley, PICU RNWell, I see from your previous posts that you just started this position in February. That means you've been at this job for maybe two months. In fact, you just posted that you're still on orientation. You need to give yourself time to adjust and get used to working as a nurse. Since this is your first job, you might have unrealistic expectations and you definitely have a "grass is greener on the other side" mentality.
There are tons of units where staff is busy and catty, won't answer your lights, and the manager doesn't seem to care. There is no guarantee you will find a better unit at your next job. In fact, if your next job is willing to hire someone with no experience who quit their last job after barely a couple of months, you'll be lucky if you aren't walking into a worse situation.
It's your first job out of nursing school. You're going to be busy. You're going to feel overwhelmed. The transition into the real world of work isn't always as glamourous as it's made out to be. You probably had dreams of leaving school behind, going to work your three 12 hour shifts with a wonderful team of nurses, and feeling happy and fulfilled that you are making a difference each shift. That's just not reality in the great majority of cases. Instead, try adjusting your expectations. Go to work with the mentality that you are there to do a job, and you are going to take care of your patients to the best of your ability. Staff are catty? Doesn't matter because it doesn't need to affect your attitude and work ethic. Call lights are unanswered? As long as you're taking care of your patients and responding to their needs, don't worry about it.
Less than two months is not enough time to adjust to any job, and certainly not your first job out of nursing school. Give yourself some time (I'd say at least 6 months to a year, preferably a year) to settle in, learn how to be a nurse, and adjust to the working world. You'll find that after you have some experience and confidence under your belt, you'll be better able to handle the every day stresses of working on a busy unit. Good luck!
- Apr 11, '12 by Sun0408Ashley said it best
- Apr 11, '12 by Equality2012Your complaints are valid. I have been a nurse for 20 years and it has went down the tubes. No one seems to care about the patients or giving quality care. My doctor has noticed the decline in the Healthcare. He quit working in the hospital and switched to nature medicine. If you don't like what you are experiencing in nursing now it now... you won't like it later.
I would switch my field of nursing. Case management is a good field and pays well. Some insurance companies will allow you work at home.
- Apr 11, '12 by Lauryen828Thank you Ashley, you are correct I absolutely had unrealistic expectations. I appreciate your feedback. I did very well in Nursing School so I automatically thought working would be just as easy. Your post eased some of the stress I had. I will take your advice, who knows 6 months from now I may be posting how much I love my job and if not at least I did my best. Thank you Again!!!
- Apr 11, '12 by SweetsRN522When you become a new nurse out of school on your first job it is easy to be shocked when the glamorous job nursing is made out to be in schools is brought to light. We all assume we will work 12 hour shifts (most want days), we will work on our dream unit and will be able to provide the high quality care that nursing school teaches us to provide. The sad truth is that working in a hospital is similar to working in any environment. You will always have individuals who will cause drama and unfortunately in nursing, we are primarily female populated so the estrogen levels are higher. There will always be individuals who will go to work for the paycheck and forget about what it takes to be a nurse, it makes the individuals who care frustrated, but you cannot forget why you became a nurse regardless of how those individuals act. Depending on what shift you work, sometimes you have to make yourself more available to your boss. I would email my former boss(recently units split and we have a new boss), routinely stop in her office and also talk with other new graduate nurses in our new grad program about my frustrations and wins.
I have been working as a MS nurse for 2 years and the feelings you are stating are similar to the ones I felt. I felt overwhelmed, unsatisfied with how much time I had to provide quality care, and guilty that I didn't have the time for my patients as making a difference in the lives of those I serve was a big reason why I became a nurse. I think overtime what helped me is seeing the differences and hearing the thank yous and appreciation from the families I did serve. Getting recognized for the good I did made me realize I can make a difference, even if it is not with every patient I take care of. I know someday will be better than others and I remind myself that I have to focus on the good while I am there and good things come to those that wait. I have higher aspirations and hope to obtain a position in the ER or ICU some day as I would love to pursue advanced practice nursing in the future.Medical Surgical nursing is one of the hardest floors to start out as a new graduate because of all the skills, time management, and patient load you have. Sure it is not as intense and challenging as an ICU or ER, but it is an area that definitely weighs on the individuals, that is one reason that attributes to high burn out rates among MS nurses.
I would suggest to stay on your unit for a year possible 2 if you can make it. Many other RN jobs, depending where you live require at least a year, many state 2 years. Keep working and doing the best you can. Remember why you became a nurse and know that the feelings you feel now will pass. Are their other individuals that you can turn to for support? If so try to talk to them and find out what they do to manage. As mentioned before I struggle with an dreams of becoming an ER or ICU nurse and having to live with constant rejections because of lack of experience in the areas, but it is the patients who remind me it is not where you perform nursing, it is how you perform nursing.
- Apr 16, '12 by Lauryen828Thank you all for your wonderful advice. I knowi made the right decision becoming a Nurse. It's just difficult to work in a less than desirable environment with people who look down on others. But I am a Nurse and they can't take that from me.