I'm so ashamed... - page 3

I'm so ashamed, I can't sleep, eat or think of anything else. I'm a new RN, passed my boards in July and have been working nights since. I started that night on the wrong foot taking that room in the... Read More

  1. by   nursemike
    Quote from ALMED
    Thank you all. I have spoken with my NM and we have decided I will switch to days and work again with a preceptor for at least another 3 weeks. The patient is doing well, he did have another seizure on days and his MD changed some of his meds. My NM also said she has had several complaints of us not working well as a team and plans to address that. I have also realized that when school ended I quit hitting the books forgetting that nursing (and life) are a constant learning experience. Since then I have come home and looked up everything I did not understand, and will continue to do so. This has taught me a very valuable lesson, I will never again put anything ahead of the patient. God bless you all.
    Good for you!
  2. by   TamNurse
    I know where you're coming from. I graduated 05/05 and passed boards07/05
    I worked for the same hospital throughout nursing school first as an aide, then as a tech. and in the last 90 days as an RN. The transition has been miserable. I have been so stressed, nervous, defensive... I was fired a week ago after three years of excellent service because my "attitude" has become so bad. (I defended my actions in response to the bogus customer complaints. Fought management and lost) Though my patients comments have always been stellar in the past, I've had two complaints of being rude in the past 90 days. One incident involved a family member on the phone who was refused information she was not allowed to have. More significant, I also made a medication error (Called MD immediately, monitored pt. filed incident report, pt was fine thankfully--I did not try to hide it) Aside from my total shame, guilt and insecurity, HOW AM I GOING TO FIND A NEW JOB WITHOUT THIS REFERENCE?? I know I can do the job. I look forward to a fresh start without all the baggage. Do I omit the last three years from my resume'?

    Back to "Ashamed", you sound as miserable as I . Start looking for another job and a better shift before you're fired.
  3. by   mayzeegrl
    Dear Mike, being a new nurse is one of the hardest things in the world. It is so overwhelming. When I became a new nurse I started out as treatment nurse for all four floors of LTC facility, and then they ended up making me a float nurse for all four floors. It was terrible, but what people kept saying me was to cover my butt at all times and that when in doubt ship them out. In your case, you said you couldn't send that person out because you worked at a hospital. But, always go with your gut feeling. Better to be safe than sorry. I'm sure you didn't mean the person any harm. And you will get the hang of things as time goes by and will know how to handle things differently in the future.
  4. by   Daytonite
    I think this nurse was very fortunate that she wasn't fired. The error of judgment here is huge. There was abandonment and malpractice here. I felt very sorry to hear that the patient had another seizure on the next shift. I worked on a unit that took detox patients and am very familiar with what they go through. I am still very troubled by a person who expresses more worry about themselves and practically none for the patient. That is not a trait I like to see in any nurse. That is not something nursing school or being put onto another shift, or placed back in orientation is going to fix. Confession doesn't set the record straight. It is only good for the confessor's soul.

    Had a situation as a manager. . .There were two nurses acting together during a night shift on my unit who delayed in calling a code blue for over 5 minutes while they discussed at the bedside (1) was the patient really coding (that was the new grad), and (2) going through the chart looking for a DNR order they thought was there (the older experienced RN). It was the nursing assistant who came upon this scene and immediately picked up the phone and placed a call to the nursing supervisor on duty to get the ball rolling on getting something done about the situation. I often wonder that if that aide hadn't stumbled upon that scene how these two nurses would have explained this situation because the patient ended up dying. The DON who had the final word wanted to fire the experienced nurse, but couldn't see doing that without also firing the new grad and ruining her career before it even started. All I can say is that I wasn't the one who had the ultimate decision as to what to do about the nurses, but you can bet that the performance of both these nurses was watched very, very closely by me and by every supervisor after that.
  5. by   nursemike
    Quote from TamNurse
    I know where you're coming from. I graduated 05/05 and passed boards07/05
    I worked for the same hospital throughout nursing school first as an aide, then as a tech. and in the last 90 days as an RN. The transition has been miserable. I have been so stressed, nervous, defensive... I was fired a week ago after three years of excellent service because my "attitude" has become so bad. (I defended my actions in response to the bogus customer complaints. Fought management and lost) Though my patients comments have always been stellar in the past, I've had two complaints of being rude in the past 90 days. One incident involved a family member on the phone who was refused information she was not allowed to have. More significant, I also made a medication error (Called MD immediately, monitored pt. filed incident report, pt was fine thankfully--I did not try to hide it) Aside from my total shame, guilt and insecurity, HOW AM I GOING TO FIND A NEW JOB WITHOUT THIS REFERENCE?? I know I can do the job. I look forward to a fresh start without all the baggage. Do I omit the last three years from my resume'?

    Back to "Ashamed", you sound as miserable as I . Start looking for another job and a better shift before you're fired.
    Sorry you've had such a rough time of it, and I hope you don't have too much trouble finding a new position. I would be inclined to be up front about my problems with the one you were let go from, and discuss how you would avoid repeating them in your next post. (Clearly, you have considerable control over your attitude. For example, in the case of the denied information, I'd emphasize the importance of maintaining confidentiality, but doing so in a polite, respectful way--which you may well have, but a new boss is going to want to hear it.)
    I have to disagree with your advice to Almed, though. If her (?) NM has shown a willingness to remediate what we all agree was a pretty serious error, that sounds like someone I would want to work with and learn from. In my prior position, as an unlicensed worker, I made a couple of honest mistakes that could potentially have jeapordized a patient. My NM treated them as teaching opportunities, and as a nurse, she was naturally my first choice as an employer. (Haven't made any errors quite so serious as a nurse, largely due to having had very thorough and careful preceptors, but I'd feel comfortable going to her with any honest mistake, even if it was fairly serious.)
    This is a tough business we've chosen. I haven't actually left work in tears, so far, but I can sure see why some do.
    Even when we've done everything right, outcomes aren't always good, and at this stage in our careers, we sometimes have to face that we don't always do everything right. My own experience has been that you can sometimes be so conscientious about getting the big stuff right that you overlook some relatively minor, but stupid thing. On the other hand, I've been lucky in that when things have gotten way over my head, I've known where I could turn for help. Well, not just lucky--that's a big reason I work where I do, and it's the sort of environment I'd advise even an experienced nurse to look for. You need to be able to count on your co-workers, and as I'm sure Almed now realizes, they need to be able to count on you, if only to know when to ask for help.
  6. by   Tweety
    Quote from ALMED
    Thank you all. I have spoken with my NM and we have decided I will switch to days and work again with a preceptor for at least another 3 weeks. The patient is doing well, he did have another seizure on days and his MD changed some of his meds. My NM also said she has had several complaints of us not working well as a team and plans to address that. I have also realized that when school ended I quit hitting the books forgetting that nursing (and life) are a constant learning experience. Since then I have come home and looked up everything I did not understand, and will continue to do so. This has taught me a very valuable lesson, I will never again put anything ahead of the patient. God bless you all.

    I was worried we woundn't here from you. I hope you feel good about telling your manager. I'm glad to hear that you learned something. In the end positive things may happen for you and your unit. Good luck.
  7. by   Daytonite
    Quote from nursemike
    i made a couple of honest mistakes that could potentially have jeapordized a patient. my nm treated them as teaching opportunities. . .my own experience has been that you can sometimes be so conscientious about getting the big stuff right that you overlook some relatively minor, but stupid thing. on the other hand, i've been lucky in that when things have gotten way over my head, i've known where i could turn for help.
    the big difference here is that you understood your mistake, owned up and took responsiblity for it. did you wait weeks before reporting these mistakes? did you never express concern for the patients involved? in your case i would have done exactly as your nm had done--treat them as teaching and learning opportunities. the op, however, expressed no concern for the patient whatsoever. that's the part of this whole scenario i can't get over. she literally, for a moment in time, nearly held that patient's life in her hands, and blew it, big time. why she didn't turn to someone for help or even think about turning to someone for help is a mystery only she has to answer for.
  8. by   LoriAlabamaRN
    Quote from ALMED
    Thank you all. I have spoken with my NM and we have decided I will switch to days and work again with a preceptor for at least another 3 weeks. The patient is doing well, he did have another seizure on days and his MD changed some of his meds. My NM also said she has had several complaints of us not working well as a team and plans to address that. I have also realized that when school ended I quit hitting the books forgetting that nursing (and life) are a constant learning experience. Since then I have come home and looked up everything I did not understand, and will continue to do so. This has taught me a very valuable lesson, I will never again put anything ahead of the patient. God bless you all.
    I am glad that you have the opportunity to precept again. You must have an understanding NM. I hope you explained what happened to cause you to seek another preceptorship. I wish you well.
  9. by   miphillli
    Daytonight....I respect your thoughts,but I feel you are more than just alittle harsh...this new nurse is very remorseful,very worried about the pts well being...something happened that is not all that clear, no one knows {not even her} what she was thinking as she witnessed the other pt's seizure. Almeds N/M did the right thing...Almed is on her way to being a great nurse.....GOOD FOR YOU ALMED!
  10. by   CrunchRN
    I was very disturbed by this. I do feel the original poster was anguished by her lack of appropriate action. I also felt that she did not express a whole lot of concern about the patient. This fact did give me pause and that was why I didn't respond to her. I am hoping that this was just a function of how overwhelmed and distressed she felt. I think it probably was.

    I am pleased that she did the right thing and discussed it with her manager. That must have been horribly difficult and I am impressed that she did that.

    They have made a plan that seems appropriate, and so I wish the original poster nothing but success. Hopefully if she still finds herself feeling that overwhelmed after the continued preceptorship she will pursue a different kind of nursing, or other career. Until then I hope she is given the support she needs in her efforts to become a good nurse.

    All the best to you - I hope things work out well.
  11. by   nursemike
    Quote from Daytonite
    The big difference here is that you understood your mistake, owned up and took responsiblity for it. Did you wait weeks before reporting these mistakes? Did you never express concern for the patients involved? In your case I would have done exactly as your NM had done--treat them as teaching and learning opportunities. The OP, however, expressed no concern for the patient whatsoever. That's the part of this whole scenario I can't get over. She literally, for a moment in time, nearly held that patient's life in her hands, and blew it, big time. Why she didn't turn to someone for help or even think about turning to someone for help is a mystery only she has to answer for.
    I don't think any of us want to shrug off Almed's error with an "oh, well, stuff happens." But I'm among those who doesn't think it needs to end a career. I didn't see any lack of concern for the patient in the original post. "I'm so ashamed" says it all. But it's natural enough, when one is in trouble, to speak mostly of one's own trouble.

    You highlighted my remark about knowing where to turn for help, and I think that illustrates the system's error in Almed's situation. Every new nurse ought to know who to turn to--that should be made clear in orientation. Of course, one has the individual responsibility to recognize the need for help, but one needs to know one can, too.

    It is true that owning one's mistakes is important. The reason it makes it a lot easier for supervisors to forgive is that you're a lot less likely to repeat an error that you haven't tried to minimize or excuse.

    I have little doubt that Almed will make other mistakes in the future. We all will. Those of us who are conscientious will try really hard to avoid them, but also to learn from those we can't avoid.

    God bless those experienced, skillful nurses who can still recall how it feels to be a deer caught in headlights. I'm lucky to work with a number of them. If every new nurse had similar mentors, I think we would have a much healthier profession.
  12. by   UM Review RN
    Quote from nursemike
    I don't think any of us want to shrug off Almed's error with an "oh, well, stuff happens." But I'm among those who doesn't think it needs to end a career. [...] It is true that owning one's mistakes is important. The reason it makes it a lot easier for supervisors to forgive is that you're a lot less likely to repeat an error that you haven't tried to minimize or excuse.

    I have little doubt that Almed will make other mistakes in the future. We all will. Those of us who are conscientious will try really hard to avoid them, but also to learn from those we can't avoid.

    God bless those experienced, skillful nurses who can still recall how it feels to be a deer caught in headlights. I'm lucky to work with a number of them. If every new nurse had similar mentors, I think we would have a much healthier profession.
    Mike, excellent post! Thank you!
  13. by   Jerico
    Life teaches us things we may never learn about ourselves in school.

    I had nearly the same thing happen. I walked into a room while a patient was in an active seizure. Hmmm....

    I looked at them, asked "Are you OK..." Thought to myself: Is THIS a seizure, it may be...I've never seen one...maybe this is one".

    SOOOO...I yanked UP the bedrail, checked the bed height and then...

    I didn't do anything except walk back OUT the door and said to the the first person I saw, who happened to be an ER doc: "I am not sure, but I think this patient in here may be having a seizure...could you come tell me if this is a seizure?".

    He walked in, took one look at the patient and said: "Yup, that is a seizure". I said: "I am new, is there something I should do?". He says "Yea, go get some Ativan...". He walked out of the room and I went and got the Ativan.

    Now how STUPID did I look. I am 50 and have never seen a seizure NOR did I ever see one in nursing school. But when I hear or think seizure I think: "precautions...ABC". I had no EARTHLY clue if it was a seizure, but ALWAYS in nursing school I was taught (if nothing ELSE) SAFETY, SAFETY, SAFETY and ABC, ABC, ABC.

    I am not gonna beat this girl up about it - but I don't think we will ever HAVE to because she has learned a lesson she will NEVER forget again.

    She made an error, alerted the powers that be - once she thought about it.

    Who am I to cast the first stone...?

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