I'll tell my story quickly and get down to my real question.*I was hired as a newly*graduated nurse to a MedSurg floor about 25 minutes away from my apartment. I was ecstatic to have finally found a new job. That excitement quickly transformed into terror as I realized what I had got myself into... Now, I am generally a glass half-full kind of guy and I like to stay positive about any situation but, the situation on this floor is nothing but terrible. Apparently, 11 or so seasoned, veteran nurses had quit right before I was hired in some sort of mass exodus. The disgruntlement apparently had to do with management and their lack of listening to floor nurses.*The day I stepped foot and my managers office for a job interview I was promised a patient ratio of 4 to 5 patients per shift. I was also told that the floor was a great place to work and there was very little*drama and everyone got along very well. During my first weeks I realized that this was not completely true. It turns out, patient*ratio is actually more like 5 to 6... and 6 more often. Also, every nurse seems to have a huge issue with management not listening to their concerns regarding this high patient load. This was evident to me during the first couple weeks when we were required to go to a team building activity outside of work and learn how to work together... This was clearly not the solution to the problem- teamwork is awesome on our floor, it has to be for any of us to survive a day.*The solution is obvious, hire more nurses!I have pretty much decided I do not want to be a part of this floor anymore. It has only been four months but, I am ready to leave already. I do not feel safe on this floor and feel like a lawsuit is just waiting to happen. No one has time to think.*And being a new nurse, this is not the learning conducive environment I want to be apart of. I want a floor where I have time to think about the decisions I am making as a new nurse and learn from them.*The good news is that I have already been offered a new job on a behavioral mental health floor, which was my favorite subject and nursing school.*I just feel so awful for leaving a job so quickly. Is that normal? My preceptors were great people who spent a great deal of time training me and now I am leaving already... giving my two week notice is going to be rough!Just looking for some perspective in all of this! Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Aug 15, '12
Administration increased the ratio by one patient. Mass exodus follows and nurses felt administration does not listen to their "concerns". I've seen this scenario twice over my years in nursing.
The fact is... nobody can afford to leave a job for an increase of one patient to the workload.
Six patients on med-surg is a dream ratio for many , many nurses. Recently , I worked in the largest hospital in my large city.
The ratio was 7-8 , on a renal floor, and throw in the occasional insulin drip.
"No one has time to think.*And being a new nurse, this is not the learning conducive environment I want to be apart of. I want a floor where I have time to think about the decisions I am making as a new nurse and learn from them."
Not having time to think pretty much goes with floor nursing. Four months is not long enough to make your decision. Have you thoroughly evaluated the behavioral health position? Psych facilities usually do not hire new grads unless they are privately owned.
I did agency work for that type of facility, they were always in need of nurses... because they fired 10 of them for bs reasons in the 6 months I was there.
Evaluate that greener pasture, fellow nurse... best of luck and keep us posted.
Aug 15, '12
Hi, I just had to reply to your post as I just left my med-surg job after being there for 7 months for my dream job in OB. I really did not enjoy med-surg, we worked with 7-8 pts on nights and this was a small rural hospital! anyways. Although the staff was very supportive, I really did not enjoy my job. The level of stress was not manageable. I never had time to 'think' either. And apparently some say that that is normal for a nursing job but I refuse to accept that. There is no reason for anyone to feel that way, on top of feeling that they are not safe.
I totally get that you feel bad about leaving so soon but this is your life and you are the one that has to go home with your unhappy self. In my case, everyone was very supportive of me leaving and understood. It's med-surg, they are used to people leaving. Plus, leaving a job early mainly looks bad to the person looking at your resume and you already have a job offer!
I would suggest, take a moment...do you feel the way you do because you are new and going through growing pains, or is it because you just don't enjoy this job and probably won't no matter how long you stay there. If it's the latter, then go for it!!! Good luck to you.
Aug 16, '12
I think you are fortunate that you have a job offer, so that makes leaving feasible. There are no stress free areas in nursing, but if this is the area of nursing that offers the best fit, go for it. Make sure you leave your current position on good terms, you never know, nursing is a very small field.
Aug 16, '12
My first nursing job was working on a sub acute rehab unit with patient ratios of 14-17 per nurse. At the time I thought that was horrid, until finding out my nursing school peers were working on similar units with 24-35 patients per nurse. I only worked on that unit for two months before leaving for a job on a med/tele & progressive care unit. Working in a SNF has definitely given me a greater appreciation for the hospital working environment. Unfortunately I think that a 5-6 patient load is pretty typical on a med-surg floor. If you feel that this job on psych is your dream job, then by all means you should take that position. If you are just striving for that perfect staffing environment, I would think twice. Even during my internship at a hospital with fabulous staffing that was actually based on acuity, ( ie floor nurses with 3-4 pts), I heard the nurses complaining endlessly about the staffing. Good Luck! I am sure you will make the choice that is right for you!
Aug 17, '12
I think things are the same or worse everywhere bedside. It's what nursing has become. Those that have what they say are great situations work at places where turnover is low. These are extremely rare jobs. This means you won't get an interview at those places.
One thing to consider is that you spent the time and stress learning who and what to fear at your current workplace. You found out who the devil and crew are. If you go somewhere else, you have to do that again to yourself... and not be in any better position for the hit you take on your mental state and your physical health.
Yup, seems for nurses now the question is, "Which is the less of two evils?"
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