My Experience...

  1. Before nursing school...
    in high school i was always an A student. my parents pushed me into a medical career but i was an artist by nature. they didnt allow me to go to art school, so i went to a university instead and studied psychology and philosphy. i did my fair share of partying, flunked out... i never wanted to be there in the first place. i continued working full time as a bartender making at least 60,000 a year while struggling with my freelance graphic/web design/photography work on the side... the art thing was not lucrative enough and the bartending, although great money, was killing me in more ways that one...

    So i decided to go to nursing school...
    I became president of my class... breezed through... school and clinicals were cake... A's all around with moderate effort... breezed through my NCLEX... made the rest of the world proud...

    Started my first job...
    LPN, sub acute floor... full time 32 hours a week...
    Orientation was supposed to be 10 days... i did "so well" and they needed staffing, so they threw me onto the floor after 8 days of orientation... ive only been there about a month and a half and there have been a handful of times where ive ********ted my way through situations where i didnt know what to say or do... or i stood there like an idiot saying "idont know what to do, let me get a supervisor"...
    sometimes the superior staff treat me like a new idiot nurse and talk down to me when i dont know what im doing... one or two actually help me, teach me, explain things to me... those are the nurses who are also miserable with the 'conditions'...
    my very first day, they had me doing everything a staff LPN would do during the shift... later on i realized that other new employees just shadowed and learned... i came home crying wondering how it was possible to handle so many patients and do so much work in one shift.. and why were the other nurses staying an extra hour to finish their shift work... why did i see the other nurses cutting corners... the patients ring and ring and ring and ring and ring their call bell... yelling stupid things like "turn of my tv", "my soup is cold"... the family nags and nags and nags and talks down to you as if u were completely incapable and they are so knowledgable... lawsuit this, document that... "what, ur only and LPN? wheres the RN?"
    when i was initially hired, they gave me half nite shifts, half evening shifts, which was what i wanted... a month later, the person who did hte scheduling took away all of my night shifts and gave me all 3-11s... which meant no time for anything ever... i havent had very little time ot myself.. i eat take out garbage (ima total healthy food eater) because i dont have time to ever prepare meals like i used to.. i never see my friends... barely see family... i moved into a new apt and its been a month already, barely having time to put away my things and finish painting... ive realized that, being 27, i am working around a bunch of soccer moms and miserable old fat people who sit around the nurses station eating all the cake, donuts, and candy they can fit into their mouths... blabbing on and on all day and all night about their diet obsessions... i have become isolated and socially cut off... on my spare time, im too tired to go out and do anything recreational... ever... im constantly worrying about working, getting to work, being on time... i feel like im losing all of the person i used to be... i used to be optimistic and fun to be around.. so full of ideas... now i am burnt, miserable... i can never go out, i just want to stay home and sleep and wait and worry about my next shift... i am in a constant battle with the scheduling manager because he does not respect me or my schedule restrictions... putting me on back to back shifts impossible to sanely work, putting me on holidays because everybody else called out... i feel like i am a miserable person at work because i have become a miserable person... i just want to get my work done, hide, and wait til i have to go home... i feel like i am stuck because i am an LPN... fewer job options...
    the ONLY good thing is getting that paycheck... i have money in the bank but im am so miserable... i cant buy away any of this... i cant even cut down my hours because then i would not be eligible for health insurance... i feel like i am stuck for a whole year before i can have enough experience to move on... but now.. i dont even know if i want to get my RN anymore... theres gotta be a better way...

    i didnt expect to vent this much btw...

    i thought i was the only one... but i actually found alot of similar venting on other sites...
    Last edit by nurseyNJNYC on Dec 30, '06
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   GrnHonu99
    It can be so different. I hear your frustration, it must be hard. Im a new grad as well but my experience has been so different. I have awesome managers and we have open scheduling so we just tell them what we want. I work 3 12's a week and I feel like I have too much spare time on my hands. I had an awesome orientation, way more than 10 days! That is so wrong, you need more time than that! I work with a lot of other new grads to socially it makes things easier, we are all there to support eachother. There is so much support and team work on my floor, its nice, I never feel alone.

    Things do calm down, they get easier. Maybe you are just in a job that is a bad fit for you, but I promise there is a niche for you, you will find it. You can move on before you have a year's experience. Good luck.
  4. by   nurseyNJNYC
    thanks for the reply... i mean, they dont teach you these things in nursing school... when i first started, many of my coworkers forewarned me and told me not to let them take advantage of me... i shouldve seen it coming... i know there has to be a better way...
  5. by   TheCommuter
    There is light at the end of the tunnel. I know it doesn't seem that way currently, but there is hope.

    I think your life situation will improve dramatically if you find another workplace where the people are interested in training, mentoring, and retaining you. Honestly, there are plenty of scumbag facilities like the one you speak of, but there are wonderful facilities that will respect you and treat you as if you are a worker who's deserving of dignity.
  6. by   GardenDove
    Nursing is an art, so it's a good thing you are an artist. I'm also an artist, I sold some artwork in Laguna Beach, CA while in nursing school, and also did finishing work on high end furniture, which were 'art finishes'. Now I do all my artwork on my own home, which is very artsy fartsy including a hand built stone chapel in my back yard.

    If you are able to use your artistic temperment to your advantage in nursing, you will do fine! You need to constantly improvise and use your artistic sensitivity to your advantage!
  7. by   nurseangel47
    GardenDove, that handbuilt stone chapel sounds awesome!

    deLite: I'm sorry you're going through this "trial by fire" first job situation. Good advice previous posts about trying another facility. It may come to you easier with time. You sound like a strong, very intelligent person. Good luck no matter what you decide. This site is extremely supportive. I have found strength here by just reading many posts. It has been a Godsend for me. :angel2:
  8. by   Indy
    There are so many ways to describe the heck we put up with at work... especially the stage of getting used to it. Trial by fire, baptism of fire, eating our young (it always comes up, warranted or not), test of character, oh-my-god-what-just-ran-over-me, etc.

    You gotta vent, and you gotta find a way to relax. And the eating problems really get on my nerves, personally. Our cafeteria is open at night and it is awful. Cheeseburger or salad bar. That's what's worth eating. The hamburger patties are rewarmed from fridge to grill. So I compromise and will alternate weeks of making food that I can easily spend little time making and take to work. (12 hour shifts so a week = 2 or 3 days worth of food to stick in fridge) Rice dishes, taboule, couscous, etc. I try out smoothies and bring one to work for the end of shift bit of energy instead of coffee (not that I don't drink my share of it during the shift). And I always, always carry two health/granola/chocolate bars in my bag for emergency chocolate cravings. I usually don't eat them both, and if you see someone else who is starving, (by starving I mean shaking) you'll definitely make a friend with that offer, whether they eat it or not.

    Definitely read the thread in this section of tips for newbies. There are some good posts in there about time management, and if the things listed don't work for you, it may give you ideas. At the least, if you manage to eat a little better and not stay late all the time catching up, you'll begin to feel better. I hope.

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