My heart is shattered into a million pieces :(

  1. 0
    Hi everyone, I am in desperate need for help to get back on my feet and most importantly emotional support . I feel like it is the end of the world It's going to take me years to write everything down and in details, so I am only writing a simple summary.Let me know if you have questions. Has anyone been through this or am I the only one, am I being too hard on myself? I cannot stop thinking about it, it has been 2 weeks I have not told my parents, because they are so good at criticizing and always putting me down I appreciate your help and taking the time to read this, and I am sorry that I have not organized this better, I am just very emotional at this time. My story: I am an RN, BSN graduated in spring, 2012. I got hired as soon as I passed my nclex in medical surgical floor. I was super excited that I found a job so quickly, I thought it would take me months and I had zero hope and confidence etc. I was thankful and very lucky for the job offer. Orientation was 12 weeks, the first few weeks of orientation I was completely lost, did not know anyone, and had to start from 0. The first few weeks I was energetic and ready for this wonderful nursing career, but I was constantly afraid of making mistakes. I always went to work 2 hrs early, not paid, so I could read pt charts, and organize my day better. As weeks passed by I was becoming more and more stressed out, burnt out, overwhelmed, no lunch breaks, crying every single day for hours in my car, on the way home, at home and when I went to sleep...and it was only the beginning of my nursing career! To make the story short, at the 12th week I had an evaluation, and the management and my preceptors stated that I was not ready to be on my own, but they stated that I had potential and a big heart and they would give me more time. Again, I was very thankful for the extra orientation weeks. I had a list of things I had to work on, there were so many times that I considered quitting because I was overwhelmed and it was a fast pace for me, but there were voices in my head saying, don't give up easily, keep trying, more listening less talking, give it your best--- this is the only thing that kept me going. Anyways, I reached 17 weeks of orientation w/ 6 preceptors d/t some being part time, PRN,going on vacation, changing positions etc. Again, at the 17th week I had improved but I was not safe to be on my own in this high acuity floor. Management decided to end my orientation and let me go. I absolutely loved my coworkers, I get along w/ anyone. I loved the management, they have been nothing but very kind and supportive and I really appreciated everything they did for me and for giving me a chance. What preceptors thought of me:Positivesrioritizing pt needs, great at identifying problems, great communication skills, caring, big heart, great assessment skills, good listener, good at charting, medication administration, communicating w/ doctors, and paging, good skills techniques, foley insertion, IVs, wound dressing changes, central line dressing changes, cannulating ports,.....a long list of things.Negatives: time management and organization( I had improved a lot from the beginning) but not where I should be at 17th week , slow for the high acuity floor( I took my time to triple check meds and orders, I was scared of making mistakes if I went too fast) Basically: I was told, that as a new graduate this floor was not for me, it is a high acuity floor and I should look for something that requires a little slower pace. I have given every piece of energy left in me to be successful on that floor, I asked questions many times when I was unsure, I never disagreed, always listened to my preceptor and followed their instructions, but they were very rough on me and some made me feel like a loser. I know that they have to be rough because they want me to succeed, and not harm patients, some made me very uncomfortable, and the tone of voice was unpleasant at times. No matter how stupid, embarrassed, stressed, overwhelmed somehow I controlled myself and continued to do everything I was instructed to do.What hurts the most is that I tried so hard to succeed, I did not quit, I changed so many things and did them the way my preceptors wanted me to do, and at the end I still failed and I wasn't safe. When they decided to let me go ,I had a sense of relief, a ton of weight was lifted off my shoulders. But now I feel like my nursing career ended forever and it breaks my heart, I am scared of never finding another nursing job because I was not successful at my first job because I as not ready, I was not safe to function alone
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  4. 15 Comments so far...

  5. 6
    There, there, mon canard. There, there. I know you are wounded from this experience. But even the most successful journeys can start with a few hiccups. These moments build strength, character, and allow us to grow, to discover what we want and who we are. Perhaps this floor is not a fit for you, and based upon your words of stress and suffering, I believe you knew this was not a good fit as well. That is perfectly fine. If there is one thing to be said for our profession, it is vast and varied. You will find your fit and your way, of this I am certain. If you need a shoulder, my door is always open. Chin up. Kindest regards, ~~CP~~
    Last edit by CheesePotato on Feb 1, '13 : Reason: Cursed smartphone is cursed.
    quirk, TnRN43, healthstar, and 3 others like this.
  6. 2
    Sorry you had this experience. I recommend you consider other venues besides hospitals. You just lack confidence in your skills. Once you get more seasoned you will be able to change your career path, if you choose. Please don't lose faith, as this is a very stressful career and you are still in the novice level. Time will change a lot of things. Good luck.
    ElenaTx and healthstar like this.
  7. 9
    Listen to them. They didn't say you were a total loser, they didn't say you had no business being a nurse, they didn't say you were unsafe, they didn't say you should never get a nursing job ever ever ever again, they didn't say, "Don't ever let us see your face in the building again."

    What they said was you were good with a lot of very useful skills but the high intensity of this floor was too much for you, a new grad, and you should "look for something that requires a little slower pace" to get your feet underneath you and build up your confidence. They said you aren't ready YET to do high-intensity work like their floor.

    I don't usually tell people to ignore their feelings-- it's rude and turns them off, and isn't therapeutic. Fear and panic can be useful in truly dangerous situations-- they help you stay alert, make your liver kick out extra glucagon to make it easier for your muscles to fight off the tiger or run away from it, and so forth. Guilt can make you see if you did evil and help you want never to do it again. Embarrassment can be a great deterrent to, oh, dancing with that lampshade at the office party.

    However, it might be helpful to pay attention to the words they used with you and dispassionately notice that your present feelings of worthlessness and panic are so not justified, and they certainly aren't helping you do anything useful. Deep breath.

    I think you will be fine in the long --and not-so-long -- run. You are literate and well-spoken (bless you for that), and you have heard them say that you have a lot of attributes a nurse needs. You need seasoning. You also need to learn to live with double --not triple-- checks, and get that down to just "checks." You need to learn to acknowledge your strengths and successes and trust that they are significant more. Worry can be useful but not if it paralyzes you, and yours is too overwhelming. For that you need a little bit of professional help (that's what we have them for). Ask for a referral from the EAP, your school health service (yep, they will still do that even if you have graduated), the local med or psychology school, or anyone else you trust. Look for a lower-stress job, or just take a break if you can afford to for a little bit. A smaller community hospital with lower acuity might be just the ticket.

    A lot of us have been there, done that. Listen to the people who say that you will be fine, and get the bit of help you need to get you there. Stay in touch. Come back to us and let us know about your progress.
    quirk, Lev <3, TnRN43, and 6 others like this.
  8. 2
    It sound likes you have a lot of positives about your work that you need to focus on. Take their advise and try something with a slower pace, especially the first year so you can build confidence in yourself. I knew I could never work in ICU/ER due to the acuity and would always be worried that I would not know enough so I never applied to one. I have excelled at working on an OB floor, a Health Dept. and now as a school nurse over the last 23 years. Every one has different strengths so focus on those and find an area that gives you a llittle more leadway in developing your weaknessess. Don't give up on nursing yet.





    Quote from healthstar
    Hi everyone, I am in desperate need for help to get back on my feet and most importantly emotional support . I feel like it is the end of the world It's going to take me years to write everything down and in details, so I am only writing a simple summary.Let me know if you have questions. Has anyone been through this or am I the only one, am I being too hard on myself? I cannot stop thinking about it, it has been 2 weeks I have not told my parents, because they are so good at criticizing and always putting me down I appreciate your help and taking the time to read this, and I am sorry that I have not organized this better, I am just very emotional at this time. My story: I am an RN, BSN graduated in spring, 2012. I got hired as soon as I passed my nclex in medical surgical floor. I was super excited that I found a job so quickly, I thought it would take me months and I had zero hope and confidence etc. I was thankful and very lucky for the job offer. Orientation was 12 weeks, the first few weeks of orientation I was completely lost, did not know anyone, and had to start from 0. The first few weeks I was energetic and ready for this wonderful nursing career, but I was constantly afraid of making mistakes. I always went to work 2 hrs early, not paid, so I could read pt charts, and organize my day better. As weeks passed by I was becoming more and more stressed out, burnt out, overwhelmed, no lunch breaks, crying every single day for hours in my car, on the way home, at home and when I went to sleep...and it was only the beginning of my nursing career! To make the story short, at the 12th week I had an evaluation, and the management and my preceptors stated that I was not ready to be on my own, but they stated that I had potential and a big heart and they would give me more time. Again, I was very thankful for the extra orientation weeks. I had a list of things I had to work on, there were so many times that I considered quitting because I was overwhelmed and it was a fast pace for me, but there were voices in my head saying, don't give up easily, keep trying, more listening less talking, give it your best--- this is the only thing that kept me going. Anyways, I reached 17 weeks of orientation w/ 6 preceptors d/t some being part time, PRN,going on vacation, changing positions etc. Again, at the 17th week I had improved but I was not safe to be on my own in this high acuity floor. Management decided to end my orientation and let me go. I absolutely loved my coworkers, I get along w/ anyone. I loved the management, they have been nothing but very kind and supportive and I really appreciated everything they did for me and for giving me a chance. What preceptors thought of me:Positivesrioritizing pt needs, great at identifying problems, great communication skills, caring, big heart, great assessment skills, good listener, good at charting, medication administration, communicating w/ doctors, and paging, good skills techniques, foley insertion, IVs, wound dressing changes, central line dressing changes, cannulating ports,.....a long list of things.Negatives: time management and organization( I had improved a lot from the beginning) but not where I should be at 17th week , slow for the high acuity floor( I took my time to triple check meds and orders, I was scared of making mistakes if I went too fast) Basically: I was told, that as a new graduate this floor was not for me, it is a high acuity floor and I should look for something that requires a little slower pace. I have given every piece of energy left in me to be successful on that floor, I asked questions many times when I was unsure, I never disagreed, always listened to my preceptor and followed their instructions, but they were very rough on me and some made me feel like a loser. I know that they have to be rough because they want me to succeed, and not harm patients, some made me very uncomfortable, and the tone of voice was unpleasant at times. No matter how stupid, embarrassed, stressed, overwhelmed somehow I controlled myself and continued to do everything I was instructed to do.What hurts the most is that I tried so hard to succeed, I did not quit, I changed so many things and did them the way my preceptors wanted me to do, and at the end I still failed and I wasn't safe. When they decided to let me go ,I had a sense of relief, a ton of weight was lifted off my shoulders. But now I feel like my nursing career ended forever and it breaks my heart, I am scared of never finding another nursing job because I was not successful at my first job because I as not ready, I was not safe to function alone
    healthstar and GrnTea like this.
  9. 0
    Thank you everyone for your time and emotional support. GrnTea, your post is very helpful, sometimes I have that problem, my brain thinks/ creates things that were never said sometimes it translates things differently. The management said I have to search for a job that does not have high acuity, slower pace because I am a new grad. Now I am very worried for interviews and how to explain my situation, that the high acuity floor was not for me, what if the interviewer asks me what makes you think our floor is less busy, and requires slightly slow pace, I do not know in which nursing unit I belong, I want to search for low acuity nursing units but I don't know which specialties are considered low acuity. Can someone guide me on how to explain this situation in the future interviews, I am terrible with word choices. I am not a religious person, but i have suffered so much from frequent admission, discharges, frequent new orderes, frequent surgeries and frequent pain meds,sending pt off units frequently for procedure, and running all day, no voiding or water to drink for 8+ hours for me, I was never taught religion, but I swaer I have prayed so much for strength and energy, pt safety and to be a successful nurse on my own these last few weeks of orientation and I turned catholic within a day!
  10. 0
    It doesn't sound like you were unsafe (as you said) but rather that you suffer from an extreme lack of self-confidence.

    I'd suggest you find a counselor to work with because it sounds like you had a lot of support at work and therefore the problem is not with the workplace but rather your internal processing. As such, you're at risk for facing a similar outcome.

    Nursing is fast-paced and high-stress. You need to learn to "let go and use the force" and manage your time. Being safe isn't sufficient; you must also be efficient.
  11. 1
    Quote from ♪♫ in my &hearts;
    It doesn't sound like you were unsafe (as you said) but rather that you suffer from an extreme lack of self-confidence.

    I'd suggest you find a counselor to work with because it sounds like you had a lot of support at work and therefore the problem is not with the workplace but rather your internal processing. As such, you're at risk for facing a similar outcome.

    Nursing is fast-paced and high-stress. You need to learn to "let go and use the force" and manage your time. Being safe isn't sufficient; you must also be efficient.
    I have to admit when I first started orientation I was very nervous and I was not confident. But at the end of the orientation I felt confident enough, to be on my own. iI accomplished so much in 17 weeks, I learned from the best nurses who had 30+ years experience, and one day I pray to be half as good!. I had a lot of support at work and I am not going to throw away what they have done for me, I am thankful for even having the opportunity. They decided to let me go mostly because of the (fast pace, high acuity for my level( new grad) which affected time management , organization, critical thinking, I was terrible in all these categories when I first started, but I got better with time, at the end of orientation I improved. I believe critical thinking comes with years of experience, people learn to be able to think critically, my critical thinking was no where near to the experienced nurses . I lost my first nursing job, but I gained a lot of knowledge and experience. I am just terrified of upcoming interviews and how to explain this with better wording so Other managers can give me a chance on their floor
    anotherone likes this.
  12. 0
    good luck. apply again. it really is sink or swim. i work i a high acuity med surg floor. and lately management has been a lot less symphatetic to new grads. cause some come and get it after 3 weeks or pretend to..... at least for the next job you will uave had 4 months of some experience and will be more up to par
  13. 0
    Let's shift the perspective here a bit. You didn't "lose your first nursing job" - you were unable to meet their orientation goals within the allotted time frame. You were not fired because you made mistakes or errors in judgment that could have harmed a patient. Basically, you were not a good fit for their training model. Everyone learns at their own pace. Given sufficient time, you probably would have made a successful transition.

    Busy MedSurg/Tele units are very challenging - even for experienced nurses. Shorter lengths of stay, complex technology, increasing patient/family expectations... EEK. Multi-tasking is essential for survival but cognitive research has shown us that not all people can do this. Some of us simply cannot handle the continuous barrage of informational awareness and re-prioritization that characterizes this environment (aka chaos). Others thrive on it and would be bored in a more stable and predictable setting.

    As you continue your job search, be truthful about this experience and what you have learned about yourself as a result. Your honesty will be refreshing to potential employers.

    So - lace up your skates and take another run at it. Have you looked at LTACs? They have the same types of patients, but the length of stay is longer so the constant "churn" of admits and discharges is much less of a problem.


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