New nurse with job that is causing anxiety and depression

  1. 0 HERE IS MY STORY: I graduated in May with my BSN from a university, i was a good student..graduated with honors. I took the NCLEX in the summer and got my first job in a large hospital in december. I am working on a geriatric med-surg floor. When I found out I got the job i was so excited and happy, just where I wanted to start out to gain good experience. The first month (december) was fine, I had 3 weeks of in classroom learning and started on the floor with a preceptor the 4th week. I started with 1 patient and moved up from there (im now up to 5), Nurses on my floor can get up to 8 patients. I noticed my preceptor was very care-free and usually busy with her patients to even teach me things.

    When january rolled around I had a meeting with my preceptor, manager, and my educator. My preceptor told them that I wasnt progressing as well as I should and also told them (infront of me) that she had high expectations from me cause i graduated from a good school and didnt think she would have to teach me even simple things. I went on to say that nursing school now is more on book theory, going to clinical once a week is not going to give us the experience we need to start on a busy med-surg floor and know what we are doing and feel comfortable. I also told them that i felt that i wasnt being taught well cause of how busy my preceptor was. My manager moved me to 8 hour shifts from 12hrs so i would be there 5 days a week instead of only 3 and experience more. I was devestated after this meeting, i felt incompetent and that I wasnt doing well. The 8 hour shifts were HELL..1) because they dont pay for our lunch so really we have to stay 8 1/2 hours and 2) by the time im done with all my documentation on my patients it is 10 hours a day 5 days a week. My manager told me to show motivation so she could see if there was "hope" or not. Can anyone agree with me that this would me emotionally and confidence draining on a NEW GRAD? I feel like my preceptor was watching every move i was making now. I would have her write down my progress after each shift, I would read it and it would be all negative things. Not one time have i been told good job or that I have improved on something, when I knew truly that I have been learning a lot and progressing. I've been depressed for weeks (i never suffered from depression before).

    I had a meeting with my manager yesterday and she said I will be starting 12 hours shifts this week and that she is going to extend my orientation by 2 weeks (now i have a month longer) cause I am still not ready to be on my own. My manager told me that I interviewed unbelievably well and she knew it was going to be difficult to train a new grad but basically not this hard. She also proceeded to tell me that she was going to get rid of me a week or 2 ago but decided that there "might" be hope. I then broke down in her office and cried. She told me crying was normal and that other new comers have cried before cause it is a stressful place to work. They had new grads struggle in the beginning and end up OK. She told me she needs more motivation from me (10 hours/per day not enough)? I also stayed after clocking out one time to work on my IV skills, she mentioned that they cant keep giving to me and that it is a 2 way street. I don't know how much i've got left to give, I cry every day on the way home and everyday before going in. I love nursing, my patients love me..I truly think nursing is for me, maybe I am just in the wrong place? I feel like the pressure is on and that they are watching me closely, Im scared that I am going to get fired soon. Getting fired within 3 months of getting hired would probably make getting hired anywhere else 100x more difficult. I dont wanna sit home for a year and look for another job (i have student loans to pay!!) and also go through telling my friends and family that I have failed at my first job. I want to share with everyone what my experience has been like so far and I want to hear if some of you feel the same way or have gone through the same situation, i hope none of you are cause this really sucks.
  2. Visit  nurseGi profile page

    About nurseGi

    From 'North, NJ'; Joined Nov '12; Posts: 20; Likes: 12.

    32 Comments so far...

  3. Visit  VANurse2010 profile page
    1
    I'm not going to comment on every detail, other than to say that 8 patients is ridiculous. Maybe doable on NOC but not accecptable on days or evenings. I wouldn't do it.
    Red35 likes this.
  4. Visit  DeLana_RN profile page
    0
    This is unfortunately too common... I worked on a stepdown unit as a new grad (also 8 patients - yes, that is ludicrous) and had to stay late every day (and so did the experienced nurses!) But at least they didn't threaten to fire us for ridiculous reasons (like not learning fast enough - you are a new grad!).

    My advice: If you keep getting negative feedback, resign before they can terminate you. This will make finding another job much easier. And don't worry, no one will hold it against you that you resigned within 3 months, especially not as a new grad on the kind of floor you are on.

    Best of luck to you!
  5. Visit  brithoover profile page
    0
    Quote from nurseGi
    HERE IS MY STORY: I graduated in May with my BSN from a university, i was a good student..graduated with honors. I took the NCLEX in the summer and got my first job in a large hospital in december. I am working on a geriatric med-surg floor. When I found out I got the job i was so excited and happy, just where I wanted to start out to gain good experience. The first month (december) was fine, I had 3 weeks of in classroom learning and started on the floor with a preceptor the 4th week. I started with 1 patient and moved up from there (im now up to 5), Nurses on my floor can get up to 8 patients. I noticed my preceptor was very care-free and usually busy with her patients to even teach me things.

    When january rolled around I had a meeting with my preceptor, manager, and my educator. My preceptor told them that I wasnt progressing as well as I should and also told them (infront of me) that she had high expectations from me cause i graduated from a good school and didnt think she would have to teach me even simple things. I went on to say that nursing school now is more on book theory, going to clinical once a week is not going to give us the experience we need to start on a busy med-surg floor and know what we are doing and feel comfortable. I also told them that i felt that i wasnt being taught well cause of how busy my preceptor was. My manager moved me to 8 hour shifts from 12hrs so i would be there 5 days a week instead of only 3 and experience more. I was devestated after this meeting, i felt incompetent and that I wasnt doing well. The 8 hour shifts were HELL..1) because they dont pay for our lunch so really we have to stay 8 1/2 hours and 2) by the time im done with all my documentation on my patients it is 10 hours a day 5 days a week. My manager told me to show motivation so she could see if there was "hope" or not. Can anyone agree with me that this would me emotionally and confidence draining on a NEW GRAD? I feel like my preceptor was watching every move i was making now. I would have her write down my progress after each shift, I would read it and it would be all negative things. Not one time have i been told good job or that I have improved on something, when I knew truly that I have been learning a lot and progressing. I've been depressed for weeks (i never suffered from depression before).

    I had a meeting with my manager yesterday and she said I will be starting 12 hours shifts this week and that she is going to extend my orientation by 2 weeks (now i have a month longer) cause I am still not ready to be on my own. My manager told me that I interviewed unbelievably well and she knew it was going to be difficult to train a new grad but basically not this hard. She also proceeded to tell me that she was going to get rid of me a week or 2 ago but decided that there "might" be hope. I then broke down in her office and cried. She told me crying was normal and that other new comers have cried before cause it is a stressful place to work. They had new grads struggle in the beginning and end up OK. She told me she needs more motivation from me (10 hours/per day not enough)? I also stayed after clocking out one time to work on my IV skills, she mentioned that they cant keep giving to me and that it is a 2 way street. I don't know how much i've got left to give, I cry every day on the way home and everyday before going in. I love nursing, my patients love me..I truly think nursing is for me, maybe I am just in the wrong place? I feel like the pressure is on and that they are watching me closely, Im scared that I am going to get fired soon. Getting fired within 3 months of getting hired would probably make getting hired anywhere else 100x more difficult. I dont wanna sit home for a year and look for another job (i have student loans to pay!!) and also go through telling my friends and family that I have failed at my first job. I want to share with everyone what my experience has been like so far and I want to hear if some of you feel the same way or have gone through the same situation, i hope none of you are cause this really sucks.
    Start looking for a new job immediately! Continue to work hard and improve at this job while looking for something new. Your manager clearly is not providing the supportive environment a new grad needs. As a new grad I had very few clinical skills under my belt due to the extensive amount of classroom work we did. It has been 3 years and I'm still learning new skills. You should look forward to going to work in the morning, not dreading it. Make sure at your next interview you ask lots of questions including the nurse to patient ratio. Good luck to you!!
  6. Visit  Btdthat08 profile page
    0
    I really feel for you. It's just sad that as senior nurses we often times tend to forget where we are coming from Lift your head up, dont allow anyone to steal you self confidence and drive you into depression. Move on - that stess, will only make room for errors on your part and you will not be supported. The very same thing happened to my friend and I live everyday regretting not advising her to leave while she was ahead, now she's before the nursingboard with a suspended licence and having to do refreshers course; simply because she was not supported. Like the good saying goes "Rome was not built in a day" Its a gradual process, you'll get it. You've got to take care of you - so you'll be well enough to take care of others. Continue to work hard and I'll keep you in my prayers.
  7. Visit  netglow profile page
    1
    Almost sounds like that NM never wanted a NG and she's trying to make it now work out.
    roser13 likes this.
  8. Visit  roser13 profile page
    0
    I agree with PPs. Start looking now for a new job. It's always easier to find a new job while currently employed.
  9. Visit  doomsayer profile page
    5
    I then broke down in her office and cried. She told me crying was normal and that other new comers have cried before cause it is a stressful place to work.
    I think this says a alot about her management style, honestly.
    Demoralizing a new grad is not any way to invest in a future employee.
  10. Visit  M/B-RN profile page
    0
    Are they at least letting you know what kinds of things they need you to improve on? Otherwise it just sounds like they may want to phase you out and are trying to make it look like it's your fault for being new and inexperienced. They need to be specific on their needs so that you know what expectations you are trying to meet.

    Your manager sounds terrible and as a new grad you need more support. They should have planned for that. 8 patients is a horrible assignment! I truly hope you find a better place to work.
  11. Visit  daviex profile page
    0
    You need to feel valued and supported, especially as a new nurse. Get out now! You would be learning faster and gaining confidence if you had appropriate support. Do not allow these individuals to continue to steal your joy. Find another job, you deserve it and there are places that will be happy to have you!!
  12. Visit  Esme12 profile page
    3
    I am angry and frustrated at the behavior of a majority of hospitals these days. They are petulant, selfish, mean, lazy and self indulgent. I just don't know what is wrong with people today.

    I am so angry and disappointed and the lack of empathy and guidance.

    OP I'm sorry it does take a while to get the hang of it....8 patients can be a lot. Try to find a union facility near you and interview there. ((HUGS))

    These brain sheets might help you organize and get a little faster.....brain sheet.......here are a few.

    mtpmedsurg.doc
    1 patient float.doc‎
    5 pt. shift.doc‎
    finalgraduateshiftreport.doc‎
    horshiftsheet.doc‎
    report sheet.doc‎
    day sheet 2 doc.doc

    critical thinking flow sheet for nursing students
    student clinical report sheet for one patient

    i made some for nursing students and some other an members have made these for others.....adapt them way you want. i hope they help
    netglow, SoldierNurse22, and brandy1017 like this.
  13. Visit  kalanel5 profile page
    6
    This sounds like a pretty bad preceptor experience. People don't always mesh well with their preceptor. It is just a fact. Your manager should have tried to let you precept with another person. You very well could have blossomed with another person. At this point it doesn't seem like manager plans to do anything that will benefit you.

    I would find something else as quickly as possible in order to resign. If they are unwilling to work with you and are only listening to the concerns of the nurse that is precepting you, it would only be problems if you stayed on. This is a foreshadowing of what would be to come. Get out as soon as you can.

    When I first started I was put with a nurse who wouldn't allow me to do anything for our patients even though I had my license. She then would belittle me and say the other nurses were more efficient than me. Keep in mind the other preceptors allowed the other nurses to do every thing. I promptly went to my manager and asked to be placed with a nurse that I had seen precept others very well. It was a perfect match. I felt supported. The horrid preceptor ended up leaving the company and I am still here doing well. Leave as soon as you can.
    DIV-99, netglow, joanna73, and 3 others like this.
  14. Visit  Sugarcoma profile page
    2
    OP do not be disheartened, other nurses have experienced similar. The brutal reality of your situation is that you have found yourself on one of those less than stellar units (probably why they were hiring in the first place) with management who has no idea what a new grad is capable of or needs in order to progress.

    I agree with others who say start looking for another job but I would say do not leave this job until you have another offer of employment. It is rough out there right now and most units who are hiring now and especially who are hiring new grads are less than stellar themselves. If you can manage to stick it out at this place for at least one year you will be much more marketable and can move on to better opportunities.

    The first thing you need to do is recognize that the transition from student to practicing nurse is a very rough one even when under the best of circumstances, so don't beat yourself up and don't let it ruin your confidence. Next you need to show your manager "something" to let her know your serious. (As if volunteering your time for them, and working that ridiculous 5 day schedule wasn't something! Ugh) The first thing I would do is request a different preceptor. Tell your manager that you would like to see if maybe a new teaching style might help you progress faster. Now address what they consider your shortcomings. Have they told you what SPECIFIC concerns it is that they have? When I say specific I mean "is not efficient at starting IV's" rather than "is not developing as expected". Do you have copies in writing? If so make a list of the specific concerns and your plans for rectifying them. Is it organizational skills? Communication with staff/patients/etc? Lack of knowldege regarding pathophys? It must be specific in order for you to address it. If it is not and is just a bunch of broad mumbo jumbo tell them you need to know what the specific concerns are because you are implementing a plan for improvement. Then go down the list and address it. Even if you do not intend to stay at this place these steps may help you keep collecting a paycheck until something better comes along.

    While you are drafting your plan of improvement, draft a generic resignation letter as well. Keep it in your work bag/purse/etc. Whenever you are called into the office, put it in your pocket. If you feel you are going to be fired and you will know because there is always a pre-amble. No one ever calls you into the office and says you're fired right away. It will start off with as you know we have had some concerns about your progress blah blah blah and if this happens cut your manager off with I am aware and feel it would be mutually beneficial if we just parted ways at this point. I would like to give you my letter of resignation. Your manager will most likely be relieved, agree to accept your resignation and you avoid being fired. This way when you interview and get the why did you leave your last job question you can honestly say you resigned and then go on to give them a generic non bashing reason. I cannot stress that enough....never bash a previous employer in an interview.

    If you receive an interview ask what the ratio is but be aware you will likely be lied to. Ask about their turnover rate. Ask about unit education, if there is any type of support for new grads such as residencies etc. Ask about length of orientation and if not offered ask for a unit tour! Look around and pay attention to what you see. Do the nurses look harried? Are they running around like chickens with their heads cut off? Make sure to offer to shadow for a shift or part of one. Always shadow! When you do shadow look for the staff directory!!! Most of the time it is in the schedule book. Say something like I would like to see how you handle requests for certain days off then thumb through that book and look for a directory. If you see lots of names crossed off and new names written in instead of typed in (most units update it once a year) that is a sign of high turnover and could signal a bad unit.
    DIV-99 and sunnybabe like this.

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