Stressed out Float new grad nurse!! - page 2

by Nursingluv101 7,919 Views | 17 Comments

Well, first off I have to say I'm very lucky to have a job. I'm new grad in California and I just got hired about 5 months ago as a float. I started working at the "easy department's" first postpartum, peds and ICN. Over all I... Read More


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    I just wanted to give you a virtual ((hug)) and some support. I really understand what you are going through. I moved from California (born and raised there) to start nursing school New York City. I ended up working at a univeristy hospital in Manhattan on a very busy surgical/step down unit/telemetry. The median age of our patients was like 80-90's. We had a lot of confused patients and we could have as many as 6 patients who were all pretty high acuity. We also had tracheostomy pts if we were in the stepdown unit. I stayed on that floor for two 1/2 years until I realized I was just burning out. I recently transferred to Labor and Delivery and am loving the change. I still have to deal with some doctors that think they are God but it is waaaay better than where I was.

    What helped me on the tele floor was getting to work a little early to read through my cardex and try and prioritize my day. Nursing is unpredictable and somedays I just had to keep calm when everything seemed to be happening at once (afib/transport to pick up a pt/doctor calling for status of pt.). Also, I found allies on my floor. I knew there were some people that were not willing to help but I did find other nurses (who are now good friends of mine who became my source of support. We always helped one another when we felt like we were drowning. I am surprised you don't have ancillary staff to do vitals and EKG's. Hang in there. I say maybe look for something different. Maybe Kaiser is hiring? I will say that time made things get better for me and I also got back into my yoga/eating right/meditation. That helped A LOT!! But hang in there the first year (actually the first two years of nursing for me) were really hard!! I hope you are able to find your rhythym and a sense of calm when you are at work. But I would talk to someone and maybe see if there is a position that is more stable for you to transition into. Floating is stressful!! I remember even senior nurses on my old floor hating to float! It was almost like you know what you are dealing with on this floor so why go out into the big unknown!! LOL!! Anyway, I am sending positive thoughts your way. I hope things look up for you!!
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    As a new grad i was a float nurse myself. Usually on the busiest med surg floors and with the worst patient assignments because I was not a part of the floor crew.

    There were advantages and disadvantages. Disadvantages is there really is no continuity of care, and I do think that is paramount to a new grad. You don't come back to have the same patients, to get to know them, to under stand disease processes. You take longer because of this, you don't know where everything is without asking because it is always changing. And most importantly you don't have that resource person a new grad should have on a a unit.

    That being said, in the long run I can see where it made me a stronger nurse. I stopped floating 4 months in because I did not like it and got offered a position in the ICU. I was pretty self -suficient by then, so learning came a little easier to me by then.

    Also, find the unit you like. You like post-partum? (such a relief when i was floated there) Request that as your floor, let your manager you prefer it there. Get in good with the staff and the NM and they will think of you when there is an opening. Use it to your advantage.

    Hang in there and keep a look out for the openings on the floors, you already have an in!
    GrnTea likes this.
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    I don't know any new nurses who feel very comfortable 5 months in.

    But your situation is made a whole lot harder by the fact that you've been hired into the float pool. That is not a well-thought out hiring decision. New nurses need solid foundations -- floating does not provide that. A float pool needs a nurse who can jump in to any given situation and function independently -- that person is not a new grad.

    3-11 is often described as the most intense shift on floor units -- you're not imagining it. Your unit suffers from a lack of nursing assistants/techs and I'm sure that amps up the intensity as well.

    Only you know if you feel you can stick this out, and whether or not it's doing you any good. Best of luck to you.
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    This is Nursing now days. That's the bad news. The good news is it will get better. Try and fine a system. Something like Blood Sugars first then 1st med pass. Then assessments. then 2d med pass. then draw blood. Then...you get the idea.
    But as Robert Burns said,"...The best laid plans of mice and men oft to go astray..." which means s*** happens. The hospital is at fault, for putting a new nurse in this position. I've been in this business for a lot of years but even I would be hard press to finish on time. A couple of years ago, during a snow storm, I work in LTC. Just the supervisor and 4 CNAs came in. I stayed. Just she and I and 200 patients. We each took 100 patients. Most of the patients slept. but about 20-25 on my floor needed help. But most of them got meds. They started to get their meds at 2AM along with Blood sugars and Treatments. We both finished paper work at 9:30AM. As we went to our cars I said to the supervisor that I forgot Mr. Smith's treatment. She look at me and said, "Is he still alive?" I said "Yes." and she said, "Then you did your job." I wrote all this just to say if your patients are alive, you did your job. It's a horrible thing to say to someone that has come into a profession of caring but nursing has come down to just keep them alive. We feel your pain because we have been there. Good Luck, Sweet Soul.
    Lovely_RN likes this.
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    Wow. I am sorry your having a hard time. I am a new grad, and I have been told over and over that float is not appropriate for new grads, neither are specialty areas such as L&D. Where I am, you can't even get a float position without a certain number of years experience first. Sounds like you are completely spread thin. I hope things get better for you, hang in there this won't last forever. One day, you will be one hell of a nurse for surviving this!
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    Wanted to give a update. I'm still "Hanging in There" as much as I can. I talked to my manager a few weeks ago about my stress, and lack of support while I'm on certain floors. Unfortunately nothing really got done. I'm actually surprised by the lack of support I receive by other nurses on the floors I float to. Last night, I had a patient in Afib and extremely Tachy, it all suddenly started 2 hours before my shift, I was on the phone with MDs, and getting a EKG done and STAT Labs, and tons of orders. With no one offering help. The charge nurse knew and, did very little to help me. The charge also knew I was behind on my med pass with my other pt.s and help pass one of my pt.s meds. Only because the family was complaining. Then when I finally completed everything for my unstable pt., It was time to go home. When I was reporting off to next shift, the Charge then broke up my 4 pt.s saying they were all to busy and unstable for one nurse. WOW!!!! You think!!!!! He divided them for the new regular oncoming staff. Also, when I was giving report the oncoming shift was all cranky because not all my stuff got done. Like the fact that I almost had a pt in V-tach did not matter at all!! Unbelievable, I'm going to talk to my manager, and tell him how horrible and unsupportive the staff was. I'm also going to start looking for another job. I almost have 6 months as a float. I really don't know what department, I want to go. Starting my next schedule I'm going to reduce my hours too. I love nursing, I really don't want to give up on it but at times I hate it. I been thinking psych might actually be a good match for me, It was my favorite in school. I also like postpartum as well. Hopefully I get in some where else.
    noyesno and Merlyn like this.
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    You described all new grads! I agree, floating is too hard. I feel for you.....no aides!!!!!!! That's absurd.....sorry you are in this predicament......jut keep putting one foot in front of the other until you can get out of there.
    Merlyn likes this.
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    It is crazy but I'm actually starting to get good at being a float. Trust me some nights are pure hell but overall it has it good nights too. I told my manager I wanted to get the day shift in August. If he gives it to me I will hang in there for another year or so, because the experience I'm getting in a County ICU and ER is worth being on the crappy med-surg floor. Thanks everyone for the support.


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