anyone else feel this way? - page 2

Hi everyone, I am new to this website and board. I have a big dilemma that I need some feedback on. I moved down south last July to take a nursing job in an Open Heart/Surgical ICU. I had 4 years... Read More

  1. by   grammied50
    keep your spirits up! esp. in sicu/icu nurses can be terrors! try to find someone to mentor with and take all of the continuing ed that the place has to offer!keep documentation on difficult coworkers for your own sake. but,don't give up! we need more rns who are willing to teach new staff! you will be one of them before long. there is no easy answer but it would seem that you nurse manager should bring up the general topic in a staff meeting. you cannot change the drs. but you can change the way you respond to them!be well prepared and act like you are confident even if you don't feel that way on a particular day! no one knows everything and too often we expect ourselves to! do fun stuff outside of work with your kids! i am from va. and there is alot to do in the south! keep your chin up! ihave moved alot-the last to wa. st.! it is a hard adjustment! best of luck! it does get better!
  2. by   lita1857
    Thanks guys for ALL the input!!!you all amazed me...if anyone has read some of my previous posts I'm the rude one...I probably came across as eating you alive...and I probably did here and in my professional life. This gives me a new prospective on the subject of new nurses and those new to an area, I hope I can be more of a mentor than than in the past. I also am going back to the bedside in a different area so it's my turn(haven't oriented to something new in 2yrs)you know what they say "pay back's are a bi***!!It'll be just fine-it's about the journey...talk with you all soon
  3. by   yankee_in_SC
    Originally posted by hollykate:
    To Lita,
    I totally understand your point of view- but to be fair-when comparing to teachers- teachers in many areas are given mentors whom they meet with, outside of work, once a week and discuss how things are going. My sister is a new teacher, and she feels totally unprepared for the crazy behavior of the children. I recently saw a documentary on a teachers first year and many of the teachers describe not knowing how to effectivey handle a classroom, despite their time student teaching.
    We ave recently had a number of not new nurses come to our ICU- after a month there is one who still can not remember how to zero an a line- this is annoying, and I wonder how long she will last off orientation. But, in Yankee's post, her mgr stated there was not a problem with her work. I think it's personalities- Yankee seems to have a good sense of what she knows and what she doesn't- which is the key to being successful. If it doesn't work out, Yankee, youcan come and work where I work, the nurses are still sometimes jerks, but the MD's at least, are peaches.
    Hi Hollykate,
    You are right about teaching (and may I include orienting as well?)--no amount of training prepares you for the trenches. You have personality clashes, can't find the supplies, don't know who to trust, can't locate the paperwork...and that doesn't even begin to describe the challenges of the "job"! I feel sorry for new grads, having no experience base to fall back on...
    I still have gads of checklists and modules left to complete, as there was no time during work to discuss them. Ah, the joys of short staffing...OH, there's TWO of you?? One preceptor and one orientee? Then you can have the absolute worst patients on the unit, because after all there's TWO of you... I'm heading back to work tomorrow, and am going to trudge on..but hollykate, if it isn't working, I'll be sure to be in touch! Thanks! J
    There are positive people where I work, don't let me mislead you..but the few negative ones ruin it for all the staff.
  4. by   yankee_in_SC
    Originally posted by lita1857:
    Thanks guys for ALL the input!!!you all amazed me...if anyone has read some of my previous posts I'm the rude one...I probably came across as eating you alive...and I probably did here and in my professional life. This gives me a new prospective on the subject of new nurses and those new to an area, I hope I can be more of a mentor than than in the past. I also am going back to the bedside in a different area so it's my turn(haven't oriented to something new in 2yrs)you know what they say "pay back's are a bi***!!It'll be just fine-it's about the journey...talk with you all soon
    lita, like I said in a previous post, no amount of orienting can prepare you for the nuances for the job. And in critical care, the nuance can be a life-or-death issue. Sometimes the stress level of "what am I walking into tonight" can make all that learning go out the window. I am the most level headed relaxed person I know, but being mentally "slapped" by snide comments and looks does nothing but destroy what confidence and learning that has been built.
    You can usually tell the ones that will make it--it becomes pretty obvious after awhile.
    Hope your experience is pure positive!
  5. by   Stargazer
    Yankee, as has been discussed in the "New nurses in ICU" thread, the only way to make it is with wonderful and supportive preceptors and coworkers. I'm so sorry to hear that you had neither. After 6 months, you're really beyond the "assigned preceptor" stage--so I would suggest finding yourself a mentor. It might be the nurse educator or CNS for your area, or just 1 or 2 of the nicer, more patient nurses in your unit who don't mind being asked questions and like to teach.

    I also admire your determination to learn by buying books and studying. Some local community colleges offer great 1 - 2 day workshops like X-ray or lab interpretation or advanced cardiac assessment. In my area, there are a lot of master's-prepared nurse entrepeneurs who give seminars on advanced 12-lead EKG interpretation and hemodynamic monitoring. Keep an eye out for these--many institutions will even give "scholarships" for you to attend these classes.

    If you really can't find a core group of nurses who are a little more patient and pleasant to work with--get out, switch jobs, do what you have to do to make sure you are not permanently poisoned by this toxic atmosphere. It's not worth it. You are way too new to be this burned out. Good luck!
  6. by   Mijourney
    Hi yankee. Welcome to the South. Brutal, eh. The physicians and other practitioners in the South seem to enjoy putting on some type of macho masquerade especially when a migrant is in town. This is pretty much anywhere, but is more notable in the South where you still have alot of hero worship from nurses to physicians and the nurses as well as physicians and other practitioners tend to be frequently overly territorial.

    I agree with you that you keep things superficial with your coworkers for now and practice some avoidance maneuvers. Do the best you can and try to stick it out. There may be some other alternatives you can apply for job wise. If there are certain things you don't know, you can discuss with your manager since she says you don't have any work problems as well as a supportive critical care educator. He/she can review with you care activities that you may not be familiar with.

    I'm sorry you're being eaten alive. It tends to be a sport in nursing. Best wishes for your success.
  7. by   lsmo
    WHY IS IT THAT NO ONE SEES THAT YANKEE'S MANAGER HAS SOME ACCOUNTABILITY HERE? IT SEEMS TO ME IF YANKEE HAS A GOOD WORK RECORD THEN THE NURSE(S) GIVING HER A ROUGH TIME SHOULD GET TAKEN ASIDE AND REPRIMANDED. NO WORK PLACE SHOULD TOLERATE THAT IN STAFF. IF I WAS YANK, IN ADDITION TO ALL THE GREAT SUGGESTIONS THUSFAR, I WOULD ASK THE MANAGER WHAT HE/SHE PLANS ON DOING TO "RE-EDUCATE" AND REDIRECT THESE MISGUIDED EMPLOYEES? MORE IMPORTANTLY, WHAT IS BEING DONE BY YOUR MANAGEMENT TO ENSURE THAT YOU GET THE MENTORING YOU DESERVE? TOO OFTEN OUR WORKPLACES ARE SHORT STAFFED AND SUPPORT FOR STAFF IS LACKING. MAYBE THESE NURSES ARE "EATING THEIR YOUNG" IN RESPONSE TO DYSFUNCTIONAL WORK CONDITIONS. THINK ABOUT IT, AS EXPERIMENTS ON MICE HAVE SHOWN: PUT THEM TOO CLOSE TOGETHER IN A TINY PLACE, DENY FOOD AND WATER, OR OVERSTIMULATE THEM AND THEY TOO WILL START TO BEHAVE INAPPROPRIATELY IF NOT KILL EACH OTHER!

    ------------------
    L.Smo RN

    [This message has been edited by lsmo (edited February 20, 2001).]
  8. by   fergus51
    It's stories like these that kept me away from ICU. They seem to have the worst reputaion for eating their young. It's sad because they are the area that has been the hardest hit by the shortage of nurses and some of them can be AWESOME mentors, but new nurses always seem to work with the unit hags.

    I think the worst experience in nursing was the realisation as a student that a lot of nurses seem to enjoy tormenting eachother instead of suppoting eachother. The ******, unprofessional nurses were the reason I didn't accept a job in the hospital I had done all my practicums in, and I made sure personnel knew it. Maybe if they realise why they aren't keeping any new grads something will be done.
  9. by   JennieBSN
    Ismo--I agree with you about mgt. being held accountable, however, yankee stated that mgt. offered to intervene and she declined. When I had my horrible preceptor in NICU (rode in on a broom every day, had the rep for running off new orientees), I went to my NM, and he just sat there like a stump and basically said, 'what do you want ME to do about it?' If he had offered to intervene, though, I'm not sure I would've taken that offer either. Like yankee said, most of the time, mgt. 'intervention' is ineffective because it's usually sugar-coated or NOT DONE AT ALL. Your anger is correct...management SHOULD be better. Why is it that the only ones in management seem to be those who are only good at paying lip service and pushing papers??? I've even climbed as high up the chain of command as to have a one-on-one with the CEO of the hospital(in regards to a different matter---short staffing and high turn over)...which, of course, changed absolutely nothing. Sad.

    [This message has been edited by kday (edited February 19, 2001).]
  10. by   hollykate
    To Lita,
    I totally understand your point of view- but to be fair-when comparing to teachers- teachers in many areas are given mentors whom they meet with, outside of work, once a week and discuss how things are going. My sister is a new teacher, and she feels totally unprepared for the crazy behavior of the children. I recently saw a documentary on a teachers first year and many of the teachers describe not knowing how to effectivey handle a classroom, despite their time student teaching.
    We ave recently had a number of not new nurses come to our ICU- after a month there is one who still can not remember how to zero an a line- this is annoying, and I wonder how long she will last off orientation. But, in Yankee's post, her mgr stated there was not a problem with her work. I think it's personalities- Yankee seems to have a good sense of what she knows and what she doesn't- which is the key to being successful. If it doesn't work out, Yankee, youcan come and work where I work, the nurses are still sometimes jerks, but the MD's at least, are peaches.
  11. by   yankee_in_SC
    Originally posted by lsmo:
    WHY IS IT THAT NO ONE SEES THAT YANKEE'S MANAGER HAS SOME ACCOUNTABILITY HERE? IT SEEMS TO ME IF YANKEE HAS A GOOD WORK RECORD THEN THE NURSE(S) GIVING HER A ROUGH TIME SHOULD GET TAKEN ASIDE AND REPRIMENDED. NO WORK PLACE SHOULD TOLERATE THAT IN STAFF. IF I WAS YANK, IN ADDITION TO ALL THE GREAT SUGGESTIONS THUSFAR, I WOULD ASK THE MANAGER WHAT HE/SHE PLANS ON DOING TO "RE-EDUCATE" AND REDIRECT THESE MISGUIDED EMPLOYEES? MORE IMPORTANTLY, WHAT IS BEING DONE BY YOUR MANAGEMENT TO ENSURE THAT YOU GET THE MENTORING YOU DESERVE? TOO OFTEN OUR WORKPLACES ARE SHORT STAFFED AND SUPPORT FOR STAFF IS LACKING. MAYBE THESE NURSES ARE "EATING THEIR YOUNG" IN RESPONSE TO DYSFUNCTIONAL WORK CONDITIONS. THINK ABOUT IT, AS EXPERIMENTS ON MICE HAVE SHOWN: PUT THEM TOO CLOSE TOGETHER IN A TINY PLACE, DENY FOOD AND WATER, OR OVERSTIMULATE THEM AND THEY TOO WILL START TO BEHAVE INAPPROPRIATELY IF NOT KILL EACH OTHER!

    Let me tell you my opinion on management...As Long As the Work is Done, They Don't Care. Period. They see what they want to see. They have to account to the higher ups for the work, they certainly don't care to deal with the "squabbling". Is this a negative attitude? Absolutely. Comes from experience of going "to the office" and fighting for what's right. It's good in theory, poor in implementation.
    As far as my manager intervening, I am sure she would. She seems to be very interested in her staff (as a matter of fact, I almost had to get my dropped jaw rewired when she told me that NO meeting was more important than her staff--that was a first for me to hear from a manager). But more importantly, this nasty nurse is a BODY, a Body who works nights, and to be honest, it's worth keeping her just for that, from a management perspective. So that's where it is, I wish I could do more, but I am of the belief that she will get what's coming to her...as a matter of fact, she's had a few instances since me that she's given bad nursing care, and she knows it. It's just a matter of time.
  12. by   yankee_in_SC
    Originally posted by Mijourney:
    Hi yankee. Welcome to the South. Brutal, eh. The physicians and other practitioners in the South seem to enjoy putting on some type of macho masquerade especially when a migrant is in town. This is pretty much anywhere, but is more notable in the South where you still have alot of hero worship from nurses to physicians and the nurses as well as physicians and other practitioners tend to be frequently overly territorial.

    I agree with you that you keep things superficial with your coworkers for now and practice some avoidance maneuvers. Do the best you can and try to stick it out. There may be some other alternatives you can apply for job wise. If there are certain things you don't know, you can discuss with your manager since she says you don't have any work problems as well as a supportive critical care educator. He/she can review with you care activities that you may not be familiar with.

    I'm sorry you're being eaten alive. It tends to be a sport in nursing. Best wishes for your success.
    AVOIDANCE I am good at...haha. It goes against the grain of who I am, but it is necessary. I can keep totally busy and to myself for the entire 12 hours. I am trying to get more acquainted on Swans (more of clinical applications) so I can read if I have free time at work. It is a sad state of being when you prefer reading about Swans rather than interact with humans!! This has been a tough journey for me, and although I hate to admit it, moving south may have been a mistake. The South seems to be brutal everywhere, not just in the hospital setting.
    Less whining, more action! That's my motto!
    thanks for your support!

  13. by   Lynn Casey RN
    Hi Yankee!
    I am devastated and haunted by your story.It made me think again of the emotional abuse I sustained while in a CCU for 8 years!The abuse was unreal and disgusting.I started this CCU with 3 years MSICU experience and a 3 month post basic critical care course.I am a jolly person with alot of friends.I couldn't even breathe right,they pounced mercilesssly every chance they got!Nurses like this are everywhere and a disgrace to our profession!I can tell you right now those social morons are intimidated by you.You are obviously smart and eager ,and they can't stand it!They resent your knowledge,they resent your triumph(moving to start a new life after a divorce)If you listen carefully I am sure all they have to talk about is squeezing out their kids 10 years ago and picking at other cooworkers,period.Unfortunately there are people who feel big by making others feel small.I had to do some soul searching first.I was lucky.I was able to fall back on previous experience,and realized I had alot of friends and great evaluations before I moved to CCU.Then,patients were asking where I was,leaving cards for me,and then... my worklife came crashing down.I was teaching patients and enjoying their company too much?
    I love mentoring new nurses and students....so they would make sure I never got students!I was stuck because at the time there were no jobs in nursing(hard to believe eh?LOL)Anyways,the nurse manager pulled me in the office for something stupid for the last time!I freaked out!I said...I am sick and tired of Jennifer T's bull@#$#!How about next time she comes to you about this stupid foolishness you send her to me instead?This is abuse and harassment and you two better find a new hobby or I am filing a harassment charge!She swallowed crow and looked embarassed.Then,as soon as a job hit the board I left.The bad news is...their scapegoat left,the good news is the problem has mushroomed and blame has fallen back on them.The CCU lost 20 nurses after I left and the average experience base now is less than 1 year!Now even the float team refuse to go there.These "experienced" miserable backstabbers have been exposed for the nasty people that they are.I am in a MSICU working with great people(there will always be some everywhere).You can't change how they treat you...you can only change how you react to them.I would even go so far to say...."Oh thanks...do you feel better now?"next time you are undermined!My advice is stick to critical care(you went there for a reason!)but GET OUT OF THERE!Please,if you want mentoring feel free anytime to E mail me
    lynnmike@nbnet.nb.ca.Good Luck and be grateful that you are you,instead of them.

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