Eye opening experience!

  1. Hello all,

    I just recently completed an LPN to RN bridge program after working as an LPN for almost 10 years. Prior to becoming an LPN, I worked in high school and after for awhile as a CNA. I worked for the past 6-7 years with fragile, chronically ill children, most of whom are on vents and have trach's, g.t.'s, and seizure disorders. I decided I would like to maintain my skills by working in the hospital for awhile. I selected a smaller local hospital. My first day with my preceptor was a sheer disappointment to say the least! She is an LPN (the LPN and RN role here are fairly similar w/ the exception of a few things). The Nurse manager wanted me to start with her to see the LPN role and this agitated her. She commented, "what an insult." I respect both types of nurses having filled the LPN role for a decade. The precepting nurse was upset because she didn't want to precept. It was akward for the first few hours. The staff members openly swore at the desk and mud slinging was rampant among the team members and opposing shifts. I thought I was back in time to Jr. high! The preceptor went from room to room checking IV's and "assessing" patients and rarely washed her hands or used the hand rub. Her assessment included listening briefly to the lungs (stethascope placement was off), and feeling pedal pulses through socks so fast that surely she couldn't have felt them. She precharted meds and teaching that was not done by her. The IV tubings that were not labeled for a change date she just put stickers on for a different day. I personally would not want to be the RN who signed off on these 30 second assessments. The job itself was quite doable...I know it can be a world of sharks out there, but this to me was over the top. I pray not all hospital settings are not like this! I can not handle this type of drudge and back stabbing day after day. I could tolerate it to an extent, but my sanity and well being are of greater value. Grown adult professionals saying F*** this, that, and so and so, openly about other staff members and things in general. I have seen a lot, but this sure opens my eyes. I am glad that I know who I am and know that kindness and working together brings a more positive change. I shall not be returning, but hope that this experience is an exception. I am not so novice to know that a utopia in nursing is but a dream. I understand that there will always be some of this, but hopefully not to this extent as it is purely unprofessional. I realize that nurses have an overload of patients but It is reality that we must also protect our license and well being by demonstrating competence. Sometimes you think things are trivial and they come back to bite you. If I give a med I prefer to verify it with a wrist band, I wash between patients, and If I sign my name to an assessment, I will do it as completely as I can...I know this isn't every where because some wonderful nurses have cared for my father, who passed away a few years ago, and my daughter when she was ill. You can still do things quickly and safely with good organization. Enough of my rant and a big thank you to all the nurses who have taught me the right way throughout my career and to all the wonderful nurses I know to be working everyday!
    Karen
    Last edit by GN1974 on Mar 10, '05
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  2. 2 Comments

  3. by   ProfRN4
    sounds like a real nightmare!! and because you have experience as a nurse, you probably don't have that utopian image of health care (unless you really did work at the best place in the world before that). btw, ehy is she insulted by you following her around??? i don't get that. i hope she is not going to be your regular preceptor. even if the roles are similar, you should be with an rn (you already know how to be an lpn). i hope it gets better.
  4. by   NurseCard
    There was something about your post that said that you know that you are an excellent nurse, without sounding like you had a huge HEAD. I can't explain it, but I enjoyed your post and found it inspiring. It was kind of like looking at a picture and being able to say "This is the nurse that I DON'T want to be, and this is the nurse that I DO want to be". You sounded like someone who is very confident in her nursing skills, yet very very kind and good hearted all at the same time. You are, I'm sad to say, somewhat rare. Many of the well-skilled nurses at my facility are also rather, for lack of a better word, MEAN. Not all of them, but a lot of them. They are excellent nurses and really know how to take care of their patients and make them feel better, and are also really nice to their patients, but can turn around and be very cutting and catty towards their coworkers and new nurses.

    Thank you.

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