FELLOW Nurses please help with this dilema. I am so upset!

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    Ok, this is a VERY LONG STORY. I am sorry. Please dont let this keep you from reading it. I am so hurt at what has taken place. I need some fellow nurses to guide me in some decision making please. I thank you all in advance for taking your time to read this.



    I am a new LPN. I graduated last August and received my license in September. I went to work immediately for a nursing home. I was not happy there from the start. I had interviewed with a doctors office while still in nursing school but never heard back from them. One day when I was on a lunch break at the nursing home, I received a voice mail on my cell phone. It was the administrator that I had interviewed with at the doc office. I called him back and within minutes, he invited me to interview with the doctor that I would be working for that afternoon. I did just that and I landed the job. I was ELATED!
    I was not at all prepared for what this job entailed. The practice that I went to work for has two main doctors. Each doctor has their own nurse. The doctor that I went to work for uses this office as his satellite office. His main office is 50 miles up the road. He comes to our office on Mon, Wed, Thurs. On Monday, he doesnt get there until after he sees his pt's in his main office. He arrives at our office at around 4 p.m and will stay until around 9:30 p.m. I was told when I first took the job that I would be working late hours two nights a week. My duties were Mon, Wed, Thurs when my doc was there I was his primary nurse. (his only nurse) I would stand guard in the hall while he would breeze in a room do his thing and come out with a boat load of duties for me.
    I would write all the prescriptions for him, follow orders for EKG's, Holter monitors, Injections, wound care, prepare the room for DRE's, Paps etc..Nursing stuff. I was also responsible for scheduling ultrasounds of any kind, Filling out paperwork for the pt's lab work and what they needed, coding it for insurance purposes (ICD-9 codes), doing their Flu tests, Strep tests, A1C's, UACR's, CBC's, UA's etc etc. This all had to take place right then as he come out of the room. By the time I was done with all of this, it was time to check out the next patient. This is a very busy doc with a huge patient load. When he was done seeing a patient he would write his orders in the chart such as ..schedule this patient with Dr. X for reason X etc..that chart would then be taken to check out and then would be sent back to my office and placed on my desk for the following day.
    When my doctor wasnt there on Tuesdays and Fridays I was strictly administrative nursing. I get to my office and begin working on my stack of about 50 charts that were there on my desk from all the patients the day and night before. My duties on administrative days included scheduling all appts with other doctors that my doc referred them to, doing referrals for insurance, scheduling CT's, MRA's, MRI's, Physical Therapy, calling in all medication, faxing pharmacies with refills, reviewing labs from the day before, prioritizing Pro Time Labs, calling patients with results of tests, documenting, charting etc . During the day I would get calls from our patients constantly wanting to discuss this or that or get a med called in, I would get walk ins wanting to discuss meds or needing labs done that they didnt do the night before or whatever. I would have to stop in the middle of my doing a zillion things and tend to phone calls and pull charts to handle each event. This would pull me away from my main responsibilities.
    This job was NOT EASY. This was one of the hardest jobs I have ever had. The pressure was so intense to get EVERYTHING done and I was the only one doing it. But I LOVED THIS JOB! After all the clinicals in nursing school and all the places I didnt feel at home with, I had FINALLY found my NITCH! I was actually being trained by a girl in the office that wasnt even a nurse. She wasnt a M.A or a CNA even, she had just been there for a while. She would show me how to do things but she wouldnt actually help. I wondered how on earth one person was expected to do all of this plus why is it that a patient can call the dr's office and the nurse get paged on the spot? I have never known of another office like this. The phone was like working in a call center and the pages were not stop over the P.A. I began to get impatient and would complain to the girl that was training me. I explained to her that I could not get anything done. I even went to my doctor and explained this to him.
    He went to office staff and explained that when he wasnt there that I was the highest ranked person and I was allowed to get help with minial tasks such as phone calls and messages being taken and charts being pulled etc. As soon as the doc would leave and go back to his main office, everything that had been said was out the window and things were back to the way they were the day before. I couldn't believe the pressure but I was doing it. The girl that was training me was a snitch. She and the office manager were kind of friends I guess you could say. The office manager had been there 20 years and seemed to be two faced as all get out. I would catch her whispering around about this one and that one everytime I come face to face with her. She tried to micro manage everyone including myself. I felt as if I could not please these people. I was working so hard to do everything but I just had no help. I had been told that nurses never lasted in that position that I was in. Even my pt's would ask me how long I was going to put up with the pressure there. Some of the pt's had been coming for years to that one clinic and they would tell me how many nurses they had seen come through and couldnt take the heat and would leave.

    I actually understood where they were coming from because I could see that there was no team playing at all. When I first took the job, I told the administrator that he must guarantee that I would have 40 hours a week. I explained to him that I am a single mother with three children and could not afford to leave my job at the nursing home even though I didnt like it , if I wasnt going to get my 40 hours. He guaranteed verbally that I would get that and most of the time way more than that with overtime. He didnt lie. I was getting overtime like crazy. I couldnt help but complain to the girl that was training me some. Her training only lasted about a week then I was thrown in there all by myself. I guess I was just trying to make someone see that this job wasnt hard, it was impossible to do all that was asked of me or anyone for that matter.
    Now here is where this all gets ugly. I was online one night looking at the classifieds in my hometown paper trying to help a friend whom is also a nurse find a job. Low and behold I ran across an add looking for an LPN and it was my docs office. I was floored. I knew there was only two nurses there in that building and the other nurse had no problems because her doc was old fashioned and didn't see pt's after 5p.m and was off on Wed's. Were they replacing me? what was the deal. I worked so hard in that office trying to do my job and I felt proud of myself that I was actually getting it done. I worked so hard to impress the administrator and my doctor. They ended up hiring a girl which was a CNA that was supposed to help with tasks such as answering nursing calls and taking messages etc.
    Then that is when the other "new girl" was hired. This new nursing school grad that is only around 23 y.o gets the new LPN job. She ends up being kin to a lady that is contracted in our office to do our ultrasounds twice a week. The new girl has graduated school but has not taken the NCLEX yet and is not a licensed nurse. Not that it mattered but she is a bleached blonde with a nearly perfect figure and wears enough make up that it looks like shes headed to a rock concert. She has a snooty attitude about her and I knew the day I met her that my doctor would really go for her. I have over heard him in the break room several times make comments about perfect bodies on girls and how much he is attracted to certain types etc. I thought to myself, oh no here it comes. A new schedule was put out right after she came to work there. She ends up being put on my hall doing all the nursing duties and I was put in triage.
    I felt like I had been slapped in the face. I was totally stripped of all the duties that I had worked so hard to impress everyone with. Now she was on the hall and I was triage? I sucked it up and just was thankful that I had my job. I looked for encouragement within myself. I thought ; maybe they are just training this girl for some relief with all of the patient load. His load is very very big. He has two nurses in his main practice and he sees just as many patients here as he does there. I remembered the promise that the administrator made me about my 40 hours and I felt relieved. This girl was still in school even. She was only working two days a week and she was living with her parents. She was hoping to get into R.N school later this year, so I figured she was just being trained all the way around in case we needed her with me. Boy was I wrong.
    This past wednesday the administrator called me in his office and broke the news to me that he was cutting my hours. I asked him why. He said that revenue was the reason and that I was the highest paid person there *ONLY NURSE* may I remind you and that my hours were the first to be cut. Was anyone elses hours cut? NO! I instantly reminded him in a very mousy voice that the new girl was not even needed. The only thing I had requested in the past was a little help with the hundred phone calls I got each day and pulling charts etc. Some referrals would have been nice too. That is what the CNA was originally hired for but they put her doing other things in the office part dealing with insurance and checkout /reception work. I worked so so hard to impress everyone. It was nothing for 50 charts to be on my desk waiting on me on my administrative days and maybe 30 voice mails , let alone the tons of labs and phone calls I had to make and rx refills etc etc etc.
    I asked him how much my hours would be cut. He said I would be cut down to two days a week. 16 hours! I could Not believe my ears. I am a single mom. I have three kids. He knew this. Why would he do this to me? well today took the cake. We were handed out a new schedule. My hours being cut is effective next week. The slot that is listed on the schedule as being the nurse position was filled up with the new girls name. I was put in the triage column of the schedule for a measely 16 hour work week. She has been made full time. She took my job from me right in front of my eyes. Right in front of my face. She has even made reference to she couldnt wait to start work at the hopsital. She said she wanted to work in the O.R. I made a point to him about this. I had this job for a career. I was willing to stay as long as they would let me. I worked so hard! This is just a stopping post for her. She will move on eventually. Why did they cut me? I can remember running up and down the hall and being nervous all day about my work. She props up on counters and talks to the receptionist and never seems to get in a hurry. She swings her hips and just looks clueless to anything going on. She seems to worry more about her looks than anything. What will I do? I live in a small town. There is not much of a nursing opportunity here. I can only work certain hours. I reminded the admin that she the new girl lives home with her parents still and I have kids to support. I dont even know how the bills will be paid. I know my job performance was good. I worked so so so hard. Is there anything I can do? how can people be so heartless?

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  4. 27 Comments so far...

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    It does sound like you are in quite a pickle and need to make some instant decisions. I have also lived in small towns and the politics at work can be difficult if not impossible to overcome. That is why I became a travel nurse.

    I realize that is not an option for you with kids at home, but when your back is against the wall, you find other options. I know you said you loved this job, but you mentioned that the pressure was great and not likely to decrease. Sometimes it takes a slap in the face to see what is really happening.

    All I can offer is support. Nursing offers a lot of flexibility, you just may have to broaden your search.

    Good luck finding something that works for you and your family. If feasible, you may even have to relocate to find something you can be happy with long term.
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    I wish I had words of wisdom for you. All I can do is offer you good thoughts that things work out. I'm really sorry that you find yourself in this position.
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    My advise to you is to talk to an attorney.....I know being a single mom it is hard to pay for one...but there you can be referred to one by the Womans Crisis Center.....You were promised something and that was 40 hours a week....Go look back at the contract that you signed when you originally took the job.....if you remember what time it was when he promised you the 40 hours make sure you WRITE IT DOWN...and give it to an attorney...yes it was a verbal agreement, but as long as you write it down you're covered....See what an attorney tells you....sorry to hear about your bad situation, and I hope it does get better.....
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    Do your 16 hours, but remember you are not the one ultimately accountable anymore. No overtime. The work and accountability will fall to the new girl, and quite possibly they will realize what a great service you were doing them. I recommend a per diem position elsewhere so you can gte your feet wet and find out if you want to move on or stay with this office.
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    It sounds to me you have been really hurt, and it is ongoing because you have your family to provide for. I hope the old saying is true for these ppl, "what goes around, comes around". Going to an attorney may help, and I guess you have to consider what you want to do first. Do you want to return to that position? Or are there other opportunities elsewhere in the area you live in?
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    I doubt the new gal will last long. Whatever you do, do NOT start doing the work she is not doing while she props on the counter. Let her fall on her face.

    Then see what happens. You might not even want the job back, if they do offer it to you, knowing how they betrayed you. They sound like a pack of weasels.

    If you could somehow set aside your desperation, you'd be able to think more clearly.

    I guess you should start looking for other work. Maybe there's another doc's office? I wish you good luck. May you know God's mercy and love and may He bless you with a true answer to your problems.
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    I'm so sorry. You must be very worried. Try to remember that for every door closed, another opens. And your door isn't completely closed (although it sounds like you should walk out through it!). Two lay-offs and two corporate jobs I thought I had, but did not get, is how I ended up in nursing--and am loving it. Where do you live? Is there a hospital? Other LTCs? Can you lean on family for a while as you look for another job? If you have to work at McDonald's temporarily the other 24 hours to provide for your family, so be it. Open your mind and heart, pray, think creatively, be strong, be patient and a wonderful opportunity will come your way. Please keep us posted.
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    Mean people s***! This bunch seems to be stating loud and clear that they don't value YOU so it doesn't really matter what happens with new girl. I would be using all that "free" time they've stuck you with to find another position even if it means tucking tail and going back to the LTC for a while. Seems like you would have more contacts there and may hear about some opportunities that suit you better. Obviously you're hurt and emotional (justifiably so) but try to stay cool and professional during your remaining time with the doc (give proper notice, etc.). Taking the high road always pays off in one way or another. Good luck, hugs & prayers!
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    I would look for another job. What about the hospital? Or another nursing home in another town? Good luck. Other options:

    1. Get financial aid, go back to school for your RN - it will give you more opportunities.

    2. Have the kids' father help with child care and increase his support while you are in school.

    3. Look into state help - in IL you can get paid child care if you are a student.


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