Fired after the first month as a new grad! In shock!

  1. I was offered a job at a busy outpatient urgent care clinic before I graduated. I will try my best to make a long story short. I was trained by over 6 different preceptors for the first few weeks. Each time I was switched to a new person, it wasn't because I wasn't learning or had an issue with another nurse; it was because the other nurses "didn't have the time to train me" (this was their explanation, not mine). I guess this wouldn't be a problem except that each time I was switched the new preceptor wouldn't let me do anything without "watching" her first. I barely had any hands on experience at all. This was very frustrating and boring, but I tried to watch and learn.

    After almost a month of this, I finally got up the courage and spoke to my supervisor about this. I told her I felt that I wasn't getting appropriate training and I needed to be assigned one preceptor and actually given the opportunity to use my hands. She agreed, and finally assigned me an actual preceptor.

    A week later, I was told on Monday that I was doing great. My supervisor and preceptor gave me some feedback about time management, but most of the feedback was positive. They literally said I was making great progress. I felt great, I thanked them for being so supportive, and continued to work the evening shift.

    Then I ended up interacting with a very unprofessional, rude doctor. He belittled me all night, he would mumble orders and expect me to enter them in the computer for him. When I would ask him to repeat himself so I made sure I entered the right thing, he would get angry. The final straw came when he picked up a chart for a 15 year old patient and started talking to the parents of a baby about her medical history. I had no idea any of this was happening, until he swung open the door to the room, and shouted at me "What are you doing? What patient's room am I in? You gave me the wrong chart!"

    I calmly walked up to him and pointed to the room number on the chart "That says room number 9"

    He replied "Well I'm in room number nine!"

    I pointed to the door. It was room 10. He was livid. His face was so red... We work in a clinic, the charts are left in an open area for the doctors to come to, first come, first serve. I don't hand anyone charts, and I didn't make any errors.

    The next day I walk in and I am told that I am being terminated because it's taking too long to train me. My supervisor, whose voice was shaking and looked on the verge of tears told me that the doctors at the office decided I wasn't learning fast enough and they had to let me go.

    I don't feel like this was fair at all. I was never given a chance to prove myself. I was never told that I wasn't performing to standards. The doctor I had the altercation with, I now know, is the co-owner of the practice. I guess I should have kissed his butt a little more and not corrected him in front of a patient. You live, you learn.

    Now I am wondering if I will ever get another job. My contract said that I had 90 days to be in training. I wasn't unprofessional. I never had issues in clinical at school and I had three clinical professors offer to write me letters of recommendation.

    I know that I should have spoken up earlier about the lack of hands on training but I really didn't want to upset anyone. I never, ever put a patient at risk and I never did anything that would be considered negligence. When I did start to do hands-on activities I was told I was performing well. The only thing I was asked to improve was prioritizing, which was I admit is a weakness. But I feel like their expectations were a little absurd for a new graduate. Did anyone else go through this? Any advice? Should I list this on my resume?
    Last edit by ArtemisRN on Sep 20, '13
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    About ArtemisRN

    Joined: Sep '13; Posts: 6; Likes: 9


  3. by   classicdame
    sounds like you were lucky to get out alive. You never would have made it with that MD around. Chalk it up to experience, and try again. So sorry this happened though.
  4. by   nurseprnRN
    You don't need to put it on your resume but I suppose you can take some consolation in the fact that the supervisor knows it was wrong to fire you. Ask her if she would give you a good recommendation-- I bet she would. Offer to reciprocate if she ever needs it, if she likes, because you appreciated her support and her efforts at helping a new grad learn. And when she gets fired, you can write one for her.

    And if you had a signed written contract for 90 days paid orientation, you could always ask an atty about writing a nastygram to the clinic management citing your concerns about unreasonable termination and asking for the money, which you could "negotiate" down a bit. Might not work if you could be terminated for no reason during the orientation period-- check. Contact the atty, though, since we don't give legal advice.
  5. by   ArtemisRN
    Someone told me to ask if I could resign instead of being fired, considering I wasn't guilty of any misconduct. I'm considering it. She said it would look better on my resume. I think it would be better if I didn't even mention it. On the bright side, I have an interview on the 21st of October for a PRN position in trauma. I've actually had this since earlier this month. I have no idea why the interview is so far out, but I guess I will give it my all. It's a start. It sounds exciting. I'll be honest, tell them I don't have a lot of clinical experience but am eager to learn. It would be hilarious, but not surprising to me, if I fail at a disorganized outpatient urgent care but succeed at inpatient trauma. I guess we will see.
  6. by   SuesquatchRN
    Why would you put a job of four weeks' duration on your resume? Never happened.
  7. by   TheCommuter
    I'm not in shock about your firing. The writing was on the wall. . . and politics is the name of the game in this situation.

    A physician disliked you. This particular physician co-owned the place that employed you. I've learned that if people in 'high places' really want you gone, they'll use their clout to make it happen.

    Good luck to you. I'm hoping your professional future is filled with greener pastures.
  8. by   LadyFree28
    Quote from SuesquatchRN
    Why would you put a job of four weeks' duration on your resume? Never happened.
    Or...going against my adage of agreeing with the above statement-call it a temporary position...

    When another door closes, a window opens...hope you can get a good recommendation from the supervisor. Congrats on your interview; sending positive vibes!
  9. by   NurseCard
    Sorry this happened to you. Doctor was a complete jerk. You did absolutely
    nothing wrong. Good luck in the future!
  10. by   xoemmylouox
    You'll get another job. It may suck right now, but getting out of that place is for the best.
  11. by   jadelpn
    If you were offered this job before your graduated, and the people orienting you didn't have the time to do so, and the manager was near tears when she let you go, then I would be happy that I was no longer working there. Apparently, they have an issue keeping staff, and the staff they have are run ragged.

    Find something where along with all the other duties, walking on eggshells is not one of them.
  12. by   apoppyfield
    Toxic workplace... wow that doctor. Be glad you got out before you got Stockholm syndrome.
  13. by   SlyFoxRN
    If he co-owns the practice, there's nothing you can do. He's clearly egotistical and has no respect for nurses, and he doesn't like that one embarrassed him like that. He's a coward, and rather than apologize and admit he was wrong, he would rather try to ruin your career so he can "Save face." That is the kind of person that will step on anyone, probably even his own mother, to ensure everything goes right for him. The fact that he OWNS that place is proof enough that you DO NOT want to work there. He sounds downright insane and you should be happy you got out when you did.

    Pick up the pieces, move on, and go find a better job working with actual professionals. Let the sad little man who yells at new nurses go on without you - his loss!
  14. by   not.done.yet
    Welcome to the highly political world of medicine. It stings, its wrong, it can be traumatizing. I hope you are able to pull yourself up by your bootstraps, shake this one off and go forward. There was literally nothing you could have done to prevent this from happening. I am so sorry.