Got fired... again. Should I not be a nurse?

  1. Yesterday I was termed from my job at a LTC facility (technically I "resigned"). I had only worked there a couple of months. I understood their reasoning for letting me go. Due to low census they sent home the nurse who was working the other end of my hall and so I then had 70+ residents to take care of (something I'd never done). On top of that I had an admit (never had done that either). I got confused b/c I thought one of the nurses from a different hall (there are 2 on that hall) would be coming up to cover the other half of mine, which turned out not to be the case. Anywho, so when it was all over and done with some people ended up getting their meds too late and some didn't get them at all. The nurse that had been sent home had already signed out the meds but hadn't given them. Apparently they were in little cups somewhere in the cart but I don't remember her showing me where. I tried to get some help from the other nurses but they were busy with their own stuff and I wasn't sure whether one of them was coming to help. I called my ADON, got her voicemail, and got a call back 1.5 hrs later telling me to do my best. I was quite overwhelmed by the end of the shift and may not have been thinking clearly.

    I also got termed from an L&D floor at the end of my orientation b/c they said I wasn't learning the ropes fast enough and they could no longer make an investment in me. I was also in grad-school full-time while working there.

    I also got asked to leave a nurse-midwifery program I went into right after nursing school b/c of professional issues. They said I should work as an L&D nurse for a while and try again (really easy in this economy, right?)

    I originally went to nursing school b/c I wanted to go to midwifery school and I found I like being an RN and am proud to be a nurse. I'm very passionate about women's health and helping women have the births they want safely. I did quite well in midwifery school in terms of my clinical skills.

    After dumping all my dirty laundry on you guys I'd like some feedback. Is it possible to be so passionate about something and just be bad at it? Are there any recommendations for me? I have started applying for jobs and am willing to move anywhere. My dad asked me last night whether I should think about something other than nursing since that doesn't seem to be my forte.

    I am very confused and my self-esteem is pretty low so any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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  2. 46 Comments

  3. by   RuRnurse?
    "The nurse that had been sent home had already signed out the meds but hadn't given them. Apparently they were in little cups somewhere in the cart but I don't remember her showing me where."

    And they fired YOU!? I think what you may want to reconsider is where you are applying...That place sounds like an accident waiting to happen!
  4. by   kcochrane
    The thing that sticks out for me is that the nurse signed the meds before she even gave them...and then left. Technically you should not be giving meds if they are signed for already - that means they were GIVEN. If she signed for them and you think they were never given, you need to call the supervisor for direction.

    Also, never, never give meds already in cups. You don't know what is in them, unless they are still in the packages and can be verified.

    Sounds like you did the right thing by resigning that facility - it sounds dangerous. I sometimes work nights alone on my floor with 36 residents and it is tough.

    Personally I think you need to try again with a good facility that is not going to hang you out like that.
  5. by   madwife2002
    I am sorry you are having such a hard time at the moment. I do think you were set up for failure managing 70 pts that is just unreal. I agree with RuRnurse do some homework about where you are applying to before you take up a position.
    Good luck
  6. by   Otessa
    I agree. they fired YOU?

    She signed out the meds but didn't give them and you were supposed to determine WHICH meds had or hadn't been given??!!??

    I would have run from this situation, after my shift , of course.
  7. by   nursemike
    Agree with all above. You were treated atrociously, and are better off unemployed.

    If I might offer a suggestion, maybe you should consider spending some time in a hospital med/surg setting. In spite of all the horror stories, it's a good place to learn the ropes. Turnover can be high as people move on to specialties, which is good for you if you're job hunting. Co-workers and managers will be more used to training newbies. They may not all love doing it, but some may, and all will be used to it. Acute care patients can be busy, but there aren't so many of them. At my facility, our maximum ratio is 6:1, which is a whole lot better than 70:1. It's hard work, most of the time, but at least it's possible.

    Med/surg doesn't guarantee success. Some can't do it, and may turn out to be great at something else. Still, if you can do med/surg (and more succeed than fail) there won't be much else you can't do. You might even (eventually) like it so much you stay.
  8. by   Tait
    I do believe it is possible to be passionate about something and not have the skill set to do portions of it. That being said, I don't feel it is the case here.

    If I were you this would be my plan of attack.

    I would think about the work experiences I have had thus far and review any pertinent comments for dismissal. From what I can tell I think you got stuck behind the eight ball on the latest job, but you can still consider it a learning experience.

    Next I would find a good back to a trusted clinical adviser at school, tell him/her the story of my working experience thus far and look for help locating my weakness and strengths. Most times a trained outside eye can help point one in the right direction for self discoveries.

    I would talk to family only for emotional support, however not "self improvement" support unless you can trust them to be both honest and willing to really listen.

    After some self reflection (and hopefully some good suggestions for working positions from previous instructors/advisers) I would start a new job search armed with a more intimate knowledge of myself.

    As I waited for interviews, I would make a list of situations that were difficult for me and how I either handled them, or would handle them differently in the future. (Due to your tumultuous work history thus far you may have to answer more of the tough scenario questions about your work history (i.e. Name a conflict you have been involved in and how your resolved the issue. If they ask you something that mirrors a situation you had but didn't handle well, tell them how you would handle it differently in the future. Make sure you sell your personal growth and learning experiences from your work thus far.)

    All in all it is a lot of self reflection to get past difficulties and on to the good stuff. While you are doing this as well, look into your other options. I started out believing I wanted to do only Oncology care, and have now found I am passionate about cardiac/diabetics and am working the process to complete my ADN-BSN to become a public health/heealth programming nurse! Don't even put yourself in a box, but also keep tru to what your heart is telling you

    Best of luck!

    Tait
  9. by   belgarion
    Actually it sounds like the state agency that oversees LTC facilities might be interested in what happened. If it happened once it has probably happened before and will happen again unless someone intervenes. It's only a matter of time before someone gets hurt. Also, the BON would probably be fascinated by a nurse signing out meds and then not giving them. I'm not necessarily suggesting you turn whistle-blower but jeez, that place sound like it needs an enema.

    As far as your other "problems", it really sounds like you are simply keeping too much on your plate and trying to do everything at once. Slow down, find a job in a GOOD facility, get your confidence back, and then you can decide the best way to get where you want to be. You might even find a different place you want to go. Good Luck!
  10. by   netglow
    OP don't know where you are in Grad school, but maybe to much too far too fast? I think as I've read here often, it's best to work on being a nurse for a while, then go on to more edu. Of course hindsight is 20/20. But maybe this contributed?
  11. by   BSN_after_40
    I agree with the other posts about the coworker not only dishing up meds, but signing them out as given! As a former unit manager, I would have chewed some behind on that!

    You sound like you have big plans and going for the higher degree is always a struggle with juggling job and family. If you have your BSN, maybe public health would be a good start for you. A Maternal Child PHN could be the way to go.

    I have worked in long term care and know of the short cuts, short staffing, and frustration. I have been a PHN for almost 3 years now and it is great! Look into it!

    Best of luck to you finding your nitch!
    Last edit by BSN_after_40 on Aug 14, '09
  12. by   WorkinTheStreets
    Interview tip.....Do not throw previous employers under the bus, do not name previous managers by name. Keep any answers to questions as employer neutral as possible. The interviewer may be concerned with how you talk down a previous employer...as if you could be doing it to their facility should you leave. Also, you never know who they know. The person you throw under the bus by name may be a relative, friend or something of the interviewer. Somebody always knows somebody someplace. Be truthful, but be cautious on the intimate details. Be direct in your responses, but think before you speak.
  13. by   BSN_after_40
    Good advice "WorkingTheStreets." I have had people ask me to be a reference for them and it is always an area where I hate to go. I have found that you never know who the person on the phone is, and if your intent was misleading you could be slapped with a slander suit. I only give references to DONs I know personally and trust. If not, I will verify dates of employment ONLY! I have had to politely hang up on a couple of employers that wouldn't stop trying to get info out of me! It is a tough world all around out there, be careful what you do and say when it comes to employers.
  14. by   classicdame
    consider nursing in another area - like Home Health, Health dept., industry - at least till you find your niche. Also, if you want midwifery consider area women's clinics and MD offices. Good luck

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