Quote from lvandehey
I am a new grad working in OB. I have been precepted for 7 weeks now. During the past week, I have made several errors. I gave a rhogam without charting it on the mar, I did a PKU without filling out the form first, and then ended up putting the blood on the wrong part of the form, and then gave the wrong medication to a pt. I graduated as an honor student, but now that I'm working, i am so nervous all the time, and I feel like a complete idiot. My precepted experience has been rocky, I've been with several different preceptors, I was sent home for low census at least a couple times (this is a very rural hospital), plus we had several days where I was thrown in to work postpartum on my own because we got slammed with labors. In addition, i was expected to train to labor and to postpartum at the same time which I finally objected to a couple weeks ago, because I felt overwhelmed. My preceptor who I was with during these occurences is very distracted because she is going through some severe personal problems at home, and was only precepting me because there were two nursing students on the unit, and my regular preceptor was home sick. We were not working "closely" at all, I was pretty much doing all the work myself, with her just backing me up from the nurse's station when I had questions. I should have had her check over me more.
I am very worried that I am going to lose my dream job. I love perinatal nursing more than anything, and it was a miracle that I got this job in the first place.
I'm off today, and my boss would only talk to me for about three minutes this morning on the phone about this. She put me off until wednesday to resume talking. She was understandably angry this morning when we spoke.
Can anyone please reply and tell me any words of wisdom at all? I know I'm new and all, but I feel like I'm just an awful nurse, even though I care a lot, and get along well with patients and other staff.
I am so sorry you are going through this. It sounds like you are sort of falling through the cracks in regards to a good preceptorship. I do not think that you are an awful nurse; just an inexperienced and overwhelmed new graduate nurse. It's all about experience, and gaining the confidence and critical thinking skills needed for independent decision making. It takes at least a year of working full time to stop feeling like a new grad and gain considerable confidence, in my opinion--and even then, you'll often wonder if decisions you make are what the "more experienced" nurses would make. Heck, I can remember feeling like that sometimes after 5 years or more, and so did many of my colleagues (there were always much older nurses around us, and we assumed they were so much better at critical thinking and independent decision making--not necessarily true----and now WE'RE the much older ones, LOL!) It does get better. I promise you, it really does. In 2 years, you will be the one precepting new grads, with confidence and empathy, because YOU'VE been there, and remember how YOU felt.
I would ensure that your nurse manager be made aware of ALL the problems that you are experiencing within your preceptorship. If you are union, bring a union rep with you, just so you can have a witness as to what is being said. I would ask the nurse manager if you can have a preceptor who isn't distracted by personal problems and who loves to teach and give one-on-one, side-by-side assistance and feedback, and who is there with you when you sign out meds, so that you can double check the dosage or the protocols with her. You deserve weekly feedback and progress reports as to how you are doing, their expectations, and how you can improve.
Generally, any nurse can be let go, even without cause--simply because someone doesn't like her, or the earrings she wears, or is jealous because she is pretty or got flowers delivered at work-- before an orientation is over---is your orientation period over? How long was the preceptorship supposed to last? Can you go to human resources or even nursing administration and talk the situation over with them, and ask for some guidance? It sounds like this unit does not have a very sophisticated preceptorship program in place. It is absolutely unfair to you that you were put in situations before you were ready to handle them on your own simply because the unit was slammed with labor patients and they were understaffed.
Occasionally, when I was a new grad, I would ask to come in and work extra hours--occasionally I even did it without pay---just so I could gain the experience I needed more quickly, and to make up for those "slow" days that were not conducive to my learning experience. I don't think you should have to do it without pay, however--you should be able to do it to log hours and learning experiences that you SHOULD have gotten when you were sent home early because of a low census. They can't expect you to gain experience when you aren't there!
I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. Just remember, when a door closes, a window always opens. I truly believe this, and have experienced this myself--there may just be a much better opportunity waiting out there for you.