ICU - Should I stay or go?

  1. Hi all,
    This is my first post but I have read posts for over 2 years. I am having some issues in my new job and need your advice. I graduated in Dec 2004 and began working on a Med/Surg Trauma floor. I was there for 8 months and gained great experience but applied to the hospital's CVCC since I would eventually like to apply to CRNA school. Anyway- I have been there for almost 4 months and about to quit. Here are some of what I have gone through:

    1.I was told I would have 1-2 preceptors during orientation - I am now on #7.
    This creates issues b/c each preceptor has their own way of doing things and I am constantly corrected (ex- one preceptor writes her VS, etc on notebook and then transfers to chart, she said to do this b/c taking the chart in the pts room is an infection control issue- when I did this with another preceptor- she acted like I was a moron and actually wrote a bad eval on this).
    2. I was told I could remain on my Tues, Fri, Sun shift like on my original unit ( I need this schedule due to babysitting issues) but instead I am on Sun, Tues, Thurs. (My husband had to drop out of nursing school in order to accomodate this)
    3. I was told on orientation, I would start with one stable patient and over 12 weeks build up to taking 1-2 more critical. I have always had 2 critical pts and the first few weeks my preceptor was so busy I might as well have been on my own.
    4. I met with my mgr 3 weeks ago to discuss getting off orientation and she told me that one of preceptors said I was not SOCIABLE enough b/c on my down time I prefer to catch up on the hours of required computer training instead of chatting with the other nurses! ( I am not making this up!)
    5. At my latest meeting with administration, 2 days ago, my preceptor said I had improved 150% in the last 2 weeks ( I have been taking 2 patients on my own, talking with every nurse I see on the unit, and improving my time management, etc.) then she says that what concerns her is that she does not see the PASSION she is looking for. She stated that we had a lung transplant come back from surg and I did not come over to "get the scoop" on what was going on like the other nurses. Sorry- I was too busy taking care of my own 2 fresh post-op pts.
    At this point I am on orientation for at least another 2 weeks when we will all meet again and discuss my PASSION. I am about to give up. Since I have been there I have seen a nurse hang a bottle of insulin for one pt in another pt's room b/c she did not order the other pt's med in time, one nurse give a pt so much pain meds she had to give Narcan only to find out his real problem was that his O2 was not plugged in, I come in at least 1 shift a week to find that the off-going nurse has not charted a single thing all day but I am in trouble for a lack of PASSION. So my ? to you all is Am I crazy to stay on this unit? I know there are issues everywhere but this is making me miserable. Any advice?
    •  
  2. 43 Comments

  3. by   ERNurse752
    If there is any other CVCC, or any other ICU you could go to, I would probably leave stat if it were me. Sounds like some dangerous stuff is happening, and sounds like some crazy BS too!

    Some places like this are had to fit into at first...lots of strong personalities who feel like you need to be tested and, well, hazed...but c'mon now.
  4. by   Annor
    If you are asking.....I would say,run as fast as you can out of there!
  5. by   VickyRN
    The desperation in your post is unmistakable. Listen to your gut - you have some difficult choices to make. I used to work in a level three ICU and it sounds like you are receiving a very poor, disjointed orientation. Also seems like your manager is confusing social issues ("fitting in" with the other nurses and taking on the culture of the unit) with being able to provide safe, effective patient care to such highly acute and vulnerable patients. Is there a single person who is coordinating your orientation, such as a unit educator? If so, I would confer with him/ her stat about your concerns. Also, what sort of vibes are you getting from the other nurses? Do you feel supported or do you feel like you are being unjustly scrutinized? Sounds like you dread going to work and that the environment is hostile and toxic. You have only been out of school for a little more than a year, and you really need a supportive work environment in which you can flourish and grow professionally.
  6. by   Town & Country
    [FONT=System]IMHO you should go to a general Med-Surg floor and put in 2 - 3 years before even thinking beyond that.
    [FONT=System]
    [FONT=System]What you are describing sounds more like a social issue in that you are new on the Unit and not taking ownership of what happens there.
    [FONT=System]
    [FONT=System]You MUST get a handle on this now. Commit to solving the situation, whatever it takes.
  7. by   oldiebutgoodie
    This sounds a lot like the ICU I just left. I had maybe 15 preceptors, with the same experience that you had; Learned how to do something with preceptor #1, and then preceptor #2 (or 10, or 15) reamed me out about it.

    One "preceptor" complained to me that I had written 20 cc in my I&Os for some ice chips I gave the patient, because she thought it should be 10 ccs. Oh, come on, now!

    Another "preceptor" thought I was not fast enough, despite the fact that I handled 2 labor intensive patients pretty much on my own for 12 hours, had notes written by end of shift, and gave all meds on time. I don't know what else she wanted. She couldn't really give me an example, except that I needed to work on my time management.

    I am amazed that units allow this nonsense to go on, seeing as there is a shortage. The unit I just left is hurting, but nobody seems to make the connection on the lousy precepting.

    So, I left, and am starting in a new ICU on Monday, with a more organized orientation program (I hope!)

    It sounds like you will never make these people happy. Perhaps you should meet with your manager and ask her if she wants you to leave, because that's the feeling you are getting. It may not hurt to meet with HR,either. Tell them that you need 1 or 2 preceptors, not a cast of thousands, and that you want constructive advice, not foolishness like "you don't have the passion". Honestly.

    Good luck!

    Oldiebutgoodie
  8. by   Nurse GOODNIGHT
    So sorry about your situation. Sounds like you have great goals and are a very intelligent and thoughtful person. If I was planning on leaving, I would express everything you have expressed here to both HR and the department mgr in writing for my file.

    This is sad. This is a great example of why nursing is so short staffed. We need to stick together and support each other, especially when people are new to a departement or new to nursing in general.
  9. by   panhandler
    IMHO you should get out of the toxic situation you are in. Go to the DON and ask to be transferred out immediately.
    Decline any of her questions as to why. If you are pushed to the wall, just say "I want my old job back." Keep your connections with ICU -- and wait for the current situation there to crash and burn. It will. Trust me.
  10. by   NCgirl
    Hmmm, your unit almost sounds like anesthesia school at times. There are a million right ways to do something, you have to act a certain way to survive, and it can certainly be disorganized. However, with that said, this doesn't sound like a unit that you're getting the best experience in. Another thing is, you could apply to school now, and by the time it would start you'd have your required year. One more thing- ignore everyone who tells you to go work on a medsurg floor. From someone who has survived anesthesia school, there is not really anything to gain from doing that. Just my two cents....
  11. by   GooeyRN
    Go with your gut on what to do. I think you already know what needs to be done... RUN! Im sorry your husband had to drop out of nursing school. It would be nice for him to be able to return to school. What does he think you should do?
  12. by   oldiebutgoodie
    Quote from panhandler
    IMHO you should get out of the toxic situation you are in. Go to the DON and ask to be transferred out immediately.
    Decline any of her questions as to why. If you are pushed to the wall, just say "I want my old job back." Keep your connections with ICU -- and wait for the current situation there to crash and burn. It will. Trust me.
    You can always use the line, "It just isn't a good fit for me at this time".

    Oldiebutgoodie
  13. by   DidiRN
    Good advice here...if there is an Human Resource office, perhaps you can just go down there and talk with them without talking directly to your manager, and tell them too that you don't feel like you are a good fit. I don't know if there are other ICU's you can go to in this hospital or if it's has other campuses, or if it's just one ICU at this facility and no other options. If the latter is the case, you probably should just quit and find something more suitable and supportive.
    Good luck to you and so sorry about this happening.

    Quote from panhandler
    IMHO you should get out of the toxic situation you are in. Go to the DON and ask to be transferred out immediately.
    Decline any of her questions as to why. If you are pushed to the wall, just say "I want my old job back." Keep your connections with ICU -- and wait for the current situation there to crash and burn. It will. Trust me.
  14. by   suzanne4
    Go with what your gut is telling you. But the nurse that wrote the numbers on a separate piece of paper was actually correct, and it dhould have been taped to the glass, and not taken out of the room. No charting at all should enter that room, whether by nursing or even the RT taking care of the vent. And easy thing to do is just print a copy from your monitor that prints at the desk, if you have the capabilites. Or even design a flow sheet that you just fill in the numbers each hour and gets used all shift.

    This is actually required if the patient is in strict isolation.

    Now to the next problem. I suggest going to another facility where you will get the training that you need. If you think about it, you would need another 8 months in this unit before your manager writes the letter of recommendation, and remember that you need to have that to submit with your application. Do you think that you could comfortable go for another 8 months with things the way that they are? And would you be able to get the letter that you need? Something to think about.

    Have you explored what other facilities in your area have to offer?

close