So I feel like I need to rant and get other people's opinion on my situation--what better place to do this than on All Nurses?!
Here's a little background on me: New nursing graduate who rejoiced when I found out I passed NCLEX on the first attempt and after a long, difficult search, I was ecstatic that I had found out that I had landed my dream job on a Postpartum unit. I "orientated" for 15 total shifts before I was off orientation. During this orientation period, I had 9 different preceptors (which when I saw a document on hospital policy as far as # of preceptors throughout the whole experience was to be THREE maxium). Anywho, all my preceptors have extremely different routines, ways of doing things, etc. Only one out of the nine preceptors I had actually made me feel welcome and took time to answer my questions, share their experiences, what works best for them, show me around the unit etc. As far as the others--whenever I arrived for my shift I would walk up and they all would literally be arguing to not take an orientee (I kid you not they said it right in front of me "I'm NOT orientating anyone, are you kidding me? I have better things to do!")
Have I mentioned that I spent one day playing unit clerk because no one would be willing to orient me?
So far since I've been off orientation (this past week) I've had an extremely difficult patient load--for example my first night off I had 2 fresh c-sections(one that was near unstable with a hemoglobin of 6.8, had an EBL of 1100 in OR and who passed both a tennis ball and softball sized clot), a mother of twins who was being monitored for postpartum depression and was extremely agitated/upset/unable to care for herself or her babies on her fourth day postpartum). By the way--this was one of the "easier" pt loads I had. Naturally, I was determined to do the best I could to manage this patient load and when I asked for assistance from my "resource person" replied "Oh, you need to learn how to manage your time on nights like this" and left me to figure all the orders and interventions on my own. (At this time, I demanded that she come show me how to PROGRAM an IV pump since the opportunity never came up during my "orientation"--this is how useless my 15 shifts prior were at teaching me anything)
I'm normally not a complainer, and these environmental factors of my co-workers don't seem to bother me, but I am just curious as to if anyone has any advice for this situation? I told my manager that I don't feel like I'm getting the support needed to help me progress into my own role and had a disagreement because she thinks I'm "in denial" of thinking that I'm ready to be off orientation. I'm concerned about the safety of my patients. I'm contemplating searching another job but don't want to make any premature decisions or not give it enough time, but I finally broke down and cried tonight after another horrendous night and I'm not sure if I can handle the stressors of everything work-related. My manager and preceptors were fully aware that I'm a new grad with no experience except for a 4-week rotation in OB at a different facility. (I still don't know how to work a breastpump becuase no one wanted to "dirty" a clean one to demonstrate to me). Suggestions anyone? I need some words of encouragement!
Jul 30, '11
Oh, my, you've landed among some charming coworkers. I feel for you. I've seen that kind of bitter, selfish experienced nurse, but I had hoped they're fading away. Maybe they all got together at your place.
Is there a nurse educator running the preceptorship program, or is it more of a seat-of-the-pants operation? Is there a way you can go up the chain of command and assert your desire for continuity and dare I add, support? I am not there to see for myself what you're dealing with, but it's possible that the way you're left to twist in the wind is dangerous to your patients and/or your license. You need to watch your own back, hon. Don't trust that manager who apparently just wants a warm body to put on the floor, because she may not be documenting your concerns. It wouldn't really be in her interest to document that you're getting such lousy orientation. (Really, they can't bother to teach you how to use an IV pump? Wow. What's the name of that place, "Biff's Lube, Oil Change and Delivery Suites" ?)
Get it on the record that you're requesting more training, better training, continuity of trainers, dignified professional preceptors, etc. Meanwhile, start looking around for another place to work. Have an escape plan. It's not great to change jobs quickly, but it's also not great to stay in a place where you're not learning, in this important phase of your career, how to think and organize and anticipate, which you can't learn if you're struggling alone without a mentor or preceptor.
Oh yeah, "encouragement". You seem to be a person who's going to be a skilled and compassionate nurse, and the hellhole you're in in no way deserves to have you. So consider yourself encouraged to have faith in yourself and encouraged to protect yourself, but in no way am I encouraging you to stay in that workplace.
Last edit by Piglet08 on Jul 30, '11
: Reason: adding