It's been AGES since I've been here, life has been very hectic this year. I put off writing this because I didn't want to only be here when something was wrong, but I can't help it. I need to hear from anyone who has experienced what I am getting ready to experience.
I have worked my entire nursing career (about 3 years) at a small community hospital. I have become very comfortable there, know what I am supposed to do, all my coworkers, all the docs, the patients, etc. I know how to do my job and feel I do it well for my level of experience. I really love what I do, as well.
I have lately been feeling very dissatisfied with my place of employment. I haven't been feeling we have been getting the backing of upper management for one. I work a med/surg floor and we are constantly getting dumped on by other departments even though for the last season we have been constantly running on full capacity ourselves. I work nights and we are expected to run to the pharmacy for the ER because they can't leave the floor in case something comes in. And it's okay for me to leave MY pts?? Other departments transfer pts to us when they are too busy. When do WE get to do that? NEVER. Mgmt says they will "look into things." NOT. The last two snow storms we had, I packed and came in and stayed both times for three days because not only do I NOT drive in bad weather, I know other people don't either and I wanted to help out. I never got even a thank you, which is okay, but when I was sick after staying there and working for days, they were pretty ugly when I called in. And I think the closeness of my unit is getting to me, people think they can say anything they want to to me (and to each other) because everyone knows everyone else's business. Sounds like I'm pretty unhappy as I reread what I'm writing! Also for family reasons, I really need to work days.
I got so fed up that I went on an interview at another hospital, MUCH larger, a little farther away. It's a float pool position and the base rate is a little higher than what I currently make. I have accepted the job and start in the middle of march after about a two week break. I've already worked the last day with my old employer.
I was so excited at first. I felt like I would get a lot of experience I would never get where I am now. And I felt that float pool would be perfect for me because I wouldn't have to get all involved in the politics.
Now I am starting to really be scared. I've left the only place I know, where I KNOW I can do my job well. I've never been involved in a code and am terrified. And I'll probably go months without seeing the same face twice. All the things that first appealed to me now are scaring me to death. What if I am in over my head?
So, I'd like to hear some experiences from anyone who's either moved to a much larger facility or works float pool. Both of these are new experiences for me. I'd like to have a little bit of an idea what to expect. I'm sure the mentality will be completely different there. I don't know. I'm just sick at the thought of it now. I'm even starting to think that my old job wasn't so bad and I should stay where I am. I feel comfortable there, anyway. Know what to expect. Maybe if I change my attitude, I can feel better about being there. ACK!
Mar 6, '04
Changes in lattitudes eh? ...Working the float pool can be good experience and it can also be difficult. A positive attitude is a must because you will work with many different people. It is a great way to see various areas of a hospital and find one that is right for you. Unfortunately orientation is usually shorter and you may find yourself in over your head. Be vocal if you feel uncomfortable in a certain position, with patient assignments etc. It sounds like you were ready for a change and yes it is scary. I went from a tiny rural facility to a large facitlity in a different state. Consider it a challenge and a time to learn. If the float pool isnt what you had hoped for, at least your foot is in the door and if you have made a good impression you can probably find a "home" in a specific unit.
Good luck and go for it!
Mar 6, '04
I just reread what you wrote.....DONT WORRY....you will learn so much more and find a completely different mentality...for the positive.....psych yourself back up for your new job and consider it an adventure!
Mar 6, '04
Boy, ParrotHead, you sure hit the nail on the head for me. I read your post, and it sounds EXACTLY like me. I am interviewing at the moment, and feeling panicked if one of the interviews ends up with an offer. There's something to be said for familiarity. But, when I read your post I realized how unhappy I am where I am. All the same issues, and no hope of getting better (I am assertive and let the manager know when I feel we are working dangerously short, etc.). I have worked MANY extra shifts, but the one time I called in sick in three years they were ugly. So, I am off, and thanks for writing. It gives me a boost to continue the search!
Mar 6, '04
You already have three years experience under your belt. I actually loved floating when I first started. You get to see so many different things and learn many new procedures. Never be afraid to ask if you have a question.
Personally, I loved seeing new faces all of the time. You normally don't have to deal with the politics of the unit, and that can be quite good most of the time.
Good luck. I am sure that you will do fine. Keep us posted after you begin your new LIFE.
Mar 6, '04
I recently left to work in a new facility after working at the same place for 21 yr!!!! I was greatly encouraged to do so by just reading posts here on the BB, of nurses who had done it and had survived (after all, we all survived nursing school, eh?!!
). It has been a very good thing for me, to have changed. I still work in the same area (cath lab) but it's a totally different "feel." I'm still getting used to it but I say try it, look at it as a growing experience, -- certainly an adventure, as nocode has said! Let us know what you decide and how it goes. Good luck!
Mar 6, '04
After making a move to different city, I once took a job as a float nurse. It worked out really well for me.
The pluses were getting to know alot of the nurses and that made me feel more at home. I got experience in several different areas that I haven't gotten before. That's always a plus. It came in handy later on in my life too!
And you are right about it keeping you out of polictics. Another plus.
And I was well trained to do be floated to speciality areas. It could have been very bad if not for this.
In the end, after being in the float pool for awhile, it allowed to make a decision on what unit to work when positions opened up. I knew the all the floors and the nurses on each and was able to to pick the one that suited me best.
Mar 6, '04
I loved floating.
I floated as an CNA in the hospital, where I took my first nursing job. It taught me what units to avoid; it also sealed my enthusiasm for emergency nursing.
I went to work, did my job, and left. No politics and backbiting for me! As it turned out, I stink at the politics thing! I have never been afraid of change, rather thrive on it, so the constant surprise of ED is right where I want to be!
Mar 6, '04
I float in my job too, of course it's more limited because I float in the OR but I looooovvvvveee floating. I figure I can put up with anyone or anything for one hour or one day. Plus you get to do so much and see so much.
I know it's scary. I felt the same way when I walked away from a 54,000/year job in banking to become a nurse. I was in a panic several times, actually for several months. You're moving forward, it's a little terrifying but the way you describe the job you left, I think you've made a good move. Now take a deep breath.....everything always works out.
Mar 7, '04
Thank you all so much for the support and encouragement. I feel better, although still nervous, after reading your messages. I KNOW if I went back to my old job, I would end up just as angry and disillusioned as I was before, and probably VERY quickly.
Hugs to all! :kiss
Mar 7, '04
It's nice to have different experiences to offset our familiar settings. I have always enjoyed having my 'regular' job plus PRN or agency work somewhere else for something different. Stretching ourselves a bit ...gaining a new perspective and outlook can be an eye opener.....follow your heart and go for it if it feels right!
Mar 7, '04
You know, I am also scared to death about the same thing....I guess I need to listen to my own advice! I am giving notice this week to my employeer as I was totally fed up with the unit I worked on, bored, etc.... I accepted a postition in a large, teaching, well known trauma center that is going to be soooooo different! Back to night shift....how I will do it with kids and my older body I am not sure....oh well....no turning back now...
Mar 7, '04
Your story sounds a little like mine.
First let me tell you that I heard someone say as they were getting onto an elevator, "that is why I like float pool; there are no politics."
I know of a nurse of 30 yrs who is going to float pool for the same reason.
Change is always scarry. It is stressful. AND that is what makes us grow.
I started out in a very small speciality hospital. It was like an ICU or a high acuity stepdown unit. We were very close. I had face to face contact with everyone from the CEO to the supply manager every day many times a day. We knew each other very very well.
I worked there as a new LPN grad one year, then got my RN. I tried a hospital twice the size but still small in an ICU. The did not have the budget to train me and they made promises they could not keep. They ate me alive. I went back to my old hospital after about 6 weeks.
I stayed there for two more years. I started feeling I needed to cut back on hours and they announced they were closing. Leaving there was the hardest thing. I never had such feelings about leaving a job before.
I went to hospice, perdiem. They were vicious to each other and to me. (hospice of all places!!) I stayed until they said they did not have census enough to keep thier thier regular staff bussy. I did not actually resign at the time. Then 4 months later I received a letter that I had refused to work for the past 4 months and did not have a current PPD so they were going to assume I was resigning. Both were complete bold face lies. So I sent a very diplomatic letter of resignation and referenced some of that in my letter.
and sent a copy to thier HR (hospital based hospice)
Next I went to a very large hospital. I now work in a challenging speciality area. I see knew faces all the time due to the number of travelers. I am still sorting out the travelers from core staff.
It is a new area for me. Although I had very limited and different experience in a part of this speciality at my old hospital.
I received 80 some hours classroom training here. 6 weeks with a preceptor. I have only been on my own about 2 weeks. In that two weeks I have made some embarrasing mistakes. One was a serious med error althought nothing bad actually happened to the patient. Phew!
One was also a potentially serious error in letting a fragile pt off the floor without an RN.
This is all new. It is different, complex and intense.
However, it is a speciality and therefore I don't have to know everything about everykind of patient. (My old speciality hosp took lots of different kinds of pts. and I had them all)
I will in time learn this speciality and learn it well. That is what keeps me going. It is scarry. I ask LOTS of questions. Yesterdary I was overly cautious and asked even more. And you know what? I was praised everytime I did as my charge saw I was trying to be as careful, cautious and competent as I could.
We sometimes get floats on our floor. They are expected to ask questions, they are not expected to know this speciality. As they float here more and more they will learn more and more. Everyone knows a float nurse is not of our speciality.
One advantage you will get is you will taste everyting. I envie you that. You will develop skills that make you valuabe in a lot of different areas, I envie you that.
It is said that everytime you change jobs or specialities you are starting again as a novice. Everyone who changes does this. No one was born a nurse and no one was born in a speciality and no one was born knowing what they know.
You will not have all the skills and knowlege of some one in a speciality. You will have skills and knowledge to draw on that they do not have. Everyone's background is different, even within one area of nursing. This is an asset.
Acknowlege what you don't know. Ask questions. And honor your strengths.
It is natural to be scared in this situation. I will be natural to be scared until you start to see and feel you can function in the pool. This is a growth step for you.
You might be surprised to find out that even in a large hosp. you will start to see the same friendly faces over and over and you will develop relationships. Hospitals and nursing in general is a small town.
I ran into 3 nurses from my first hospital since I have been here. Just yesterday I had called for assistance from case management. I came walking down the hall and I saw a case manager (and I don't know the case managers here) but I knew. It was so natural so right to see her looking at my patient's chart. I knew immediately. It was a nurse from my first hospital. What a joy to know this person and feel totally comfortable with her. I just knew my patient's problem would be dispached without a hitch.
Not that I had a problem with case managers there, but knowing this person it felt sooooo comfortable.
You will have these experiences. Good luck. take a deep breath and go for it.
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