new grads that don'y ask questions - page 3

:confused: The hospital I work at usually gets new grads in during the month of July. I love seeing them come with their excitement, curiosity, and actually nervousness. Only b/c it keeps me... Read More

  1. by   Tweety
    I get more nervous of the ones who continually never have a bad shift. They not only get done on time, get their breaks, and then extra time to sit around and talk.

    I'm more comfortable with the new grad who is busy, overwhelmed, and stays late. Because I know they are working and taking care of things.
  2. by   kmaryniak
    I think that there is a lot to situations, where new grads don't ask questions. The question is, why aren't they asking questions? For some, it truly is a "know it all" attitude, where they believe that they have all knowledge necessary for nursing. Some may appear that way, as a "front", so that they don't appear incompetent. Another reason may be the teaching environment that they are in. Truthfully, coming into a job as a new grad, or even transferring to another area of unfamiliar territory, can be intimidating. Staff nurses in the area must be willing to teach, not to "eat their young", which, unfortunately, does happen. I know that for myself, I love to teach. I have been an official and unofficial preceptor many times. However, there are situations where the environment is friendly, but the willingness of the new nurses to admit that she/he doesn't know it all, is just not there. I had one new grad, who had a few months in med/surg, before coming to SCN. I tried to develop rapport with her, offering her books and articles, offering various experiences, etc. Instead, she chose to ignore my efforts, and the efforts of others. It's too bad, because she had potential. But, she ended up making many errors, and ended up working elsewhere.
  3. by   tattooednursie
    When I become an RN I'm going to be asking LOTS of questions OVER AND OVER because I do not want to mess up my career, and loose what I have longed for since I was little.
  4. by   fergus51
    I think it is much more appropriate to discuss this with the new grad than just going to management. I would feel very uncomfortable talking with anyone who wouldn't communicate their concerns to me and reported solely to management.

    I also went onto a floor as a new grad where questions were not encouraged. When I asked questions I was either made to look and feel stupid, usually in front of a group of people, or just blown off. Fortunately I got out of there fast!
  5. by   SmilingBluEyes
    we all were there once, try giving people the BENEFIT of the doubt before making this a management issue! cant' tell me none of us was ever intimidated in the work setting as a new grad. we all act differently under pressure.
  6. by   jenac
    I am a new grad- licensed this past Sept. I work in LTC- and to be honest, not a day goes by when I don't ask a question of someone! (or so it seems) Sometimes, it's just to be sure I'm doing the right thing. I may already know the answer- but I sure as He** dont wanna be wrong. The nurses I work with are the most supportive, wonderful, knowledgable folks I have ever met- and each of them has more experience than I've had time alive. Asking questions is the best thing I can do, for myself and the patients in my care.
  7. by   mattsmom81
    I like intelligent questions...I believe most experienced nurses appreciate this from a new nurse or an older nurse trying to learn something 'new' to him/her.

    What I dislike (and I believe most experienced nurses do too) is the new nurse who wants to do a brain drain on us. My response to general questions like "Tell me everything I will need to know about pacemakers' is to smile then assign them to a resource manual, etc, first. Or...they can tell me what they DO know about pacers and we will go from there. I try to include new nurses in procedures too...but I do insist they learn and participate somewhat and be ready to demonstrate some learning NEXT time the procedure comes around.

    I love students and new grads who will do some of their own research before they approach me with questions.

    Agree the scariest ones (and the hardest to work with) are the ones who don't ask questions and seek opportunities to grow... BUT this is also true of some 'old' nurses I've worked with!

    I'll take a bright, enthusiastic newish nurse as a coworker any day over an older nurse who never takes hearts or balloon pumps or swans...or anyone near coding....and they've been in the unit for 5 years! These are the nurses who went into critical care to have 'only 2 patients', and they make me nuts because they refuse to do their fair share with the tougher assignments or procedures. .

    Don't ask me why the facility has allowed it. Must be the 'warm body syndrome', eh?

    When we stop asking questions...I agree...time to check into the Walmart greeter job.
  8. by   TheLionessRN
    I well remember going into my new med-surg job. I had been a tech at this hospital for 4 years before graduating, and was very comfortable with patient care. What I had a problem with on that floor was with the experienced nurses who refused to help, or put on an attitude if asked to help with a midnight bath. One of my grad/classmate/coworkers was actually told that she should be able to do a total bath and bed change on a bedridden patient with NO help.
    I had one of those terrifying clinical instructors who made me feel like I should have no questions to ask if I had read all the material in the med-surg text book. I was afraid to ask questions because I thought I SHOULD know it all. I spent a LOT of time reading the manuals and procedural stuff during lunch, because I didn't want anyone to think I was incompetent. As soon as I got with other nurses who were open to questions and I got over the basic need to know stuff, I was a question asking little nurse! But, then, I had a good mentor once I got off that night shift group...
  9. by   Anaclaire
    I agree, from my experience, the nurses (new as well as experienced) who don't ask questions and/or act like they know it all, are the ones who end up in law suits and are also not well respected by their coworkers.

    I also agree that a lot of newbies feel that they "should know that", "that" being whatever they encounter. So much information is thrown at them from all directions and their minds get confused as to what they should and shouldn't know. I think they subscribe to the belief that, "It's better to keep your mouth shut than to speak out and confirm to all your stupidity/ignorance, etc."

    As a mentor I've found some helpful things:

    First impressions count a lot! Upon the first meeting with the newbie I try especially hard to be warm, approachable, and use some sense of humor. It truly sets the tone for the whole relationship.

    In the very beginning I remind them that we do not expect them to know everything, and that if there is ever a great time to ask questions and to look the least bit "unknowledgable" that the first few weeks and months is the best time for it! I remind them that there is no such thing as a stupid question, only doing something stupid because they didn't ask a question.

    Also, near the beginning, I ask them how they learn best. By the time they've graduated college they know if they are the type who learns best by watching others, talking things out, reading books and manuals, slow to catch on but never ever forget something once they've learned it, super quick learners but poor on retention, etc. Assessment of their learning style is essential in planning, implementing, and evaluating their orientation.

    I can't tell you how many newbies found that if I would "think out loud" while doing everything helped them tremendously. Even when I'm walking to the supply room and planning how I'll coordinate care for my patients during the next hour, etc. The talking out loud causes them to ask questions they hadn't thought of and teaches them an example of how one nurse "thinks" through her shift... be it lab values, procedures, whatever.

    Also near the beginning of their orientation, I tell them that we expect them to be slower in performing tasks at first and will gain speed with practice. I tell them that from time to time, when they are deep in the middle of their routine care I might come grab them to see a special procedure or to assist in something they can learn in, even if it feels like a "bad" timing to them. I remind them that these are learning experiences that won't come often and that I'll help them get caught back up as soon as the special learning experience is finished.

    As a mentor, the most difficult part is the first week or two as you are feeling out the newbie's learning style and trying to get in sync with their past history of nursing whether it was from their previous experience on another unit or with their nursing school instructors style of teaching... I am personally one of the slower learners who never forgets once I've learned something and I find that I have to think very differently when precepting a person who is a go-getter... a fast learner who wants to do everything right away. The ones like that who want to code patients during their first week scare me absolutely to death!!!

    I've said too much, as usual!!!


    Happy New Year to all...
  10. by   altomga
    okay, let me clarify something; yes I take notes, it is expected during orientation with the "system" we use. I don't go straight to management; I discuss it with the orientee. The notes are to have to show the growth of (or lack of) throughout the orientation which is 8-10 weeks on my floor. I do tell the newbies I don't expect them to know everything, b/c god knows I don't. I have went to bat for a recent orientee that mangm't wanted to fire and I thought was going to be a good nurse; (she is still there by the way), and I am her mentor now. Precepting is hard, but I enjoy it. I continually tell the newbies that they need to ask questions b/c you can't remember/know it all and give them examples of mistakes I have made simply by accident to let them know I am not infalliable. I want them to know I am just like them, it's just I've got a little more nursing experience, but yet need to grow and learn too! I have taken away a lot of great idea's and comfort from what you all have written and want to thank you!
  11. by   Albirdie
    I have read most of the posts and found it to be quite interesting. First, I am going in to my second semester of nursing school. I, of course, have tons of questions. I just started a position as Nurse Extern in a hospital. I have found that some nurses are open to questions and others seem to be bothered by it. I feel that when you are in nursing school it is the best time to ask questions because you are building a foundation. Since I want to work in this particular unit after graduation you would think that all of the nurses would like to help, but unfortunately some just don't care. Or that is at least the feeling I get. So what is a student to do when faced with this. I am PRN so I am not always going to be with the nurses that are open to questions??????
  12. by   mattsmom81
    Albirdie, I have heard that sometimes I 'come off a bit bytchy'... if a student is in 20 question mode when I am trying to accomplish something else...which may not be readily apparent to the student at the time. I'm not hating that student but simply overwhelmed at that moment. So here's my advice:

    If a nurse is not receptive to your questions...first assume you've caught her at a bad time, and ASK her if it is a bad time and would she take a moment later (at HER convenience) to edumacate you. (PS this works with docs too..hehe)

    If she is still not receptive be polite but persistent....can she then please suggest or direct you to another resource (person or book resource) so you can learn what you need to learn, as you want to do well, blah blah. I guess this seems like an exercise in assertiveness for some new grads...I remember some real hard azzed nurses who didn't seem to want me around when I was green. Bottom line: I had to locate my own mentors and resources, and not let the turkeys get me down.

    Some older nurses operate off instincts after many years in practice and honestly may not know how to 'teach' you anymore in the way you are accustomed. A younger nurse may remember the teaching/learning process easier than an old one in this case. Also, not all nurses are natural teachers either contrary to popular opinion.

    Finding a nurturing support system is a challenge sometimes. It is so important to have that supportive environment and work with coworkers who have your back... believe me it can make or break ANY nurse new or old, IMO.

    The trouble is so many facilities today are dysfunctional, and the staff is overworked and underappreciated. That new nurse may well be viewed as one more task in a day of insurmountable tasks..particularly if the facility is not not staffed to adequately precept and mentor which I see a lot in my area at for profit facilities. This is why I encourage new nurses to find organized internship programs where they should find a committment to new grads from management down. I'm glad to see some hospitals in my area are finally implementing this!

    Sorry so long...hope this helps new nurses gain a little better understanding of the whole situation. Healthcare is in the worst turmoil today that I've ever seen, and the nursing shortage reflects this.

    As an 'old' nurse let me say I DO remember how tough it was to be 'new' and most of us do deep inside. Best wishes to all!! :kiss
    Last edit by mattsmom81 on Jan 2, '03
  13. by   Anaclaire
    Albirdie,

    I agree wholeheartedly with everything MattsMom said.

    I worked in a hospital while in nursiing school as a Nurse Tech which is what I think an extern is today... anyway... my point is that I ran into basically 3 kinds of nurses:

    One absolutely horrible, mean, smart-azz who made me feel like a pure pain in her bum. I'll never forget how mean she was to me!

    A bunch who were friendly and nice but never seemed to have much time for me. Sure, they'd answer my questions but the answers would be brief or not fully complete for my needs.

    There was usually one who was "assigned" to me and that one would be the most helpful.

    And then there was the warm, bright light of a nurse who made me feel confident, worthy, and needed. She set a shining example for me to follow, always had time to answer my questions, show me things, teach me tricks, the whole shebang. Of course she didn't work every shift I did, but Gosh I was sooooo glad when she was working my shift.

    I found this general group of nurses to be the same in every different unit I've worked in... they just had different names.

    Some personalities mesh and others don't. Seek out the people who are helpful and make a mental note of those who are less than best for your needs.

    I do believe that my experience with the nurse from heck caused me to understand what "nurses eating their young" meant and also made me be especially aware of how NOT to be when I became a nurse. I should thank her today because she had a lot to do with me wanting to become a preceptor and mentor once I became qualified to do so.... I want to be the helpful nurse, not the battle ax! Hopefully you will learn something about group dynamics and how the real world is during this time. People are people... not everyone will like you and you won't like everyone else. That's only natural. Just don't burn any bridges.. if you can't say something nice to a co-worker then don't say nothing at all.. never let them know they bother you in the least!

    Hang in there! It sounds like you are a very caring and consciencious person and will make an Excellent nurse for many years.

    Oh, by the way, I hadn't made my decision about where I wanted to work when I graduated while I was an extern... for all they knew I wanted to work on that unit. Thankfully working there I learned my personality didn't mesh as well with theirs, so I cut my losses and took my chances in another unit when I graduated. My nurse manager was disappointed, but when I got to my new unit I was as happy as a clam and found more nice nurses, a fantastic preceptor/mentor (who I am still in contact with 14 years later although we live in different states now) and the battle ax nurse on the new unit was much more bearable!! LOL.

    Warmly,
    Anaclaire

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