Why are Newbies Such Whiners? - page 10

catchy title, eh? right up there with "why are nurses such backstabbers" (assuming that all nurses are backstabbers) and "nurses eat their young" and "why are nurses so mean?" i don't know about... Read More

  1. by   interleukin
    As a recent grad (pinned just three weeks ago) I have to say that.....

    "Interleukin, you're my hero":bowingpur


    Thank you.

    I will soon be teaching nursing. My goal will be not only to guide/provide the basics, but to instill a level of self-esteem, confidence, and dignity of self and purpose that will be vital, not only in nursing, but in life.

    It's a tall order, but nothing of real value comes quickly. The bar of nursing education has, too often, been set too low or has been taught by those who should not be in the classroom.
  2. by   patsyNJ2006
    Being an older student, I thought many times that some of younger classmates took too many things personally from instructors.

    It's not that the instructor doesn't like you, he/she just doesn't want you to injure yourself or someone else! So if they correct your performance, or offer you criticism try thinking of it as a helpful tip....they've been around nursing slightly longer and perhaps have the wisdom of experience.
    I always tried to learn by watching and emulating positive traits, and watching and learning from the mistakes I've seen.
  3. by   nursemike
    I was very fortunate in my orientation. I work on the unit where I worked before I started nursing school, so I like to believe I had already proven my work ethic and willingness to take instruction. I was also allowed to choose my primary mentors, and naturally I chose the ones I most respected. But due to the vagaries of scheduling, I actually oriented with about 14 different nurses at one time or another, including one who'd been an RN for about 3 months (we all had a good chuckle, but this was fairly late in my orientation, and she was very sharp, with several years experience prior to getting her RN, and it went just fine.)
    I'm not a whiner. One of my CN's laughs that I'm the only nurse he knows who says thanks when given an admission. I suppose what I really mean is "OK, I'm ready..." but I see nothing wrong with "thanks." Anyway, it has been a point of pride to take the assignment I'm given and do the best I can with it. Only lately have I come to appreciate the responsibility to consider whether the assignment is appropriate--I had a patient not too long ago that I should have advocated for an ICU bed, because there was no way to manage her and 5 others. Fortunately, it all worked out okay, but I won't make that mistake again. Still, I'm never going to gripe about merely being busy.
    I've been very pleased with the level of support I've enjoyed from my mentors and now my peers. But on my same unit, I've seen a new nurse chewed out for putting specimen tubes in a biohazard bag outside the pt's room, rather than in the room (we use little baggies to ship them to the lab). Bagging the tubes in the room is correct, but that's a pretty petty thing to jump on someone for. And even if you consider it a serious error, there are better ways to correct someone than berating them. I think the victim finally wound up with a different preceptor, and she did make it through orientation, but I wouldn't have blamed her for whining a bit. (The same nurse who precepted her chided me one day for not saying in report what PITA's one of the patients' family was that I handed off to her. She wasn't real nasty about it, and I'm fairly thick-skinned, so I apologized and made a mental note to mention such things in my oral updates, from now on, though I also told her I hadn't found them to be such PITAs. I wasn't real sanctimonious about it, though, because most people did find them to be, and I was probably just lucky that they liked me. Well...I did listen to them, too, which is probably why they liked me...)
    I have seen a very few--just a couple, really--newbies who seemed to have no business in nursing. They're gone, now. I've also seen, and been, a new nurse who struggled with at least some parts of orientation. It's really hard to be a nurse. And I have no sympathy with those seasoned nurses who seem to believe "I went through hell, so now it's your turn." and there are some.
    The nurses I've learned most from have been thoroughly professional. They don't make excuses for you when you screw up, but they do recognize that you will screw up, and they're there to catch you when you do. Then they explain how you screwed up, and how to avoid it, next time, and the more you prove your ability to not screw up again, the more freedom you get, until finally you're practicing on your own and not screwing up very often, and even anticipating potential screw ups to confer with more experienced nurses over. And that, I think, is how it should go, and clearly how it can go, since that's how it went for me.
    So, yes, some newbies are whiners, and some have plenty to whine about.
  4. by   newbiern2006
    Quote from ruby vee
    for those nurses on orientation who are sure they don't have time to go and look up an unfamiliar drug -- do you think that time magically stretches once you're off orientation? you are always going to encounter drugs that are unfamiliar.
    i wasn't talking about an unfamiliar drug - my drug handbook is with me at all times, as is my rn notes. i'm talking about something i don't even know how to begin figuring out for myself - like entering information from a blood transfusion in the computer. i literally begged for help with that one, and every single nurse heaved a sigh and walked away from me - one had the nerve to tell me i should have learned it in orientation. well, i didn't, even though i asked repeatedly for instruction sheets for the various computer tasks involved in our job. i was told, "oh, don't worry about that right now, you'll learn it when you're on the floor." oh, really? and just exactly how am i going to do that with the nasty attitudes i've been running into?
    i am not a whiner - i graduated magna cum laude in spite of some very difficult circumstances, and i never once complained about the workload in school when all my classmates whined until i was ready to scream. but there are some things i just can't do alone, and learning my way around the computer is one of them. i wasn't taught how to enter a stat chest x-ray, for example - do you really think my patient had time for me to "go look it up" (there wasn't anywhere to look it up)?!!!!! i was left looking incompetent, when the orientation is what was incompetent.
  5. by   DarciaMoonz
    I am a nursing student and I agree with there being bad apples on both sides. I just deal with it and learn how NOT to treat people, and also learn what I need to be a good nurse and care for my patients. I have had the unfortunate experience of dealing with a control freak, and just because you've been in the field for a long time doesn't make you immune to mistakes. Example: One of my fellow students took the B/P of a certain patient and came up with something like 110/60, the instructor told her she was wrong and doesn't know how to take B/Ps and yelled at her and embarrassed her in front of the staff at the hospital, and the other students. So two other staff members took the B/P and came up with the numbers the student had, and the CI was NOT happy at all, because she has a "your a student and don't know anything" attitude, so your wrong even if your right. Now in the case with the young woman whom was to give antiHTN meds, she deserved whatever corrections to her behavior was warranted. I don't know how she got so far without someone realizing that she didn't know the parameters for giving antihypertensives. The majority of people that most students care for are on some form of these meds, and if she didn't know, the professional thing to do would have been to research the med. I would not be suprised if this student complained about every instructor and how everyone is out to get her. To me she is not ethical or safe for practice. Now if she is due to graduate soon, is she going to give someone a med just because she doesn't want to fill out the MAR stating why she couldn't give it? It has been my experience that the people whom I perceived to be just down right mean are the people I learned from the most. They try to teach you how to do things the right way. When I worked in the O.R. as a Surg. Tech., I would always get assigned to a certain room, and I really didn't care too much for the Circulating nurse. But one day she pullled me to the side and said, I asked them to put you in my room because your good, and I want you to stay that way. I don't want you to get into the habit of taking unsafe shortcuts and doing things that your not supposed to being doing. And that statement coming from one whom others feared, is the biggest compliment anyone could have given me. So to the complainers, stop complaining and try to look at it in a different light. The one you think is your worst enemy may have more respect for you than you think and is probably trying to keep you on the straight and narrow to make you your best. Many thanx to my "mean" instructors and preceptors, for not allowing me to make mistakes
  6. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from darciamoonz
    it has been my experience that the people whom i perceived to be just down right mean are the people i learned from the most. they try to teach you how to do things the right way. when i worked in the o.r. as a surg. tech., i would always get assigned to a certain room, and i really didn't care too much for the circulating nurse. but one day she pullled me to the side and said, i asked them to put you in my room because your good, and i want you to stay that way. i don't want you to get into the habit of taking unsafe shortcuts and doing things that your not supposed to being doing. and that statement coming from one whom others feared, is the biggest compliment anyone could have given me. so to the complainers, stop complaining and try to look at it in a different light. the one you think is your worst enemy may have more respect for you than you think and is probably trying to keep you on the straight and narrow to make you your best. many thanx to my "mean" instructors and preceptors, for not allowing me to make mistakes
    [font="comic sans ms"]thank you! this is pretty much what i was trying to get across when i started the thread!

    complainers: stop complaining and try to look at it in a different light. the preceptor you percieve as being "mean" to you may be just trying to get you to do your best.

    the people you see as mean may be the ones who are most dedicated to teaching you the right way to do things, without any unsafe shortcuts.

    and sometimes the newbies who whine the most that people are being mean to them are the newbies who require the most correction, and won't see any correction as anything other than being mean to them!
  7. by   lupin
    You know, I sometimes forget to look at things in a different light. I do occasionally dwell on the negative. I am not a "newbie", I've been an RN a year and a half and an LPN a year before that, but I do find myself occasionally looking at things in a bad light. Especially lately (post holiday blahs maybe?).
    My preceptor for my current job was excellent. She's now my coworker and we get along great. In fact after she precepted me, I went to nights for a while until a spot on dayshift opened up. When it did, she and several other nurses on our rotation specifically asked for me. I know I made mistakes in my orientation, I had not worked in a hospital before, but only in NH or AL. But apparently I either handled it well or didn't make a big enough mistake that it didn't change people's opinion of me.
    I have seen this past May's grads come in and already they are complaining about how nursing is awful, the patients stink and they don't get paid nearly enough. All of those are somewhat true but I still don't know of any other job I would rather be doing. I worked retail for 3yrs before becoming a nurse and anytime I think about changing careers, I just imagine the Christmas season at Walmart and I'm instantly grateful for my license all over again .
  8. by   newbiern2006
    Quote from lupin
    I still don't know of any other job I would rather be doing. I worked retail for 3yrs before becoming a nurse and anytime I think about changing careers, I just imagine the Christmas season at Walmart and I'm instantly grateful for my license all over again .
    I worked crummy jobs a lot longer than three years, and I couldn't agree more, and except for God and my family, nothing is more important to me than nursing - all the more reason to protect my license with rabid fierceness. The money ain't bad, either :hatparty:
  9. by   Roy Fokker
    Quote from nursemike
    The nurses I've learned most from have been thoroughly professional. They don't make excuses for you when you screw up, but they do recognize that you will screw up, and they're there to catch you when you do. Then they explain how you screwed up, and how to avoid it, next time
    Yes, like the absolute dumb*** mistake I did three nights ago. :uhoh21:

    I helped ambulate a patient with an imobilizer on her left leg - assuming she was weight bearing as tolerated! I mean, she tolerated it well and all but that's really not the point...

    At report, when I was going through my list of 8 patients, the nurse who was taking her for morning shift stopped me when I got to that point.
    "You did what?"
    "I helped her to the toilet"

    "With an imobilizer on her leg and a potential fx ?"
    "Oh dang!" :smackingf

    "That's ok. We just won't be doing any more of that today".

    Then she winked at me and said that she understands (I had 8 pts. that night ) but I ought to be more careful next time. I think it helped that she used to be my preceptor on day shift!
    Last edit by Roy Fokker on Jan 15, '07
  10. by   jjjoy
    What a great preceptor, Fokker! Mistakes WILL happen. For those who don't take them seriously, they may need to be scolded to wake up and smell the coffee but for those who tend to the perfectionist end of the spectrum, they may need the reassurance that they needn't beat themselves up for honest mistakes.

    Being of the latter sort, I'd do much better with a preceptor like yours than one that would harshly tell me "I can't BELIEVE you did that! That was CARELESS and UNSAFE. You're just LUCKY that you didn't hurt the patient. Do I have watch EVERYTHING that you do?" - even if I had been the one who noticed my mistake and reported my assessment of the current situation.

    Like anything, the worst offenders (whiners, unsupportive colleagues) probably aren't on these boards, and the rest of us tend to get a little defensive because, being imperfect and often under stress, we may at times come across as whining or as unsupportive when most of the time we're not, and we don't want to be lumped with the true bad apples.
  11. by   dawn002004
    well i am a newbie, not whining but scared $&*^less at times. My preceptor was very nice to me and encouraging, i also bought her a gift for putting her time and effort also her liscence on the line for me at the end of orientation.
    Last edit by rn/writer on Jan 16, '07 : Reason: Changed word that violated the Terms of Service.
  12. by   linzz
    I too had two preceptors, and my second preceptor really went out of her way to teach me, so I bought her a gift and during my time with her I drove her to work when she needed a ride. I think sometimes that a student being interested in learning and going out your way to be helpful can help the learning experience assuming the environment is not hostile.
  13. by   Schoolnursetrish39
    Amen to that Medic Nurse.. when I was in nursing school. I had clinical instructors that watched us like hawks and I even had one who thought I wasn't cut out to be a nurse and had me do extra wound care when some of my classmates thougfht it was "gross" and also to come in and do a day in the ER with her personally starting IVS. I was sure she hated me.
    You know what I thank God she was hard on me and taught me and "picked " on me because when I was a "newbie" I knew a few things.. as a nurse I learn something new every day... and if you don't you are slacking..

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