Why are Newbies Such Whiners? - page 6

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   CHATSDALE
    RUBY i hope that you are recovering well after your surgery

    i have to agree with miranda that idealing the newbie should be between the cowering hatchling and the know it all
    neither is learning anything and puts the preceptor in a dangerous predictament
    a] the hall is not the place to discuss any pt not the one you just left and not the one you are going to walk to next

    b] if a pt refuses a med do NOT tell her that she has to take it because the doctor ordered it...if it is a new med explain why it is being ordered, if the med requires v/s take them and if they as not in line explain to patient why they are being held

    c]do not treat the patients as if they should look up to you in great admiration of your knowledge never talk down, be sure that they understand but respect them as adults

    d] repeat c when dealing with cnas/ward clerks . these are people who can save your butt

    e] respect others, respect yourself
  2. by   tattooednursie
    Quote from CHATSDALE
    RUBY i hope that you are recovering well after your surgery

    i have to agree with miranda that idealing the newbie should be between the cowering hatchling and the know it all
    neither is learning anything and puts the preceptor in a dangerous predictament
    a] the hall is not the place to discuss any pt not the one you just left and not the one you are going to walk to next

    b] if a pt refuses a med do NOT tell her that she has to take it because the doctor ordered it...if it is a new med explain why it is being ordered, if the med requires v/s take them and if they as not in line explain to patient why they are being held

    c]do not treat the patients as if they should look up to you in great admiration of your knowledge never talk down, be sure that they understand but respect them as adults

    d] repeat c when dealing with cnas/ward clerks . these are people who can save your butt

    e] respect others, respect yourself
    That was well said . . . Very professional.
  3. by   jjjoy
    Miranda - you make some very good points and put into words why and how to move from being a student to an independent practitioner. As a newbie, I hated when a question I asked was answered with "use your nursing judgement" - what judgement? In school, there was one right answer and you'd better have it.

    Anyway, I really appreciated your post and think it would make a good sticky for struggling newbies.
  4. by   medsurgnurse
    Quote from lauralassie
    i agree i get sick of it too. but then, i really think new nurses are more stressed than we were (i too have been a nurse that long). the reason being, i think most nursing schools don't train a nurse for what their work will be. there is too much focus on book work and theory rather than application of theory ,ie...working!. (young nurses don't get me wrong, we got the same background on theory you did , it's just that we worked under the watchful eye of a nursing instructor much more time than most schools seem to now days. ) i work icu, er. when a nursing student comes in the nursing instructor is usually around "some where". our instructors were breathing down our backs. i had a nursing studet come in and say. "i'm only allowed to watch the vent today".. the nursing instuctor was no where to be found. ( this is typical by-the-way) i started going over the asessment with her, she said i'm not to do that today, i'm only doing the vent. so i pulled a chair up in front of the vent and i told her to come get me right away if the bellow stopped going up and down, or if a pretty red light comes on. or if the vent makes a wha, wha sound run like the wind. i later found the instuctor, and she said," yes that's her goal today. to observe the vent. " what! i went in and asked the student about the vent, o2 tissue diffusion gradient,vt, abg interp. etc.. she was lost. now can you imagine how stressed she is going to be as a new grad trying to figure out how to manage 8 pt.s and corralate lab, pt asessment etc. feel bad for her really. she is paying a tremendous amt of money for her education and is getting none.
    i absolutely love your description of this. i see this happening also. i had a group of rn students. 4 students assigned to 2 patients. they could not give meds, do treatments or procedures. so i told them they could go with the patient to x-ray etc, watch all procedures, be with me when i give meds, and help pts with personal care. they didn't do any of it. 1 of the patients was independant and all they had to do was hand him some towels and clean gown/pjs. and they could have changed the bed when he was up. the other went to a procedure and they could have changed the bed when he was gone. they didn't do anything. their goal for the day was to practice team leadership. they wouldn't even ambulate the patient when i asked.
  5. by   PANurseRN1
    Quote from medsurgnurse
    I absolutely love your description of this. I see this happening also. I had a group of RN students. 4 students assigned to 2 patients. They could not give meds, do treatments or procedures. So I told them they could go with the patient to x-ray etc, watch all procedures, be with me when I give meds, and help pts with personal care. They didn't do any of it. 1 of the patients was independant and all they had to do was hand him some towels and clean gown/pjs. and they could have changed the bed when he was up. the other went to a procedure and they could have changed the bed when he was gone. They didn't do anything. Their goal for the day was to practice team leadership. They wouldn't even ambulate the patient when i asked.
    But had you dared to even remotely address this, you would have been shredded for being "hostile."
  6. by   newbiern2006
    Quote from NurseWhiteRN
    NewbireRN2006, I am sorry to hear you are having such a difficult time.
    I thought I was being treated horribly years ago, and actually I was treated horribly. But, it helped me become a most excellent nurse. I think it did. While I was orientating, we didn't have preceptors. At first. I tried to get help where ever you could. If I ever asked a question, they would tell me "go look it up", and it was in a book! a Big Book. Not on a computer like today. If I ever asked for help, they told me " let me show you how to do that by your self from now on", and they did show me how. If I made mistakes, It was mine, not a preceptor (I didn't have one). They told me my nursing education should have prepared me for the orientation and work field. Apparently it did. Tons of nurses have the new nurse nightmare. I focus very hard not to treat anybody the way I was treated. As you become a seasoned nurse, don't forget how you were treated.
    Try to hang in there, maybe try a different area of nursing. I mostly work critical care, I perfer to have 1 or 2 patients, not 7 or more.
    Thanks, I appreciate the encouragement - but "go look it up" could never work in today's environment where hospital stays are shorter and, consequently, patients are sicker than they were a couple of generations ago. I literally don't have time to "go look it up" - my patients need my attention NOW, not after I take 15 minutes or half an hour to "go look it up." Even though I am barely managing my own patients' care, I never, ever turn down a request for help from another nurse or aide, I don't think I'm asking too much for the same respect, consideration, and courtesy in return. My patients love me, and many ask how long I've been at the hospital in which I work. When they learn I am a new nurse, many are surprised and tell me it seems like I've been a nurse forever. I know I am going to be alright, but it didn't have to be this difficult and stressful - some other nurses I know who have had competent orientation and work in new-nurse-friendly environments are much happier than I am in their new roles. I am not "whining," I'm just terrified of screwing up and losing the license for which I worked myself nearly to death because I work in such a negative environment. I have spoken up to several nurses recently about my concerns and some of them have been much more supportive - not all of them were aware of how I was struggling (and why) and are trying to help me more instead of being impatient when I don't know something.
  7. by   nolaRN
    Dwelling on the negative only gives it more power -- Chinese fortune cookie
  8. by   linzz
    I fully agree with lauralassie's post. As a student who recently graduated, I too hated the lack of actual hands on nursing. I think that lauralassie is correct, way too much bookwork and not enough application of theory to practice. Some of these schools really need to be held accountable for not giving a nursing program that properly prepares the new grad for the real world of nursing. In defence of nursing instructors, I think that giving a teacher a huge clinical group precludes much chance of ensuring that students get lots of hands on exposure. Perhaps fewer nurses would leave the profession in the first year if they were properly prepared in school. I am just affirming what already has been said and posted.
  9. by   PANurseRN1
    You still need to go look it up. You ned to know where to find your resources; there may come a day when someone won't be available to ask a question and give you an immediate answer. And what will your defense be if what you do harms a pt? "But...but...Nancy Nurse told me to do it this way!" Uh uh.

    You do not have it any harder as a new nurse than any other nurse did 10, 20, 30 years ago. The actual work may have been different, but one thing remains constant--nursing is hard work.

    I work in two very fast-paced environments, and I look things up all the time and still manage to get my work done.

    New nurses need to be more proactive about seeking answers to their questions, rather than expecting experienced staff to just give them the answers, then pouting and yelling "new nurse eating" when someone suggests they take some responsibility for their own learning.
  10. by   nurseinlimbo
    Yes that is a catchy title. I agree that sometimes new nurses may perceive things differently, and that corrections are waranted when they are necessary. Common sense would suggest that giving the BP med when your BP was that low was wrong, and hopefully the new nurse would realize the possible consequences.
    That being said, it is still difficult to be a new nurse, or the latest hire in a facility because you are immediately put "under the microscope". Any oversight or mistake is blown way out of proportion, and some go out of their way to make sure they let you know how dumb they think you are.
    Example: I am working nights in LTC and recently had a patient return from hospital after a diabetic wound was debrided. While in hospital she quit smoking and was on a nicotine patch. It was usually changed on the first med pass in the AM. She was awake for me to do her dressing at 5:45 so I did it, and she asked for pain meds and for her patch to be changed. She removed the old patch from the rt side of her chest, and I placed the new patch on the lt side. I informed the day nurse, all was kosher, so I thought. Then yesterday I hear from one of the hecklers that she had two patches on. I KNOW the one she had on was removed, so the only explanation I have is that maybe she had another one on her back that neither of us were aware of, possibly left on from the hospital stay. But of course, I'm sure that it was reported that it was my fault. So, now I will never change that patch again.

    But, a more seasoned nurse in the facility recently forgot to give all the supper meds on our dementia care unit, and the same heckler gave them for her at the start of her shift. I'm sure nothing was said.

    I still don't understand why we have to behave like this towards new hires/nurses. It's like you are to sink or swim, and I personally don't want to be the one on the bottom taking the crap all the time. They treat the casuals even worse, but these girls often only work 1 shift a month and know none of the residents, so of course it takes them longer to get their jobs done, and yes, sometimes they miss things.

    Professionalism goes both ways.
  11. by   Sugar9486
    i am young (20 years old) and i am a newbie, and i have to say that i totally agree with you! some of the stories i have read on here have sounded like the preceptor was totally horrible, but is that the student nurse exaggerating or telling something along the lines of what really happened.

    my impression is that it is a generational thing. i only see this behavior in student nurses that are around my age, and i think it has a lot to do with the generation in general. even in school i see this all of the time ( i am not trying to insinuate that everyone who is "younger" is like this by any means, and i am not trying to offend anyone either) the students who are right out of high school don't seem to care about anything that they are doing. they sleep, leave, send messages on their phone, go in the hall to take phone calls repeatitively, and are just plain disrespectful to the professor trying to teach the course. nursing was not my first major, i was going to school for criminal justice and i see now that i was one of these fresh out of high school students who didn't have a care in the world. when i decided that nursing was what i wanted to do my entire outlook changed. i realized that this is going to be my source of income and a big part of my life and that it is very important. when i was still taking my pre req's after my first semester i refused to take classes during the day if i did not need to because these were the classes that had the younger students. if i took evening classes i was with the slightly older crowd that knew what they wanted. i don't know how though that these students have made it to clinicals, i know my anatomy classes cleared out many of them who were not focused on what they wanted. (we started the semester with 78 students and only 24 attended the final) hopefully these students figure out what they want and that the preceptor is trying to help them.. and that the world doesn't revolve around them? i'm sorry if i offended anyone, thats really not what i was going for





    Quote from ruby vee
    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 the rest of us "seasoned nurses", but i'm getting rather tired of all the threads busting on us for being "mean" to new nurses, students, etc. it seems to be an underlying assumption on most of the threads of the ilk that nurses are mean, evil backstabbers who live to humiliate someone with less experience.

    i've had the opportunity lately to observe some newbies and their preceptors from the patient's perspective. granted, i've been a nurse for 29 years and have been both an orientee and a preceptor -- most recently an orientee. so i do have some experience from pretty much all sides now.

    i was a patient, flat in bed after my spinal surgery. the orientee and preceptor introduced themselves, outlined the plan for the day, and then the preceptor left for a short while to sort out another patient who was screaming the screams of the totally demented, leaving the orientee to do my assessment and am care. the orientee was supposed to be almost ready to be on her own -- and she scared me to death! wanted to give my antihypertensives when my bp was 82/50, wanted to give my hctz when i was dehydrated from vomiting, npo, and my iv rate was only 50cc/hour and a few other things indicating (to me, anyway) poor judgment. when i refused to take the meds and outlined my rationale, she ordered me to take them anyway so she wouldn't get into trouble. i asked her how long she'd been in this job, and was it her first nursing job, or where had she worked before. the floodgates opened, and she started complaining about what a terrible place it was to work, the lousy pay, the horrible hours and how all the experienced staff were mean to her. (the preceptor came back into the room in time to hear that.) totally unprofessional! the preceptor didn't say anything in front of me, and calmly took her off to "plan the rest of our day."

    later that day, i overheard the orientee telling someone (i'm assuming on her cellphone) how totally mean her preceptor was, and how the preceptor was "out to get her." she said "all i was doing was bonding with my patient who is a nurse, too, and the ***** (preceptor) just totally humiliated me. she told me i was unprofessional! i thought you were supposed to be nice to your patients."

    nurse eating her young? or totally out of line and unprofessional newbie whining about being justifiably corrected?

    another time, i heard a preceptor tell her orientee not to give my antihypertensives if my bp was less than 100/systolic. (it was.) newbie comes in to give my antihypertensives anyway. (different newbie.) i refuse. newbie goes to get preceptor. preceptor and i discuss my bp and agree not to give antihypertensives. later, i hear preceptor calmly explaining to newbie that giving an antihypertensive to a hypotensive patient can cause problems. (they're out in the hall, evidently close to my room, and i didn't hear anyone else around, so i'm assuming there was at least an illusion of privacy for this discussion.) newbie got defensive and started lying. preceptor remained calm and reiterated her position. newbie continued to be defensive, escalating the volume. later, i hear the two newbies commisserating about how mean their respective preceptors are.

    i have to admit that when i hear a new nurse complaining about how "nurses eat their young", especially after those recent experiences, i always wonder what a preceptor could possibly do to try to correct some of these blatent mistakes without being accused of being "mean." and i wonder if that new nurse was as ridiculously in the wrong as those two were, and if she was, did she have any clue that her problems weren't all someone else's fault!

    precepting is a tough enough job without being accused of being evil everytime you try to help someone to do better! being a new person is difficult, too -- but please try to look at what you contribute to the problem rather than just blaming the seasoned nurses you work with!
  12. by   cardiacRN2006
    Quote from nurseinlimbo

    Professionalism goes both ways.

    I couldn't agree more.
  13. by   nursemike
    Quote from Sugar9486
    I am young (20 years old) and I am a newbie, and I have to say that I totally agree with you! Some of the stories I have read on here have sounded like the preceptor was totally horrible, but is that the student nurse exaggerating or telling something along the lines of what really happened.

    My impression is that it is a generational thing. I only see this behavior in student nurses that are around my age, and I think it has a lot to do with the generation in general. Even in school I see this all of the time ( I am not trying to insinuate that everyone who is "younger" is like this by any means, and I am not trying to offend anyone either) the students who are right out of high school don't seem to care about anything that they are doing. They sleep, leave, send messages on their phone, go in the hall to take phone calls repeatitively, and are just plain disrespectful to the professor trying to teach the course. Nursing was not my first major, I was going to school for Criminal Justice and I see now that I was one of these fresh out of high school students who didn't have a care in the world. When I decided that nursing was what I wanted to do my entire outlook changed. I realized that this is going to be my source of income and a big part of my life and that it is very important. When i was still taking my pre req's after my first semester I refused to take classes during the day if I did not need to because these were the classes that had the younger students. If I took evening classes I was with the slightly older crowd that knew what they wanted. I don't know how though that these students have made it to clinicals, I know my anatomy classes cleared out MANY of them who were not focused on what they wanted. (We started the semester with 78 students and only 24 attended the final) Hopefully these students figure out what they want and that the preceptor is trying to help them.. and that the world doesn't revolve around them? I'm sorry if I offended anyone, thats really not what I was going for
    There are two sides to every story, but I'm trying to take what anyone posts pretty much at face value. It's hard to dispute that some poeple have had some pretty bad experiences in nursing, and I think it may be more helpful just to let someone vent than to defend the ones they're venting about.

    Which isn't to say I endorse or approve Ruby's thread title, but I have to admit, as a 2nd year nurse, I've actually shaken my head in dismay over some things I've seen 1st year nurses do. Sheesh! Pass the A-1 Sauce!

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