I'm not 'getting' this. Should I be RN?

  1. 0
    I am a new nurse, have been working at Rehab/LTC for six months. The last four months have been at a great facility: Nurse/patient ratio averages 1:14. My problem: I'm always late finishing my shift, feel like I'm moving in slow motion most days. I know I've improved much since my first month or two, but I still feel like such a moron. I look at the more seasoned nurses with such envy. I want to know what they know, work as efficiently as they do, etc. If there are no 'crisis' (patient falls, surprise admits, etc.) I have a pretty decent day. But whenever something comes up, even if it's a lot of new physician orders to complete, it throws everything off for me.

    Also, after I completed orientation, I had a couple of confrontations with a seasoned nurse who likes to take advantage of everyone, especially newbies. I wasn't aware of her polarizing reputation the first time I stood up for myself. The second time I knew but held my ground: I wasn't going to let her push me around. This seems to have back-fired on me. She is tight with most of the nursing aids, and a lot of them have gone out of their way to make my life miserable. The other nurses seem to avoid me; I think they feel as though I'm the trouble maker. Consequently, I've not made any friends, which really makes me sad. I feel as though I can't handle this new career. I'm old enough to be mom to many of these nurses. Want to know where I stand compared to other new nurses, but terrified to ask my manager or DON.
    I'm in tears as I write this. Please give me advice. I'm miserable.
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  3. 40 Comments so far...

  4. 1
    We should try to adjust with situation, but we try to create situations in-favor us. This is the problem.
    virgo,student nurse likes this.
  5. 1
    I am a nursing student without any RN experience, however I have been in the medical field for 6yrs (MA). I have seen this type of behavior before from "seasoned professionals" and I can not stand it. I wish you the best in whatever you decide to do but do not let her make you feel as if you are her inferior (as this is her goal). You are a human being and you deserve to be treated as one. We all have to begin somewhere even though some of us learn faster than others. It seems as if there is some kind of alliance going on there and maybe you are not missing out on anything (IMO), I mean who wants to befriend someone who gets off on putting others down/making their lives miserable versus helping them? As nurses our goal is to "help" in anyway possible, if it is something as simple as picking something up off the floor for a patient or orienting a new nurse. Whatever you decide, hold your head high and set the new standard because it seems that there are a lot of passiveness going on from your coworkers and I applaud you for making a difference. We all know if there is a problem and you do nothing about it other than watch, you are the problem as well. I wish you the best and I will keep you and your situation in my prayers! :-)
    LTCangel likes this.
  6. 3
    I would not be confronting anyone--Especially as a newbie!
  7. 5
    I am not a nurse, but as a human being who has worked with a variety of other human beings (mostly female!) I can offer a bit of advice.

    I recently started a job where most of the people were younger than me- 18, 19 year old kids. I had previous experience in the field that gave me some superior knowledge and a bachelor's degree, which made me sort of a "grown up" or an outsider.

    I will tell you what you do; let who you are speak for itself. Do your best always, treat people courteously, and be friendly. Make life as easy as you can for your aides, maybe even kiss a little ass...more than likely people will start to realize (after awhile) that you are a high quality person, a great worker, and probably a good friend. Sometimes it takes time to get "in", especially after a clash with one of the insiders.

    Just my two cents!
    LTCangel, Samantha11481, brandy1017, and 2 others like this.
  8. 6
    I would say that there is a difference between getting along with the people you work with and being friends with them. Learn to do your job well, focus on the patient, and the rest will fall into place, or not, when you get on your feet. At this time the best thing is to focus on the patient and on how well you do your job.

    It's going to take a while for you to feel on top of things, and even when that happens you will have days that make you wonder why you became a nurse. But my suggestion is please do not let your interactions with the people you work with determine whether you should be a nurse or not.

    You don't know anything about your co-workers really. You might find, once you start feeling like you are on top of your job, that maybe they are the ones who should be rethinking their career options.

    Or you may realize that they are just as unsure of themselves as you, or just as overwhelmed, or that they are simply doing their best to go with the flow, even if they can't stand the job or the people they work with either.

    Please stop comparing yourself to other nurses, a lot of us don't get out of work on time. In fact it's one of the top admin/nurse issues of disagreement. They'll be pushing you to get out, you know you have a job to do and you do it.

    So welcome to the club!
    AngRN6726, LTCangel, onyx77, and 3 others like this.
  9. 5
    In any new job the first 6 months can feel like you will never get it. Then it seems all of a sudden (at least with me) I seem to have a handle and know what to do. Then I start to get bored! The only place that I have found that I never reached the stage of boredom is home health. But that is another story.

    In response to your question- yes, I think you are normal. It takes a year of full time nursing to feel competent. Speed takes longer, and some of us are more thorough than others so we are naturally slower. It is so hard not to do things the way you were taught. Reality shock is when you realize that you cannot do things the way you are taught and finish in 8 hours. You can only do the best you can, make priorities, and pray/hope for the best.

    Friends are another thing. Sometimes it takes a while if others have been there for a time. In my position I have been there for almost 4 years and I am still not in with the cliques. It is just like high school. I have one friend- one. I am lonely but I do my work and focus on that and my outside life.

    Try to put in a year, if you don't feel better then maybe start looking. I have worked in a lot of places and each one has a different culture. The one thing I have found is that you can get through anything, any stress if you are working with a good team and you feel like a part of the team. That is why the military tries so hard to build team spirit. Some of the worst work environments can be great places to work because of the people. If you don't have that even a tolerable work environment can be miserable. You are not alone.

    I agree with the previous poster- smile, be kind, especially to the aides who can sometimes be very sensitive to any perceived negativity towards them. Ask about their lives- how was your holiday? What are you doing for Christmas? that kind of thing. I made great friends with the aides on my last job and those two were such gems! They both even bought me small gifts at Christmas- made me cry! As little as they make they got ME gifts, of all people. I miss them more than the nurses.
  10. 6
    Don't go to work to make friends. Sometimes you will, sometimes you won't. But making friends at work generally comes from time together. As in years, not months. And it comes from having time to get to know each other (which as a newbie, you're just not going to have time because it takes a while to be able to just do your job in the time you have at work.)
    Around six months seems to be the time that being a new nurse just SUCKS.
    You're at that point where you're getting frustrated with not "getting it" and feel like you should be "getting it" but it's just going to take a few more months to feel comfortable. And a while after that to be able to make decisions faster and assess faster and chart faster and change tracks faster.
    Give yourself some more time, don't worry about other people, just go to work and try to do a little better each day.
  11. 6
    Quote from 79Tango
    I would not be confronting anyone--Especially as a newbie!
    thats very true, one thought ..nursing is primarily a women's game. , and traditionally there is more , how should i say ,drama with a bunch of women vs man (man here) NOT ALL THE TIME, but sometimes . so thats something that just comes with the territory, ur gona have to stop giving a **** about what other people think , and prioritize your family and kids , go to work , take care off business and come home to your loved ones
    Last edit by rn/writer on Nov 30, '11 : Reason: Changed disallowed word to all ***.
    AngRN6726, nurse_tnb, bassfishingRN, and 3 others like this.
  12. 2
    Pay attention to yourself. The first year is tough and unfortunately there are many nurses both young and old with passive aggressive behavior because the are truly insecure themselves and the only way they feel better is to make others feel badly.....pretty pathetic is you ask me.

    A very great lady once said "No one can make you feel inferior without your permission" Eleanor Roosevelt. Take care of you and the rest will follow.
    nurse_tnb and LTCangel like this.


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