New ICU Nurse..feeling over it :( VENTING!

  1. I am considered a new graduate hire in our hospital ICU. I was absolutely thrilled to get a job in the ICU. I felt so honored and blessed, but now I feel like I hate nursing! Next week will be my last week on orientation, and then I will be all by myself . Don't get me wrong, I am scared to death of going on my own..Is this normal?? I feel like I am knowledgeable, graduated at the top of my class and I constantly look up things I don't understand or think I should know to stay current in my practice so I should be fine..but still scaryy!!

    My orientation has been awful! I absolutely love my preceptor as a person, but as a teacher, she drives me crazy. She was taking over my patients for the first two months. She would literally just take them over, like I wasn't there. She would talk to family right after I spoke with them and then repeat everything I had to say. When I spoke up about wanting to make sure I knew how to do everything by myself, her response was, "I am just REALLY good with family!". If I would have a patient on a drip and walk away for two minutes to turn my other patient, she would go in the other room and titrate my drip (even though I literally just did it!!!)! The other nurses casually have said things to her and have told me they noticed that she is a little too overly motherly, but she is driving me INSANE . In addition to her constantly making me feel like a student nurse, instead of an actual RN, she absolutely annoyed the crap out of me on my latest shift.
    I had a 400 pound patient on last nights shift in addition to a wonderful patient that was going to be leaving. The 400 pound patient was aphasic before coming to the hospital (tons and tons of skin issues), and was on a vent with no current sedation. She sometimes moved her eyes to open them half way and she consistently squeezed her left hand (not purposeful at all with me). On my assessment she was non responsive, she kinda opened her eyes half way to light pain, but her eyes were spontaneously opening through out the night. Her granddaughter came in to visit and began screaming at the patient "GRANDMA! GRANDMA! OPEN YOUR EYES IF YOU LOVE ME"( at midnight of course). I explained to the patients granddaughter that her eyes were opening spontaneously for me at the beginning of my assessment and on days shift assessment and that she was unresponsive to me when I called her name, or stimulated her. Her granddaughter was angry with me. She asked me to explain how her grandma "shifted her eyes" when she would sometimes call her name and how I called that nonpurposeful. I explained to her that it was my assessment, and she may respond "differently to someone she knows" and she should speak with the neurologist on the latest patient update. She left, got some family members and came back requesting that "the student nurse not work with her grandma". Of course my preceptor was delighted because "Families love her!" and because she has to explain to every patient that I am still below her as a nurse. After an hour they called me back in, but I had no urge in my heart what so ever to work with their grandma or for that matter take care of her. Seriously, how can I care for someone whose family just degraded me as a person and as a nurse. I didn't think I said anything wrong and most of all I AM NOT A DAMN STUDENT NURSE!!!!
    MY preceptor is driving my absolutely crazy!!!!! Is this a normal feeling? I feel like I am going crazy and my preceptor ruined all my spirit working with patient families. I am such a nice person, so to hear that maybe I am not as good as her with families is a huge let down.. Did anyone ever feel like this on orientation??? in the ICU???
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    About newnurse1003

    Joined: Nov '12; Posts: 4


  3. by   Soliloquy
    I'd say use it as a means to improve. The fact that the granddaughter responded that they didn't want the student nurse working with their grandma says that they were not OK with your response at that time and that she then had to explain the situation so as to reduce any further confrontation. Not saying she was right for doing so in the way she did, but you are dealing with personalities. I understand you wanting to feel more in control, you did after all go to school for this, but in no time you'll be on your own. So if you're doing everything right now and all she's doing is going back and checking, just do you and let her do her. At the end of it all, your aim is to be as efficient and as "good" as you can be, not to get in her face about doing what you feel is undermining.

    Back to the family, when you're on your own, she won't be there to explain the situation so even though you were upset that they degraded you as a nurse, know it wasn't really about you but about their grandma. They were obviously very upset that she was in the situation she was in and ANY response they were to receive from her "non purposeful" or not (the word choice can be seen as offensive to a granddaughter who just said, "Grandma, Open your eyes if you love me" because she's still coping with the reality of the situation) would've been something for them. so I'm not saying you're wrong for telling the truth. I feel you ought to, but it's the word choice. Some families are more sensitive than others.

    All the best to you (I'm tempted to say 'Ma'am' but I don't know if you're male or