Flatlander 6,459 Views
Joined: Jul 21, '12;
Posts: 258 (49% Liked)
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I agree this seems to be the standard nursing practice.
This is my first post, but I am curious....When I finish nursing school (if I even get in) I will be 62 years old. Is there anyone out there in the same situation? I am currently struggling through Physiology, and am not sure I can get the required B, but I don't have a lot of time to waste taking it again. Do you find learning is harder because you are older?
This is my final dream, to become a nurse. Done everything else I have ever wanted to achieve, but this just might be not possible.
When asked if I thought I would miss hospital nursing if I took the job in psych for which I was interviewing, I said, "That remains to be seen." Probably the stupidest answer I've given in an interview, so far. The interviewer just kind of gaped at me! Needless to say, I did not get a callback and I learned to think twice before giving the first answer that comes to mind!
When I quit or request to be taken off a case, I’m not shedding any tears over my agency being inconvenienced, but I do feel a tremendous amount of guilt for (some) patients. Sure, there are the wacky new assignments you never accept again (Mom running around the house naked talking to ghosts, one family decides to turn off the AC in July, maybe a case feels like a big fat lawsuit waiting to happen, etc), but what about the ones you’ve had for awhile?
If I’m leaving a case because it’s gotten stale or because I feel like I’m being involuntarily sucked into the family dynamics, I usually never tell the family. The agency is informed well beforehand, but I feel like the family would take it as betrayal if they knew I was voluntarily leaving, and possibly retaliate in some way. So, I smile big, wave, and never come back.
I’m torn because I’m having elective surgery (weight loss surgery) and will be out for six weeks. I’m agonizing over how to break the news to my patient's family, and whether I should say anything at all (or simply lie about it being some other surgery). I’ve been the only nurse staffing their case for almost two years, and given their rural location and complexity of the patient, I know they will have a hard time replacing me. I *have* to do this for myself, my health, and my future, but that doesn’t help the crushing sense of guilt I feel for “abandoning” my patient (whom I adore like my own niece). The family has received a series of devastating blows in terms of the patient’s health over these past few weeks, and I figured I’d drag my butt to the AN forums to commiserate.
What is your MO for quitting a case? Do you tell the family, or do you high-tail it out of there without a word? Do you ever feel guilty for moving on? Anyone have any stories?
Hi, nursemaddie... I can't read the saying on your photo...the print is too small. What does it say?
Sorry your'e feeling bad about your preceptor. Mine was nice, but she seemed to demonstrate things way too fast. And expected me to have it down after seeing it once, as you said. Others have suggested jotting a note each time there's a skill, a med, a lab, anything you need to look up. I should have been doing this daily after each shift. I think it would have helped. I could have reviewed my skills in my texts, all of which I saved, thankfully.
I don't know about asking for another preceptor either, but I do believe there should be a way to give feedback to the preceptor if their style is not a good fit for you. In hindsight I could have done that more. When I met resistance from her to my requests for more help, I just shrank back and gave up. Like you, I was afraid of rocking the boat. Little did I know, the boat was already rocking and about to pitch me out!
I think people learn in different ways. I'm trying to find out now what I need from a preceptor to be successful. I'm reading about time management in a book called Getting Things Done, by David Allen. It is excellent! It's hitting the nail on the head about how to get a handle on complex, overwhelming workloads. (Can you relate?) I recommend it highly. It talks about how trying to hold everything we need to do in our heads is a recipe for disaster. Our short-term memory just crashes from the overload. That is exactly what I felt was happening to me, when I couldn't take two minutes between patients to clear my head and plan my next actions for the next patients. I felt like I had someone over me cracking the whip! It was awful! I'd get so stressed I couldn't even think straight, much less remember everything I needed to do.
I'm not giving up either, nursemaddie! I've worked too hard to get to where I am. Turning back is not my style!
I was let go in last week of new grad orientation, with all the same vague reasons you were given ("not a good fit, need to be independent with a full load, you're not ready, need less acute unit, etc"). Do not despair. Try to maintain belief in your ability. We all know the first year is a huge learning curve. Confidence needs building, not tearing down. Being let go under such conditions is a disservice to all and a waste of money, time, and effort. It will require herculean effort on your part not to let this shatter your self-confidence. So many others on this site have reported the same treatment in orientation. It is not unusual, but that does not make it right or easy to handle. Finally, DO NOT leave this job off your resume. Be proud of and able to document and communicate all that you've learned, including knowledge, skills, and experience. Also be able to communicate what you've learned NOT to do. I was able to eventually look at things I did or didn't do which might have contributed to my being let go. Honest assessment of deficit areas is essential, balanced by awareness that everyone makes mistakes and no one is perfect. You are not alone.
When I read your resume, my first reaction was that it was too technical and not focused enough. Look at the job announcement and description of duties for the job you are hoping to land. Then tailor your resume to match the top skills required for THAT job. Highlight your experience related to those areas at the top of your resume. Avoid the use of too many technical abbreviations; spell things out.
You could start by moving the last three of your qualifications under Skills and Qualifications to the top of that section because they are more generally required in hospital nursing. You want the top third of your resume to cinch the deal.
Remember that recruiters are going to scan your resume quickly and you have about 30 seconds to grab their attention and make them read on. Make sure that every word counts and carries the message that you fit the job they are looking to fill. Stress the skills that you will use in the job you are applying for, pulling these from the job's description. State your experience in those areas.
Your current resume showcases the skills you used in home care at the top third of your resume, but you are not applying for home care. You must stress your abilities and skills for the job you are applying for! Look at several job announcements from different employers for the job you want. Examine the similar requirements. These are the ones to stress. For example, explain how you learned to excel in time management, team work, accuracy, documentation in your present job. Show your desire to learn new skills and keep up with evidence based practice, etc. Stress what makes you unique and better at what the employer is looking for. All this will make your resume more dynamic.
Next show your credentials and education, again tailored to the job's requirements and qualifications. Even previous employment experience can be used to sell your transferable skills, i.e., in customer service and satisfaction, leadership, time management, skill development, etc.
Don't forget to update your resumes regularly on websites. After an interview, send a thank you note. If you haven't heard anything after a week, contact the interviewer. Ask for feedback if you were not selected. If you really want the job, keep applying, updating your cover letter, seeking contacts, and networking.
Good luck. Don't give up. Very few of us get the job we want after sending out a few resumes and going on a couple interviews. This is still a tough time for job seekers. You may have to work hard and persevere. Let us know how it goes.
thanks, gonzo1.... I like that first suggestion, since it's pretty much my case, too. I started out on a cardiac telemetry unit, my first job as a nurse. Our patients were mostly elderly with many comorbidities, tubes, lines, wounds, etc. You were pretty much on your own with figuring out how to organize the information and workload. My preceptor, as sweet as she was, couldn't give me the help I needed. Either she didn't know how, was too busy herself, or what. She demonstrated how she did things with me watching most of the time. When it was my turn to hang the IV or give the injection, she would guide me step by step. But still, when it came to doing it on my own without her there, I'd forget everything she had shown me. At one point I asked for extra help with the IV's and her response was "you know how to do it, you just lack confidence." But that wasn't true. I needed to practice it a couple times with her there, me doing it, and no live patient attached.
The manager and supervisor (who IMHO should have been monitoring my progress and making sure I was on track) were distant and unavailable. Neither ever spoke to me about any problems I was having. They would walk by me and smile and say "how are you doing?" And that was it. They were on another loftier plane, apparently. At least until the day they fired me! My preceptor was unaware I was going to be terminated and only found out the following week when she returned to the unit. The managers were getting their input from somewhere, I guess...
My problem is I'm slow! Slow to pick up on things and slow to get things done. Almost every clinical instructor and employer has told me this. I know I am smart enough. I think I need behavioral rehearsal like athletes do, by mentally going through the steps over and over until I don't have to think about it anymore. I had trouble with the workload because I didn't have a clear picture of where to start. I'm not sure this is making sense. I'm reading a time management book that is really helpful in explaining me to myself. It talks about the need for thinking about what needs to be done upfront in "knowledge" jobs. This is what I wasn't allowed time for. I would go into a patient's room not knowing clearly where to start and what to do. I'd get anxious and feel like I was floundering. I was unfocused and inefficient. I felt the need to get my thoughts organized, make sure I wasn't leaving anything out, and that I was clear on the next steps to take. But if I tried to take a minute to breathe -- and I mean that literally -- I'd be told, "now it's time to do such and such..."
I wasn't allowed the autonomy to decide what to do next. I was being directed at every moment, as in "do this, now do that, no don't do that, do this, and do it faster, faster, faster." The constant pressure to go faster than I was ready for led to mistakes. My confidence level began to drop dangerously. I could not function that way. I needed to think things through, find my own system of organizing, and my own rhythm. I couldn't do that with someone hovering over me and directing my every move. It felt almost abusive. I began to feel angry and frustrated with the people who were trying to "help" me.
I feel if I can just find the key to organize myself, stay relaxed and focused, and work on getting familiar with all the physiology I will be okay. I really, really want to succeed at this!!!! I've always gotten good grades, I can understand highly complex things, I can be an ace at critical thinking and problem solving, it just takes me longer to get there sometimes!!! I can get side-tracked by unimportant things and lose sight of what needs to get done. I know I can be good at this if someone can allow me the time and be patient with me until I find my "sea legs." The time management book is helping me get a system that will keep me focused and on-task.
I have an interview scheduled for med/surg this week and also one for psych with a different hospital. I'm leaning strongly toward the med/surg because I want that basic nursing experience. I don't see myself in a psych nurse career now at all and am wondering if I should just cancel that interview. Anyway--- I'm going on and on here. Any suggestions about how to prepare for the med/surg interview? Anyone? I'm supposed to meet with the HR person first, then with the hiring managers. Interviews feel so phony! Me trying to sell myself and not reveal the problems that got me canned. Trying to put the positive spin on everything. It seems so insincere and almost like lying. Help! I think the suggestion from gonzo to keep it simple is key here, too. As you can see from the above, if you've stuck with me thus far, I do complicate the heck out of things! I have to analyze and pick it apart to truly grasp it and internalize it, whatever the "it" might be. My strength as well as my weakness!
Thanks, CrunchRN. It's good to be reminded how much I've learned and that being fired isn't the end of the world. I feel stronger, knowing I can survive this. As long as I have breath I can make life worthwhile. And it's true that we can never really know the whole story. How we interpret events can either help us pick ourselves up or completely crush us. It's our viewpoint and attitude that matter, I think. I think there were parts of that particular culture I don't want to fit in with! Maybe they sensed that. Watching the Olympics this week has helped me, too. Top athletes can fall off the balance beam or land on their heads instead of their feet, then come back to win a gold medal. Mistakes are made as often as victories. There is no shame in trying and failing. I've seen inspiring examples of Olympic teams supporting each other after every event-- hugging, celebrating, and crying together. Everyone hugs everyone every time. Even when they mess up. No one is left out, ignored, or shunned. There's no eye-rolling or whispers behind the back. Nurses could learn much about strong teamwork by watching these young athletes! This forum gives me a taste of that support. It's almost all positive. I've noticed that even when someone feels the need to correct someone else on a certain point in this forum, it is done with kindness and tact.
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