new grad having trouble w/ icu personalities - page 4

I am a new grad icu rn in training and am finding the most challenging part to be interacting with the nurses on my unit. Granted some are nice, friendly, and helpful, but the majority of them are... Read More

  1. by   arual56
    Quote from extraordinary067
    I am a new grad icu rn in training and am finding the most challenging part to be interacting with the nurses on my unit. Granted some are nice, friendly, and helpful, but the majority of them are unfriendly, condescending, and outright mean to us. I have heard of nurses eating their young but this is ridiculous. It makes me dread going into work everyday. I have been nothing but friendly and professional and am getting glowing reviews at my evals. I am wondering if anybody else has gone through this and if these nurses are being so nasty bc i am new and on orientation. I hope this passes. I really do like all other aspects of ICU nursing.
    I am sorry that you are having to experience this. Unfortunately, it has been this way for a long time, and is not likely to change soon. But school taught you what it is to be a good nurse, and what kind of nurse you don't want to be. Let their example be a driving force in you to change the "traditional" way of treating new nurses. You are part of a new and better generation of health care providers, and your patients will benefit from your understanding, compassion, and patience with your co-workers.
  2. by   Lisa CCU RN
    [QUOTE=suanna;2220556]I'm one of the mean old timers in the ICU. I wish it was different but with the responsibility level for critical care I dont have time to teach a newbie how to start an I.V., why levo not dopa, how to suction, extubate, intubate, code, etc....QUOTE]

    I appreciate your honesty, but aren't some skills reserved for the ICU? Intubation and extubation would not be done on a Med/Surg floor would they? Starting IV's, suctioning and running codes I can understand, but what emergency drugs to use would be something learned in the ICU wouldn't it?

    I want to go into ICU, but I have taken what some nurses have said as far as learning "nursing" first and then going into critical care and I think I may spend a year on a Telemetry floor first.

    Just wondering.
  3. by   arual56
    While I understand that ICU has some very time and skill intensive patients to deal with, suanna;2220556 is, self admittedly from the old school. There seems to be some skills she believes to be isolated to ICU only. In her unit, she may be right. But in other hospitals, intubation and extubation, as well as use of the meds she was discussing are also used in ED and sometimes on MS. Intubation and extubation also occur in ED, and in an emergency, can and is done on the MS units. I respect the fact that she does not feel that "teaching a newby" is something she has time to do. If she is uncomfortable with having a student, then the best thing she could do is bow out of the position. Thankfully, there are a number of ICU nurses that are willing to step up to the plate and teach/orient a newby. Often, this ICU nurse will have her own knowledged reinforced as well as possbily learning from her student. It is not always true, but when it is, it makes the learning process easier for everyone. Suanna belongs to the old school, and is not likely to change, but you are from the new and coming generation. You can be one of the first to make a difference in how the nurses coming after you are taught. Just take the good that those who are giving you trouble and attitude can offer, and leave the rest. They are good examples of the kind of nurse that you want to be, and the kind of nurse you don't want to be. Consider it post graduate work and one more lesson of nursing school.
  4. by   Jo Dirt
    I guess some people were never newbies, but were born in scrub suits.
    Wish I lived such a flawless exemplory life.
  5. by   DKJW
    I totally agree with LLG's evaluation, especially #1. I am an RN with 16 years experience in ICU and that is exactly how I feel about training new nurses in the unit. Time and time again, I explain basic nursing procedure and train people who decide to leave within a year, then I have to start over with someone else. It is draining. Not only do I have to train someone else, I have a full patient load myself. Then some days we get student nurses in from the local colleges and they expect me to precept them as well. And if I don't give the learners what they expect because I am just too busy, they report me to their instructors for being unhelpful! I am happiest on days when I can just take care of my patients without having to constantly explain everything to someone else. My favorite kind of nurse to train is one who acts eager to learn, has his/her own Critical Care reference book, and doesn't expect me to spoon feed them the basics of care. After getting report on a patient who has a condition they aren't familiar with, they should immediately get out their book and look it up, read the doctor's orders, and look up all the medicines they are going to give that shift. Most just sit there and expect me to explain the patient's condition, and feed them all the drug information myself. "How fast do I give this Lasix?" is a question I should not have to answer ever again. Look it up yourself - that's the only safe way to give any medication. *sigh* I have begun ranting, sorry. I truly believe that there must be a better way to train new nurses, better for them and better for us. I am just so tired....
  6. by   pebbles
    Quote from DKJW
    I truly believe that there must be a better way to train new nurses, better for them and better for us. I am just so tired....
    In Canada, ICU training is extra schooling. When you apply to the ICU course, you must have had minimum one year of acute care experience. The course is two and half months of classroom theory teaching, two months of clinical with a teacher. Then you have a "practicum" where you work in the ICU buddied with a senior nurse who volunteered to take a student.

    I loved this. The hospital paid for the whole thing, and we got our wages covered - because we are so short of critical care nurses. But by and large there are not the problems you describe. Nurses start in the ICU needing some help, but they are basically independent.

    This puts the actual basic teaching into the hands of teachers and educators whose job it is to do that, not burdening the nurse who is next to the newbie with trying to teach all that - or making the newbie learn it all on her own.
    Last edit by pebbles on Jun 18, '07
  7. by   UpstairsCare
    I appreciate your perspective Arual56. I was encouraged by my clinical instructors and others to apply to the icu right out of nursing school. I decided to go ahead and apply there along with the ms and telemetry units. I ended up getting the icu position. Apparently someone thought I belonged there.

    I'm so thankful to have an extremely knowledgeable and experienced preceptor who does not mind answering questions regarding basic med administration...etc. My preceptor said she enjoys orienting new grads because they keep her sharp and up to date on new trends in nursing care. She also said that she is amazed at the solid knowledge base that new graduates have today. She did not have that when she was in nursing school. I think that "old school" nurses should keep that in mind. My preceptor keeps reminding me that it won't take long for me to pick up basic nursing skills, such as starting iv's ....etc, but that my good understanding of abgs, fluid and lytes, hemodynamics, ...etc are what will allow me to be successful in the icu (along with my strong desire to learn).

    There is such an incredible shortage of nursing staff. Thank goodness for the overwhelming majority of forward thinking and supportive icu nurses that make a new grad's orientation possible in the icu. I, for one, am incredibly grateful. :spin:
  8. by   dorie43rn
    I have been a nurse for a year, but just started in the ICU. I have only run across a couple of nasty people, the majority are great. Here is my opinion on why they treat newbies bad. They don't like the fact that they hire nurses with no ICU skills into the unit, meaning they will have to be answering alot of questions, and basically be responsible for not only their patients, but the newbies paitents when she runs into trouble. I say this because the nasty nurse on my unit was totally flabergasted that they hired me without basic arrythmia class, or critical care classes. She said, "it isn't fair that I have to interpert your ecg strips and analyze if there is a problem!" What the other nurses told me was that no one comes to the unit with all their credentials! I am perfectly able to care for paitents that may not be as critical as some. In our ICU, we dont' get the traumas, burns etc. We live close to the Pittsburgh hospitals, and they get flown. I would not accept a patient that I could not safetly care for. But, as it turns out, this certain nurse was reported, by another nurse because she continued to treat me like an idiot, which I'm not. All I can figure is she is unhappy somewhere else in her life. Don't let them get to you, find the nurses who are great, and stick with them. They will stick up for you when needed.

    Dorie
  9. by   iLovemyJackRT
    I feel your pain, and let me start by saying....where do I begin....new grad/RN working in the icu...one preceptor had me bawling my eyes out in the patients room...best thing I can say is stick it out, i love ICU but dislike many people, this is my third night off orientation and it is going much better now...the hardest thing about nursing now is fitting in with people who have known each other and have their own cliques for 5 years....i feel so out of place sometimes, like the second i leave the room everyone is talking about me....people act like THEY never make a mistake....stick it out, it will get better with more experience.
  10. by   Diary/Dairy
    extraordinary, I am so sorry that you have to deal with this - when this happened to me, I said nothing, got picked on daily. Finally, after a little over a year, I just quit. I would NEVER consider going back to that hospital because of the way I was treated and because of the horrific staffing on the 2 units I worked on - I hope things get better for you!!
  11. by   deeDawntee
    I wasn't a new grad starting ICU, but I really feel for you, because I have recently seen 2 new grads be put through hell by the nursing staff. Now my hospital isn't going to hire new grads right into the ICU because of how "mean" the staff were to the new grads. Can you believe it? Even though I had experience in the hospital, it was hard enough starting on the ICU given a lot of other reasons. You still have to prove yourself.

    What I have done now that I have been on the ICU over a year, and people know me and trust me, I have gone around and made it a point to thank every single person who was nice to me when I was in orientation, because there were a few of those and at least it has helped me heal some of the 'wounds' of being new.

    Hang around those people who are nice to you... if you can...
  12. by   pedicurn
    Ditto many of the other replies. I didn't have many problems when I started ICU (except a few personalities may have got to me a bit).
    I remember being really keen, was able to pick up the pace, able to keep my patients safe due to about 5 yrs in med/surg, CCU, knew when to step in and step back and was committed to GOALS for my shift...eg weaning inotropes, improving urine output. Also, i was never overconfident...i always knew my limits.
    I saw many new nurses leave - saying they found personalities ' difficult'.
    Perhaps the older nurses grew to recognise, over time those nurses who lacked the type of attitude and ability that they prized and would not invest so much in them.
    Although I can understand why some people would term this ' mean', ' horizontal violence' and so on - I would prefer to describe it as sticking ones neck out for the patient...and for nursing.
    Surgeons do this all the time...i see them chew up residents who don't perform well. It's a way of ensuring only the fittest survive.
    Not so nice, brutal even...but it is often FAIR.
    ICU is not for everyone - not for cruisy types,or those primarily at work for a paycheck, or those who can't focus on the nitty-gritty stuff with their patient, or those who believe 'a nurse is a nurse is a nurse', or those overly caring and nurturing types.
    Mind you, i would probably be eaten alive in a cruisy environment....they would say i wasn't a good fit - probably call me blunt (:
  13. by   gradRN2007
    Boy I must be really lucky, I have been a new grad on an IMCU unit since april. I have orientation for 6 months and everyone has been wonderful, going above and beyond asking if i need anything so i am amazed that most everyone has had a bad experience...maybe being one of those 'mature" new grads is why although i don't think so..good luck to you all and i love my unit and all the RN's

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